For non-ecommerce sites, one of the best simple CMS’s out there is WordPress.
Yes, WordPress is the most popular blog software out there – but in reality, it does a whole lot more.
Setting WordPress to Serve a Static Page
Once you’ve installed WordPress from Fantastico or Softaculous, you log in to your dashboard (wp-admin) and scroll down to the menu on the left that says “Settings”. Within settings, you’ll want to click the link that brings you to the settings for “reading”.
After you get into the settings on reading, you’ll see a setting called “Front page displays”. Since WordPress defaults to showing posts because it assumes that it is going to be a blog, you simply need to change the settings to a static page that you have created.
If you are not going to have a blog at all, you can entirely ignore the Posts submenu – you can use WordPress and choose not to have a blog at all. If you want to have a site and a blog on a sub-page, you would create a main page, and then go into reading and set that page as the Static Page you wish to serve first.
If you want to have a blog as well, create a blank page under “Pages” with the Title “Blog” or “Company Blog” or something similar, and set that as the posts page so that it’s a sub-menu part of your site.
Why Use WordPress as a CMS?
WordPress does not tend to have the steep learning curve of most CMS’s like Joomla, and a site can usually be created, installed with a template, and launched by cutting and pasting content in very little time.
Because of the sheer obsessive popularity of WordPress, you can find a significant amount of very high quality templates, plugins, on wordpress.org explaining how to do this or that with WordPress, and if you don’t want to get too crazy/fancy, tweaks can often be implemented very, very easily. There are also a number of themes coming out now that are specifically designed to be used as CMS’s, and not strictly as blogs.
And another nifty feature – all those tweaks like caching and keyword plugins and so on that you would use on a blog can be used on the pages (your main site) as well.
Because so many people are using WordPress, the sheer amount of information being written about it, and how to use it, is enormous bordering on staggering. There are many bloggers that just blog about WordPress use on WordPress installations, and solely focus their blogging endeavors to explaining in simple terms how to get the most out of WordPress.
If you’re looking for a simple CMS to use that will produce a slick, XHTML/CSS site in little time with a huge amount of plugins and templates available for you to use at no charge, don’t count out WordPress.