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I'm thinking about using WordPress as a content management system for a school. The frontend of WordPress itself would never be seen by the students, but the admin interface would be used by teachers to post bulletins and other messages and news items. Wordpress would then provide an RSS feed to integrate with the schools existing systems.

My question is how can the WordPress backend be simplified for use by people with very little technical knowledge. All the is really needed for most users is the ability to view previous posts, and write posts.

Can this be easily achieved using some themes or plugins? Or am I better off using another system for this, if so what?

Thanks.

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3 Answers

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First, once you assign users to the role of Author or Editor they will see quite a few fewer menu items (Settings and Appearance goes away) - see Roles and Capabilities. Try creating a second account for yourself and seeing if that helps.

You can then remove additional menu items using the Admin Menu Edtior which is a very well written and quite handy plugin.

admin-menu-editor-admin-plugins-for-wordpress.jpg

If you need more control over roles than that, try the Role Scoper plugin.

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Capabilities & Pages

Every admin menu item has a needed minimum capability to get displayed. As capabilities are "packed" in roles, you need to figure out what roles are allowed to view the pages you need to get displayed and then assign those roles to your users.

Issues

If you're trying to hide menu items with javascript or css, then those pages are still accessible via the addressbar/url. Unsetting the admin menu items array via php (for e.g. with mentioned Admin Menu Editor Plugin) does an equally bad job and only hides the items and doesn't deny access to the pages.

Solution

If none of the built in roles mets the page-set you want to leave in the menu, you'll have to use a plugin for to build custom roles.

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this is absolutly the best solution for you : Adminimize plugin

I have used it many times , flexible, robust , scalable . It lets´s you remove just about ANYTHING from the admin area, by user capabilities, it adapts when new plugins are installed etc ..

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The plugin uses css (as described in my answer) to remove stuff. This makes stuff still accessible via DevBar/FireBug/etc. –  kaiser Dec 5 '11 at 18:14
    
true, but if you will read carefully, he said it is meant to be used by " people with very little technical knowledge" and ... they are teachers at the school ! the students will not have access to admin area at all.. IMHO what he wants to do is prevent someone from accidently damaging something .. not intentionally.. –  krembo99 Dec 5 '11 at 20:16
    
Yea, right. But schools have kids or teenagers. Never underestimate them, especially when dealing with teachers that have passwords like "1234" :) –  kaiser Dec 5 '11 at 21:16
    
well, if the administrator or user will have a user name :user and password :1234 NO method will help .. every plugin or method can be disabled once you have admin privileges. –  krembo99 Dec 6 '11 at 2:44
    
Did you know that every account can be made an administrator account, when you got editor as role? Privileges are not as "good" as expected. And I hope you give no teacher an admin account. –  kaiser Dec 6 '11 at 8:21
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