Harvard Gazette

The Harvard Gazette is now on WordPress, with a beautiful magazine-style design. There’s a whole meme/argument going around a few blogs and Twitter saying WordPress isn’t a CMS. Who cares what you call it, look at the amazing sites you can create. (And manage content on.) Who woulda thunk it. I thought WordPress was only good for “just a blog” — what are these Harvard gonzos doing? Fie! I say.

15 thoughts on “Harvard Gazette

  1. The past dozen sites that I have build use WordPress as a CMS.

    Why? Because it is free, open, completely customizable and allows you to lock the admin down to only what the user needs.

    Sometimes clients say “but this isn’t a blog” – then they see how user friendly it is and how great the site looks. A recent (non-profit) project example is: http://www.africanfilmfestival.org/ It doesn’t look or act like a blog, but everything is managed in WP, by multiple authors.

    In many ways, I wish you would start a full blown CMS. It would, well … kick ass!

  2. For those who are arguing on the fact that WordPress isn’t a CMS are living under the rock. It can be made to do anything, literally anything.

  3. Fie! … ironic part is most of that meme comes from a certain populous who may have no idea of what CMS the gazette migrated away from and why. My favorite jobs are migrating from other cms’s since I know how much the editors, admins, and users will thank me.

    1. Good point Windhamdavid, Gazette was completely manual process before with static html and a brutal workflow. The writers, photogs, and editors are very happy they have the dashboard to handle their process clean and thoroughly.

      You can view stories and the layout of the Gazette for the last 14 years online here: http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/legacy-gazette/

  4. You are right about the naming. At this point WordPress provides a great foundation for different types of projects – even bigger ones.

    Great design at Hardvard Gazette indeed – and with this line I reinforce the idea that along with the developers – the designers community made WordPress a success.

  5. That is a very well designed and well organized site. And, to prove your point, WordPress not only can handle that but is one of the best out there do achieve that.

  6. Preachin’ to the choir over here, Matt ;)

    That site is super slick, in design and implementation.

    Is the “It’s a CMS / It’s not a CMS” debate STILL going on? that’s so… 2003. :p

  7. I think the only people that say WordPress isn’t a CMS are those that already use a different CMS and have never tried to use WordPress for that purpose.
    Once you actually use WordPress, you begin to see the potential it has. I’ve been using it for four years and have yet to run across a scenario I couldn’t solve either through plugins or coding.

  8. Not wanting to diss you on your own blog Matt, but a “magazine style theme” is a “blog that looks like a newspaper”.

    Don’t ask me where you got that CMS thingy from, but Harvard is sure not using WordPress as a CMS there!

    Btw.: you could have skipped the whole CMS drama if you’ld have realised that “a blog is merely a series of pages, sorted by date in descending order”. You could have just created the WordPress pages part, and you could have added a simple sort-these-child-pages-by-date function. The taxonomy would have been good enough for both tags and categories, skipping that drama too.

    But hey, now it’s a bit too late… or isn’t it? Now you’ve got a “posts” and a “pages” part. And a whole lot of hacks to make sites look good in the end.

    But hey, it’s just the pixelshover in me being a drama queen and the codepusher in me poking his eyes out on rather “mixed-glued” code within the wordpress core and I know that “the next version” will always be better… but you could’ve been there yesterday, not tomorrow.

    My 2 cents? Next time, talk to me first and code later! ;)

    1. Harvard Gazette (issn: 0364-7692) is published every other week, with many lead in’s to the website for additional features and stories. The theme is using straight WP functions and minimal amount of plugins. The site lives straight on the WP core and auto-updates versions without breaking.

      Writers, photogs, and editors create the online version which has daily updates. WordPress supports the workflow the editorial team used to have offline only.

      Last note about WordPress and theming – check out the gazette on mobile phone (iphone or droid) – straight WP allows for different presentations on same content.

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