How to Use WordPress
WordPress has, over the course of the last several years, established its dominance as the most popular content management system on the market. WordPress powers nearly 25% of the market – a lions share, considering its nearest competitor is just shy of 3%. It’s clear that WordPress easily satisfies the need for a powerful – yet, easy to use – software.
WordPress was created, at its core, to be the best blogging platform around. But WordPress itself isn’t just a blogging platform – it’s been molded into one of the most powerful content management systems on the market.
With that being said, new WordPress users often wonder if WordPress can handle their specific project – no two websites are alike, and each has their specific concerns and needs.
Here are the top 5 ways WordPress can be used – aside from blogging!
1. A Full Website
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about just how far WordPress has come as a true content management system. Often called a “brochure” site at it’s core, most of today’s modern wordpress websites have so much more than simple pages. A site, integrated with a blog, has the potential to be a powerful tool since new content can be added easily.
Until recently, the biggest problem was translating complex layouts into easy-to-setup option in WordPress. With the PageBuilder plugin, that shortfall has been overcome. Add to that a visual-editor based widget like the Black Studio TinyMCE Widget, and you can literally add any content in any format to any page – the possibilities are endless.
2. Collaborative / Social Forum
WordPress’ BuddyPress and bbPress make creating a social network inside of WordPress a breeze. There are tons of sub-plugins for BuddyPress that add most of the functionality that a modern social network would have, and sites running it can support thousands of concurrent users simultaneously. By adding in forums with bbPress, you can provide a place for users in your specific niche to congregate and communicate.
3. eCommerce Solution
There are more than a few eCommerce solutions out there right now. Shopp and WooCommerce provide an extremely integrated experience, with adding product being akin to adding a new page or blog post. Outside sources, such as FoxyCart, have third party plugins like FoxyShop and FoxyPress to allow seamless product adding without the hassle of an integrated checkout system.
4. Membership Site
Being able to restrict content at the user level is a necessity for any good membership site, and WordPress has plugins to help. S2Member and WP-Members are free solutions that can create user-groups, restrict content by group, and even take care of any payment options you wish to utilize. You can even hide networks (such as sites running BuddyPress and bbPress) behind a pay-wall to encourage users to subscribe.
5. Web Application Backend
Still in its infancy, but definitely not unheard of, is the ability to use WordPress as the backend for a web application. With the updated JSON framework set to release in a future version, that ability will only get easier and more accessible to developers. There are entire sites running both websites and native applications on one installation of WordPress!