16 Unusual Ways to Build Great WordPress Sites

June 26, 2013 · 52 comments

by andrew

Build WordPress Sites

More and more individuals and companies build WordPress sites. If you think that WordPress is only meant for creating blogs then you are absolutely wrong. Indeed, it is a great online Content Management System with a lot of customization, plug-ins and themes. It is possible to create many different WordPress sites quite easily and the look and feel, functionality and usability is typically very good compared to other solutions. Few experienced WordPress users know its real power and they are coming up with more & more innovative ideas to create WordPress sites. Why is this important for you? Because WordPress is free and know to be one of the most powerful and yet easy to use publishing applications available. So why not benefit from the cool features that turned WordPress into the most loved blogging platform even if you are not a blogger? In this article I give you some insight into the multi-faceted and multi-functional CMS – WordPress. You will find plenty of ideas and examples to get you started building websites using WordPress. You can also use one or more of these simple WordPress themes as they will be great for building user friendly wordpress sites.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you). I recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing any product or service. This article is not a guideline, a recommendation or endorsement of specific products.


ElegantThemes
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Social Networking WordPress Sites

WordPress sites can have many different use cases because WordPress is so expendable. Thinking to setup a social networking Website for public or private domain like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut etc. then WordPress is here to help you. Install the WordPress and go for a social networking theme like few from BuddyPress. See a lot of examples here on sited using BuddyPress. There are not too many free themes available and you should consider getting some assistance from a professional wen designer if you are creating a serious social networking site.

Social Networking WordPress Websites

Plus One is a niche premium WordPress community theme from Templatic designed for creating a social bookmarking website where users can submit articles and vote on them.

The Plus One theme is no different and brings social media and community to the WordPress space. It includes 5 alternative colour schemes, customizable homepage via dynamic widgets, 8 custom page templates, design settings control panel and more. There are many other social platform options available but I find it interesting that WordPress is not on the wagon. There are so many people out there with experience in using and customizing it and it makes it worth checking out if you’re planning to create your own digg/stumpleupon/reddit-ish niche site.

Plus One Theme

Business Directory WordPress Sites

If you are planning to start a online business directory it is also possible to do this using WordPress. You can e.g. use the Business Directory plug-in to create Directory WordPress sites like the one shown below.

Business Directory WordPress Websites

Take a look of Pghdesigner’s Website which was created with a number of free plug-ins.

image

Membership WordPress Sites

WordPress is used for many membership sites already and especially the premium plugins makes it simple to create powerful paid subscription based solutions because they offer integration to payment providers, autoresponders etc.

For creating really serious membership sites I recommend plugins like Wishlist Member. See a review of Wishlist Member here.

Below I have listed a few examples of membership WordPress websites running on top of Wishlist Member.

Membership WordPress Websites

WordPress 101

universityofmakeup

Online Visit Card WordPress Websites

If you just need a simple page with all your contact details made available online then WordPress can come in handy also in this case. One option is to use the free Visiting Card theme shown below.

Online Visit Card WordPress Websites

Another good option could be the Minicard (free and premium)Theme.

Minicard Theme

Contact Manager (Customer Relationship Management)

Do you need a Web portal to manage your contacts online? Then, WordPress is a good and relevant choice. Look up a good theme or get a special and customized theme designed. Install it along with e.g Address Book plug-in. You can also go for dedicated themes like e.g RoloPress. You can keep track of phone numbers, email addresses, websites, social networks and many other types of information using RoloPress.

Contact Manager (Customer Relationship Management)

Online Job Portal

Planning to create an online Job Portal to help jobseekers to get relevant jobs in seconds, think about WordPress. You can Get your Job Portal theme designed by a WordPress expert or you can go for fully functional out of the box solutions like JobRoller.

Online Job Portal

FAQ Portal WordPress Sites

Almost every service related or product based website has a FAQ portal for its visitors. You can use WordPress to develop such a FAQ portal. The WP-Answers theme is a great example of easy to implement solutions for turning WordPress into a FAQ or QA site.

FAQ Portal WordPress Websites

Ticket System

Just as for FAQ many businesses with an online presence need to have a ticket system to handle requests from customers in a structured manner. The Quality Control theme is one good and free example of how WordPress can be used for setting up a ticketing system.

Ticket System

E-commerce WordPress Websites  (Online Shopping)

You can quite easily convert your WordPress installation into an online shopping WordPress Website. It is not always sufficient only to buy WordPress  e-commerce themes to build WordPress sites for e-commerce. Depending on the solution and your requirements you may also have to get SSL certificates and some e-commerce plug-ins for delivering a good shopping experience to your customers. Below some examples of WordPress Shopping themes.

E-commerce WordPress Websites

WPC, E-commerce WordPress Websites

kids toys

Collaboration WordPress Sites

If you have a small team and you need to share files and share messages in a private areas WordPress can help you also in this case. The GDT theme provides these features for free.

Collaboration WordPress Websites

WordPress Wiki

If you’re looking for a Knowledge Base or Wiki for your company but don’t want or need a full blown Wiki Application. Then consider making your Wiki-style blog using WordPress. You could install a customized theme to give your blog a Wiki look and attract the visitors. Remember the Wiki is a synonym to quality-content. The themes below are examples of WordPress themes that have Wiki capabilities.

WordPress Wiki

knowpress

Newsletter Subscription Service

Make use of WordPress and Google Feedburner to create a Newsletter Subscription Service. Email your articles to your visitors and members regularly. This will promote your Website and spread its popularity.

Newsletter Subscription Service

Online Magazine

Almost everyone reads a printed Magazine or e-Magazine on tablets. In the U.S. and U.K., there is trend to read online at e-readers like Kindle, iPad, Nook Color, and Barnes & Noble. You can host your own online Magazine portal using WordPress. I recommend you to buy a customized and tablet-compatible WordPress Magazine Theme for your upcoming Magazine portal. Below a few examples of great themes to build a magazine online.

newscast Online Magazine

stereoline

WordPress News Portal

Do you know anyone who do not read or watch news? The online news reading is replacing the printed Newspapers and even, the TV news. Reason – anyone can access the online news any time and can watch their videos as well. The WordPress is the only one and experts’ recommend choice to build a News Portal. Below a few examples of great themes to build a news portal online.

zenkomagazine WordPress News Portal

yamidoo

Product Review WordPress Websites

You can run a review site powered by WordPress for product, gadget, service or any kind of reviews.  You can make use of plug-ins to conduct online polls, and to give ratings to the products or services. Associate a shopping Website with your Review portal and generate money.

Product Review WordPress Websites

Photo blog

If you want to create a blog to publish photographs then WordPress can be a good choice. Yes, it does not offer this capability by default. You have to add a Photo blog theme to your WordPress installation. WordPress.org offers few free themes to create an image blog. If you are just launching your Website then you can use the free themes. However, we recommend you to hire some professional designers to design a state-of-the-art theme for you and Web developers to convert the bare designs into functional themes. Finally of course you can use premium themes like the examples below. You should pick a great WordPress Photo Theme to get started.

Photo blog

kin WordPress Photo Theme

sideways-portfolio

In this article, I have illustrated different unusual usages of WordPress websites. I recommend you consider to use paid and premium themes as they are typically much better to attract visitors and are more customizable than free themes. Further most premium themes comes with good support which is quite useful if your business is based on WordPress Websites
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Author : Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul, BDM with WordPressintegration.com, company with a team of experts specialized in PSD to WordPress conversion and integration.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

wordpress site August 7, 2013 at 8:28 am

Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I would
like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so!
Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great post.

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Priyam August 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Can you please list the Travel / Hotel Reservation websites built on Wordpress?

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john calvin July 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Awesome list! We often buy templates and plug in’s and are always on the hunt for new stuff. I saved your link and will go through your affiliate link to help you out :) Thank You!

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Michael Rogers May 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Hi! Thanks for helpfull information! Just want to say that I saw an interesting solution recently – a private sale script from Plumrocket. A number of extensions and private sales theme, – I think it is worth seeing. The good thing that they sell complete e-commerce script and you dont have to worry about buying some separate extensions, modules. You can also extend it with cart reservation, invite friends functionality with ability to import address book and reward points extension. If you really like Fab.com or Gilt.com you can add some social shopping extensions such as live feed plugin, inspiration wall, faves… etc.

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Lockers April 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I was very pleased to discover this site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new stuff on your site.

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mobile website February 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Web designers use a variety of unusual tools depending on what part of the construction see to they are involved in. These tools are reorganized over time by newer standards and software but the ideology behind them remain the same. Web graphic designers use vector and raster graphics letters for creating web formatted imagery or target prototypes. Technologies used for creating websites involve standardised mark-up, which may possibly be hand-coded or generated by WYSIWYG editing software. There is also proprietary software based on plug-ins that bypasses the client’s browsers versions. These are often WYSIWYG but with the preference of by means of the software’s scripting language. Search engine optimisation tools may be used to check rummage around engine place and advise improvements.

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raj December 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm

This is really excellent list but i want to know have any plugin discovered for gadget with dynamic price comparison,I mean to say that the plugin automatically updated the price information from various gadget retailers websites.

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Robert Sarjant November 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm

This is a great list showing the full diversity of what you can do quite easily with WordPress and a few choice themes – much more than I thought which is great to know. One of the best theme lists I’ve seen, thanks.

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wpintegration September 12, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Thanks for sharing very useful tips of wordpress.

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Small Business Owners August 26, 2012 at 4:49 am

I really like this post, most people spend too much time trying to figure out what is the best desingn for them, yet somehow depending of the kind of goal we want to accomplish with our sites simplicity is best in many cases, originality in desing is good for branding thought. And then again for those who have websites we know that the desing of a page (specially in wordpress) is a never ending task, there is always something to put a test or to improve, twist, change, modify, delete and so on.

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The 2$ explosion! July 5, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Excellent write-up. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep it up!

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Hanut Thakur May 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This article is very useful for me because i am beginner in this website world and this article about how to build a great wordpress website really works for me. Thanx

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Daniela March 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm

There are lot of websites where you can embed their games to your website, for exmaple http://www.freegamesonline.eu.com This way you can safe your bandwidth.

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qammar February 13, 2012 at 6:27 pm

ah the GTD theme is not working and I need it, no file attachment
option in theme.

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Greg Holbert @efile, e file, file taxes online, online tax preparation, online taxes February 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Great post! I find the most unusual ways of doing things can drive more people to see how it can be successful. Awesome content with graphics makes a very compelling article, so keep up the good work!

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Peter January 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Thanks for sharing. I am looking for a great theme to build a directory. Do you know of any plug-ins that I could use to build a directory on a page rather than the whole site?

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Lars January 22, 2012 at 9:19 pm
Schlüsselpate September 20, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thanks for sharing! Love the Q&A Theme. I’m gonno try this one out on one of my projects.

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Keshav Arora September 1, 2011 at 8:50 am

With the launch of WordPress 3.2 (now WordPress 3.2.1.) and Twenty Eleven theme, it seems that one should use HTML5/CSS3 based themes for creating various Website designs based on WordPress. You can also customize the Twenty Eleven theme as per requirement.

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Nina August 31, 2011 at 11:48 am

Thx for this super Post. It’s enormous what possibilities Wordpress can give.
Please xcuse my bad English.

Kind regards, Nina

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Heinz August 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Hey, wonderfull Sites in your List! Thanks to be posting this!

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webanalyser.de - Webmaster Magazin August 17, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Some useful tips what man can do with Wordpress! The business directory and the job portal sounds interesting…

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rob August 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

wow lots of variations. but just for a simple visit card….thats overload

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Critch August 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

wow… great ideas

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ch2online August 3, 2011 at 5:19 am

this designs are fantastic wordpress really is amazing in every aspects i guess tnx

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steven July 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I have been looking for a way to use wordpress as a CRM, i’m going to go and install the plugin now.

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Jenni July 21, 2011 at 3:14 am

Using Wordpress to build up a business directory website is a great idea, we don’t need to pay for anything else.

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Kamal July 19, 2011 at 9:02 am

Wordpress is the best among all technologies. Going to check all the sites presented by you. Thanks

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Kashif May 31, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Here is another one, http://www.jobsinemirates.com is a full fledged job listing website where employer post their jobs and candidates can submit their resumes on them.

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Michaela April 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Quality control isn’t available anymore…

I have turned out using WATS (wordpress advanced ticket system) from http://www.ticket-system.net, it is pretty cool, supports custom fields, notifications and offers good filterting capabilities for a moderate price…

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cone crusher April 20, 2011 at 9:10 am

wp Too strong. Almost omnipotent, mainly is his extensibility is very good

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PressJunkies April 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

So many things that oen can do with WordPress that it is truly versatile. These unusual ways to use WordPress, among other things is exactly the reason why it is the ruling CMS platform and top choice of many webmasters. thanks, luv WP :)

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Cherry Rahtu April 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

This is awesome tips for optimizing website for better use experience! worth sharing..

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TemplatesRule.com April 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Business Directory, photo blog and Product Review website are not unsual in my opinion these type of functionalities are easily possible with the default capabilities of wordpress. But the other websites are really nice work.

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Real Estate Photo Services April 12, 2011 at 8:39 pm

My website was created with the custom WordPress theme Headway. It makes it easy to customize your site.

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Photo Restoration Services April 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

WordPress is absolutely my favorite Content Management System. You can do pretty much anything with it.

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Micheal April 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for good information, I think productreview theme very useful

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Matthew Bamberg April 12, 2011 at 1:06 am

WordPress provides a clean and efficient platform. Thanks for sharing and thanks for following me on Twitter!

Content is king and your blog is filled with it!

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Lars April 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Thanks a lot for your feedback Matthew! I agree Content is King and the importance and value of it constantly goes up.

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Simon Dabkowski April 11, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for listing our hMAG website on there!

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Andy April 11, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Hi Simon. Your welcome!

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Mvbrakel April 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Nice list you made here!

Just like to point out that Quality Controll.. however great it is, is no longer free.. it’s now licensed to http://www.appthemes.com/. They will most likely release it as a commercial script.

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Andy April 11, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Hi. Thanks for letting us know…shame though!

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paul April 10, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Im working on an business directory as one of our internal projects, 100% wordpress, multiple custom post types, users maintain their own accounts through a mini admin I made.

http://chichester1.com

I work for a web design company that use wordpress for everything we do, the backend is easy for clients to get to know and its flexible enough so that we can do 99% of projects with it.

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Lars April 10, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Nice to hear your version of this… Great to hear the WP helps out your customers!

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andri October 16, 2011 at 12:43 am

wow, nice website!
currently i’m developing a business directory website too…
is there any plugins do u use? or you develop all by urself?
what themes you used?

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Filipe Valente April 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm

Not surprised WordPress is just the best out there

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Carl - Web Courses Bangkok April 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

Nice post and we used the Knowpress for our resources section for Web Courses Bangkok Resources

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JeremyOLED April 10, 2011 at 8:24 am

I’m running some Flash game arcades on WordPress… started out as a relatively simple modification of a css gallery theme with a Flash embed plugin, but have a fully custom theme doing all the work now.

You can check it out at http://physics-games.net

Working on it has proven beyond any doubt that WP can handle every single thing you can throw at at, and of course the examples in this post on reinforce that idea.

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Lars April 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Thanks for sharing your sites. I’m going to check them out.

Reply

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