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.
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.
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.
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.
Take a look of Pghdesigner’s Website which was created with a number of free plug-ins.
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.
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.
Another good option could be the Minicard (free and premium)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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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