16 Cool Ways to Use WordPress Beyond Blogging

Go directly to the 16 Cool Ways to Use WordPress Beyond Blogging Infographic!When WordPress was born back in 2003, the web was a much different place. In fact, “WordPress started… with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes.”

For those of you who don’t remember the content management system in its infancy, the text editor was pretty plain back then.

Over a decade later, WordPress has become a truly revolutionizing CMS that allows anyone to turn their vision into a reality. And according to the people who run WordPress, it’s all thanks to the community of developers and designers who have supported the platform and created new ways to achieve what was previously considered unthinkable.

Although WordPress currently stands as the #1 CMS in the world, there are still many people who aren’t aware of the full potential of the platform. It may have begun as a way to give developers and webmasters an easier way to write for the web, but it’s grown into a game-changing technology — and not just for the purposes of blogging.

In the following infographic, we’ll cover just some of those innovative ways people can use WordPress. It discusses things as simple as online resumes and countdown timers, and as complex as forums and whole social networks. Plus we’ll show you how get started on your way with different themes and plugins!

Hopefully, it will end up inspiring you to take WordPress way beyond blogging…

WordPress Beyond Blogging Infographic

16 Cool Ways to Use WordPress Beyond Blogging

WordPress can be used for a lot more than just blogging. Using plugins and themes you can use the platform to create a killer website for almost any purpose, from a professional resume to a comic strip to a social media platform.

1. Online Resume or Business Card

  • What it does
    • Many people just want to have a simple web presence including
      • Name
      • Contact information
      • Photo
      • Other evergreen information
  • How to do it
    • Manually with a static front page
      • Create a new page for your resume or business card
      • Go into Settings → Reading and set “Front page displays” to your page
    • Themes:
  • Digital Business Card
    • Create a digital business card or a simple branded landing page that can link to more than 50 social sites
  • Cascade
    • Completely customizable, based on vertical menu tabs that are unlimited
  • Plugins:
    • Resume Builder
      • A simple system for putting together clean, attractive resumes
    • Flaunt Your Clients
      • A system that displays client testimonials and work examples from other websites

2. Countdown Websites

  • What it does:
    • Can be used as a clock or calendar that counts down to:
      • Holidays
      • Birthdays
      • Website or product launch
      • The end of the world!
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • WPChimp Countdown
        • A clean, responsive theme that provides a countdown clock to the launch of your site.
      • The Launcher
        • A colorful and animated theme that allows users to countdown to the launch of their site
        • Site visitors can enter their email so they will be notified of the site’s launch
    • Plugins:
      • Uji Countdown
        • Customize an HTML5 timer with animations, box colors, text, and translation capabilities
      • T(-) Countdown
        • Customizable, flash-free jQuery timer that can be a page feature or in a sidebar using CSS

3. Directories

  • What it does:
    • Directories can be created for a variety of things:
      • Business directories
      • Real estate listings
      • Membership information
      • Directories of reviews
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Themes allow users to create directories from the backend of WordPress
      • Examples
        • ListingPress
          • The default setting for this theme is real estate, but it can also be used for dealerships and other categories.
        • Directory Portal
          • Allows you to create a directory for any niche.
    • Plugins:
      • BePro Listings
        • Customizable browsing and filtering
        • Optional features:
          • Maps
          • Paypal
          • Email notifications
          • Front-end submission
          • Ajax search/filter
      • GeoDirectory
        • Location-based directory
        • Options:
          • Categorize listings
          • Add calendar events
          • Cover individual cities up to a global scope
      • Leaflet Maps Marker
        • Multiple map and icon options, even some with augmented reality

4. Information Feeds

  • What it does:
    • An RSS feed is an aggregated list of news or articles on a particular subject or from specific sources
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • One News
      • Accumulo
        • Both these themes are similar to Alltop and Popurls.
    • Plugins:
      • AddToAny
        • Readers can subscribe to a site with any feed reader
      • OnePress Social Locker
        • Lock valuable content until a user likes or tweets the web page
      • OptinMonster
        • Easily get email subscribers signed up

5. Automated Task

  • What it does:
    • Connect apps to a WordPress site to automate tasks from one to the other
      • An event happens in an app → program notices the change → automated task is done in another app
      • For example, users can publish a post on Twitter and get it republished on WordPress, Facebook, etc
  • How to do it:
    • Web Apps:
      • Zapier:
        • An app-automating system that allows users to integrate multiple apps
      • IFTTT:
        • Similar to Zapier, offering integration to Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, and others.
      • Hootsuite
        • Social media management with options to schedule posts across accounts and track and analyze social media activity
    • Plugins:
      • Automatic YouTube Video Posts
        • Import your YouTube videos as drafts or published posts on a WordPress site

6. Quiz Site

  • What it does:
    • Create viral quizzes that can easily be shared
    • Quizzes can be created for fun, business, charity, etc
  • How to do it:
    • Plugins:
      • Wp-Pro-Quiz
        • Build quizzes of different types:
          • Multiple choice
          • Sorting
          • Time limits
          • Random questions
        • With special functions:
          • Multimedia in questions
          • Statistics
          • Hints
          • Email notification
      • SlickQuiz
        • Create dynamic quizzes using jQuery with:
          • Unlimited questions
          • Saved scores
          • Social media sharing options

7. Webcomic

  • What it is:
    • Publish your original webcomic
    • Similar to a photography portfolio
    • Upload images of comic panels
  • How to do it:
  • Themes:
    • ComicPress
      • Used by popular webcomics
        • FoxTrot
        • Dr. McNinja
        • Extra Life
      • Clean style with comic and chapter navigation options, customizable widgets, and more
    • Panel
      • A quick way to publish serial comics
      • Easy for fans to navigate and browse older comics
  • Plugins:
    • Webcomic
      • Create, manage, and share webcomics
      • Users can manage multiple comics and integrate the plugin with themes

8. Social Sites

  • What it does:
    • Create a closed social network for family, friends, or colleagues to manage workflow, share updates, and group chat
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • P2
        • Allows status updates, posts on the front page with threaded comments, project management, group chat, and live blogging
      • (M) Social
        • Create a social network that allows users to interact, share photos, create pages, and more.
    • Plugins:
      • BuddyPress
        • The standard social media plugin for WordPress
        • Includes
          • Profiles
          • Friends
          • Private messaging
          • And much more
        • Geared toward
          • Companies
          • Schools
          • Sports teams
          • Other communities of shared interests
      • PeepSo
        • A lightweight social media plugin
        • Contains the standard features:
          • Profiles
          • Sharing
          • Commenting
        • Paid version offers other features like
          • Friends
          • Chat

9. Classifieds

  • What it does:
    • Post classified ads for a community, business, or organization with images and post dates
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Classifier
        • Can make free or paid classified sites and easily remove, add, or customize ads
        • Can integrate with BuddyPress, making the site a social network as well
      • Classifieds Theme
        • Easy to customize with font and color options
        • Responsive design that works on all devices
    • Plugins:
      • Another WordPress Classifieds Plugin (AWPCP)
        • Full-featured classified plugin
        • Includes pretty much anything you can think of
          • Payment features
          • Seller location
          • Spam detection
          • Much more
        • Many extra premium features
      • BePro
        • Allows products and services to be posted
        • Postings can be made by
          • Anyone
          • Just registered users
        • Many other features
      • WPAdverts
        • Lightweight plugin to provide classifieds
        • Includes many features such as
          • Categories and searching
          • Images
          • Payment services
        • Paid extensions are also available

10. Streamlined Workflow

  • What it is:
    • Streamlines the editorial process, providing one place for multiple editors to work and publish pieces of work in different places
    • Improves productivity
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Introspection
        • Simple and clean design that allows users to streamline their workflow and be more productive
    • Plugins:
      • Editorial Calendar
        • View posts in a calendar view for authors and editors to manage the content flow
      • Oasis Workflow
        • Breaks projects into three parts:
          • Assignment
          • Review
          • Publish
        • It contains many other features to facilitate work flow, such as deadlines and email

11. Ecommerce Online Store

  • What it is:
    • Entire online store on one website with product galleries and payment options
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Shopkeeper
        • Offers flexible options, a responsive design, and allows users to showcase their products or build a complete online store
      • Bronx
        • This is a WooCommerce theme that offers responsive design, a simple layout with endless options for tools and design
    • Plugins :
      • WordPress eStore
        • Complete ecommerce solution to sell products, including digital goods
      • Easy Digital Downloads
        • Easily sell digital content to customers after payment is complete, even in a variety of currencies

12. Job Listings

  • What it is:
    • A portal for posting open jobs in an industry, region, niche, etc
      • For example, a site can list freelance jobs only or be open to all job types
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • WPJobus
        • Users can build a job portal, company profile, or even a personal resume
      • Jobify
        • Turns WordPress into a job listing site
        • Known for its easy of install (Five minutes!) and powerful features
    • Plugins:
      • WP Job Manager
        • A full-featured job board manager with:
          • Categories
          • Filters
          • Frontend forms
          • Postings from users
            • Much more
      • Simple Job Board
        • Simple to use job board with:
          • Categories
          • Locations
          • Multiple languages
            • Much more

13. Reviews Site

  • What it is:
    • A site where users can rate and review their favorite (or least favorite) products, books, sites, events, etc
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • BookRev
        • Can create a custom book review site, or use it for other types of reviews
        • Ratings appear in Google search results
      • Gauge
        • Can be used for any type of review site and offers endless features and options for customization
    • Plugins:
      • There are no widely used plugins for creating review sites
      • Some plugins augment existing sites with review features
        • WP Review
          • A lightweight reviewing plugin
        • Rich Reviews
          • A plugin to provide moderated reviews of:
            • Website posts
            • Website categories
            • General products

14. Membership Subscriptions

  • What it is:
    • Sites that offer users to share niche knowledge with a members-only community
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Subscribely v2
        • Can build a customized membership site for any niche
        • Responsive design that facilitates the selling of memberships
      • iThemes Exchange
        • Allows users to garner memberships to their WordPress site
        • Offers customization and different types of membership options
    • Plugins:
      • Users Ultra Membership Plugin
        • Creates a subscriber community
          • Similar to a social site
      • Simple Membership
        • Creates member’s only areas
          • Unlimited access levels
      • Groups
        • Creates groups and provides specific access and rights on the website

15. Forums

  • What it does:
    • A site that allows users to discuss ideas, views, and issues on various certain topics
      • For example, there are many car forums for the specific make and model of car
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • Ravaio
        • Easy to customize, responsive design than can be used for any type of forum
    • Plugins
      • CM Answers
        • A forum set up for people to post questions and answers
          • Works similarly to Stackoverflow
      • WP Forum Server
        • A native WordPress forum
      • HootBoard
        • A forum that acts much like a social media platform

16. Arcade

  • What it is:
    • A collection of web-based games all in one place
  • How to do it:
    • Themes:
      • GameOn
        • Has a responsive design and allows you to customize your arcade
      • GameKing
        • This theme is made for online games as well as magazine sites
        • Players can rate, share, link, embed and skip games easily
    • Plugins:
      • MyArcadePlugin
        • Can be used to add an arcade to a site or create a site that is an online arcade
      • Online Games
        • A collection of shortcodes to place up to 80 free online games anywhere on a site

Ready to build that specialized site? Head over to WordPress and make the themes and plugins work to meet your needs for business and pleasure!

Sources: gavick.com, makeuseof.com, comicpress.org, creativemarket.com, wordpress.com, wordpress.org, premium.wpmudev.org, codecheese.com, hitreach.co.uk, lifehacker.com, themeforest.net, nimbusthemes.com, perishablepress.com, colorlib.com, codeinwp.com, inkthemes.com, ithemes.com, wplift.com, mojo-themes.com, armorthemes.com, john.do, wpbeginner.com, econsultancy.com, wpexplorer.com, tipsandtricks-hq.com, wpbeginner.com, designyourway.net, webdesignerdepot.com, uk.pcmag.com, ericulous.com, premiumwp.com, wpmayor.com, hootsuite.com, wpdevshed.com, zapier.com, wpcandy.com, comicpress.org, myarcadeplugin.com, domesticatingit.com, netforbeginners.about.com, searchenginejournal.com

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