WordPress is originally a CMS designed to help webmasters to create easily their own blog. It has been known and became popular for its simplicity of uses and installation. WordPress tries to focus more to their web standards and developed more tools that works different from other tools that are commonly used now. If you want to learn more about WordPress, you can read this article: what is wordpress?.
The community of wordpress has grown and the concept of only creating a blog has been extended to forum, wikis, commercials websites, portfolio, social networks and much more… In this article, you will find a list of the most popular uses of WordPress.
Wordpress is divided in two different section. First, WordPress.com which remains a blogging platform, this is the second section WordPress.org which has varied its uses. Why? Simply because it allows the webmaster to personalize the database and the template of the CMS (if you want to learn more about CMS: what is a CMS or Content Management System?).
Most of users of WordPress create blogs: but what kind of blog? All kinds of blogs, because you don’t have to be experimented to use and install WordPress. Due to its simplicity, you can do what you want with WordPress: portofolios, personal and commercial blogs, magazine and much more.
Portofolio is generally a blog where there is a set of pieces of creative work collected by someone to display their skills to a potential employer. This is a kind of blog, but with professional document and experience on it. Portfolios are widespread in the community of WordPress. If you want to create a portfolio with wordpress, just download an adapted theme. Here is a list of websites where you can buy portfolio template (no sponsored links):
A magazine is a blog covering news and without personal opinion. Here are the most popular popular magazines running on WordPress: New York Times, Techcrunch, Engadget and websites where you can download Magazine themes or templates for your blog:
- Organicthemes – category: magazine
- Smart Magazine Themes – a website specialized in magazine templates (not only for wordpress)
- 100 cool Magazine themes – article on Tripwire
- +90 Newspaper themes – article on Tripwire
The WordPress team has developed a plugin which allows webmasters to integrate a forum to their blogs. This is bbPress: an easily discussion forums inside your WordPress.org powered site. For further informations, you can see the demo or download for freethe plugin. Here is the forum of WordPress (created with bbPress):
However, few independent plugins compete with bbPress: Tal.ki, Zingiri and Simple:Press. Despite their attractive features, their lifespan is fleeting and their updates infrequent. This is why I recommend you to use the official plugin: bbPress.
Answers-questions forums are an uncommon use of WordPress. The only approved plugin is Wp-Answers, this is why it is highly recommended to use an adapted CMS such as Question2answer, Osqa, Shapado or Askbot.
After the success of Wikipedia and its Content Management System, Mediawiki, the concept has been expanded to wordpress blogs. Despite the fact that there is no official plugin, it is possible to find plugins which allows webmasters to integrate a Wiki in you blog. However, if you only want to create a Wiki, I think that some CMS should be better suited than WordPress (Mediawiki, Tiki, Dokuwiki or JAMWiki). Here is a list of the most popular WordPress plugins to create a wiki:
- WordPress Wiki - one of the most popular Wiki plugin.
- Wiki Lite - transforms your blog into a fully functional wiki or add wiki pages to your WordPress. Note: this is a free plugin and it does not have all the features of the paid version.
- Talk Wiki to me - an unofficial wikimedia plugin based on Better wiki links.
- eSimple Wiki - a simple and basic wiki for you blog.
- Wp-Dokuwiki - an integration of Dokuwiki for WordPress.
- Wp Pukiwiki - PHP-based Wiki. PukiWiki features headings, quotations, lists of various types, preformatted texts, images, footnotes, hyperlinks, smileys, and many others.
WordPress is also used to create commercial website, such as: showcase, shopping or sale-exchange websites. They are not properly speaking blogs, because most of them have static pages. However, creating a commercial site with WordPress is a good idea: a wide range of themes and Framework are available to you.
There are more and more plugins allowing you to create eCommerce/Shopping websites on WordPress: