WordPress: The Swiss Army Knife of the Web

WordPress is used by over 28% of all sites on the web, and that figure is climbing. WordPress owes much of its mass appeal to its flexibility, which is unrivaled.

In todays post, we’ll explore a few of the more popular uses for WordPress, as well as a few plugins that add new uses to WordPress.

Blogging

From it’s inception as b2, WordPress was developed to be a open-source platform for publishing a blog. Although WordPress has grown over the years, would be hard-pressed to find a better platform for blogging.

You can manage your posts from the WordPress dashboard under Posts -> Add New / All Posts


In a default installation of WordPress, the front page of your site will show your most recent blog posts. If you prefer, you can create a dedicated blog page and set it as the primary way for users to see a list of your most recent blog posts.

This is managed under Appearance -> Customize in the “Static Front Page” section.

 

Business

In the digital age, it’s becoming more important for brick-and-mortar business to have a presence on the web. As this need has grown, many business owners have come to rely on WordPress.

Building on the blogging capabilities that are built into WordPress, you also have the ability to create Pages for your site. The primary purpose of a page is to store static information that need be readily accessible to your visitors. Things like a mission statement, portfolio, location map & business hours… They can all have their own pages and appear under your primary menu.

In addition to this, many businesses will include a contact form to welcome feedback, inquiries, or appointments. WordPress doesn’t include a contact form, but there are many free plugin options that will add this functionality to your site, including:

Jetpack

Contact-Form-7

E-Commerce

WordPress can be  used to sell your products or services. Of all the plugins that add e-commerce to WordPress, one option stands out from the crowd: WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is a plugin which allows you to run a web store from your WordPress site. In a matter of minutes and with only a few settings to adjust, you can begin selling your products or services through your site.

WooCommerce allows you to list things physical and digital alike, with the ability to set product variations, shipping zones/prices, payment gateways, and more. If you need additional options that WooCommerce doesn’t include out-of-the-box, you will likely find it in one of the many WooCommerce extensionse.

I you’re interested in learning more about WooCommerce, and need a place to start, look at the official guide from WooCommerce.

Social Networking

We’ve covered using a contact form to enable your visitors to interact with you through your site. In some cases, you may want to allow your visitors to interact with each-other.

There are many different plugins that will allow you to do this, but there are a few that come to mind. And depending on your application, you may find one more suitable than the other.

BussyPress

BuddyPress allows your sites users to interact with each-other by transforming your site into a full-featured social network.
Earlier this year, we published another blog post in which we dive head-first into creating a social network from scratch with BuddyPress.
You can see it here:

bbPress

If your intended user-to-user interaction is more discussion oriented, then you may be better served by a forum. bbPress will allow you to add a forum / bulletin board to your site. It’s simple to set up, and even simpler to use.

For installation instructions, visit the bbPress page at WordPress.org.

There’s More

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what can be accomplished with WordPress. It’s worth noting that none of the features we’ve discussed are mutually exclusive. You can sell your wares, blog, promote your business, and connect with your visitors all within one WordPress site if you like.

The next time you want to do something on the web, do it on WordPress!


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