WordPress has become the de facto publishing platform for all kinds of businesses in virtually every niche. What started as a simple blogging solution has blossomed into a fully-fledged content management solution with a huge ecosystem of support and resources designed to assist web masters and publishers in taking their businesses beyond run-of-the-mill to crowns of achievement.
While WordPress is used for simple site management, as a blogging platform and many other bona fide purposes, there are some more unusual uses for it as well. Although you may not yet know it, these unusual uses could work for you.
You can extend your WordPress functionality with plugins and themes while saving yourself time and money. Instead of hiring a developer to turn your WordPress website into what you want it to be, you may find a free plugin or theme already available to make your WordPress site do what you want it to do. With that said, below are seven very cool ways you can use WordPress for personal use or in your business.
1. Publish a Magazine
Not quite as unusual as some of the other ways people use WordPress, but publishing an online magazine is still not an obvious choice.
Nevertheless, there are literally hundreds of magazine themes available these days, which allow website owners to publish content in any niche in such a way that readers think they are reading an actual online magazine. There are even easy-to-install plugins that allow you to give your WordPress website a magazine look.
2. Write a Private Diary
Seriously – every WordPress blog post gives you the option to make your entry public or private. If you wanted to install WordPress on your personal domain and use it to publish a diary, you could do that easily.
Or what about a professional journal? You can create a private business journal for your own use. Just publish all your posts as “private” and no one can read them but you.
3. RSS News Aggregator
Instead of subscribing to your favorite blogs by email or logging into Feedly (or other favorite web-based news reader), you could turn WordPress into your own personal news aggregator with a simple plugin. Insert the proper code on your RSS pages, or the entire site, and your WordPress news aggregator will not be crawled or indexed by the search engines, making it a personalized news reader updated every time your favorite news sites are updated.
4. Build a Niche Directory
If you don’t have enough plugins already, you could add a business directory plugin to your website and create a niche directory for your community. Make it public or private, paid or free.
5. Day-Timer / Planning Calendar
WordPress has quite a selection of calendar plugins, too. You can use a plugin to pull in your Google calendar or create a calendar within WordPress exclusively. If want to manage your time through your WordPress blog, you could install an appointment booking plugin and use it as a day-timer on your smartphone or tablet.
6. Manage Customer Relations
From lead generation to sales and relationship management, WordPress has some robust CRM plugins to make managing your customer relationships easier for your entire team. Some CRM plugins offer multi-site and multi-user support. Your entire team can track the progress of your customer projects from inside your company’s WordPress intranet installation.
7. Manage Email Marketing Campaigns
Whether you want to produce your own electronic newsletter inside WordPress or sync your WordPress website with your favorite email marketing service provider (such as MailChimp or Aweber), you can manage all your email marketing campaigns from your WordPress installation.
Through design themes and plugins, there is hardly any limit to which WordPress cannot go. Many of these resources are free, however, you can often get better support and functionality with a premium plugin or theme. You do have to make sure your plugins and themes are compatible and updated regularly, but that’s a small obstacle to climb, especially if you are planning to use WordPress for extended business use.
There is a reason WordPress is the most popular content management solution for webmasters, but you don’t have to keep up with the Joneses. In the 21st century, “content” means more than what you publish publicly. Content is flexible.
What are some interesting ways you’ve used WordPress? Let us know in the comments below.