The default WordPress
There has been talking about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS or even an application development framework. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible. I have to stress that the default WordPress software was intended to be a blogging tool, so if you’re trying to make it work like a different type of content management tool you’ll have to use the correct plugins (enhancements) and have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, let’s explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.
1) WordPress as Business Directory
To make WordPress work as a business directory, you’ll need a special plugin and a source for the articles. The Business Directory Plugins is the perfect tool for this, as the business, there are usually human-approved.
Business Directory Plugin allows you to build a local directory, a directory of business providers, a Yellow-Pages style business directory, Yelp-like review sections, create a church directory, build an address book directory and much more. You can add any kind of directory using Business Directory plugin.
2) WordPress as a Membership Site
You can set-up a free or paid membership site using WordPress. All it takes is a few simple plugins to get the job done. Once you’ve installed the plugins, members will need to login to your site in order to view the content. You can also place a login form in your WordPress theme files to make it easy for users sign in and out of your membership site.
However, the plugins only create a simple membership system, so if you’re looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you’d probably want to sign-up with a professional membership system.
3) WordPress as a Classified Ads System
WordPress can work like any other classifieds website too. Users can sign-up on your site and place classifieds in the form of new blog posts. They can even set expiry dates for their ads and specify listings or “wanted” ads.
However, you will need to create all the necessary categories and even create a sign-up information page to teach your users how to place ads. The upside of using WordPress as a classifieds site is that you can also use tagging tactics to get traffic from social bookmarking sites.
4) WordPress as an Audio / Video Training Site
Using the membership plugins or WordPress compatibility plugins, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add the “Podcast or Videocast” plugin which takes care of all audio and video elements on your website.
You will be able to display and stream MP3 audio or FLV video using their built-in players. The Podcast plugin is really robust and allows you to specify setting on iTunes, so you can make this commercially and available to the entire iPod / iTunes community.
As you can see by now, there’s a lot of possibilities when it comes to using WordPress to the extreme. Every day brings new possibilities to using WordPress as a complex CMS instead of the modest blogging tool it was designed to be.