WordPress is most known as the world’s most influential and popular blogging framework. However, it can be used in some really creative ways. Ways that stretch conventional uses and, at times, push the WordPress core to it’s limits. So why use WordPress to create something really creative? It’s a blogging engine, not a blank slate for your wildest dreams. I’ve found, it actually IS a blank slate. Although it comes pre-packaged with lots of features as a powerful blogging tool, it is quite simple and versatile out of the box.
I have started multiple web projects that had very little need for a blogging feature, but I’ve chosen to build the application on WordPress because it makes creating and managing dynamic content very easy. The following are examples of some creative and innovative uses for WordPress. Have an example I missed? Leave a comment below.
WordPress as a Wiki
Wikis were made famous by sites like Wikipedia, the community-managed encyclopedia. They are essentially user-moderated content pages that can be used for any collaborative project.
Popular URL Aggregator
Some of the famous examples include PopURL and AllTop. These are just RSS feeds essentially, aggregated and moderated for quality content.
WordPress as an Image Sharing site
A popular example of this includes ffffound, an open image sharing site that no longer accepts new registrations.
WordPress as a Contact Manager
There are lots of reasons to manage contacts with a WordPress site. It can also act as a CRM. I once built a contact manager for an agency with about 100 employees that wanted help keeping track of them.
As a membership Directory
Similar to a contact manager, a membership directory offers some features designed to interact with members. Such as signing up and managing one’s own profile. This opens up a world of pay-for-membership opportunities.
WordPress as a Twitter clone
I don’t quite see the utility of creating a twitter clone. But I suppose this could be useful for busy tech support departments or other situations in which contacts must be made quickly and publicly.
WordPress as a Forum
One of the most ubiquitous features of a web site is a forum. A forum provides an organized way to discuss or ask questions while allowing others to see the content. Forums were made popular with support services because they reduced call/email volume by allowing people to see the solution to their problems immediately.
As a News Aggregator
Be careful with news aggregators. Some sites just compile content from other people’s sites and it makes for lame, useless content. When done well, and tastefully, people can compile interesting news from their niche of interest.
WordPress as an Invoicing System
Run a freelancing business from your WordPress site? Why not integrate your billing as well? There are plugins that allow you to bill customers, accept payment and track outstanding invoices easily within WordPress.
WordPress as a Job Board
WordPress can do one thing exceptionally well: build community. With that community you can disseminate information, gather information, or even publish job listings. This works best if your website already has authority related to an issue.
As a social bookmarking service
WordPress can be used like Digg, Reddit, or other similar social bookmarking services through which people can share interesting content and vote it up or down. Again, hard to break into this service unless your site already has authority and ranking.
WordPress as an Auction Site
Yea, it can do that. Some plugins let you turn WordPress into an eBay clone, or at least the major features. Find your niche and become the vertical market auction site of your choice.
What did I miss? I’d like to hear about other wild and crazy ways people are using WordPress to break the mold.