Sure WordPress is well known as one of the most powerful online tools for blogging and content management.
The platform strikes the perfect balance between a simple to use interface, premium WordPress themes, powerful plugin extensions and complex features. It’s just as effective for beginners as it is for experts.
But here’s the thing.
Most people don’t know that WordPress is capable of so much more than creating blogs and websites. The standard response I get when asking people; what is WordPress? is “Oh it’s just a blogging platform”.
There are some seriously cool things you can do with WordPress and functions waiting to be unlocked that stick way out from the norm. So, without further ado, here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do with WordPress.
Did you know that you can turn WordPress into a fully-fledged application framework using the WordPress REST API. The WordPress REST API has by some been called a revolutionary addition to the WordPress platform.
Think of it as a way to connect WordPress (can be receiver or transmitter) with other applications and software (can be transmitter or receiver). You can connect regardless of platform and programming language as long as both connections have API endpoints.
For example, you can use the API to completely decouple the front-end, you can build native mobile apps for Android and iOS, you can use the API to use Angular.js to power the front-end, or you can use the API to sync data.
Learn more about the WP REST API.
#2 Online Shop
Converting your WP website into a full-blown eCommerce site is easy. Though there are several options available, the most popular is the WooCommerce plugin.
Monetizing your website with WooCommerce gives you access to tools that track incoming sales and stock levels. A variety of payment gateways are available including Credit Card, PayPal, BACS, and Cash on Delivery. The plugin even helps you manage shipping and returns.
Learn how to use WooCommerce to create an online shop with WordPress.
Use the Multisite tool to create a network of websites from a single installation. In other words, the feature converts your original website into a network of connected websites.
The most common use of the Multisite feature is to split websites up into several different sections. For instance, you can have a forum and an online shop in addition to your original website.
The Multisite tool allows you to customize each of these sections. Use different styles from your original website to make it easier to tell the difference between them.
Learn how to use WordPress Multisite to create a network of websites with WordPress.
Interested in building a sense of community around your website? Then look no further than a WordPress forum.
Several forum plugins are available for WordPress. The most popular is the WordPress-managed bbPress. I like bbPress because it’s free, easy to use, and takes just one click to install.
Forum features include social logins, shortcodes, edit/flag comments, follow posts/topics, and much more. Other popular options include CM Answers, AnsPress, and Forum Engine.
Learn how to use bbPress to create a forum with WP.
#5 Job Board
Another little-known way to use WordPress is to create a job board. Though the feature is only useful for certain types of websites, it’s very effective for those it applies to.
WPJobBoard is undoubtedly the best plugin available. It’s tried and true. It also comes with one of the most extensive lists of features.
Users can search for jobs by location, type, category, and date posted with the WPJobBoard plugin. Job applications and employer profiles can be customized. Job alerts are easy to set up.
Learn how to use WPJobBoard to create a job board with WP.
#6 Classified Ads
Like the job board feature, creating a classified ads board on WordPress isn’t something that applies to many web owners.
Yet that doesn’t take away from its effectiveness. The best plugin to you can find for your website is WPAdverts. Little to actions are required to build a classifieds section.
#7 Social Network
There are few better ways to reach a niche audience than by turning your WordPress website into its own social network.
Enter BuddyPress. The powerful WordPress tool helps you create your very own social network for your website.
Features include sign-up, guest log-in, profile creation, and post messages. BuddyPress is completely customizable with over 330 different plugins.
Learn how to use BuddyPress to create a social network for your WP website.
#8 Live Chat
Great customer support is central to the success of almost every business. Yet many new online business owners overlook it.
Adding live chat to your WordPress website is an easy way to solve this problem. Use the WP Live Chat Support plugin to talk to customers in real-time.
This live chat plugin lets you communicate directly with your customers from your WordPress dashboard. You can even see what web page your visitor is looking at to provide even more useful information.
Learn how to use WP Live Chat Support to add live chat to your website.
This is probably not the most exciting use of WordPress, but did you know that can create an intranet for your company using WordPress.
An intranet will allow your staff to be able to easily access information, company policies, staff profiles, files, events, documents and more.
Learn more about creating an intranet using this free plugin.
Invoicing clients is a real pain. Yet it’s a reality that many freelancers and entrepreneurs face on a day to day basis.
That’s where Advanced Client Manager for WP enters the picture. The valuable plugin allows you to create and send invoices straight from WordPress. The invoices are professional and fully customizable.
Invoicing with WordPress allows you to handle all of your invoicing needs from a single location. Clients are able to pay directly with PayPal.
Learn how to use WP-Invoice to invoice clients from your WP dashboard.
Are You Ready to Unlock the Full Potential of WordPress?
WordPress is far more than a platform for just creating blogs and websites. The 10 features and plugins outlined above allow you to unlock the full potential of this powerful platform.
It lets you do things with that you didn’t think were possible. Enjoy the benefits of using WordPress as an online shop, forum, social network, and so much more.
Are you using WordPress in a “non-standard” way? Have I missed something or can you think of other potential uses for WordPress? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you happen to be looking for top-notch templates for your site, check out the Best WordPress Themes 2017.