Powering 40 percent of all websites, WordPress is one of the world’s most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs). However, it still struggles to shake its reputation as a platform solely for hobby bloggers.

There is a lot more to WordPress than blogging. Today, this feature-rich CMS has everything you need to create a wide range of different websites, including impressive business sites. 

In this post, we’ll look at why WordPress is the perfect software for any website. Then we’ll explore five surprising things you can do with this software. Let’s get started! 

An Introduction to WordPress (And Why It’s Not Just for Blogs)

WordPress initially made a splash with hobby bloggers as an easy-to-use, beginner-friendly platform. Due to its blogger roots, many people were slow to take WordPress seriously, particularly business owners

However, over the years, WordPress has grown into a well-established, respected, and feature-rich CMS. More and more people realized that the platform is not just for blogs – you can use it to power all kinds of websites, even if you have little web design or development experience. 

A big part of WordPress’ versatility lies in its huge ecosystem of themes and plugins. In the official WordPress repository alone, you’ll find almost 60,000 plugins and over 8,300 themes. If that’s not enough, you can check out third-party marketplaces such as CodeCanyon

The CodeCanyon marketplace.

You should have no problems finding a theme or plugin that’s perfect for creating exactly the kind of website you have in mind. However, if you prefer a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, you also have the option to create a custom child theme

Many WordPress plugins are open source, so there’s an opportunity to dig into their code and create something custom-made for your website. When you opt for WordPress, the possibilities really are endless – and definitely not limited to bloggers. 

Today, WordPress powers 40 percent of all websites and 64 percent of all sites with a known CMS. This includes all manner of content, such as e-commerce stores, membership websites, business-critical sites, and much more. 

Not Just For Blogs: 5 Things You Can Do With WordPress

As a user-friendly platform, WordPress puts a lot of power and flexibility at your fingertips. However, when you have limitless options, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help ignite your imagination, here are five things you can do with the WordPress platform – without a blog in sight. 

1. Generate Revenue With Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a performance-based marketing technique that many website owners use to monetize their content. You might even create a website with the express purpose of generating affiliate revenue.

As an affiliate, you’ll promote a third-party’s products or services to your audience. Your chosen merchant will provide a link that enables them to track all the traffic you send their way. 

If someone makes a purchase as a result of your affiliate URL, you’ll get a cut of the profit. To get started, you simply need to join a program, such as Amazon Associates:

The Amazon affiliates program.

Then you can add the merchant’s links to your website. You can insert these URLs to a specific WordPress page or post, or embed them in your site’s recurring elements. This includes your headers, footers, widgets, and menus. The latter can be an easy way to ensure that every web page has the potential to generate revenue. 

There are also WordPress plugins designed specifically to help affiliate marketers monetize their content. For example, you can use Pretty Links to associate each affiliate URL with a specific keyword or phrase. Pretty Links will then scan your site and automatically embed the appropriate affiliate link into each instance of this keyword or phrase. This solution is perfect if you have a lot of pre-existing content. 

2. Accept Online Bookings

Many businesses rely on bookings to generate income. This includes appointment-based businesses, such as hairdressers and personal trainers, and those in hospitality industries like hotels and restaurants.

Increasingly, busy customers prefer to schedule their appointments electronically rather than speaking to someone on the telephone or visiting the business in person. If your revenue is directly tied to the number of appointments you receive, it’s wise to accept online bookings.

There are various plugins that enable you to turn WordPress into an online booking system. Appointment Hour Booking and Booking Calendar are two popular options:

The WordPress booking calendar plugin.

These scheduling tools can help drive conversions and let you accept bookings at any time of the day and night. This includes times when your staff isn’t available to schedule appointments via other methods, such as over the telephone. 

3. Sell Products and Services Online

In 2020, e-commerce sales surpassed $4.2 trillion worldwide. With online shopping predicted to reach $5.4 trillion by 2022, there’s never been a better time to launch your store. 

Thanks to third-party themes and plugins, it’s easy to start an e-commerce business using the WordPress platform. While there are several popular plugins for online sellers, WooCommerce is easily the most well-known:

The WooCommerce plugin.

Almost 4.5 million websites use WooCommerce, including 30 percent of the top one million e-commerce stores. WooCommerce also has the largest market share of the top 581 e-commerce technologies, powering over 29 percent of all online stores. 

This popular plugin has everything you need to create a high-converting site and process payments using over a hundred payment gateways. This includes many household names such as Amazon Pay and PayPal:

The PayPal payment gateway.

While WooCommerce provides a complete e-commerce platform out-of-the-box, you’ll also have access to a wide range of WooCommerce extensions and additional plugins. These add-ons can help you get even more out of the e-commerce solution. 

4. Create a Membership Site

A membership site is a gated website that typically contains exclusive content. Memberships can be paid, where a subscription might unlock exclusive webinars, e-books, forums, and other members-only content. Alternatively, you might use free membership as a way to collect contact information for marketing purposes. 

For some websites, membership is essential for providing a good visitor experience. Obvious examples include forums and social networks, but e-commerce sites can also benefit from offering visitor registration. 

It’s easy to add membership functionality to your WordPress website. For example, Members is a free plugin that you can use to create different user roles, and then restrict access to your content based on each user’s assigned role. This can be a great way to monetize your content: 

The WordPress Members plugin.

If you have the budget to invest in a premium membership plugin, MemberPress automatically generates all of the pages required to offer membership to your users. This includes logins, profiles, and pricing pages.

5. Raise Funds for a Charitable Cause

By default, you can use WordPress to raise awareness about an issue that’s close to your heart. This attention can greatly benefit your chosen charity. For example, it may inspire your readers to become volunteers or sign petitions to support the cause. 

You can also use WordPress as a fundraising platform, with tools such as the GiveWP plugin:

The GiveWP WordPress plugin.

GiveWP provides everything you need to create donation forms, accept payments, and manage your donors. The plugin also integrates with many popular third-party payment services, including PayPal Donations and Stripe.

In addition to collecting donations digitally, you can use WordPress to raise funds by selling products and services. When it comes to selling online, WooCommerce is always a solid option. However, if you’re selling tickets to a fundraising event, you might prefer to use a plugin such as Events Tickets:

The Event Tickets WordPress plugin.

You can use this tool to sell tickets and collect attendee information for your upcoming event. This can help you raise money and also manage participant numbers.

Conclusion 

WordPress has a hard time shaking the “just for casual bloggers” stigma. However, with its huge community of themes and plugins, there’s no limit to the kinds of websites you can create using this powerful platform. 

Let’s quickly recap five things you can do with WordPress:

  1. Generate revenue with affiliate marketing, by joining a program such as Amazon Associates.
  2. Accept online bookings with a plugin such as Appointment Hour Booking.
  3. Sell products and services online using an e-commerce platform such as WooCommerce.
  4. Create a membership site with a tool such as Members.
  5. Raise funds for a charitable cause using a plugin such as GiveWP.

Do you have any questions about the different sites you can create using WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!

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