WordPress was created for blogging but it has become much more than that. It’s a full-blown content management system (CMS) that can be used for building any type of website.
In fact, 31% of the web is published using WordPress!
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to building sites on WordPress. You can build your business website, a full-fledged e-commerce business or a subscription-based membership site.
WordPress has become the de facto standard for business websites, even those that don’t have a blog.
There are tens of thousands of themes created for businesses of all types, such as auto shops, house cleaners, lawyers and industrial businesses.
At a minimum, these businesses need a site with pages for each of their products or services, an “about” page with information about the company, and contact information. Sites that only display information are typically called brochureware sites. But you can do much more.
With WordPress plugins, businesses can:
- Accept online bookings
- Create a contact form
- Publish podcasts
- Add real estate listings
- Accept payments for invoices
- Chat with customers live
- Answer questions in a knowledgebase
- List available jobs and accept applications
- Create a work gallery
There’s a plugin for just about anything you could imagine needing on your business website. There are also WordPress developers than can custom code additional features.
Here’s an example website built on the IndustCo theme.
Businesses can also use WordPress to build an online store or add e-commerce functionality to their websites.
Adding e-commerce to your WordPress site usually requires installing a plugin. The most popular is WooCommerce, which is offered by the same company that runs WordPress.com. The WooCommerce plugin has been downloaded more than 50 million times.
With WooCommerce or another ecommerce plugin, a website can have a searchable catalog of products that customers can add to their shopping cart and pay for. Additional features include:
- Products ratings and reviews
- Multiple shipping options
- Collection of sales tax
- Allowing customers to register for an account
- Tracking inventory
- Creating coupon codes
Site owners can also add extensions to connect with payment gateways, enhance marketing, handle shipping and more.
An example of a store built on WooCommerce is the Airstream apparel and gift store.
Membership Sites and E-courses
If you publish content behind a paywall or offer an online learning community with subscription fees, WordPress is an ideal platform to build a site.
There are lots of plugins and templates that will require users to log in to view content. You can require them to pay a recurring fee in order to create an account and access this content. Most of these connect to popular payment services including PayPal and Stripe.
Popular tools for creating membership sites include Restrict Content Pro and MemberPress.
An example membership site built on WordPress using Restrict Content Pro is PodcastGuests.com. It uses the plugin to charge monthly fees for people in its directory and to give them access to a control center to manage their account.