There has been talk about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible.
I have to stress that the default WordPress software is 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 the a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, lets explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.
1) WordPress as An Article Directory
To make WordPress work as an article directory, you’ll need a special plugin, and a source for the articles.
If you plan to source the articles from users signing up for your site, you may be in for a shock. You might find a great challenge ahead of you in terms of getting traction for your site. Thus you will have to come up with a really strong value proposition for users to join your site and provide their content.
Copyright and licensing will also be a challenge. Make sure to be very clear about the reproduction rights that you providing to your users and the content they are submitting. The quality of the distribution plugin you are using will make a real difference here as some will provide tools to make this easier.
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 to lo in and out of your membership site.
However, the plugins generally only create a simple membership system. If you’re looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you’d probably want to spend a lot of time testing out various premium plugins and evaluating which one to use. The cost of switching membership plugins after you have launched your site is extremely high – so spend time early in your project development to make sure you have the right one.
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 mentioned above, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add a video or audio hosting plugin to help take care of all audio and video elements on your website.
Similarly to the vetting process you went through with the Membership plugin, be sure to spend a lot of time validating which audio/video hosting plugin is right for your needs. The cost spent up front will be well worth it down the road.
As you can see by now, there’s a whole lot of possibilities when it comes to using WordPress to the extreme.
I’ve created an entire video training system to help newbies and advanced marketers alike master WordPress. Yet, every day brings new possibilities to using WordPress as a complex CMS instead of the modest blogging tool it was designed to be!