By CC Pearce
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for publishing a blog. It is used for both personal and professional publications, and it has become a very powerful tool with uses beyond traditional blogging. Myriad plugins allow for users to create unconventional and clever tools to enhance their Web sites.
One of the most common alternative uses for WordPress is to set up a portfolio. Typically blogs highlight works in a reverse-chronological order with the newest works first, but with various templates, the author is able to create flexible portfolios that can be changed dynamically.
If a user wants to set up a variety of portfolios in different ways, WordPress serves as an excellent content management system. One could host a set of YouTube videos on one page in an interesting display, use another for pictures and another for interactive media. Each page can have its own distinct plugins to serve the purpose of the media being displayed.
Another purpose that WordPress can serve is as a directory. Several plugins exist that allow users to submit information about themselves that can serve for individuals or businesses. These can be organized or labeled in a number of navigable layouts.
Forums are a great way to host a discussion with a large number of people, but they can be a hassle to set up. WordPress has plugins that allow users to customize and regulate forum discussions. These can be the most prominent feature of a site, or neatly buried as a discussion for sub-pages.
With the various social media plugins that are available, WordPress can serve as a social hub. Feeds from Twitter, Facebook and other media can be placed cleanly in various sections on the page and will automatically update as the user posts to the different social profiles. Links to each of the social sites can be arranged for a real-time "About the Author" page.
WordPress is even capable of being a store and serving various ecommerce needs. Plugins for self-publishing sites, large discounters, or independent stores integrate with payment services such as Google Checkout and PayPal to allow a site that makes it easy to browse goods and check out.
The WordPress platform continues to grow in popularity and technical achievements. As the community continues to foster innovation, WordPress will be able to serve even more utility to its users.
About the Author
CC Pearce is post-production coordinator at Michael Eisner's new media company Tornante. He is also a co-producer of online comedy production team The Outside Joke.