Some solopreneurs still believe they shouldn’t build their website on a WordPress platform because, well, WordPress is for blogging.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Sure, WordPress is still a great platform if you want to make a living from a blog, but it’s so much more! It’s a full-fledged Content Management System that runs websites for:
- Local Businesses
- Real Estate Agents
- Events Venues
- Travel Agents
- Government Agencies
- Educational institutions
- Rental Agents
- News media
- Theater and Arts Organizations
- Law firms
- Accounting firms
- Info marketers
- And lots, lots more
What do all these have in common?
Not a lot — except that they’re all businesses.
Let’s talk about what makes a CMS (content management system), then look at some examples.
It’s a Content Management System
Back in the mid-90s, I taught myself to make websites. In those fledgling internet days, I hand-coded every page using HTML (hypertext markup language). If I wanted to change something, like a header banner, I had to physically make the change on every single page in the site.
It was tedious and time consuming, and cut into the time I had available for creating new content and taking care of business.
Back then, web pages were “static.”
A CMS handles a website differently, essentially creating pages on the fly as viewers call for them.
Each part of a web page is composed of different elements — a header, a sidebar, a footer and the main content area are standard, but it can be more complex. When a viewer navigates to a page, the CMS serves up each of those elements and displays them in the right place. So if I want to change the header, I change it one time and that change is displayed on each page.
When a viewer goes to a page that shows several articles in a certain category, or recent articles, that’s not really a “page” in the sense that a web page was a “page” in the early days. With a CMS, pages like this are “dynamic,” not static.
Back then, if I wanted to display such a page I would have to create it and then change it every time there was a new article. Today, a CMS takes the articles, selects the ones that are being called for, and displays them according to predetermined rules. It might show the headline, the author’s name, date of publication, and the first few sentences of the content, with a read more link to the full article, for example. The list of articles is selected when a reader does a search, or clicks a link in a menu.
A CMS manages a complex, dynamic website, allowing you to focus on the content of the site more than the mechanics of the site. It also allows non-tech-savvy people to add and edit content directly — no need for programmers or coders.
WordPress today is a full-fledged CMS, and according to Wikipedia, it’s used by over 25% of all websites.
It’s for Corporate Sites
Some very big corporations use WordPress — prepare to be surprised.
The Walt Disney Company hosts their corporate site on WordPress. This is the site where they showcase the company’s business — investor relations, hiring, and the like.
Glad — the trash bag people. Here’s their WordPress site.
Mercedes-Benz International — you know, that little car company in Germany.
It’s for Solopreneurs and Freelancers
Make A Living Writing — Carol Tice is a freelance writer who decided to teach others how to earn a decent living writing. The site is all about writing for a living.
Dustn.TV — Dustin Stout is a digital media consultant and speaker. This is his solopreneur site.
Dana Manciagli — career coach, speaker, author and consultant.
It’s for Entertainers
Riverdance — the Irish dance company showcasing people with the fastest feet in the world…
The Official Star Wars Blog — yes, you can still use WordPress for blogs. (Though this one is hardly traditional!)
Ringling Brothers — Even the circus uses WordPress.
It’s for Tech Companies
Spacehack — find out how you can help with space exploration.
Microsoft News Center — all the news that’s fit to display, from the software tech giant.
Tech Crunch — Profiles and reviews new internet products and companies.
It’s for Local Businesses
Tuscany Financial — a small business consulting firm in Grapevine, TX.
Inspired Movement Pilates Studio — Puyallup, WA pilates training.
Twig & Vine Design — landscaping company in Montclair, NJ
It’s for Educators
Georgia State University
Stony Brook University School of Journalism
Boston University Study Abroad
WordPress is Great for Niche Sites, Too!
What if you don’t have a traditional business, but you’re looking to create a niche site and make some money with it?
Well, WordPress is an excellent choice there as well. Whether you need e-commerce capabilities, or you’re showcasing art, photography or videos, or showing people around your home town or region, you can do it with WordPress.
Here’s an example of a site showcasing trailer travel throughout the US during the warm months, alternating with sailing in warm waters during the winter.
Here’s another about living as an expat in Panama.
All the images above include links to the websites, so you can look around and see the enormous range of things you can do with a WordPress site.
Don’t see an example of the type of site you’re interested in? Drop a comment below, and I’ll do my best to find some to show you.
Should you decide to jump into the WordPress waters, you can feel completely safe — no sharks, I promise! And SBI! for WP is there to help every step of the way, from WordPress help and instructions to keyword research to business-building information.