Rooted in blogging, WordPress is most commonly used for simple publications - with about half of all WordPress sites hosted on the free wordpress.com service. But with a staggering 20% of the internet built on WordPress it is likely you are using far more WordPress sites than you realized - and not just blogs.
WordPress sites are often pushed beyond the blog – be it a simple marketing website or full-scale social network – in the right hands WordPress is capable of a lot. Our list features a handful of influential organizations that have tried (most succeeded) to push WordPress beyond the common blog to form an advanced digital platform or experience.
Yes, Vogue is a publication, but it is far more than a simple WordPress blog. Vogue.com is an example of a fully customized brand experience implemented on the open-source platform. The site uses a smart auto-loading technique to allow scrolling down to the next article which pushed it over the edge and onto this list.
Sonymusic.com is a simple, straight-forward marketing website for the influential music label. Besides a page of press-releases, the typical WordPress blog functionality is completely suppressed on the site, making it a good example for this list.
The last name you expected on this list? Maybe. But Google does use WordPress for the occasional website and this example more than shines. Again, you will not find a standard blog on this site but a highly-customized theme and unique interface for navigating several pages of in-depth information.
Georgia State University
University websites typically have hundreds of unique pages, departments, and resources – a feat usually not well suited to a WordPress site. In this regard GSU shows its WordPress bones, and the limitations that come along with a basic WordPress installation. User experience suffers when trying to navigate through redirects and across multiple sub-domains.
Another great example of what can be achieved with WordPress: BBC America combines video and mixed blog content to build interactive promotional pages for their television lineup. Episode clips, exclusive content, user polls, and episode guides make this site a strong example of how to manage dynamic, related content in WordPress.
A social network built on WordPress? Well, sort of. BuddyPress is a group of plugins that add the necessary code for building a simple community on WordPress. While you should not expect to build the next Facebook, sites like My Telegraph offer a good example of how to engage users through forums, groups and other common social interactions.