As part of this Install and Configure WordPress for Your Site lesson we’re going to talk about the ways in which you can use WordPress. This is more of a philosophical conversation rather than a how to discussion. And while we begin by discussing the blog we focus more on using WordPress as a Traditional, Static site and as a Hybrid type of site because that is how most small businesses will use it.
WordPress as a Blogging Platform
WordPress started as a blogging platform and it was only useful to people who wanted to create a blog. But a blog can be anything, right? It started off as people’s own perspectives on things around them or things that they saw or technology and the like.
Blogging has now blossomed into all sorts of things but it was originally designed as a blogging platform. You couldn’t use it for anything else. It was entirely useless for any other kind of website.
Blog Only Example
Here’s an example of a blog. Sandy is a long time member of BYOBWebsite, she’s a web designer and she has this Live Simply Rural blog. She’s got recipes and posts on food. On her blog you can find all of her blog posts and these are for the most part recipes. So you can use a blog for anything.
It doesn’t have to be just what people used to traditionally think about as blogs. My wife loves blogs. She reads gardening blogs, exercise blogs, nutrition blogs and cooking blogs. The whole concept of blogging has really exploded because of WordPress. Now all of a sudden you can do all kinds of things with blogs that people didn’t really imagine once upon a time. So that’s one way to use WordPress and that’s actually how WordPress comes pre-installed.
Default Setup is as a Blog
When you install WordPress it sets itself up like a blog which means that the very first page you see is your blog page and it displays all of your blog posts on your blog page. That’s how it comes by default.
Using WordPress for Static Websites
The way I most often teach it and the way that most small business owners use it is not as a blog at all. In fact, you ignore the whole blog aspect of it and you can just use it to create a static website.
Static Site Only Example
Let’s look at an example of that in another BYOBWebsite member, dendronlmc. This guy is an irrigation water consultant in the San Francisco area. He uses his website for his clients to be able to log in and get their irrigation reports and things like that. He also uses it for advertising his business.
It’s a series of pages that talk about the different services he provides and something about issues related to irrigation and drought control in his state that is very short on water. He’s got an About page and his contact. There’s no blog component to this whatsoever, right? This is simply a simple standard small business website built on WordPress without using any of the blogging capabilities of it whatsoever.
Is it Possible to Completely Turn Off the Blog?
Someone has asked, “Is there any way to completely turn the blog off and everything associated with it?” Well, not so much turn it off but you can certainly ignore it and not use it. As you saw on Richard’s site, it’s not turned off but you can’t find it either. There’s no way for you to get to it and it doesn’t show up in search engine results but the underlying blog functionality is still fundamental to WordPress so you can’t turn it off.
Using WordPress as a Hybrid Site for Businesses
There’s a third kind of site that incorporates both of them. This is a site of a BYOBWebsite member Pete Bennett. This is his company, London Translations. They provide translators and interpreters and interpreting services primarily around Europe and to European clients in Asia.
In this case he’s got pages that advertise his services and he has testimonials on his site. So different customers have told them what they think about his service and he posts those as his testimonials. He has opt-in so that if you want to learn something about having translations done easily, you can opt-in to this email list and get this document.
He also uses a blog although he doesn’t call it a blog, he calls it a Media Hub. But the Media Hub is essentially his blog posts page. On the blog post page he’s showing one main blog post and then he’s showing a bunch of other blog posts. If you go look at one of his posts, this is actually a video blog post, it’s got some of the text below and then it’s got some related posts below that. So this is a very business way to use blog posts.
Using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)
This site is actually a little bit deceiving because this looks just pages and posts. But this is actually a very complex site, what we call a content management site because he uses more than just WordPress posts and WordPress pages. He has created custom post types and he uses custom post types for a lot of things. For example, his FAQs, those are actually custom post types.
They’re not posts. They don’t show up on his blog and they’re not pages. They have little archive pages that will show you all of the FAQs or all of the FAQs under quotes and orders and that sort of thing. So this is actually a fairly complex content management system that’s built on top of WordPress.
Let’s just go to the Translation page for a moment and look at his Budget Business Translations. When you do that, you can see that he has testimonials here. It’s a list of recent testimonials from Translation Clients specifically rather than Interpreting clients.
If we go over to Interpreting, now he has a list of recent testimonials of his Interpreting clients. So he’s using another custom post type called Testimonials in order for him to display related testimonials and he does that also for Languages.
For example, if you want to look at testimonials for French language, here are French language client testimonials. If we go to European languages, he’s got a list of all of these European languages. And so on. This is using the full content management system ability of WordPress.
Additional Examples of Ways to Use WordPress
So WordPress can be as simple as a standard blog site or a static site or it can be a hybrid site. It can be a hybrid site that has both blog and other types of content and because of WordPress’ blogging capability, it can do all kinds of amazing things like this.
This may not be obvious to you either but in fact, BYOBWebsite is also a complex CMS. We have posts and pages and Courses which are different than posts and pages. We also have Seminars and Case Studies which are different again.
I you go to our Seminars, they are aggregated and organized by their seminar category. You can click on, for example, the Thesis Theme 2 seminars and find lists of all those seminars. If you go to one of those seminars and there are lists of all the lessons inside that seminar. This is all possible because WordPress can be use as a complex CMS.
I’ll show you one other example, jackiejacobson.com. This is the case where Jackie is using WordPress as a sort of a hybrid but she’s also added on an eCommerce aspect to it. Jackie’s an artist, she’s also a member of BYOBWebsite.
She developed the site and developed the eCommerce aspect as well. If you click on here you can see different products that she has for sale and you can add her products to the cart. These are all made off of paintings that she has done. You can see it’s just beautiful work that she does.
She does have a blog and on her blog, she sorts of things that she works on or things that she’s painting. I think she’s even got a video blog that she’s added to it also. No, but she’s got a list of her videos that she has here. Anyway, this is a site that is a combined blog and business website. She uses her blog in a business capacity.