Most people are familiar with WordPress as a tool used by bloggers to update their blogs or company websites.
But the popular content management system actually has other uses that, with the right know-how, can turn it into a beneficial tool in other areas of business or pleasure.
From online communities to invoicing and billing to business directories, there are actually dozens of uses for WordPress that you may never have come up with on your own.
Here’s a look at some of the most interesting incarnations and how to set them up, as well as a rundown on the ways they can benefit your business.
A Business Intranet
Try the free version for the most basic setup, or shell out for the paid version to fashion something a little more advanced. You can keep employees abreast of important developments, such as sick time or upcoming vacations, or even poll your workers about key office decisions before carrying out a new plan.
WordPress can function as an email newsletter sent either to employees within the company or to prospective clients.
Use the newsletter plug-in offered on the WordPress site for the easiest set-up. The tool will allow you to send to as many people as you like, as often as you desire. That’s a welcome offer, considering so many newsletter tools are offered as freemiums, forcing you to pay after a certain number of sends.
Business directories are a useful way to engage your clients and prospective customers with the promise of free, targeted and relevant advertising.
Invite them to submit listings they’d like to appear on the site using the Business Directory plugin, which might include anything from services they offer to community meetings they’ve set up.
This can become a hub of sorts for those involved in the same business, where they can come to check out what’s going on in the community.
Invoicing and Billing
Whether you’re an accounting firm or an SEO company, every business needs to send out invoices and keep track of billing for accounting purposes.
Using a WordPress plug-in, you can set up an invoice manager, which will allow you to create electronic invoices and automatically bill clients. You can also track who has paid and what accounts are late.
Google has a hand in just about everything we do these days, including word processing on Google Docs.
If you have security concerns about that program, or you simply don’t care for the Google Docs interface, WordPress can be a great alternative for composing your thoughts.
The program also has a revision history that allows you to access prior versions of your document, which can be helpful if you accidentally erase something.
The Contact Manager plugin allows you to turn WordPress into a virtual Rolodex where you can store thousands of contacts.
This can be used in conjunction with the company intranet if you want to share contacts with your colleagues, but make sure that you store it on a private server so that you do not inadvertently share your contacts’ information with the rest of the web!
The Contact Manager allows you to store notes about your contacts, too, such as “Mike’s wife’s name is Jane,” a helpful reminder when calling on a client.
Need to fashion a Frequently Asked Questions page for your web site? The FAQ Builder for WordPress will walk you through the steps you need to take to get a polished, professional-looking FAQ.
One of its most helpful features is allowing your website readers to submit questions they would like to have answered.
When you post your response, it highlights the community interaction that potential customers think of so highly when it comes to your company.
So Many Choices
Clearly WordPress has more uses than juSo Many Choicesst funcSo Many Choicestioning as a content-management system. Experiment with plug-ins to see what you like and what can benefit your business the most, and you may find you don’t need to pay for other software programs that do many of the same things.