Today, WordPress powers over 72 million different websites around the globe. At the end of 2011, it was estimated that around 20%-25% of all new websites published were built using the WordPress platform. Throughout the 98 version releases that WordPress has gone through since 2003, it has morphed from a simple blogging tool to a rather capable CMS. This makes WordPress the most widely used and popular CMS in existence with a 53.8% market share.
This high affinity for WordPress as a CMS is attributed to its ease of use, flexibility, and extensible core. Given that WordPress excels at handling content, it can be easily tailored to accommodate non-blog-focused sites with custom content types — and usually that’s just a plugin or theme away.
If you use WordPress or are planning to use it, it’s time to do the happy dance. This month our featured article — Getting 110% out of WordPress — takes a look at some WordPress plugins and themes that can transform your WordPress site from a simple blog to a totally different web application experience. You will learn how to use WordPress as a framework to power classified ads, social networks, questions/answers, and ecommerce sites.
bbPress is a WordPress plugin from the creators of WordPress. It allows you to create a simple and engaging community to compliment your WordPress powered website. bbPress is focused on web standards, ease of use, ease of integration and speed.
WP-Invoice lets you create and send web invoices and setup recurring billing for your clients. It is ideal for web developers, SEO consultants, general contractors, or anyone with a WordPress blog and clients to bill. The plugin ties into WP’s user management database to keep track of your clients and their information.
Casual is a free WordPress tumblog theme with infinite color options and a friendly yet personal layout. You get to use all the benifits of Tumblr wrapped in the extensiveness of WordPress functionality. It supports various post types including images, videos, audio, text, links and quotes.
Prospress harnesses the wonder of the WordPress publishing platform to create a marketplace tool like nothing seen before. With Prospress, registered users can post auctions, place bids, provide feedback and make payments. It has everything required to create a many-to-many exchange that differs to the one-to-many exchange of a store.
s2Member is a plugin for professional WordPress membership management, integrating seamlessly with user roles & capabilities for WordPress. You can protect your content including downloadable files and force user to register or pay to access these content. It supports PayPal, Authorize.net and other popular payment gateways.
WP-CRM extends the basic user management functions that come with WordPress to offer an elegant way of organizing your users with custom attributes. You can search for these users using filters and keep track of correspondence in one central place. This is a handy plugin for you to use to track your customers, vendors, partners and affiliates.
ALO EasyMail Newsletter is a plugin for WordPress that allows to write and send newsletters, and to gather and manage the subscribers. It supports internationalization and multilanguage. Some of its features include: collection of subscribers’ information on registration, AJAX widget subscription box, mailing lists management and CRON batch sending.
CollabPress is an all in one project and task management plugin for WordPress. It transforms a standard WP installation into a full-featured project management application in a single click. With CollabPress, you can easily create unlimited projects, task lists, and tasks with all of the features you would expect.
BuddyPress lets users register on your site and start creating profiles, posting messages, making connections, creating and interacting in groups and much more. A social network in a box, BuddyPress lets you build a social network for your company, school, sport team or niche community.
WP-Property is a property and real estate management plugin for WordPress. It allows you to create a directory of real estate and rental properties and integrate them into WordPress for you. It has an extremely flexible interface that lets you list products of any kind – vehicles, hotel reservations, etc.
Lifestream is a plugin built on top of the WordPress platform. It allows you to effortlessly integrate your social network activity across the web with your blog. Out of the box, Lifestream is just streams in RSS/Atom feeds and prettying them up, but deep down it’s a very flexible platform allowing developers to integrate any kind of activity they desire.
Connections is a directory plugin for WordPress. Its simplicity in design and function, vast array of unique features and versatility are the reasons more and more people are turning to Connections for their directory needs. You can use Connections to create a simple address book, maintain a staff directory and even run a business or link directory.
Quick Chat is WordPress chat plugin with support for private chat, live message translation, chat rooms, avatars, participants list, words filtering, smilies and much more. Quick Chat is self hosted chat solution. This means that your chat messages are stored inside your local WordPress database and are totally under your control.
WordPress Download Manager plugin will help you to manage, track and control file downloads from your wordpress site. You can set password and set access level any of your downloadable files from your wordpress site. You can add/embed downloadable files anywhere in the post just pasting the embed code inside your post content using WordPress Download Manager.
Jigoshop is a feature-packed e-commerce plugin built upon WordPress core functionality to ensure excellent performance and customizability. With the option to create a multitude of product types and apply detailed attributes customers can easily refine your catalog, ensuring they find what they’re looking for in just a couple of clicks.
WordPressWiki is a theme that transforms WordPress into a custom knowledge Base application to power your company’s documentation needs. You’ll be able to add articles and frequently asked questions, rate content, show related articles, and much more!
Booking Calendar will enable online booking services for your site. Visitors to your site will be able to check availability of apartments, houses, hotel rooms, or services you offer. They can also make reservations and appointments with the ability to choose from multi-day, single day, or by the hour booking. Your clients can even view and register for upcoming events.
P2 is a theme for WordPress that transforms a mild-mannered blog into a super-blog with features like inline comments on the homepage, a posting form right on the homepage, inline editing of posts and comments, real-time updates so new posts and comments come in without reloading, and much more.
Event Organiser is a WordPress plugin that allows you create and maintain events, including complex reoccurring patterns, venue management (with Google maps), calendars and customizable event lists. This can all be done through an intuitive user interface, which allows your to view your events in the familiar WordPress list or view all occurrences of your events in a calendar page in the admin area.
WeReview turns your WordPress site into a powerful review platform. By leveraging WordPress custom post type feature, it allows you to create review pages for products and services with stars-ratings. It comes with multiple review page style, which will give your review page a different and exclusive look.
Yet Another Photoblog is a non-invasive plugin that converts WordPress into a full-featured photoblog system. It supports on-the-fly thumbnail generation, EXIF data processing, and works with nearly every theme.