Category Archives: Blog

What WordPress Can Do (that you never thought possible)?

WordPress powers 23 % of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015. It is the most popular free blogging system on the web. It is a free open platform since 2003 for creating websites, mainly blogs. Over the years, it has evolved into a versatile content management system (CMS) that could do a lot of things that you may never imagine possible.

WordPress removes the technical barriers for creating any kind of website. We no longer need to know coding in order to build a visually stunning, fully functional and professional website (unless you want to). I still remember the old innocent days (2007) where I needed to maintain web pages using a specific software. Every new page added required me to update the whole website in order to add a new link to the new page. What a nightmare!

What WordPress can do?

WordPress is truly versatile and it can serve multiple purposes. Below is a list of some (not all) of the common usages of WordPress.

Blog

Obviously. This website is a blog.





Visit Fast Blog

Static site

A static website normally contains only a few pages (from 1 to 10 or 20 pages) that showcases a business profile or personal profile or to spread the words for certain awareness to the web. Its content will never change and that’s why it is called static website. For example, you can create your wedding page to inform people about the event (or count-down to an event), or display your CV/resume.





Visit Marriage – Responsive Wedding WordPress Theme

Magazine site

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) and it creates a dynamic website where content will be added regularly. It helps to organize the content and the user only need to care about creating content. Examples are magazine site, news site, etc.





Visit SimpleMag – Magazine theme for creative stuff





Visit Newspaper

Directory & listing site

If you have a large collection of data of companies, websites, properties, etc, you might need a directory for listing. A WordPress theme can help.





Visit Directory Portal WordPress Theme





Visit Real Homes – WordPress Real Estate Theme

Classified ads site

You could let people post their ads on your website. If you wished, you could also charge them for posting.





Visit Classiads – Classified Ads WordPress Theme

Article repository

You could let people post their articles on your website. This is useful for building a content site.





Visit Katla – User Generated Content Theme

Job board

You could be a job listing webmaster. Employers can post their vacancies on your site and job-seekers can find their job here.





Visit WordPress Job Board Theme – Jobify

Forum

You can create an online community about anything.





Visit WildCommunity – BuddyPress Theme

Social network site

You can create your own Facebook.





Visit Social Buddy – WordPress & BuddyPress Theme

Dating site

You can start your own dating site. Find a partner today.





Visit Sweet Date – More than a WordPress Dating Theme

Micro-blogging site

You can micro-blog like Twitter using P2.

Video site

You can host videos like YouTube.





Visit deTube – Professional Video WordPress Theme

Music site

Be a musician.





Visit Music: Musicians theme & Facebook app

Gallery

If you are a photographer, you can show off your photos with a personal gallery.





Visit Core Minimalist Photography Portfolio

Membership site

You can start a paid content membership site.





Visit Blogary Paid Centent Blog Magazine WordPress Theme

e-Commerce site

You can open an online store.





Visit Flat Responsive WooCommerce Theme

Coupon site

If you know where to find tons of deals, you can start another Groupon.





Visit Couponia – Coupons & Online Shop Template

Landing page

If you are an online marketer, you need a killer landing page for your product.





Visit JustLanded – WordPress Landing Page

Question and answer site

If you are an expert in certain areas, you can start a Quora or StackOverflow-like site.





Visit QAEngine – Question and Answer WordPress Theme

Learning management site

If you are an educator or a student, you can manage your courses with a site.





Visit WPLMS Learning Management System

Issue tracking site

If you are a software developer, you need to track your issues by submitting tickets.





Visit Ticketrama – WordPress Helpdesk | Ticket | Support

Booking system

If you are a travel agent, you can start a booking system for your business.





Visit Soho Hotel – Responsive Hotel Booking WP Theme





Visit Book Your Travel – Online Booking WordPress Theme

Support desk

You can provide support via a help desk.





Visit Support Desk – A Responsive Helpdesk Theme

Wiki

You can create a knowledge base for your products or services.





Visit KnowHow – A Knowledge Base WordPress Theme

Review/rating site

You can write your reviews and give rating to the products or services that you use.





Visit Jarida – Responsive WordPress News, Magazine, Blog

Price comparison site

If you shop often, you can start a price comparison site.





Visit Compare – Price Comparison Theme for WordPress

Quiz site

You can create quizzes to test your visitors.





Visit Clever Course – Learning Management System Theme

Multipurpose site

If you need to create a network of sites including blog, forum, e-commerce, review, etc, then you can try create a multipurpose site.





Visit Avada | Responsive Multi-Purpose Theme

Parallex site

If you want to tell your story in one page, then you need a parallex theme that gives a scrolling website with a creative, interesting and intrinsically narrative driven experience.





Visit Jarvis – Onepage Parallax WordPress Theme

Apps showcase site

If you are an app developer, then you need an app showcase site.





Visit Grizzly – Responsive App Showcase / Corporate

Clone theme

If you find a WordPress theme that you like from other website, you can clone it using ThemeMatcher!

Conclusion

There is an app for that. – iPhone ad in 2008

As the famous quote for Apple store goes “There’s is an app for that”, whatever you want to do with your website, there is also a WordPress plugin/theme for that. You just need to search for it.

If you know more capabilities of WordPress that is not mentioned here, please share in the comment.

Finally, in order to explore the full power of WordPress, you need to have your own hosting and domain name. For that, I highly recommend Dreamhost, my favorite web hosting provider.

Sources

Why You Should Use WordPress?

5 Things You Might Not Have Known You Could Do With WordPress
15 Things You May Not Know WordPress Can Do
10 Things You can Do with WordPress Besides Blogging
11 Cool Things You Can Do With WordPress (But You Probably Aren’t)
Five cool things you can do with WordPress





Speeding Up My Blog

I noticed long time ago (actually since last year) that my blog’s loading time was quite slow. But I never did anything to it until a few days ago, where I contacted my web hosting service provider (it is Dreamhost) to look at the problem.

To give an idea of the slowness:

Long Loading Time

Long Loading Time

There was a constant waiting time of 9 to 10 seconds for every page load. That is very unacceptable in today’s standard!

The support team from Dreamhost suggested at first to move my domain to another apache server to see if there was any improvement. However, I found that some of my sites that are serving only static pages load normally without too long a waiting time. So, I mentioned to them that the problem might be related to the WordPress platform or its underlying installation which caused the slowness since the site with static pages load reasonably quick.

With that info, the support team provided a new set of instructions for me to try and it turned out to be pretty effective and straight forward. The slowness was due to the installed plugins. I had about 32 plugins installed. And most of them were inactive!

I deleted all the inactive plugins (there were 17 of them) and the improvement is obvious:

After Deleting Inactive Plugins

After Deleting Inactive Plugins

The loading time almost reduced by half.

After that, I updated all the active plugins (7 of them). Well, it had been a long long time I didn’t maintain those plugins, so most of them were out-of-date.  However, the improvement was not much:

After Updating All Active Plugins

After Updating Active Plugins

Then, I activated the WP Super Cache plugin and enabled the caching through the setting.

After Activating WP Super Cache

After Activating WP Super Cache Plugin

The improvement was slightly better after installing the WP Super Cache and enabling the caching. But doing a refresh to the site shows the difference and the power of caching:

After Refreshing The Site With Caching Enabled

After Refreshing The Site With Caching Enabled

The site now can load within 2 to 3 seconds! This is a huge improvement considering the initial loading time of 9 to 10 seconds.

After updating the WP Super Cache plugin, the improvement is even more obvious:

After Updating WP Super Cache to 1.4.2

After Updating WP Super Cache to 1.4.2

Conclusion

If you too are experiencing slowness to your WordPress site, you can consider:

  • uninstalling all your inactive plugins
  • updating all your active plugins to latest version
  • most importantly, making use of caching capability by installing the WP Super Cache plugin and enabling the caching

With this, your site will load with lightning speed just like what I did in speeding up my blog. The steps are pretty straight forward and easy to apply. Why didn’t I think about it at first? This was because I had always suspected it was due to the hardware limitation of the server and that I was unable to do anything on my part except moving to a better server.

Lesson: We can have a decent performance even from a modest hardware if we use the right approach. Limitation in resources does not necessarily mean limitation in performance. This applies in all aspects of our life. Will talk more about that in future posts.

Resources

These are the references provided by my web hosting service provider:

Speed Up WordPress With These 5 Expert Tips

WP Super Cache Optimal Settings Tips and Configuration