Can I Use WordPress to Create Websites And Not Just Blogs?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the Friday Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Malini asks:

I am in the process of building two websites – one about dance and one about music. I gave the dance website to a web developer – so he is using Joomla to create it. The frustrating part about it is – every time I want to update the content I have to ask him to do it. That is definitely not a long term option, so I will have to learn to do it in Joomla.

To avoid the same issue for my music website, can I use WordPress to create a website? I will be updating the content every week – but at least since I am familiar with word press, I can do it myself.

How hard is it to create a website using WordPress?

WordPress was born as a blogging platform, but today it is much more than that. I would call it a publishing platform (that is how Automattic calls it as well), because it lets you publish any type of content online, be it the products of an online store or the images of a photo gallery.

In fact if you visit the official WordPress showcase you will find all sorts of websites that are running on WordPress, from corporate and governmental websites to magazines and online communities.

The first part of your question should be answered. Now let’s talk about how easy it is to create a “standard” website using wordPress.

Well, I would say it is as easy as creating a blog with WordPress.

The installation process is the same. The only difference is that you will need to play with pages instead of posts to create the website. If you want to use a static page as the homepage, simply click on the “Reading” tab inside the “Settings” menu of WordPress. There you will be able to select what page should be used as the homepage.

Finally, depending on the type of website you are building, you might need to load some special plugins (e.g., a shopping cart plugin or a membership management one). That is pretty easy as well, and most plugins come with detailed installation guides.

What about you guys, have you used WordPress to power websites and not just blogs? How did it work out?




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47 Responses to “Can I Use WordPress to Create Websites And Not Just Blogs?”

  • Rogelio Gudino

    I haven’t tried making a website with WordPress, only blogs, but I’m sure WordPress does it’s job and there is no need to go to Joomla, Drupal, etc.

  • Tim Trice

    I use it for my hurricane website and I’m not fond of it. It makes a lot of things easier but whenever I want to add new pages (for new storms) it’s very slow. I suppose that’s normal with 2500 pages and counting. I’ll need to add another 3,000 or so, soon.

    I’m currently working with CakePHP on relating the tables and creating a desktop application from my site without having to log into WordPress to create/edit pages. Plus, I want to see all the custom meta tags I’m using that I have to edit frequently.

    I suppose my situation may be a bit unique. I get good exposure and optimization so I’m not in a rush to exit WordPress right away

  • Michael Martin

    I would far and away use WordPress as a CMS for most any site, especially en lieu of Joomla.

    I personally like to hand code most sites depending on scale.

    ,Michael Martin

  • Himanshu

    I am playing with WordPress from the last one month to make a static website. It is know as WordPress as a CMS or Content management system, one can make a very nice and good looking website with wordpress that can be comparable to other website platform like Zoomla. There are lots of resources available on internet to use WordPress as a CMS.

  • Dana@Online Knowledge

    I already aware of wordpress as website a long time ago. But, I am using wordpress only for blog till today.

  • Gabe | freebloghelp.com

    WordPress has evolved into an excellent CMS. I use it for another one of my sites that provides certification test questions.

  • Gloson

    I’ve been learning to create websites with wordpress and after hours and hours, I’ve finally turned Poetry Talents from a website into a wordpress website!

    Now managing it is much easier since you have php, plugins, and blog features. It is also more automatic!

  • Yin Teing

    Yes, the pages function can be manupulated to create the homepage of the website. But all the articles are written using the “page” instead of the “post”, then these pages may appear as a series of tabs on most wordpress themes (unless the simplier themes that does not display tags are selected).

  • Mr. I

    I have always been curious type guy and had quickly learned that WP can make sites. I have used WP to create a Classifieds site, a static site and now, I am making a review site.

    WP is really flexible and it can be used to make upto medium sized websites. However, for big sites, Joomla is better as a CMS!

  • Mark McGee

    I’ve used it to build two sites so far and find it very easy to do once you get your head around pages, categories and specific page templates. Great for SEO and content management is a breeze.

    Best use for me so far was the daily online conference newsletter that I created for my company – especially using the great video plugins: http://www.icmif.org/dialogue2009. The other site was for a local band so that they could update the gig & set lists, do some blogging and integrate with Twitter with minimal training: http://www.groovething.co.uk.

    Not as suitable for large sites, you are better off with Joomla or, if you know what you’re doing, Drupal. Or even building it from scratch like in the “old” days!

  • Available Domains Blog

    Thanks for the simple tips on making websites using WP.

  • Richard

    I have been using wordpress as a CMS platform for my clients and love it. Simple to update.
    With the right theme (we don’t use free themes) a very elegant and effective website can be created.

  • BWI

    I’ve done it a ton of times. Here is a good tip to start. If you title your main page Home, and tell WP to show that page first, you will need to exclude it from the main menu so your main menu doesn’t say Home twice in a row. To do this just look in your header menu for something like this: The exclude is telling WP to not show the page with ID 1. By default most themes will not include the exclude string.

    To get the ID for the particular page you are trying to exclude just look under the listing of all your pages in the admin mode, and hover over the link. You should see the number there.

    The best part about using WP to build a site is that when it’s time to add a blog, you are already done! Just create a page called blog, and tell WP under Setting->Reading to use that page.

  • BWI

    Sorry, comment software blocked my code. Here is what to look for: php wp_list_pages ( ‘ title_li=&depth=1&exclude=3 ‘ )

  • Sajib

    I totally agree with the author. WordPress is created as the world’s best blogging engine and content management system for websites. These days you can also create a forum using wordpress.

    That means if you want to make something online, and need success with it, go wordpress.

  • Tom – StandOutBlogger.com

    I am using wordpress for one of my clients websites and it is coming along nicely. It is all just how you utilize the features.

  • Make money blogging | blogging for money

    I haven’t tried yet, but it shouldn’t be so hard, seeing how easy is everything using WP!

  • Angelica

    I have created a hosting company, review site, a e-learning site. ALL wordpress-based.

    You can do virtually ANYTHING!

  • V.C

    It’s quite tough to build a music wordpress website because there are very rare themes that can suit for a music website.
    Just have a look at rockitpro.com. They are using wordpress code for there musicwebsite. Audio Player WordPress plugin

  • Steve

    I have never run into an issue creating a full blown site instead of a blog with WordPress. I tend to use the pages instead of the post options for all the content.

  • Malini

    Hey Daniel,
    Thanks for posting the question. 🙂

    I can see from the overwhelming response that word press is the way to go.

    So does it make sense to change the Joomla site to wordpress?

  • Robomaster

    While wordpress is easily powerful enough to create static webpages, it isn’t very easy. I personally don’t know why anybody would want a static webpage – blogs are the rage nowadays and I have a feeling that old webpages won’t last.

  • Leejii

    I’m using WordPress for all my sites, I think it is perfect for building all kinds of websites, too, not just blogs.

    WordPress is super easy to use, and most important, it is very SEO friendly, this is why so many people are using WordPress.

  • Cell Spy Software

    I had opted for a very basic CMS instead of WordPress as I felt WordPress was more of a blogging platform. I may have to try and see how it works for more static websites in the future.

  • Millard

    WordPress makes a great website. The ability to get your pages indexed in short order is well worth it. Make sure you add the SEO Optimization Widget and the Sitemap Widget.

    It does take some work though, cause there are so many themes. There is no one size fits all.

  • Paul UK

    I have created 3 non-blog web sites using WordPress.
    I have found that in most cases the chosen Theme’s CSS and PHP code needs to be altered so that the menus are correct.

    I usually set up the blog part of WordPress as a Notice Board area where the client can post news and events.

    Also when set up as a web site it is often preferable to remove comments. To do this fully, you really need to edit the Themes PHP code and also change the WordPress comments settings in admin.

  • Paul UK

    In response to Robomaster (No. 22).

    The reason for using WordPress to create a basic web site is because the client may want to maintain the site themselves and WordPress is a lot easier to learn then something like Dreamweaver.

    Basically WordPress makes it easier to manage a web site and not everyone wants to keep a blog updated.

    Its is quite an economical option for local non-profit organisations that have a restricted budget and don’t have the finances to pay someone to maintain a site. They may have one non-expert who volunteers to keep the site updated.

  • Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    I always use WordPress to create my regular sites as well; it’s a no-brainer. Many of the magazine themes contribute nicely to this.

  • Web Marketing Tips

    Daniel I think you should elaborate this topic more. As only few paragraphs are not at all good enough.

    So I think you should start a series of wordpress, may be weekly post or by 15 days.

  • webby

    I tried using wordpress platform as a website instead of blog, it is doable but you need to find a suitable theme for it. Look for something that has no date for every post you make. It is a lot more faster to do it from wordpress instead of doing it the traditional way.

  • Judith

    I started using WordPress as a CMS over 6 years ago to manage my own site. Since then, thanks to some very creative and intuitive Premium Theme Developers, my consulting business promotes using WordPress as a CMS.

    As someone else said; it is a no brainer! The big bonus is the site owner can make their own changes and additions. Something I’ve been asked for since I started doing sites back in 1994.

    Site owners need to be involved and grow their site — and WordPress allows them to do that. As we all know, brochureware is nowhere – static HTML sites are soooo turn of the century. 😉

  • Giovanni

    WordPress is the easiest way to build a website.

  • DK

    This article comes at a right time! I have a food based blog and I was wondering if it would be even feasible to turn it into a web site kinda deal at some point and I dint want to go into either the drupal or joomla route since I find them pretty not-so-well-documented. I am getting so comfortable with wordpress and to know that I could actually use the same to extend my blog into something more thrills me to bits. Thanks for the link – will look more into it.

  • ryan k

    I just want to say thanks for the post on this topic and everyones comments, i have a good idea were to go with my website..

  • Melodee Patterson

    I’m actually in the process of starting a business using a “foundation-type” WordPress theme called Headway. My fantastic graphic designer and I want to provide affordable websites to blog-savvy business owners who want to maintain their own sites.

    In fact, I’ve got a “Name My Company” contest going on at tinyurl.com/yf4zsmg until the end of the month if anyone is interested. If I choose your name, you’ll get 25% off a blogsite!

  • Scorr

    Thanks for helpful Q&A.

    Am about to set up a site for a small retreat business. Client wants to sell a few things through the site as well. Was going to use Joomla + Virtuemart. Now considering WordPress.

    Thoughts on straightforward e-commerce plug-ins to use with WordPress as CMS?

  • Maria

    Thank you for sharing your position on this. I know that most web developers are still against using WordPress as a CMS for websites. To be honest, I think they do it to keep the money flowing, as most other CMS are not as easily updated as WordPress is and the website owner needs their constant support, just like you mentioned in your example.

    I have built several Websites on WordPress, and I think the functionality and opportunities with WP are great.

    If you want to see one example, click on my name and you will end up on my website, does it look like a blog or like a website?

  • mark harrison

    WordPress is fantastic. There are thousands of good, easy to implement themes and I have all of my 17 websites using it and I have even moved my 3 Joomla sites across to it. Quite honestly, why would you NOT use WordPress?

  • Oliver

    I mainly use WordPress for blogging, but I created a site using it a while ago and I found it pretty easy to get my head round after a while. It definitely makes a good CMS and makes it easy to update pages.

  • Marty Dickinson

    Of the last 25 new or redesigned website projects I’ve done for company clients, 23 of them we setup with WordPress. New clients have to convince me they need something different and they almost always lose. One real estate guy who was proficient with Dreamweaver and another who wanted us to find a jobs recruiting software for their site were the only two exceptions. WordPress is the new evolution of websites as we know it.

  • Dave

    No question about creating web sites. Look into Thesis and Headway framework themes. WordPress is free, the two frameworks are premium themes, but well worth the cost. You only need one of them. 🙂

  • John Samuel

    It’s easy to create websites with WordPress.

  • walidmrealtor

    WordPress is so flexible many sites look like websites and are actually blogs. Studiopress builds great templates and some of the designers over there can show you sites that look and function like websites, built on a blog platform.

  • Hesham

    I have done this by my self more than once, it depends on creating pages if you know what i mean, and set categories for news and events and other stuff that my client would like to publish on them, and actually by dong this you can have a very good website that is SEO optimized and more!

  • tacogirl

    seen lots of great wordpress websites

  • Pete

    WordPress is very customizable and you can handle much forms of websites. There are so much alternatives to use WordPress. You can do auction sites, a review page, an article submisson service, article databases, directories, nearly everything. The good about WordPress the search engine friendly code. Google loves WordPress and if you do some SEO you can rank well. I’m building up my WordPress sites and I see it as a business. You can learn everyday and take it serious. So why can’t you use it as a static website? I’m not making differencens about Websites and blogs, a blog is a website, the only difference is the chronological listing- nothing else.

    But for a simply website for your company or whatever I would recommend you dreamweaver or serif X2, there is much software. And to learn some coding is not difficult, but it takes time. Time that you could use for other things.

    Cheers and to our success!

  • Keith Davis

    The main reason I chose wordpress was because It makes a great CMS site.
    Plus, there is lots of info out there about wordpress. Help and tutorials.
    You can add pages, add posts and sort things in the order you want them.
    So far… I haven’t been disappointed.

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