In 2003 WordPress started out as a blogging platform built on PHP and MySQL to help bloggers do their thing. Back then, nobody could predict that it would become one of the most powerful CMS solutions on the planet.
I am not talking about The Chicago Manual of Style when I say CMS (also abbreviated as CMS), I mean a fully functional content management system. This list post contains 20 leading brands that use WordPress. You can check these sites out to get some ideas and what WordPress is capable of.
Because the WordPress core is free, open source software, many people fail to give credit where credit is due. Sometimes it’s hard to find out where the truth lies in between all the hype from evangelists (yours truly) and all the negative comments from detractors (disgruntled IT professionals). Below is the list. If you like what you see, check out our WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins to build something similar.
Mashable is a funny, irreverent blog where you can find fresh content posted daily. The site is huge with lots of sections. It’s a good example of what you can do with mega menus like Superfly. I love this blog because they post articles with titles like Elderly Woman Fends off Thief with Bacon.Visit Site
The Walt Disney Company
Aside from owning a big chunk of land in California, Florida and Europe – The Walt Disney Company (known simply as Disney) is a gigantic corporate entity. They use WordPress as the backbone of their company’s online presence. This website is the hub of their business operations. The site is beautiful. The design is powerful and inviting.Visit Site
CNN Espanol is a simple, clean blog that is packed with information. The text is readable and the site has lots of links to different CNN blogs. This website is an excellent example of a WordPress multisite installation in action. If you want to make a news style site, check this one out for inspiration.Visit Site
This click worthy blog has the power to distract me endlessly. There’s lots of interesting posts on tech, art and entertainment. The posts are usually full of mind-blowing curiosities that distract me from whatever it is I should be doing. This very cool online magazine uses the Magazine Pro Theme. Take a look at our WordPress Magazine Themes page to see similar templates.Visit Site
The dole logo is deeply embedded in the minds of anyone who’s eaten a banana or a pineapple in the past 50 or 60 years. Dole’s “Get Up and Grow” website is part of a campaign to promote healthy eating. This is a beautiful single page site with lots of custom work. It uses Underscores as the basis of it’s own custom theme.Visit Site
Reuters has a long history of publishing reliable political news articles and editorials. This is a perfect example of an online news blog. It’s simple, delivers content efficiently and makes it easy to share. They make a good use of SmartAds to generate revenue.Visit Site
Forbes is a major publication covering business matters all over the globe. You can get information about anything from mortgages to what billionaires eat for breakfast. There is lots of serious business going on at the Forbes website. The blogs are all powered by WordPress. You can find lots of useful infographics and articles here for your viewing pleasure.Visit Site
The Xerox name is synonymous with the word “copy.” Not only that — it has an important place in the history of modern technology. Many people attribute developments made by Xerox to the birth of the modern graphical user interface. The story goes that Steve Jobs was inspired by what he saw Xerox PARC laboratory before he helped create the famous Apple Macintosh. Whether the story is true or not, Xerox is another major brand that uses WordPress.Visit Site
The New Yorker
The New Yorker’s website is full of great content. They offer high quality articles about everything from tech and business to culture and entertainment. The website is clean and minimal. It’s also one of my favorite online magazine sites. The design shows lots of depth and restraint. This site optimizes content with the ever popular WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.Visit Site
Vogue India is a stylish online magazine version of Vogue. It probably gets a lot more views than the actual magazine (and it’s not wasting paper). Like most fashion magazines, the site is elegant and clean. The Vogue India website very readable and most of all performs well. Thinking of starting a fashion blog? Check our our Fashion Themes.
Why Use WordPress???
Why use WordPress you ask? Or are you just rereading the headline in your head? Either way I will aim to answer this question. We can learn a lot from how big brands choose to market themselves. There are some key reasons why some of the biggest brands in the World choose WordPress. Here’s a short list to mark the halfway point of this post.
Scalability – WordPress is great for a single person who wants to blog, or a corporation hell bent on global domination. The big takeaway here is that WordPress is highly scalable. It’s able to handle boat loads traffic and perform any function you wish, which brings me to my next point.
Endless Possibilities – WordPress is whatever you want it to be. Just about any functionality you can dream up can be implemented.Use it as a blog, CMS, CRM, Innernet, Directory, Web App ect. It’s beginner friendly and putty in the hands of an experienced developer.
WordPress is Modular – Just like the web itself, WordPress is highly modular. There’s a good reason the official WordPress logo resembles Volkswagen’s logo. In much the same way that Volkswagen Beetle changed the car industry forever, WordPress influenced web development on almost every level. There are so many resources available for WordPress users. Like the popular car company, you can find parts and tools for WordPress everywhere. It’s not hard to find a plugin to do your bidding. There are also plenty of good tutorials online as well.
Security – WordPress is the choice among top brands because it’s a platform you can trust. Of course security measures should be taken by anyone interested in preserving the integrity of a website. But WordPress is constantly being updated with security measures by the community.
Design – If you want to quickly put up a site with a modern, current design – WordPress is one of the easiest set of tools to do it with. There are tons of tools available to help even the least tech savvy produce beautiful designs. It’s great for prototyping web apps!
Control – You get more control over your data. The only way to truly stay safe is backup your stuff, and perhaps run your own server. But WordPress gives you much more freedom than distribution networks like Blogger, Medium, Facebook or Instagram. This problem is a concern among web publishers today and a topic that is heavily debated among users from both sides. You can always syndicate your content on those sites if you want so you don’t have to lose out. If you need to migrate your entire site it can easily be done with WordPress too.
Now, back to the list 🙂
The Observer is another brand that is known for bringing fresh articles on politics, style, business, tech and entertainment. This online mag is a good example of effective use of white space. The front page has a slider with dynamically generated content from posts. The site makes use of the Lazy Load plugin to increase performance.Visit Site
The Harvard Gazette
Harvard is definitely one of the leading institutions when it comes to higher learning. Many acclaimed books, articles, research papers and studies have been published thanks to the bright folks at Harvard. The Gazette is the official newspaper of Harvard and guess what? It’s powered by WordPress. It’s full of interesting news and events related to Harvard.Visit Site
Tech Crunch is a weblog that deals with the tech world. They review companies and product that have a major impact on technology and culture. This website has all the elements needed to run a high traffic blog. It’s full of interesting conversations, articles and fresh tips for tech.Visit Site
The United Parcel Service has been good to me. I’ve ordered many goods that have arrived safely and on time and their drivers are very friendly. They are like my own personal Santa Claus. You can find tons of inspiring stories and much more on the UPS WordPress blog. This site is ranked in the top 100 US websites according to Alexa’s website rankings.Visit Site
Microsoft is huge and the brand is everywhere. There’s no escaping it. Billions of people all over the world rely on Microsoft products every day. Their WordPress blog gets a ton of traffic and it runs like a champ. If you take a look at the source code you will see that they use Jetpack, an awesome plugin by the owners of WordPress.com.Visit Site
Sony is a beloved media company that runs it’s Playstation blog and it’s music division’s website with WordPress. Don’t worry though, you won’t get hacked if you visit the site – only if you work there :). The Sony Music Website is optimized via W3 Total Cache to speed up page loading time.Visit Site
Lollapalooza is an immensely popular music festival that features a variety of different musicians. This global brand is a major player in the music business. Their website runs on WordPress and it’s quite impressive. The site is colorful and exciting. There is plenty of eye candy to delight your peepers as well. This site is a nice example of graphic design as well as functional web design.Visit Site
Everybody knows what Star Wars is. Maybe you are one of the rare few that has seen Starcrash with the Hof and Spaceballs; so you figured you didn’t need to see the movie. Either way there are troves of Star Wars fans flocking to this site each day. The color scheme is dark, which gives the website an intergalactic vibe.Visit Site
Logitech produces all sorts of hardware to support any tech addict’s habits. The Logitech blog uses cardlike displays. It’s very clean, simple and easy to navigate. The colors and design are much like Google’s material design. If you like the design, check out the Compasso Theme, which is what they use.Visit Site
Staples is known for their office supplies. The company manages it’s online presence from their WordPress blog. They use two popular optimization plugins: WordPress SEO by Yoast and Jetpack. If you like office supplies and whatnot, give the Staples blog some love and stop by. Hey, no one is judging you if a new set of post it notes makes your whole day — we could probably hang out.Visit Site
Sometimes WordPress gets a bad rap for reasons it shouldn’t. When I first got into WordPress, I kept wondering…What’s the catch? The truth is that so far I’ve found the problems people associate with WordPress are problems with web design/development in general. Things like the explosion of front end tools and frameworks in their relation to efficiency, as well as industry practices as a whole are typically brought up. Now that I know better I can see that WordPress is a solid CMS with tons of potential.
I hope that these websites inspired you. Take some cues from these professional sites and run with them. You can get a lot of design ideas as well just by browsing. There are many other awesome WordPress websites out there. If you have any favorites, please share them – I am always interested in seeing what’s out there.