There has been talk about using WordPress beyond the typical blog set-up, into the realms of a full-fledged content management system or CMS. Yet, most people have no idea how this is even possible. WordPress software is intended to be a blogging tool, so if you're trying to make it work like a different type of content management tool you'll have to use the correct plugins (enhancements) and have the a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
While the exact step-by-step method is out of the scope of this article, lets explore some of the ways you can use WordPress, as I have personally done before.
1) WordPress as An Article Directory: To make WordPress work as an article directory, you'll need a special plugin, and a source for the articles. MyArticleMarketer.com is the perfect tool for this, as the articles there are usually human-approved. They also encourage free distribution of their articles to other article sites.
After you have set-up the WordPress plugin, you need to sign-up for Article Marketer's distribution list. By filling in their form and specifying the categories (or choose all categories), you automatically qualify to receive all old and new articles that are submitted to MyArticleMarketer.com
However, with WordPress as an article directory, you'll only be able to receive syndicated articles. Authors won't be able to sign-up or create an account directly with you. It's also against MyArticleMarketer.com's terms or service to encourage authors to sign-up directly with you.
2) WordPress as a Membership Site: You can set-up a free or paid membership site using WordPress. All it takes is a few simple plugins to get the job done. Once you've installed the plugins, members will need to login to your site in order to view the content. You can also place a login form in your WordPress theme files to make it easy for users to lo in and out of your membership site.
However, the plugins only create a simple membership system, so if you're looking to create different membership levels and more advanced features, you'd probably want to sign-up with a professional membership system like AmemberPro.net and use their available plugins to ingrate with WordPress.
At the time of writing, AmemberPro.net has available plugins for a reasonable cost and these will be installed by their support team, so you don't have to worry about the technical setbacks.
3) WordPress as a Classified Ads System: WordPress can work like any other classifieds website too. Users can sign-up on your site and place classifieds in the form of new blog posts. They can even set expiry dates for their ads and specify listings or "wanted" ads.
However, you will need to create all the necessary categories and even create a sign-up information page to teach your users how to place ads. The upside of using WordPress as a classifieds site is that you can also use tagging tactics to get traffic from social bookmarking sites and sites like Technorati.com
4) WordPress as an Audio / Video Training Site: Using the membership plugins mentioned above or AmemberPro.net's WordPress compatibility plugins, you can create a membership site with WordPress. Then, all you need to do is to add the "Podpress" plugin which takes care of all audio and video elements on your website.
You will be able to display and stream MP3 audio or FLV video using their built-in players. The Podpress plugin is really robust and also allows you to specify setting on iTunes, so you can make this commercially and available to the entire iPod / iTunes community.