Over the years, WordPress has grown from a basic blogging tool to an exceptional content management system. Today, more than 74.6 million sites are using WordPress, including some of the world’s biggest brands.
Flexible and easy to customize, the platform boasts an impressive library of tools, making it a great choice for businesses. But WordPress is capable of so much more than just hosting your traditional company blog. Businesses of all sizes across industries are building on top of the platform to create rich and engaging web experiences for fans and customers.
Whether you’re rocking the free WordPress.com or the elite WordPress VIP, you’re in good company. Here are 40 incredible examples of branded blogs powered by WordPress. We’ve organized our examples into categories based on industry. These links will make it easier for you to navigate to the specific one you’re looking for.
Government and Education
Dozens of government agencies have adopted WordPress to power their CMS, blogs, and sub-agency sites. Some notable examples include the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NASA, the Library of Congress, and the United States Army.
While visually it’s not stunning, data.nasa.gov is deceptively powerful. The site is home to the continually-growing catalog of publicly available NASA datasets. NASA has a lot of data. For example, just one mission has stored more than three petabytes of data since 2005. That’s the same amount as the estimated total data size of the Library of Congress.
2. Nancy Pelosi
The House of Representatives’ Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi uses WordPress to keep supporters informed on issues, resources, and other important political events. Her website is dynamic, beautifully polished, and visually engaging.
3. Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art
With support from WordPress, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of African Art can inspire conversations around the beauty, power, and diversity of African arts and cultures worldwide. It certainly has more of a WordPress feel to its design — more so than Nancy Pelosi’s, for example — but that just speaks to the quality of the platform’s themes.
Whether educating the public or targeting students, WordPress offers up a rich experience for schools and universities, too.
4. Harvard University
Even if you want to build multiple websites or blogs on the same platform, each one of them can look unique. Take a look at these three Harvard blogs and websites to see how different they look from one another despite all being built on WordPress: Harvard Rugby Football Club, Neiman Journalism Lab, and Weblogs at Harvard Law. The last one is built on the WordPress-hosted application.
5. Milwaukee School of Engineering
The Milwaukee School of Engineering employed a wide range of WordPress capabilities to revolutionize the admissions process. Through a multi-step, multi-system process, MSOE Bridge enabled the school to save time with increased functionality and more straightforward processes. Prospective students got the support of existing students, faculty, and parents all in one easy-to-access online community. Bridge was so successful that it was eventually integrated into Hub, MSOE’s existing online community. While WordPress still powers the MSOE website, the community elements are thanks to Jive Software.
6. Boston University
Boston University is another college that uses WordPress for a variety of its websites and blogs. Like Harvard, Boston University leverages the customization options that WordPress offers by making its sites look very different from one another, even though they all use the same core Boston University WordPress Flexi-Framework theme. The Boston University Study Abroad and Boston University Admissions sites look like traditional websites while the BU Today site looks like a news blog. This is a great example of how a single WordPress theme can be modified to achieve different goals.
7. Georgia State University
Georgia State University‘s website represents its colleges and schools, centers on creativity and discovery, and provides visitors an opportunity to discover how the university has a major impact on Atlanta, as well as the world. With vibrant visuals and sliding carousels, visitors won’t miss a single bit of information.
Fashion and Design
Many consumers respond to visual and interactive media. Brands weave photos and videos into their social media strategies, but check out what these companies created on WordPress where character limits and size restrictions don’t matter.
As a globally recognized fashion and lifestyle magazine, Vogue receives an incredible amount of traffic each month. The website might seem simple at first, but as you scroll down you’ll notice nuances that only a style magazine could conceive — especially when it comes to advertising.
9. Van Heusen
Serving more than 55 territories worldwide, Van Heusen relies heavily on its website to highlight its wide range of products. Using WordPress VIP, the brand incorporates a great mix of corporate information and news with a beautiful showroom — featuring full-page photos — for its product line-up.
10. Cooper Hewitt
Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum is committed to making its collection data available for public access, and to date, approximately 80 percent can be accessed via its website and public API. Cooper Hewitt’s website strays from the typical WordPress theme, providing visitors with a brilliant and vibrant visual experience.
The sportswear brand IZOD beautifully showcases its products on its website. And thanks to WordPress’ content management system, the company can change the look and feel of its site, as well as its products, as often as fashion dictates.
12. InStyle News
Although we’ve seen more ambitious designs, especially from a fashion brand, InStyle News is worth noting because it has combined WordPress.com with WordPress VIP to host its highly-trafficked website. The latter adds hundreds of additional plugins that can be integrated into any site, giving developers the ability to build custom features both on the front and back ends.
News and Entertainment
Whether they’re reporting breaking news, showcasing new program line-ups, or just keeping fans up to date, these brands use WordPress to get the word out.
13. MTV Newsroom
MTV truly puts WordPress to the test with its MTV Newsroom blog. This is a high-traffic site with a wide variety of content, including text, audio, and video. It’s updated frequently and uses a simple, traditional three-column blog design.
Forbes uses WordPress to power all of its blogs, and there are a lot of them. What makes the Forbes blogs stand out is how well the various properties are integrated on the back-end. Despite its many online sites, Forbes is able to keep relevant content and links in front of visitors at all times.
IFC uses WordPress to create a highly visual and interactive website for fans of its programming. From full episodes and featured movies to show-specific hubs, IFC’s website stands out as a hotbed of eye-catching and engaging content.
16. Time Inc.
Time Inc. is the publisher of dozens of magazines, including Time, Fortune, and InStyle. Many of its publications are also hosted on WordPress, but each maintains its individual style (as you’ll see in other examples featured in this article) thanks to the customization options available through WordPress.
17. Goodgame Studios
Goodgame Studios is another example of a simple WordPress site done well. It doesn’t always have to be about the bells and whistles; sometimes you’ve just got to let your content speak for itself. And that’s something that the online game company has pulled off quite nicely using a pretty traditional WordPress theme.
TechCrunch’s website is a great example of how powerful WordPress can be under the hood. Alex Khadiwala and Nico Vincent from TechCrunch spoke about speed, the importance of having a fast site, and how they took their site’s load times from 17.4 seconds to 2.9 seconds. If you’re interested in speeding up your site, and want to know how WordPress can help, check out the video of their presentation and and full transcript here.
19. News Corp
Similar to Time Inc., News Corp is a network of leading companies across news, education, and information services. WordPress VIP powers the company’s corporate site as well as many of its properties, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and The Times.
20. Thrive Magazine
Thrive Magazine uses WordPress to deliver exclusive interviews with some of the most innovative game changers across industries, including athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, and celebrities with social cause.
21. Mike Rowe
Mike Rowe, best known for his role as host of Dirty Jobs, uses his WordPress website to engage fans with static content and a forum community. Rowe also added an e-commerce element where people can bid on or purchase branded souvenirs.
22. CBS Local
CBS Local has launched websites and mobile apps in 25 markets that include the latest news, traffic, weather, and sports headlines. Creating a mobile version of your WordPress site is as easy as installing a plugin, but the media giant went a different route and customized its own mobile theme. Check out this video from the CBS Local team talking about this decision and process for more insight.
This is the perfect example of how diverse and customizable the WordPress platform is. Featuring a beautiful collage of photographs, Beyoncé’s website helps her tell the story of her life, creating a unique experience for visitors and fans.
24. Chicago Weather Center
Although WGN’s Chicago Weather Center website is relevant only to a specific audience, it really showcases how well interactive elements can be incorporated into the platform. Scroll over some of the maps and graphs and watch how the site changes.
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Proven to be a powerful medium to get your brand’s message out, company blogs are an integral part of any social media or content marketing strategy. Not only is a company blog a valuable source of news, but it’s also a useful way to share best practices and best uses of your products and services.
Introduced in 2005, GM’s FastLane blog features the candid thoughts of the company’s executives. The site’s sleek design enabled GM to overcome its “dinosaur” image and close the gap between customers’ outdated perceptions of the brand and the improving quality of its new cars and trucks. The WordPress-powered site continues to be updated to this day with new posts, videos, stats, and social integrations.
Another big brand using WordPress is LinkedIn. The company’s blog is an official source of insights and information about the platform. Although the theme is rather understated, it places a great deal of emphasis on visuals and article descriptions — similar to the platform’s main feed. In terms of design, LinkedIn did a good job of mimicking the same colors and tones used on its homepage. And with more than 300 millions members, it’s safe to say that this blog is highly-trafficked.
27. Sony Music
Sony Music Entertainment, owned by Sony Corporation of America, uses its WordPress-powered site to showcase popular music artists like Brad Paisley, Sia, Usher, and Michael Jackson. Another simple design, however this one packs a powerful punch. Using a minimalist theme, Sony directs viewers’ attention to its artists. Nearly two-thirds of the space above-the-fold is occupied by images of musicians. Below that, Sony highlights popular videos and relevant news about its artists.
Not only does Outbrain, a content discovery platform, support a widget for WordPress, but it also relies on the platform to power its website and blog.
29. Facebook Newsroom
If you’ve ever read a product announcement or breaking news from Facebook, it’s likely you did so on its WordPress-powered Newsroom site. In addition to being the go-to web location for top Facebook news, it’s a convenient way to see how the social network’s Like and Share buttons, as well as other plugins, integrate with the platform firsthand.
Utilizing a clean and simple theme, UPS’ Upside blog is cleverly branded to match the company’s overall design, tone, and messaging. Upside is used to introduce UPS’s lesser-known employees to the public, including pilots, package handlers, software designers, and meteorologists. It’s a fantastic example of a well-rounded company blog.
31. Eddie Bauer
Powerful imagery, compelling stories, and a well-laid out format make Eddie Bauer’s Live Your Adventure website a fantastic addition to our list.
32. Google Ventures
The venture capital investment arm of Google, called Google Ventures, is powered by WordPress VIP. The firm has created a simple, yet popular design that makes it incredibly easy for interested entrepreneurs to navigate. Beyond design, check out how other enterprise organizations use the platform’s available features, such as microsites and newsletters.
33. Coca-Cola France
Proving WordPress is more than just a blogging platform, Coca-Cola France uses it as a complete CMS. The brand’s website features a variety of media, including beautiful imagery, well-formatted articles, and entertaining videos.
WordPress is an incredibly flexible platform. It scales for organizations big and small and can be customized to suit any needs, which is why it’s a popular choice for non-profits.
CURE International’s WordPress site is the primary means of communication with its donors and a critical fundraising tool for the organization. Not only is it used as a CMS for all non-technical administration of the site, but the non-profit has also built custom WordPress plugins to enhance the experience. Additionally, the CUREkids program, a web application, was built into the WordPress dashboard as a custom extension.
35. Invisible Children
Known for its social media savvy, Invisible Children uses WordPress to tell its story through different media, including videos, images, reports, and blog posts. Rather than rely on a static image to capture the attention of visitors, the non-profit’s homepage is very interactive, starting with the video that plays at the top of the page. Scrolling down shows off even more of the site’s responsive design. Supporters are encouraged to take action by donating, requesting a screening, subscribing to an email list, or following the non-profit’s various social media profiles.
36. Kaiser Family Foundation
In 2013, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation relaunched its data-heavy site on WordPress VIP, bringing multiple websites and CMS under one roof. The new site features fact sheets, reports, polls, slides, and more, all of which can be searched for and filtered using VIP Search.
37. Canadian Olympic Committee
The Canadian Olympic Committee chose WordPress VIP because it allowed them to focus on fan experience and front-facing content. Here, you can see an interview in which the committee talks about its decision to redesign Olympic.ca ahead of the Sochi Games, and how the WordPress platform played a roll in the site’s success.
38. TED Blog
What started out as a small non-profit has become a world famous conference series. TED Talks are well known around the globe, and its highly popular website, TED Blog, features more than 700 of them.
Last but not least, e-commerce sites are no strangers to WordPress. With dozens of themes available, you’ll be setting up shop in no time. For inspiration, here are two of our favorites.
39. PawPrint Pets
PawPrintPets.com is an e-commerce website that offers visitors useful training advice for pets. With hundreds of useful plugins, WordPress made it possible for the company to customize its online shop in order to meet its customers’ needs.
Built entirely on WordPress, Boardshorts.com is a custom-made e-commerce site that boasts customer management in the backend along with an inventory system and filters for sorting products.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.