Way back when I first started WPLift, I wrote a popular post called "Famous Brands using WordPress as their CMS" which was quite eye-opening at the time, WordPress was just entering version 3.0 with features such as custom menus, custom headers and backgrounds and improved custom post type handling. WordPress was still seen mostly as a blogging platform and was just beginning to see wider use as a regular CMS.
With the launch of version 4.0 and the explosion in growth we have seen over that 3 year period I thought it would be interesting to revisit this subject and see what brands are using it today and what they are doing with it.
New York Post
The New York Post relaunched last year with a new site built completely with WordPress - It's hosted on WordPress VIP and has a bold but fairly generic magazine-style layout with categories acting as the main sections of the site for sports, business, entertainment and so on. WordPress is perfect for a site of this type and the site makes use of most of WordPress' built-in features - categories, tags, read next post and a user registration system.
Katy Perry uses WordPress for her main website which is a full-page design with some parallax background and scrolling effects to display different images. On the homepage there are links through to blog posts which display in overlays, videos and events. The site has a store but that isn't hosted with WordPress, instead it links through to a third party site.
eBay have created their company blog using a modified version on the Invisi news theme which you can purchase on ThemeForest. The site is really clean with a corporate look and traditional blogging layout.
The official Sony Playstation blog uses a modified Twenty Eleven theme, developed by Voce Commnuications. The layout is a typical gamers site with magazine style elements, background advertising and they make use of some free popular free plugins for interactive elements - WP Post Ratings and WP Polls along with a well-used comments section layout.
Fast Lane is a blog by General Motors which showcases their current and future projects. Its quite a modern-looking custom theme with some familiar elements - a slider at the top with latest posts, trending articles in the sidebar and videos and tweets on the homepage. They use the WP Retina 2x plugin to serve up hiDPI images.
MP3.com is a huge music portal built on WordPress multi-site which house over a million tracks, artist profiles and videos. On artist pages it plays music using embedded last.fm widgets so you can play or download the music.
Metro is a huge free daily newspaper here in the UK and they use WordPress for their main online presence. Their site is quite a modern looking magazine layout with a lot of features to encourage social interaction - prominent share buttons, "must read" related posts, latest and trending articles, infinite scroll - all tricks taken from sites like Techcrunch and Mashable to increase time spent on the site.
New York Observer
Another news site built completely on WordPress with a suitable layout for the content, homepage slider with featured articles, trending and "power list" in the sidebar and responsive for mobile devices.
Love him or hate him ( hate him ) Piers is a big personality in the states at the moment and his CNN blog website is built with WordPress. Its hosts a number of videos and blog entries on the homepage and a really busy comments section on single pages.
Facebook us WordPress for their "Newsroom" blog which basically lists recent news items and updates about the company. The design is quite bland and generic but fits the facebook brand, it has a slider with latest news and a list of recent posts, no comments section and, surprisingly, facebook share and like buttons on each post.
Writing this post was a lot easier than last time - I have left out a huge number of large brands using WordPress, for more see WordPress notable users and WordPress VIP clients. I did notice that many brands still use WordPress for their blog section rather than powering the entire site but I can see that changing as WordPress evolves into an app platform so if I revisit this post again in a few years, who knows what will be powered by it ?
What do you think of larger brands taking to WordPress ? Do you have any more examples - let us know in the comments!