Every business needs a website, but just being online isn’t enough. Your website has to look great and perform well to appeal to your visitors — and you can find inspiration from our list of WordPress website examples to help you do just that.
Your site’s design and performance depend, to a great extent, on the CMS system that you are using. That’s why many site owners choose to build their sites on WordPress. In fact, over 43% of sites on the internet are using WordPress as their content management system (CMS).
In this post, we will explore some of the biggest brands that are using WordPress to run their websites and how they use the CMS to their advantage.
WordPress Website Examples
62% of the top 100 fastest-growing companies in the United States use WordPress. Some of these sites are major brands, like The New York Times, BBC America, and Sony Music.
Let’s examine how these and other big brands are using WordPress to deliver the best digital experiences to their audience.
1. The New York Times
The New York Times was one of the first media outlets to fully leverage the power of the user-generated content feature provided by WordPress. Back in 2012, it introduced a plugin for the CMS that allowed multiple journalists to work on the same article — it allowed changes to a post to be tracked and then accepted or rejected.
As a result of their efforts, it was able to reach 260 million unique monthly visits in 2021.
In addition to using WordPress to publish and organize thousands of articles, NYT also features gated content on its site and has a billing system for subscriptions.
Furthermore, to accommodate their large international audience, NYT enables readers to switch from English to Spanish or Chinese with the click of a button. You can see these buttons at the top of the home page, right above its brand name.
Many bloggers admire the website’s clean layout, also known as the “NYT theme.” You can add one to your website by downloading and installing it on your website or blog.
Reuters is a huge media company that delivers breaking world news every day. Powered by WordPress, the site is updated by the minute. On every post, Reuters includes the publish date and time so you know exactly when it was published.
And for those keeping an eye on the stock market, Reuters lists share prices at the top of the homepage by using widgets that update automatically. There are dozens of WordPress plugins that do this — for weather, real estate listings in your area, traffic, insurance quotes, retail sales, and more.
In the image below, you’ll see a navigation menu with categories like Markets, Business, and World, which are displayed in the navigation menu at the top of the screen. By clicking on any of these categories, you can find all the content Reuters has published on this topic.
Reuters upper menu invites you to switch between different countries' coverage through WordPress’s customizable menu options as seen in its simple UI design.
3. BBC America
BBC America is an entertainment network and a child company of the British BBC giant. The company mainly targets adults 25-54 and receives around 1.5 million monthly visits.
Its website hosts a streaming service with tons of video content and a shopping section powered by WordPress’s native eCommerce plugin.
BBC America’s website helps its audience navigate and learn through the intuitive interface of dropdown menus. If you want to learn more you can hover over the lower right corner of any video episode you are interested in.
BBC America uses a responsive menu plugin, or an animated burger menu, from the WordPress.org catalog — no coding necessary.
We wouldn’t expect anything less than a sophisticated website from one of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle magazines. And that’s exactly what you get visiting Vogue. Vogue’s website draws 3 million unique visits each month.
To delight these visitors and catch their eyes, Vogue features lots of high-quality images and videos on its homepage. This multimedia has overlayed text describing the post’s title, author, and category so the reader can make an informed decision about what they want to read.
Not only is this layout visually appealing, but it’s also responsive so that visitors on mobile and desktop can easily scroll through the site. Check out how the site is optimized for smaller screens below.
If you are searching for a CMS solution for a printed publication, Vogue is a great example of how to transfer paper publication style to online while simultaneously keeping the feel of flipping through a magazine.
5. Sony Music
Sony Music’s website is as cool as you’d imagine it would be. As the company targets international audiences, the first sight you’re met with is a slide show of trending artists at the top of the landing page and there is absolutely no hint of a news story until you scroll down.
Consistently, Sony Music has amassed over 140,000 site visits every month, largely seen after the company switched to WordPress as a host. This rise in traffic reflects Sony Music’s ongoing focus on building web destinations that offer clean and easy navigation, compelling user experiences that connect fans and artists, and innovative direct-to-consumer features.
Some of these features include playlist recommendations, a rewards system for repeat visitors, and an integrated lyrics function so listeners can follow along with the lyrics as they listen.
6. The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company’s website is focused on informing, entertaining, and inspiring its readership with stories about movies that the company produces. Moreover, it highlights the company’s policies, vacancies, investor relations information, and social responsibility projects.
The Walt Disney Company is very experimental with the upper menu: move the cursor to the upper part of the main page and the responsive menu shows up while the background becomes faded. These impressive animated effects are powered by WordPress. Hint: Try searching for any responsive menu plugin to mimic the same effect on your site.
Disney uses auto-updated widgets as well — the website has a tracker for company stocks where you can adjust the time frame.
If you want your About page to stand out, try using pop-ups for company employees, like Disney. This effect is achieved with the Builder Plugin that you can find in the WordPress.org catalog.
And the last but not the least inspiring WordPress-powered feature — a slider with the photos from the history of The Walt Disney Company starting from 1923.
7. Angry Birds
Angry Birds, initially a mobile game created by Rovio, took the world by storm in 2009. Over the years, Angry Birds has seen rapid growth and evolved into an entertainment brand that covers not just mobile games, but books, animation, print products, merchandise, and a movie franchise.
The website has several key sections displayed at the top of the homepage, including Movies, Games, Animations, and Shop. Altogether, it provides its visitors with tons of video content, mobile and web games, and an online store with branded apparel and souvenirs.
If you scroll down, you’ll see that the gaming company has a separate block for all the games that are available for download now on the main page. Each game design block comes with a button that leads to a download. WordPress allows you to duplicate this approach, add the pre-designed images, and change the sequence if needed.
The Angry Birds website provides a unique experience with its historical line of products it's built since the first game was released using a photo slider widget for WordPress.
You can go even further with your experiments – add an original artwork or symbol for each year. See Angry Bird’s creative and interactive art as you scroll through the timeline.
8. The Jane Goodall Institute
The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) is a global nonprofit committed to community-centered conservation, whether it be protecting chimpanzees and great apes in Africa while improving the lives of communities around ape habitats, or supporting youth-led efforts around the world to improve their communities.
Aimed at an international audience, the website has a modest reach of 50,000 monthly visitors. Featuring a built-in billing system, the JGI site offers its visitors the possibility to donate. Its online store with merchandise is powered by a WordPress eCommerce widget.
The Jane Goodall Institute uses a photo slider that embeds GIFs to engage its audience on the homepage.
The website is also using the built-in block animation feature on its About page. You can find a similar plugin with any desired effect from the WordPress.org catalog. If you scroll over any pic on the page, a description will pop up.
9. The Obama Foundation
The Obama Foundation is a non-profit that was established in January 2014 to “carry on the great, unfinished project of renewal and global progress.” Its monthly reach is around 150,000 visitors per month.
Being quite simply structured, the website features articles, videos, and social media content reflecting the mission and vision of the Foundation’s humanitarian efforts.
The website has an animated drop-down menu visible when you scroll over the foundation logo.
The Obama Foundation is using animated blocks as well. Clicking on any of these modules will lead you to another page on the website.
10. Renault Group
French automotive company Renault Group uses its website to highlight its latest news, showcase its vehicles (complete with stunning high-quality pictures), and raise awareness of its environmental efforts. Half a million of their monthly visitors benefit from the site’s eye-pleasing layout and fast loading speed.
Renault has different designs for its menus for desktop and mobile to ensure customers can select car models even on smaller screens.
Additionally, WordPress photo sliders are repeatedly used throughout the website, provide a flexible way to create unique button designs, and are widely available in the WordPress directory.
11. Network Rail
Network Rail is a company that owns and operates the entire railway infrastructure in the United Kingdom, managing 18 of the largest stations in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The company switched to WordPress from its previous CMS in 2017, aiming simply to upgrade the website to make it easier for users to find the service it's looking for. The new WordPress-powered theme greatly improved the UX of the site. Additionally, the ability to assign various custom user roles makes it much easier for Network Rail personnel to manage the site internally. The new design layout is also far easier for users to navigate and the site is now responsive across all mobile devices.
To help customers to learn the latest company news Network Rail decided to implement a slider on the main page.
Widgets can make up a significant portion of the main page. Here’s another well-made implementation of a career interactive widget that helps the audience to find a job opportunity with the company.
TechCrunch is an American online publisher focusing on the tech industry. It is the go-to website for the latest news in the tech sector with hundreds of stories being published each day. All in all, the company is pretty much on-the-ball with keeping its 15 million monthly users in the loop.
TechCrunch distributes gated newsletters, analytics, articles, and even tickets to worldwide tech events. As we have seen before, WordPress comes in very handy for this purpose. Each post on their site has an embedded widget where the reader can easily subscribe — making it simple to convert visitors to newsletter readers.
The media outlet has also incorporated one of the leading search plugins for fast-load websites called Swiftype.
13. TED Blog
TED is a non-profit organization dedicated to “spreading ideas that matter.”The website is a collection of stories presented in the form of video presentations of various lengths. Maintaining such a high amount of video content would be a challenge for another site, but aided by the WordPress CMS, TED exceeds its visitors’ expectations.
The TED Blog has scooped close to 12.5 million unique visitors over the last 6 months, which is a strong testament to the value it offers.
The main page layout incorporates a featured image with a call to action button. If you scroll down you’ll see featured posts and new posts sections. There is a great choice of similar themes for companies who run events and want to promote videos on their website.
The TED Blog also leverages the powerful user-generated content feature of WordPress. Similar to the NYT Opinion, people can submit blog posts and become contributors to a public blog.
14. Katy Perry
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television judge. In 2013, Perry was declared the Top Global Female Recording Artist by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, and is currently the seventh top digital singles artist in the United States.
More than 60 thousand people visit her website monthly, arriving from one of the most popular search inquiries “Katy Perry gallery.” It’s only logical that as a public figure and a popular creative professional that she places a huge emphasis on visual content, like photos from tours, professional photoshoots, and videos. To delight her fans, the website (built on WordPress) incorporates animated galleries.
The video section is a set of animated thumbnails of her official videos on YouTube. The main menu leads to the star merchandise store, official social media, and links to any platform where you can buy her albums and singles.
Finding Your Inspiration
Maintaining an online presence is a must for any business. With a solution as versatile in functionality as WordPress, any business can create a site that will meet their specific goals and delight their visitors. We hope you took some inspiration from these popular brand pages and made an amazing website of your own.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.