You might be asking yourself, “What is WordPress?” “What is WordPress used for?” WordPress powers nearly a third of the world’s websites.
With tools for everyone from personal bloggers to large corporations, this powerful site builder and content management system (cms) aims to make it possible for anyone to create an online presence in minutes.
The WordPress platform is flexible, scalable, and always free to use. Here’s a look at some of the key features of the world’s most popular site-building software.
What exactly is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the world’s most simple and popular content management systems or CMS for short. This means you provide the content while the platform does all the coding and organizing. If you’re looking for the right web builder to get your website started, WordPress is the way to go.
WordPress is an open-source website creation project, which means there are hundreds of volunteers all around the world working to improve the platform every day. It also means it’s free to use without paying a licensing fee.
There’s an essential difference between using WordPress.com and the self-hosted WordPress.org. We recommend using WordPress.org because although it requires you to use a domain and website hosting, it means you’ll completely control your content.
You can use custom themes and plugins, your site will be ad-free, and you can use custom analytic tools that work better than the ones that come with WordPress.com. In addition, you can create a fully customizable online store using WooCommerce!
Who should use WordPress?
If you’re wondering whether WordPress is for everyone, here’s a breakdown of the features of WordPress that explains how it works well for all users.
WordPress began in 2003 as a piece of free blogging software created by Mike Little and Mike Mullenweg, who continues to run WordPress.org, the company that makes WordPress available to anyone who wants to create a website or blog.
In developing WordPress and making it perpetually free, its creators hoped to “democratize publishing” by designing a site-building program allowing anyone to have a voice and presence online.
The features that made WordPress so appealing to bloggers and other kinds of Internet publishers also appealed to a wider audience, including some of the most prominent companies in the US and worldwide.
WordPress is the platform of choice for a long list of household names, including Sony Music, Variety, Time, Inc., and the Disney Company, along with millions of smaller business and personal sites.
The most recent version of the platform has been downloaded over 22 million times so far, and new versions continue to be developed by the large WordPress user community.
WordPress is free to use and modify
WordPress is an open-source, free website creation tool written in PHP.
It is licensed under General Public License, which allows anyone to use the software and modify it to suit individual needs and share those modifications with others. “Open source” software is publicly available and always free, so WordPress can be downloaded anytime or installed as part of a Managed WordPress hosting package.
Because WordPress invites modification and improvement, it has the support of a large and growing community of designers, developers, and lovers of software.
These members of the WordPress community are constantly working on the WordPress core code and organizing events and “WordPress camps” to help people learn about WordPress and solve problems with using it. In addition, WordPress users of all levels of experience are invited to join the WordPress community and contribute in any way they can to support other users and keep the program stable and up to date.
Getting started with a WordPress site is as easy as downloading a copy from WordPress.org and installing it on a hosting platform or using the WordPress installation feature offered by most web hosting providers. No matter how it’s acquired or installed, WordPress is completely free.
WordPress works for all users
As its creators intended, WordPress can be used by anyone, from a beginner to a seasoned developer. For new users with no design or development experience, a WordPress website can be set up as a “one-click install” on a hosting platform using one of the hundreds of free-to-use WordPress themes.
These themes allow users to customize various features, such as the site header and colors, right from the dashboard, without needing to know any code.
For users with experience in website design or development, WordPress allows access to all parts of the software, including its theme and plugin systems, application framework, and scripts, so that it can be customized to suit the needs of any site.
Because WordPress can be modified in various ways, it can be adapted and changed to grow and meet the evolving needs of an expanding business.
WordPress is flexible
One reason WordPress is so popular is because of its virtually endless flexibility. WordPress comes with access to an extensive gallery of free themes that users can choose from at any time to set or change the look and functionality of a site.
Beyond that, anyone can buy and install a custom WordPress theme created by designers worldwide.
WordPress can also be tailored for various additional functions with a long list of plugins that add features, such as online storefronts, magazine layouts, and galleries, to a basic WordPress theme. WordPress Plugins can also be purchased from third-party developers and installed through the site’s WordPress dashboard.
Site owners can mix and match plugins to fine-tune the site and extend its features, and even inexperienced users can install and start using it with only a few clicks of a mouse.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
WordPress can be downloaded from WordPress.org, which offers information, tutorials, access to the WordPress community, and essential WordPress software.
In addition, because it can be installed anywhere and modified as needed, it offers users virtually complete control over the look and management of the site.
WordPress.org, the source for WordPress, is frequently confused with WordPress.com, a third-party hosting solution that allows users to set up and run a site for free as a subdomain of WordPress.com itself.
The basic features of a WordPress.com site are free to use, but users can upgrade to a premium version that allows more options and a unique domain name.
But unlike WordPress itself, which can be installed anywhere and modified as needed, WordPress.com sites are limited to the platform’s choice of themes, and users don’t have access to the site’s PHP code or the many plugins and other themes available for use with WordPress itself.
Getting started with WordPress
One of the major benefits of using WordPress is its versatility. You can use it for your portfolio or your Fortune 500 business – it’s that flexible.
The key to this flexibility lies in the themes you can choose. Themes are free templates that give your site the certain look and feel you want to achieve, and there are thousands to choose from.
WordPress is also extremely user-friendly. It’s easy to change something on your site, and you won’t need to rely on a webmaster to make the changes on his or her time because you can do it yourself in seconds. Also, you don’t need to learn the programming language HTML CSS because the WordPress software script does that for you!
It only takes a few minutes to install the WordPress software script on your computer. Make sure that you have the newest version of WordPress installed. Once it’s installed, you can create your webpage quickly without needing to learn HTML – something that would have taken you months, if not years, to perfect.
After you pick a free theme, there are thousands of plugins you can choose from to further customize your site. There are premium themes available if none of the free versions suit your needs.
Plugins are pieces of software you can install to add functionality to your site. Some of the best and most common plugins we recommend include Akismet, BackWPup, and All in One SEO. Akismet ensures the comments you receive on your site aren’t harmful spam!
BackWPup allows regular backups of your site, so you don’t lose any precious content if something goes wrong. All In One SEO helps search engines optimize your blog posts or content. There are thousands of useful plugins available through WordPress, so feel free to browse and choose which functions will work best for your site. In addition to free plugins, there are premium plugins to choose from, too.
Because WordPress is open source, there are new advancements and improvements daily. This constantly evolving system was created by a community of members devoted to making the platform the best option, bar none, for people who want to start their own website.
If you use the self-hosted WordPress.org, you will be responsible for the updates, but they only take one click. Easy enough!
We love WordPress, but it can be tough to tackle. In addition to an official WordPress forum and multiple sites devoted to helping people like you get their WordPress hosting and websites up and running, our support line is always open if you have any questions. Give us a ring at +1 888 401-4678; we’d be happy to help.
Common questions related to WordPress
Yes, WordPress is highly suitable for small businesses and blogs due to its user-friendly interface, customizable design options, extensive plugin library, and SEO-friendly nature. Its versatility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness make it an ideal CMS choice, empowering businesses and bloggers to establish a strong online presence and attract targeted audiences.
WordPress is highly secure and reliable, thanks to its dedicated team continuously working on improving its security features and addressing vulnerabilities. With regular updates, robust user authentication, and a vast plugin ecosystem for enhanced security, WordPress provides a trustworthy platform for businesses and bloggers to protect their valuable data and ensure a stable online presence.
Yes, WordPress offers built-in analytics and reporting features through plugins like Jetpack and Google Analytics. These tools enable users to track website traffic, visitor behavior, conversions, and other valuable insights. By leveraging WordPress’s analytics capabilities, businesses and bloggers can make data-driven decisions to optimize their online performance and achieve their goals.
Certainly! WordPress provides various avenues for monetization. You can leverage advertising networks, affiliate marketing, sponsored content, or sell products/services directly. With plugins like WooCommerce and easy integration with payment gateways, WordPress empowers bloggers and businesses to generate revenue from their website or blog efficiently.