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.
WordPress Is Software for Everyone
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 that could allow 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 far wider audience, including some of the most prominent companies in the US and around the world. Now, 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 the programming language PHP. It is licensed under General Public License, which allows anyone to not only use the software but also to modify it to suit individual needs and share those modifications with others. “Open source” software is publicly available and always free so that WordPress can be downloaded at any time or installed as part of a web hosting package.
Because WordPress invites modification and improvement, it has the support of a large and growing community of designers, developers, and lovers of the software. These members of the WordPress community are constantly working on the WordPress core code, as well as organizing events and “WordPress camps” to help people learn about WordPress and solve problems with using it. 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 keeping the program stable and up to date.
Getting started with a WordPress site is as easy as simply downloading a copy from WordPress.org and installing it on a hosting platform, or using the WordPress installation feature that is 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 complete 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 a variety of features such as the site header and colors, right from the dashboard, with no need to know any code at all.
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 a variety of different ways, it can be adapted and changed to grow and change to 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 from all over the world.
WordPress can also be tailored for a variety of 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 with only a few clicks of a mouse.
WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com
WordPress can be downloaded from WordPress.org, which offers information, tutorials and access to the WordPress community along with the essential WordPress software. Because it can be installed anywhere and modified as needed, it offers users virtually unlimited control over the look and management of the site.
WordPress.org, the source for WordPress, is frequently confused with WordPress.com, which is 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.
The versatility and wide variety of themes, plugins, security features, and more are all great things to consider when building a WordPress site. WordPress is a flexible, scalable site builder and content management system that can be used by new site owners and experienced developers alike. From its early days as a simple blogging platform, WordPress has now become the most popular site builder in the world, offering users of all kinds a free and easy to use platform for sharing a message with the world.If you have any more questions about WordPress or how to build a WordPress site, please visit Bluehost.com for more information!