If you are reading this then chances are you have heard about WordPress but don’t know exactly what is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular tool used today to build websites. WordPress currently powers more than 25% of world’s websites. Be it BBC America, eBay Inc, Sony Music or ESPN Product Blog, most of the popular websites today are built with WordPress. Right from single page websites to fully functional e-Commerce stores, everything can be built with WordPress.
What You Can Build with WordPress?
WordPress can be used to build many different kind of websites. Here are a few types of websites that you can build with WordPress:
- E-Commerce Store
- Membership site
- Portfolio website
- Rating website
- Job Board
- Content Management System
- SaaS applications etc.
You can build almost any type of website that you can think of.
A Bit of History About WordPress
When it launched it was primarily a blogging tool. However over the years it has turned into a full Content Management System (CMS for short).
WordPress is an Open Source project built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under GPLv2 (or later). This means it is completely free to use and modify. Being Open Source, there are thousands of volunteers around the globe who contribute to the development of WordPress.
You can download WordPress from WordPress.org and then install it on your web host or local computer. There is also a free service called WordPress.com which lets you get started with WordPress without having to worry about downloading and installing WordPress.
WordPress.com is provided by a company called Automattic which was founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 9, 2010, Automattic handed over the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation which is the umbrella organization supporting WordPress.org.
How WordPress Works?
Once installed, you can login into the admin panel of WordPress from where you can control the look and feel of your website and how it functions.
The look and feel of your website is controlled by WordPress Themes. There are over 2500 free themes that you can choose from while more are being added regularly. You can also buy premium WordPress Themes like Astra that I always recommend to everyone.
The functioning of your website is controlled by WordPress Plugins. There are over 45000 free plugins to choose from and more get added almost daily. Similar to themes, you can also buy premium plugins to make your website function as you want. Some plugins like Beaver Builder make it easier for you to build your website by simply dragging and dropping various elements like buttons, icons, text boxes etc. on your webpage. Read this detailed guide on how WordPress website works for more details.
If you do not want to install any of the available free or premium themes and plugins, you can write your own themes and plugins too. This will require some coding knowledge in PHP.
The WordPress core is constantly updated to keep it secure and to add more functionality to WordPress. Every time there is an update, you can simply update your WordPress installation directly from the admin panel.
Learning More About WordPress – The WordPress Community
WordPress has a huge community supporting it. You can learn more about WordPress from support forums and mailing lists.
You can also attend or volunteer at WordCamp near your location. WordCamps are free to low-cost live events organized by WordPress users to educate everyone about WordPress. They take place all around the world. You can check out the nearest WordCamp to you on the official WordCamp site.
And if you are still wondering whether WordPress is the right choice for you, you can read about 27 reasons why you should use WordPress.
I hope you now understand what is WordPress and if you still have any questions just leave a comment.