What is WordPress?
A simple guide for beginners.
WordPress is a simple and accessible tool for building websites without needing to know how to code.
WordPress makes it effortless for everyone to create a professional-looking online presence while being flexible enough for the website to grow along with the creator.
On the more techie side of things, WordPress is a GPLv2 licensed, open-source, content management system (CRM). Which basically means that anyone can use, modify or distribute the WordPress software for free.
A content management system is essentially a tool that allows you to store, edit and manage the essential aspects of your site like the text, images and videos; all without the need to understand web development.
Did you know…
There are over 1.1 million WordPress sites registered every six months.
Where did WordPress start and who made it?
WordPress was created in 2003 by a guy in Houston called Matt Mullenweg and a fellow Brit by the name of Mike Little.
WordPress started out as an offshoot of another blogging platform called b2/cafelog, which stopped being actively developed and updated near the beginning of 2003.
Since it’s release on May, 27th 2003, WordPress has grown exponentially and is now powering well over 75 million websites.
Being open-source, WordPress is actively maintained and improved by a massive community of web developers. In-fact only around 20% of code changes to WordPress are handled by Automattic (the parent company to WordPress).
What are WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
WordPress.org is the free, open-source WordPress software that can be installed on any web host.
It’s often referred to as self-hosted and is what people are generally referring to when they talk about WordPress.
WordPress.com is a for-profit version of WordPress created and maintained by Automattic.
It’s a managed product that utilises the same code as WordPress.org and includes hosting.
The downsides to WordPress.com is that you don’t own your website, and there are some heavy restrictions to what you can and cannot do on the site.
If you’re looking to fully own, control your website then the self-hosted WordPress.org variation should be your choice.
All you need to get started with a self-hosted WordPress site is a web server and domain name.
Did you know!
Almost all website hosting providers come with an “install WordPress” button in their control panel.
What is WordPress used for?
WordPress is used to create websites and is used for anything from personal blogs to popular eCommerce stores.
Today’s internet has hundreds of uses for websites, and with WordPress, it’s possible to create just about any of the. Some of the more popular use-cases include:
1. Blogs and Personal websites
Blogs were the first use case for WordPress and, allow the site owner to create, edit and share anything from news to opinions. (For better or worse).
2. Business sites
Over time WordPress has become the goto software for new and established business to advertise their services, products and news.
3. eCommerce stores
With the WooCommerce plugin, it’s possible to transform any WordPress powered website into a full-featured eCommerce store.
4. eLearning sites
Over the last few years, eLearning has become overwhelmingly popular; and there are plenty of WordPress plugins to make building an eLearning platform effortless.
Did you know!
WordPress is searched for nearly 3 million times every single month.
Who uses WordPress?
WordPress is used by businesses, bloggers and creatives who are looking to create a website.
With roughly 34% of all sites running WordPress, there are plenty of examples, from brands both big and small. Some you may have come across are:
The Walt Disney Company
Who uses WordPress to power its corporate website.
That utilises WordPress as a way to highlight their products and services focused toward businesses.
Even Facebook has used WordPress as their company website.
But it’s not just the big, international brands, WordPress is used by millions of local businesses too.
Why is WordPress popular?
WordPress is both free, highly customisable and has been adopted by web agencies across the globe.
Being highly accessible to everyone looking to get online, and coming with a boatload of features has helped solidify WordPress as the goto for many.
There are plenty of reasons why WordPress has grown so big, but the more influential ones are:
1. It’s Free
WordPress is open-source and allows anyone, anywhere to download, modify and publish their website free of charge.
The only thing you’d ever have to pay for is a domain name and web hosting. The same can’t be said for paid alternatives like WIX or Squarespace.
2. It’s easy to install!
Almost every web hosting platform has an “Install WordPress“; option which takes away virtually all the complications involved in setting up the software.
3. It’s Expandable
There are thousands of ways to change your WordPress site. By using pre-made and often free extensions including:
Themes which allow you to change the look, layout and feel of your website.
Plugins that are used to add extra features to your site, and can be small like adding a contact form or extensive like turning your website into an eCommerce store.
Did you know!
There are currently over 5000 free WordPress themes and over 12,000 paid theme available to download.
4. It’s Flexible
There really aren’t many website creation platforms that can offer the same versatility as WordPress.
With the ability to effortlessly add pre-made plugins and themes, you can make your WordPress website do just about anything. If there’s not a solution that matches your needs exactly, then almost any web agency can build a bespoke plugin, especially for you. In fact, that’s what we specialise in.
5. It’s got support
WordPress being so popular means that help can be found literally anywhere and in any format.
Whether it’s one of the millions of written guides, video tutorials or through a forum, help is just a stone’s throw away.
Not only are there thousands of guides floating around the internet, but with WordPress being adopted so substantially by web agencies, it’s easy to find someone who can fix any problems for you.
So, what is WordPress? It’s the easiest way to get started online.
WordPress is the quickest way to get online with a professional and extendable website.