What is WordPress?

The most used content management system in the world

WordPress is an easy to use and manage content management system used by a vast number of websites the world over. WordPress is easy and fun to use for individuals. A person with little or no prior knowledge of coding can run a WordPress website. Before you go on to make your WP website, let us have a look at what entails ahead for you.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a web-based open source software program or platform on which run over 26 million websites. WordPress is known as a content management system, or CMS for short. The WordPress CMS gives its users a centralised location where content can be published, organized, maintained, and edited, all online. Content types from text to audio and video files can be managed using WordPress.

WordPress is managed by a core development team of experienced individuals and is supported by a committed international community of independent ‘open source’ programmers & designers. These developers and programmers work independently and collectively at the same time.

Features of WordPress

WordPress combines simplicity for users and publishers with under-the-hood complexity for developers. This makes it flexible while still being easy-to-use. The following is a list of some of the features that come as standard with WordPress; some of the features that we think that you will love.

  • Simplicity
  • Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.

    No coding or programming knowledge is required to build a website using the WordPress CMS. Beginners find WordPress to be user-friendly even with no technical training or experience. This ease of use explains how and why approximately 30 percent of all websites are built using WordPress.

  • Flexibility
  • With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.

  • Publish with Ease
  • If you have ever created a document, you are already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.

  • Publishing Tools
  • WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your content. Create drafts, schedule publication, and look at your post revisions. Make your content public or private, and secure posts and pages with a password.

    36% of world's websites and more than 90% of Blogs are powered by WordPress

  • User Management
  • Not everyone needs the same access to your website. Administrators manage the site whereas editors work with content. The authors and contributors write that content, and subscribers have a profile that they can manage. This lets you have a variety of contributors to your website, and let others simply be part of your community.

  • Media Management
  • They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why It is important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text and captions and insert images and galleries into your content.

  • Full Standards Compliance
  • Every piece of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards set by the W3C. This means that your website will work in today’s browser, while maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of browser. Your website is a beautiful thing, now and in the future.

  • Easy Theme System
  • WordPress comes bundled with three default themes, but if they aren’t for you there’s a theme directory with thousands of themes for you to create a beautiful website. None of those to your taste? Upload your own theme with the click of a button. It only takes a few seconds for you to give your website a complete makeover.

  • Extend with Plugins
  • WordPress comes packed with a lot of features for every user. For every feature that’s not in WordPress core, there’s a plugin directory with thousands of plugins. Add complex galleries, social networking, forums, social media widgets, spam protection, calendars, fine-tune controls for search engine optimization, and forms.

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  • Built-in Comments
  • Your blog is your home, and comments provide a space for your friends and followers to engage with your content. WordPress’s comment tools give you everything you need to be a forum for discussion and to moderate that discussion.

  • Search Engine Optimized
  • WordPress is optimized for search engines right out of the box. For more fine-grained SEO control, there are plenty of SEO plugins to take care of that for you.

  • Use WordPress in Your Language
  • WordPress is available in more than 70 languages. If you or the person you are building the website for would prefer to use WordPress in a language other than English.

  • Easy Installation and Upgrades
  • WordPress has always been easy to install and upgrade. Plenty of web hosts offer one-click WordPress installers that let you install WordPress with, well, just one click! Or, if you are happy using an FTP program, you can create a database, upload WordPress using FTP, and run the installer.

  • Importers
  • Using blog or website software that you are not happy with? Running your blog on a hosting service that is about to shut down? WordPress comes with importers for Blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, Tumblr, and WordPress. If you are ready to make the move, we’ve made it easy for you.

  • Own Your Data
  • Hosting services come and go. If you have ever used a service that disappeared, you know how traumatic that can be. If you have ever seen adverts appear on your website, you have probably been pretty annoyed. Using WordPress means no one has access to your content. Own your data, all of it — your website, your content, your data.

  • Freedom
  • WordPress is licensed under the GPL which was created to protect your freedoms. You are free to use WordPress in any way you choose: install it, use it, modify it, distribute it. Software freedom is the foundation that WordPress is built on.

  • Community
  • As the most popular open source CMS on the web, WordPress has a vibrant and supportive community. Ask a question on the support forums and get help from a volunteer, attend a WordCamp or Meetup to learn more about WordPress, read blogs posts and tutorials about WordPress. Community is at the heart of WordPress, making it what it is today.

    (Source: Wordpress)

    Elements of WordPress

    WordPress system can be divided into three parts for different users such as content writers, SEO experts, web developers and authors. Each part is relevant for each user.

    Dashboard

    You reach your WordPress Dashboard by adding the /wp-admin to your site URL (https://yoursitename.com/wp-admin). When you are working from your site’s Dashboard, it is referred to as working in the “Back-End” of your site.

    There are two parts to WordPress: The Public and the Private. You can liken this to the public area and back-office area of any business. The front end of the site is what the site visitor sees in their browser, while the backend is where you manage content.

    Themes

    The theme determines the look of your site. The theme consists of PHP files with HTML, CSS, and Javascript all working together to display your site in a unique way. Don’t worry about messing up your content when updating your site. You can change your theme without affecting the content.

    Plugins

    WordPress Plugins are bits of code that extend the functionality of your WordPress site. It adds functions like e-commerce, scheduling calendars, and site visitor analytics. Plugins help you in a vast array of tasks like uploading, managing or manipulating images, documents, audio, video and much more.

    Plugins are similar to cell phone apps in that they are small sections of code that add different functions and features not included in a basic WordPress setup. Many thousands of plugins are available to be downloaded and added to a website to add features including security, analytics, tools for graphics and audio and video, e-commerce, and more.

    Importance of WordPress

    It is important to understand WordPress and how it works because it can be a great skill to have whether you are a developer or an entrepreneur. It can be a bit overwhelming at first but with the support of the large online community and different articles about WordPress, you are sure to be guided towards the right path.

    A CMS is often used for blogging, but a WordPress site can easily be turned into an eCommerce store, portfolio, newspaper website, or anything else your heart desires. One of the best things about WordPress is that it comes with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you will be able to create and publish content easily.

    What Kinds of Websites Can I Create with WordPress?

    WordPress is an extremely versatile tool that you can use to create several different kinds of websites. The possibilities are seemingly endless, but we have listed the most common ways people use it to give you a better idea.

    Blogs

    WordPress started as a blogging tool and it is still one of the most frequent uses of the website platform. You can start small with minimal cost, for example with Kinsta's Starter Plan of $30 per month, which gives you a robust architecture built on Google Cloud and great features. Then, as your blog gets more and more exposure, you can upgrade to more advanced options.

    Portfolios

    Artists, photographers, musicians, writers, and other creative professionals and freelancers frequently use WordPress to build their online portfolios. There are several portfolio themes available on WordPress.org, and other third-party sites, that include all features you may need, such as image galleries, lightboxes, and portfolio grids.

    Business Sites

    If you have a small business, you will also find WordPress to be a good solution for your website. Although WordPress is extremely popular with SME, it is more and more frequently used by large corporations, too.

    Charity Sites

    As WordPress has a low cost of maintenance and a relatively flat learning curve, It is not surprising that It is the favorite platform of charities as well. Thanks to WordPress, these days more non-profits have an online presence than ever before.

    Online Shops

    With WordPress, you can also create an online shop without any programming knowledge. WooCommerce, the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress allows you to add crucial features such as shopping carts, an order management system, checkout pages, one-click refunds, and other add-ons to your site.

    Popular Sites Using WordPress

    Although WordPress is mostly known as a platform for bloggers and small businesses, It is also used by many notable websites.

    The New Yorker

    The popular 'The New Yorker' magazine is powered by WordPress. Run 24x7 and accessed thousands of times a day with content writers and authors varied.

    TechCrunch

    TechCrunch is the go-to site for people interested in cutting-edge technology and start up news—maybe It is not a coincidence that they chose WordPress as their platform.

    White House

    The official .gov website of the White House also runs on WordPress. Who would have thought?

    Beyoncé

    WordPress is incredibly popular with artists, photographers, musicians, and other creatives—even the famous ones, like Beyoncé. WordPress allows her to deliver an engaging user experience to her fans.

    How does WordPress work?

    WordPress needs two components to work on any web server: PHP and MySQL.

    PHP is the language WordPress is written in which makes it dynamic. PHP is a server-side language, meaning, it runs on your web server before a page is served to the browser. PHP is one of the most popular languages on the web today, partly due to the popularity of WordPress itself!

    It is great at adding information to databases and extracting information from them based on a given criteria. From here, that information can be inserted into an HTML page. On the other hand, MySQL is an open-source relational database management system, which can be likened to working with a complex spreadsheet which files data under multiple related headings.

    Users have access to the database where data of all kinds can be created, updated, read, and deleted (CRUD). MySQL is the second most used database management system in the world and is extremely fast at responding to queries.

    Take these points to mind to have a better grasp of how WordPress works.

    Now, bear in mind that WordPress functions on three levels:

      • It provides an easy interface (known as the dashboard) for website owners to manage their content database.
      • It creates MySQL queries for the database, receives the information and publishes the page containing the required data on the path when it is requested by a browser.
      • It welcomes variety through themes, plugins and short codes so that any functionality a website owner wants can be added to the site, given they understand PHP and studies WordPress codes.

    WordPress holds all content in the MySQL database. How that information is presented on the web is up to the theme. There are a lot of themes available on WordPress which you can check out, just like Jupiter. The WordPress CMS allows you to change the theme without messing with the site’s content.

    WordPress can be accessed on three levels:

      • The user-facing website that is accessed whenever someone visits a path handled by WordPress – be it a blog, a page, or a list.
      • The admin area – also known as the Dashboard. This is accessible whenever you log-in to WordPress as an administrator.
      • WordPress’s own files on the server – this contains the files with the actual WordPress code (known as the Core), along with theme files, plugin files, CSS and the like.

    With all these things to take note of, you might get a bit rattled on how WordPress works. Take your time with each point so you can understand them better and you are well on your way to creating a stunning site!

    Little History of WordPress

    WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is modern software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. (Source: Wordpress.org)

    The history of WordPress starts like most others, with an initial idea from an everyday guy (turned genius) looking to solve a problem he had at the time.

    In this case, the year was 2002. Matt Mullenweg, a college student at the time, installed the b2 or cafelog blogging system for personal use. Unfortunately, the original creator of b2/cafelog had to give up updating his creation because of personal matters and the project and its community were left without a leader.

    On April 1st, 2003, Matt created a new branch of b2 on SourceForge by forking the original b2/cafelog system to create his own version with the help of Mike Little. Matt’s friend, Christine Tremoulet recommended calling it WordPress and that’s the name they stuck with.

    After many hundreds of commits to the official SVN repository, the first version, WordPress 0.7 was released on May 27th, 2003. The WordPress 1.0 was released in January 2004: otherwise known as the ‘Davis’ version. Mullenweg has an affinity for jazz greats. He names all updates after Jazz greats from the past and today. In addition, Matt used to include a plugin called Hello Dolly in every release. This plugin is a long-standing tribute to Louis Armstrong. (Source: Kinsta)

    Closure

    WordPress, a versatile and easy to use system is a favorite amongst businesses and individuals alike. Developers and web agencies also love to work on WordPress projects. We, at Think Leaf Solutions suggest our clients who want a premium and fast website, be it a single page or multi-page to go for WordPress.

    If you too are looking for developing a website for your organisation then please connect with us now for a free quote and we will be more than happy to help you.