What Is WordPress? The Basics Of The World’s Most Popular CMS
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Every year millions of new websites are published, and more than one-third comes from a free platform called WordPress.
With its open-source management system, WordPress revolutionized and simplified the process of creating beautifully designed webpages. The platform encourages people to take their businesses to the web and find their place in international online markets.
In this article, you’ll find out everything you need to know about WordPress and how to make use of all the features and potentials.
Have You Heard of WordPress?
If you don’t know what WordPress is, it can be described as the most popular free blogging sites for making websites. As more than 38% of all websites on the internet are WordPress sites, its significance is unparalleled.
WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) and everyone can modify the code, which also makes WordPress free to use. Also, it allows users to build their websites from scratch, add content, images, themes, and continuously improve their sites without any programming knowledge.
In short, it’s the most popular CMS in the world for a reason.
Who Can Use WordPress?
From governments to freelancers, everyone can access WordPress and use the platform to create a website.
A good number of big corporations, media companies, and celebrities have created their websites on WordPress. In case you didn’t know, Microsoft’s official blog, The Rolling Stones’ website, The New Yorker, Variety, Beyonce, and many more have used the platform to create their content.
Where to Start?
Here’s what you need to know about the two WordPress sites:
- WordPress.org is a self-hosted free software that you can install on your web host and create a website that’s strictly yours
- WordPress.com is a paid service powered by WordPress.org software
- When people talk about WordPress, they mostly refer to the self-hosted page
The WordPress Platform
At its core, WordPress works as a simple interface that is similar to the desktop publishing software. Most users can figure it out quite fast as it has become more intuitive, and they need little or almost no support in the first days.
The Benefits of WordPress
The question is – why should I use WordPress? Here are some of the strongest arguments in favor of using WordPress for your website.
It’s a Great Tool for Beginners
Nonprogrammers can rely on WordPress to create their first website. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on developers, designers, or writers – you can do it yourself.
Install and Use
WordPress developers worked hard to create an easy installation method. When you go to the WordPress website, you just have to click on the ‘Get WordPress’ button and it’ll take you to a free download page. New users don’t have to worry about the installation as it goes fast and without any interruptions.
Related: How to install WordPress
Lots of Plugins
Nothing else makes editing websites as easy as WordPress. And with more than 50,000 plugins, your website can grow at the same pace as your business. They range from useful protection plugins and forum pages to valuable tools to track user engagement.
Related: The best WordPress SEO plugins
Using plugins and themes, WordPress has a huge collection of over 5,000 themes. With an abundance of options and creative solutions, it becomes easy to find one that works for you and your company’s content.
There are a lot of widgets available for WordPress websites. Each performs a function to improve user experience. Depending on the theme, their location can be different.
Variety of Domains at Hand
WordPress can provide you with a choice of domains for your website. Whether it’s a new blog, online store, or business page, the right domain can point customers in the right direction.
Strong Media Support
WordPress websites support a large number of images, audio, video, and document files. You can easily upload standard file formats and you’ll have no problem with uploading the more specific ones.
A Lot of Support
Due to the staggering popularity of WordPress, there’s an abundance of blogs, tutorials, forums, and groups where users talk over things and help each other. It’s almost impossible not to find a solution to any problem that you might be facing while building your website.
The official WP Support is an excellent place for beginners who need support as they work on their first website on WordPress.
Not to Forget – WordPress is Free!
As an open-source project, WordPress is free for everyone. Users can sometimes help out the contributors as beta testers or brand ambassadors. Of course, even though the software is free, you might have to spend a few extra bucks for hosting as WordPress is self-hosted. Still, your overall costs with WordPress will be minimal.
The Downsides of WordPress
Lack of Security
One of the biggest flaws of WordPress websites is security. As the plugins and themes are developed and tested by a huge variety of people and organizations, the unscrupulous can set up bugs or add malicious code to the system. The bigger WordPress gets, the harder it gets to keep track of everything that’s happening, and it inevitably becomes a bigger target for hackers worldwide.
It Needs Constant Updates
The second biggest problem is the constant updates as they can be incompatible with your themes. The more plugins you use, the less responsive your website can be. In some cases, the maintenance of a WordPress website could be a serious challenge.
Optimized for Different Content
Many people recognize WordPress as a platform for blog creation, as it was mostly used for creating blogging sites in the beginning. But no longer. With each new release and update, WordPress has grown into a platform that combines blogging interface and many other features. It’s suitable for just about any websites these days, including:
You can find countless themes and plugins to develop your platform and make your blog recognizable. Also, you can connect your WordPress site with various SEO tools, the email marketing tool Mailchimp, and integrate it with Google Analytics.
Compared to Blogger and Squarespace, WordPress is more intuitive, has a bigger variety of themes, and it’s free. It doesn’t come as a surprise that most bloggers choose WordPress as a starting point.
Countless big brands went with WordPress business websites as it allows them to make staggering websites. Small businesses and up to Fortune 500 companies use WordPress to communicate with customers and use plugins to ensure that the FAQ page and event calendar are working impeccably. With a WordPress Business Plugin, any corporate website will be equipped with features like Team Members section, FAQs, Testimonials, and many more.
Media giants like People Magazine, The New Yorker, Vogue, and Australian Herald turned to WordPress to make sure their websites provide the best experience for readers. That’s why WordPress is constantly creating modern themes and useful plugins like scrolling widgets, custom news posts, and many others.
With WooCommerce, the very popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, the platform has become a go-to solution for numerous businesses that want to sell online, not just only retailers but any companies or people in search of an online store. As it was built exclusively for WordPress, WooCommerce will smoothly adapt to your theme in setting up your online store.
WooCommerce adds a large collection of eCommerce functions like product display pages, flexible shipping solutions, shopping carts, and payment features.
Podcasts are becoming so popular that many of them use a website for marketing and to store all the episodes. WordPress enables the management of episodes, connection with Google Play Music and iStore, as well as managing subscriptions and many other features.
WordPress enables users to organize a website in a way that all information has its place and is easily accessible. Some plugins manage site forums where users can communicate, give opinions, write answers, and more.
After you’re done with the five-minute installation, here’s what you can do with your newly created WordPress account.
- Log In to your WordPress account.
- Once you’re in, you will see an administration screen called ‘Dashboard.’
- On top of the page, you’ll see your WordPress site name, and if you want to see how your website looks, tap on it.
- Go to ‘Users’ and click on the ‘Your Profile’ option.
- Fill in the information required, and you’ll become the administrator of the site.
- Click ‘Update Profile,’ and you’re all set.
Would You Choose WordPress for Your Website?
WordPress is a robust platform that enables users to create good-looking websites free of charge. Today, creating a website doesn’t seem like an impossible task, and it’s all thanks to CMS platforms like WordPress. However, like any other platform, it has flaws that can’t be disregarded lightly.
In any event, if you’d rather not deal with WordPress and the flaws on your own, you can always hire an agency to build and maintain a site for you on WordPress.