What is WordPress? In layman’s terms, WordPress is a tool, a platform, or a software used to create a website or blog. Not to mention that it is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful), the most flexible and the most popular among all the other software being used today.
On a somewhat geeky definition, WordPress is an open-source Content Management Software (CMS) written in PHP licensed under GPLv2, which means it is free and anyone can modify the software.
Fun fact: According to recent statistics, WordPress is used by 63.6% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This consists 38.5% of all websites in the entire internet. You heard it right, around 4 out of 10 websites you visit are made through WordPress.
The History of WordPress
WordPress was established by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg, who both were eager to develop a more robust and featured filled blogging tool which is based on B2 code base, called b2/cafelog.
From this, WordPress was created. At first this was widely used as a blogging tool, but with consistent development paired with being an open-source platform, it grew to be a great Content Management System (CMS), that is able to create different types of website.
Who uses WordPress?
This is probably the first reason why you should use this platform. WordPress is used by individuals, groups, small businesses, big businesses, famous personalities, celebrities, news outlets and massive companies including Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of our favorites:
One of the most famous international Magazine is built with WordPress.
Even the World’s fastest man has his site running with this platform.
The music entertainment giant is powered by WordPress.
Though not really worth mentioning (lol), this website is also created by WordPress.
Why Use WordPress?
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why you’re here. If knowing that almost everyone, including multi-million companies are using this platform and does not convince you, then here’s why you should reconsider joining the community:
Free and Open-source
This is what makes WordPress community so massive. You don’t need to pay for proprietary licenses, as it allows you to use and modify the software for FREE!
However, in order to publish your website to the internet, you still need to purchase for the domain name and hosting separately.
WordPress enables you to create different types of websites—sky‘s the limit. Backed-up with the WordPress’ extensive repository of themes and plugins, you most probably will never get short of any functionality.
User-friendly and Easy to Install
Unlike other Content Management Software (CMS), you don’t need any technical knowledge to start using WordPress. Hosting providers nowadays offer seamless features where with just a few simple clicks, you will have a fully functional website.
Huge community and Abundant Knowledge base
Since WordPress is so popular, you can easily find help or fixes for any error you encounter with just a simple search using Uncle Google or Aunt Bing. Today there are also hundreds of thriving Facebook groups created in the purpose of helping each other.
*Comment down below if you want me to create a Facebook Group.
Cyber attacks are very common nowadays. But one thing WordPress excels is that updates and patches are being deployed every single day to make it more robust. With its large community, people around the world are creating innovation on strengthening the security of this platform.
WordPress Websites: What kind of websites can You create?
Now that you know what WordPress is, its features and its advantages, let’s move forward and talk about the type of websites you can create:
- Blogs – Of course how could we forget why WordPress was born in the first place? This type of websites are commonly used for News and blogging. websites.
- Porfolio – this type of website is used to promote a certain individual, usually offering a service or an expertise. Eg. Celebrities, doctors, photographers, dj’s, web designers etc.
- Business Websites – WordPress is one of the best avenue to establish your brand online. In today’s digital world, creating a professional and beautiful website is a must.
- eCommerce Stores – establishing an online store has never been easier with WordPress. In fact, WordPress is the most popular way of creating an online store, aside with the likes of Shopify are Bigcommerce.
- Forums – you easily create a online forum with WordPress.
- Social Networks- WordPress even lets you create a social platform like Facebook. Yes, you heard it right. With the help of plugins like Peepso or Buddypress, you can create your own social media platform.
- Membership sites – these types of websites are commonly used for Universities and Schools or any websites that has different member tiers, which you can also monetize.
- Event Website – looking to sell tickets online? WordPress has your back.
- E-learning website – if you are a teacher or a professional looking to sell courses online. WordPress enables you to do that easily with the help of specialized themes and plugins.
- Wedding website – Yeeeees! Letting the world know that you are going to get married is also very possible with WordPress.
And many more… These are just a few kinds of websites you can create with WordPress. Together with a professional developer and designer you can create any type of website that you want.
How to get started with WordPress?
At last, the fun part! How do you get started? What are the things you need? Where do you go first? Let’s dive in further.
The Difference Between WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
There are a lot of people new to WordPress fall in this confusion, so before you start creating your WordPress website it is important to know what their differences are.
WordPress.com is a freemium hosting service that is powered by WordPress software. In other words it uses WordPress as its core Content Management System (CMS). It lets you create a personal blogging website for free. It has a different subscription tiers which offers more as you go higher with the premium packages.
WordPress.org on the other hand is the free and open-source software you could install on your web host to create a website. In short, When people say WordPress it refers to WordPress.org. It also is being called as self-hosted WordPress, since everything you build using the software is 100% yours.
In other words, WordPress.com is a web hosting service provider and WordPress.org is the free, open-source software/tool we have been discussing all throughout this topic.
A sweet memorable Domain Name
This is the first step in website creation – choosing a domain name. A domain name is basically the name of your website. For example, facebook.com – their domain name is facebook.com. Pretty straight forward, right?
Your main goal is to make it catchy and memorable, so that users can easily visit your website.
A Fast Web Hosting
A web hosting in a nutshell is a service that allows anyone to post a website onto the internet. There a lot of web hosting companies out there that offers web hosting services but only few notable companies are giving the best quality of service, these are some that we recommend:
It is worth mentioning that choosing a fast web host is very crucial since Speed is one of the biggest factors in creating a great website. In fact google likes fast websites and is considering website speed a parameter in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
A well-coded Theme
As a beginner, it is important to know what theme you are going to use for your website and how to install it. Take note that themes are not created equally, some are fast but some have lots of bugs and errors. There are also themes that are built specifically for a type of website so as a beginner, you can easily get lost. Let me give you some of the most popular themes being used today, as they are fast, well-coded, and FREE (yey!):
WordPress Plugins gives or extends a feature and/or functionality to a website. For example, if you want your website to collect information, you can install a contact form plugin. Or If you want to sell online, you can install an eCommerce plugin. There are tons of plugins that give different functionalities to a website and the same with themes, plugins are not made equally. So to give you a head start, we have listed my personal must-have plugins, in no particular order:
a. Security Plugins: gives additional security to your website:
– – iThemes (free) or
– – Wordfence (free)
b. SEO Plugins: gives additional features for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
– – Yoast SEO (free) or
– – RankMath (free)
c. Form Plugins: gives the capability to create contact forms.
– – Ninja Forms or
– – WP Forms
d. eCommerce plugins: this give the functionality to sell products online.
– – Woocommerce or
– – Easy Digital Download
e. Designing Plugins: extends the functionality to design your website
– – Elementor or
– – Beaver Builder or
– – Brizy
Summary: So what is WordPress? It is by far the best tool you can use to create a website!
It did not become the most popular for no reason. So if you need to create any type of website, WordPress is the best available tool out there.