NOTE: We are talking about WordPress.org in this article, not WordPress.com
Do you know about WordPress? WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP. In a simplest way, WordPress is the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS). In fact, WordPress powers over 35% of all the websites on the Internet.
At a much more technical level, WordPress is a GPLv2 licensed open-source content management system, which ensures that anybody can use or change the WordPress software for free. A content management system is essentially a tool that makes it easy – like content – to manage important aspects of your website without having to learn anything about programming.
The end result is that WordPress makes it possible for everyone to create a website – even people who are not developers.
WordPress is used by individuals, big businesses, and everyone in between! On an immediate note, we use WordPress! So the very site that you’re looking at right now is powered by WordPress.
By the way, if you’re ever curious about who uses WordPress, head on over to the WordPress site showcase and you’ll be impressed by the number of well-known sites and famous people using WordPress to power their websites.
As we stated above, WordPress is open source software, that means you are free to download, install, use and modify it to match your needs. You can use it to create any kind of website.
WordPress won’t cost you a penny, with no one-time or monthly fees required to install the platform. You just download it, and it’s yours.
NOTE: Although the WordPress software is free, you will most likely end up spending a bit of money because WordPress is self-hosted, so domain and hosting are required.
One of the common misunderstandings about WordPress is that it’s primarily for blog building. That was just the case at one point in time. WordPress has been established as a blogging site, but with the many new releases over the years, this has changed dramatically.
The list is endless, but here’s a taste of the types of websites you can make with WordPress:
A new installation in WordPress will start with a bare design of the web. It features a simple site title, a sample blog post, a section on comments, a section on post archives, and some other sections. Suffice to say, very few people leave their WordPress site as is, because it’s too generic.
That is where themes come in. Themes are one-click solutions which fully overhaul your site’s look. They can also be customised, so you can configure your chosen theme to differentiate it from the hordes of other users who wanted the same style.
WordPress themes are easy to customize because a lot of them come with their own options panel allowing you to change colors, upload logo, change the background, create beautiful sliders, and truly customize it to your needs without writing any code at all.
Most WordPress installations come with an already installed anti-comment spam plugin, although you can add features such as Jetpack for performance and statistics on the website.
WordPress plugins are like applications you can use to add advanced features such as analytics, contact forms, membership area and more. Apart from adding extra features, some WordPress plugins will make your website a whole new platform.
Plugins are similar to themes, in that both free and premium versions can be found. You can use your WordPress dashboard to search for new plugins, or go to the WordPress plugin library. This library has over 50,000 plugins which are mostly free. Many premium plugins are also available over the internet. The biggest difference between a free and premium plugin is that with a paid plugin, you get better customer support. You can go to CodeCanyon website to find premium plugin.
WordPress is well known to have SEO built into the platform. Indeed, WordPress generates title tags and meta descriptions for all of your pages and posts automatically. This helps search engines to learn about your content, and it will get you indexed and moved up in the rankings potentially.
SEO plugins can also further improve the search engine chances of your site. A common option is Yoast, which can analyze the SEO of a new post and help you boost the chances of Google and other search engines.
Besides Yoast, there are also several other plugins that you can use to upgrade your SEO game. For example, Google XML Sitemaps generates a sitemap in the XML markup language to make your website more Google-readable.
WordPress isn’t just about writing a text. It comes with an integrated media uploader for managing images, audio files, and video files. WordPress supports oEmbed enabled websites which means you can embed YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Tweets and Soundcloud audio by simply pasting the URL into the WordPress post editor.
Feel free to check out the long list of accepted file types for WordPress, but know that the following primary categories are all accepted:
As an open-source software, WordPress can be used by anyone. Pricing, premium customer support or even skill level don’t restrict the userbase. Yeah, there are plenty of things to know about WordPress, but for ten minutes everybody might play around with the dashboard and start learning how the interface functions.
And because there are not many roadblocks to get access to the software, users have created blogs, forums, online classes, seminars, webinars, and books, all detailing different facets of the WordPress site. Then there’s the more formal WordPress customer service. You may either pay extra money for dedicated support or use WordPress forums to operate.
If you want a website to be modified by many users, adding new users is as easy as pie. Just open the WordPress CMS, go to the section Users, and add a new user. These people then get their own username and password which, if appropriate, administrators can suspend or delete. You may also assign different roles to users, such as Contributor, Author, Editor, or Admin.
The Contributor is possibly the best choice for most people to use. This helps people to add their own posts but they are not allowed to delete them or edit them. This may require extra work for the administrator or writer, but it’s better than granting permissions to people they don’t need.
Many web hosts (such as Bluehost and HostGator) offer one-click installs, making starting with your new site very convenient. You will also need to spend time modifying your theme and installing plugins, but it is pretty fast and easy to get up and running.
On most major Web hosts, as well as specialized VPS providers like Digital Ocean, you can find one-click WordPress installs. However, make sure there is a one-click WordPress install available before you sign up. Otherwise, you’re going to be stuck prepping your own LAMP stack, and setting up your own MySQL database.
There are definitely some downsides, but overall, WordPress is a fantastic tool to create the next website. It is an extremely valuable tool and it makes it easy to publish a part of your web experience. You’ll have some work to do before you can show your website to the world, but this shouldn’t be a issue for advanced users