What is WordPress?
WordPress is a simple-to-use content management system (CMS) for creating websites or blogs. WordPress is so popular that it has a whopping 60.4% market share and powers 33.5% of all the sites in the world. That means that more than one-third of all websites are built using this CMS. There are many other content management systems, frameworks, and online builders competing for the remaining two-thirds. For example, the popular Wix online builder only has a 1.9% market share. So, chances are, the next website you visit is built with WordPress or something else.
WordPress.org versus WordPress.com
WordPress.com is a freemium service that hosts your site for you. Your website comes prepackaged; all you need to do is choose a theme and make a few tweaks to the configuration. Paying for a premium plan unlocks more features such as a custom domain name.
The downside to WordPress.com is that, even with a paid plan, you have limited options when it comes to how much customization you can do. You, also, don’t own your website, WordPress.com does. Which means that if you ever decide to strike out on your own with a self-hosted site, you’ll have to start from scratch.
With self-hosted WordPress, you own everything, including the source code. The only things you pay for are hosting (required), a domain name (required), and hiring a designer/developer (optional).
For the rest of this article, we’ll be talking about WordPress.org or self-hosted WordPress.
No, really. What is WordPress
WordPress is open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0 (GPLv2), which means that you are free to use or modify it in any way. Not only that, but you have complete access to the source code, and you’re free to run it on any server you like.
A content management system is a type of software that stores essential information about your website – like text, images, and even layout templates – in a database. It accesses that information only when it needs it, making for a flexible and dynamic system that’s hugely versatile. The other cool thing about a CMS like WordPress is that you don’t have to know much about how it works to build amazing websites.
WordPress makes building websites possible for everyone – even people non-coders.
What can I do with WordPress?
When WordPress first started, way back in May of 2003, it was a blog creation platform. Over the years, it has transformed into the website creation platform that we know it as today. Recently, thanks to upgrades to the core code, including the addition of the Guttenberg editor in version 5, WordPress has become an extremely flexible platform. Also, the ecosystem of free and premium themes and plugins make it possible to extend WordPress capabilities limitlessly.
- Business sites
- Ecommerce stores
- Personal websites
- Social networks
- Membership sites
- Directory sites
- Real Estate sites
- Any website you can think of
What websites use WordPress?
The Obama Foundation website is built with WordPress. It has a slide-out menu in the left sidebar, 2-column Twitter feed, and email signup forms.
WordPress powers the official Whitehouse.gov website. It features a twitter feed and email signup forms.
American Movie Classics, home of The Walking Dead, is a WordPress website and features impressive full-page graphics and sliding navigation.
WordPress powers Disney’s clean, no-nonsense corporate website.
The famous fashion and lifestyle magazine uses the WordPress platform. The website makes good use of whitespace and features several different post layouts, email signup forms, and an exit-intent popup.
Why should you choose WordPress?
We already know that WordPress powers over one-third of all websites, and we learned that some high-profile organizations use it. But what about you?
Well, whether you’re a small or medium-sized business, blogger, an online retailer, an artist, a big corporation, or anything else, WordPress can work for you.
WordPress is free
WordPress Is extendable and flexible
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to create a fantastic web presence for yourself or your company. WordPress looks great out of the box, and with a few modifications, you can personalize it to fit you or your brand.
You can choose from over 50,000 free plugins to extend the functionality of your site, like adding a contact form, a slide-out menu, or even a complete online store.
And, you can pick one of over 5,000 free themes to help enhance and personalize the look and feel of your site.
WordPress is easy to install
WordPress is SEO friendly
It's easy to get help with WordPress
- Facebook Groups
- Online learning communities like Udemy and Treehouse
- WordPress Stack Exchange
So how are you planning to use WordPress? Leave a comment, share your site, and happy WordPressing.