What is WordPress?

WordPress intranet

What is WordPressBefore getting started with WordPress, it is important to understand what WordPress is all about.

WordPress is an open source tool that can be used to create a website. Tools to create and manage a website are generally referred to as Content Management Systems (CMS). WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world right now. In fact, more than 30 percent of all websites run on WordPress (!).

Who’s using WordPress?

WordPress is used by many blogs and news outlets. Even Fortune 500 companies are using it. Blogs like Mashable, TechCrunch and TheNextWeb all run on WordPress. And it doesn’t end there. Even musicians like The Rolling Stones are using WordPress for their website. Want to see more examples of organizations and celebrities that use WordPress to run their website? Head over to the WordPress Showcase and see for yourself!

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WordPress is free

WordPress is popular because it is very user friendly and has a huge community. Also, WordPress is 100 percent free to use. The fact that WordPress is an Open Source project means that thousands of volunteers all over the world are working on WordPress 24/7. These developers help improve the WordPress Core and build themes, plugins and other cool stuff that enhances the functionality in WordPress.

A famous example of a WordPress plugin is WooCommerce, which allows users to build a full eCommerce store in WordPress. In 2015, WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. To read more about this, check out the Automattic Acquires WooCommerce article on WPTavern.

You can download WordPress for free on the WordPress.org website, or start a free website via WordPress.com. Most beginners choose WordPress.com, but later on choose to switch to WordPress.org because it allows more freedom in terms of plugins and monetization.

To read more on this topic, check out our article: The difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org »

How does WordPress work?

The internet started off with a lot of websites being built in HTML. Then, PHP and other programming languages were used to enhance the functionality of websites. CSS was used to format text and create layouts. Your browser (for instance, Google Chrome) reads this code and displays the appropriate content and formatting.

Today, the process of creating a website is much easier. Free software like WordPress can be used to write the difficult code for you. Installing WordPress on a web server or hosting package takes less than five minutes. That means that within a few minutes you can have your website online! All that without writing a single line of code!

When to choose WordPress

If you need an easy tool to build your own website, without learning how to code first, WordPress is by far the best solution out there. WordPress is very easy to use thanks to its simplicity and basic layout. However, if you want to push your website to the next level, WordPress allows you to make it as complicated as you want! There are thousands of WordPress themes, plugins and services that transform your WordPress website into a full fledged web application.

Roger Overdevest

Owner of WPLounge.nl, the biggest Dutch blog about WordPress.