What Is WordPress?

WordPressIf you’re a regular reader of this site, the question in the title may seem a little basic, but for millions of non-technical people with a desire to blog or create a site, choosing a content management system from the plethora of available options is a serious business. So, in this article, we’re going to have a look, in basic terms, at what WordPress is.

WordPress is a content management system. In the early days of the web, to create a site you’d have to work directly with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript: the languages that shape websites. HTML and CSS aren’t especially difficult to learn the basics of (JavaScript is another matter), but for someone who just wants to write and publish articles, they present a discouraging learning curve. WordPress helps users manage and publish content without having to know anything about coding a web page. Users write their content in something resembling a modern word processor and hit the publish button.

WordPress is free. WordPress is open source software and is free for anyone to download and use. It’s free because the people who create WordPress use it to build services for which they charge (like WordPress.com). They make money from the things they build with WordPress and for WordPress, but not WordPress itself, which is developed by an active community.

WordPress is popular. In fact, it’s the most popular content management system in the world by a significant margin. There are nearly 13 million WordPress sites and WordPress accounts for about half of all CMS-based sites, with the other half being made up of dozens of less popular content management systems.

WordPress is flexible. Because WordPress is so popular, it has a huge community of developers who create plugins and themes. Plugins change the way WordPress works or add functionality. Themes change the way that WordPress looks. There are many thousands of themes and plugins. If you can think of a site you want to create, there will almost certainly be themes and plugins to help you do it. And if there aren’t, there are WordPress developers you can pay to make what you need.

WordPress is for you. If you don’t want to tangle with the difficulties of setting up a website from scratch or the complexities of other content management systems, WordPress is the perfect solution. Like any other tool, you’ll have to invest a little time to understand how best to use WordPress, but there are millions of happy WordPress users who made the transition to webmaster with WordPress.

WordPress needs web hosting. To put your own WordPress site on the web, you’re going to need web hosting. Self-hosted WordPress is the option that allows you most control over your site, which means that you pay a web hosting company like Future Hosting to use their servers and bandwidth. Future Hosting’s managed virtual private servers are a great option for WordPress webmasters.

Matthew Davis is a technical writer and Linux geek for Future Hosting.

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