What is WordPress?
What is WordPress? I get asked this question quite often. WordPress is an easy way for the average person to create their own blog or website without becoming a web developer or learn lots of code. It’s actually a piece of free software and once it’s installed your site is, pretty much, built for you. You can also modify the look and design of the site again without messing with the code.
Due to the fact that it’s free and easier to use than just about any other type of web design software it’s become incredibly popular. According to the creators of WordPress there are over 25 million WordPress sites online today.
One of the great benefits of using WordPress is the ability to switch themes. By changing theme you can instantly change the entire look, colors, and fonts of your website with one click. And there are literally thousands of themes that you can get for free.
There are even premium themes that you can get which are related to specific professions or businesses. For example, if you are a wedding planner, a photographer, a chiropractor, a musician, a real estate agent etc., there are themes available specifically related to your needs.
Along with themes you have the ability to add plugins and widgets. These add to the functionality of your site. It’s similar to adding apps to an iPhone. For example, if you wanted to add a contact form to your site so customers could contact you. It would be pretty difficult to do if you had to code it in HTML, but with WordPress there is a plugin for that. You simply upload it and activate it and you have a contact form. Or let’s say you want one of those fancy featured slide shows well there is a plugin for that too.
There are plugins for Facebook and Twitter integration, in fact, just like with themes there are thousands of plugins available that can make WordPress do just about anything you want. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, WordPress sites are extremely search engine friendly by default and there are even optimization plugins that can help you achieve even higher rankings in the search engines.
Now, I should point out that there are two types of WordPress. WordPress.com and WordPress.org. They are both created by the same company, but there are some significant advantages to using one over the other. With WordPress.com your domain name includes the words WordPress.com in it.
Hosting is provided by WordPress so there is no charge for it; however they reserve the right to place ads on your site. If you plan to use your site for business or any commercial purposes you don’t want other people placing ads on it unless they benefit you specifically. Also at WordPress.com you are limited as to what you can do with your site. They have lots of rules and if they don’t like your site for any reason at all they can immediately take it down.
You are also limited as to which themes and plugins that you use. You can’t just install any theme or plugin that you want. If you want to use your site for business or you are serious about a hobby that could turn into an income producing site then the software from WordPress.org is the one that I recommend. The main reason for this is because with WordPress.org you own your website. You can do whatever you want with it, as long as it’s legal, and no one can take it away from you. You would purchase your own domain name and hosting and build your site the way you want it. No one can put ads on it unless you want them to and you get paid for it.
So the real answer to the question, “What is WordPress” is it’s a piece of software that makes it easy for the average person to build their own website or blog without hiring a professional webmaster. If you want to build and maintain your own website or blog and you don’t want to spend months learning how to design or code your site then WordPress is your best choice.