What Is WordPress
What is WordPress? WordPress (also known as WP) if a free to use, open source Content Management System (CMS) used by millions of websites around the world. It is written in a coding language called PHP and uses a MySQL database to store information (don’t worry if those terms frighten you – you don’t need to know them!).
WordPress is traditionally seen as a blogging platform, though many people now use it to create entire websites and even e-commerce stores, which probably explains why it has become the most popular CMS is use today. It is used by more than 60 million websites, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2019.
What is a CMS
A CMS (Content Management System) is software that makes it super easy to manage the main elements of your website, without needing to understand the technical elements of putting together a website. In short, it means you can create your very own website without the need to hire a web developer.
The History of WordPress
Matt Mullenweg WordPress Founder
WordPress started out because the development of an existing blogging app called b2/cafelog was stagnating. To get the features they wanted, two users of b2/cafelog, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, took it upon themselves to create a new version of b2/cafelog. They named the project WordPress which utilised the b2/cafelog codebase as well as some additional features they had developed.
The rest, as they say, is history. Today, Automattic (parent company of WordPress), employs over one thousand people around the globe and has been valued in excess of 1 billion pounds. Matt Mullenweg still heads up the company as CEO and President.
Interesting Fact: b2/cafelog, or a version of it, is still being developed
What Sites Use WordPress?
This site for starters!
It’s also used by everyone from individual bloggers to record their daily lives to global organisations to display their wares. Here’s a couple of interesting examples:
Microsoft uses WordPress to power its official blog. It also uses WordPress to power blogs for specific products like Windows and Skype:
Nine times Olympic gold medal winner, Usain Bolt, uses WordPress to make sure his site is running as fast as possible!
The Walt Disney Company
Walt Disney with all their creativity and digital know-how, have used WordPress to create their entire website.
Why Should You Use WordPress?
I’ve already mentioned that WordPress powers over 60 million websites, which in itself makes WordPress worth trying. If you need a little more detail than that, perhaps the following reasons will catch your eye.
WordPress Is Free And Open Source.
WordPress is completely free and open source. In simple terms this means that there is no initial or ongoing cost associated with WordPress itself (some WordPress plugins and themes are chargeable).
WordPress is flexible
WordPress can be used as a blog, a web forum, a full blown website or even an e-commerce store. It’s this versatility that means that WordPress can be considered for any web develpment project – we’ve even seen it used as an online help desk.
WordPress Is Easy to customise
Customising websites takes time and skill and as a result web development work is expensive. WordPress removes the need to understand code in order to make changes to a website.
WordPress Is SEO friendly
Part of SEO best practice is having a well organised website, something referred to in SEO circles as “good site structure.” WordPress natively helps to ensure that your site conforms to best practice by organising your website into pages and posts which can have categories and tags assigned to them. If those terms are not familiar, don’t panic – you don’t need to know them at this stage.
WordPress’ also has inbuilt features designed to help improve your website’s presence on the web. At a click of a button you can allow or deny search engines from your website and notify search engines that you have published new content.
On top of this, there are a variety of WordPress plugins that will help improve your ranking in the search engines.
It’s Easy To Find WordPress Help
Learning a new topic can be daunting – it’s a leap into the unknown. Thankfully WordPress has a great online community following. If you have a question, chances are it’s been answered online, just Google it!
How to Get Started With WordPress
Step 1: Choose your brand and domain name
Step 2: Choose the right hosting for WordPress. If you are expecting low traffic levels, perhaps a few hundred vists each month, Shared Hosting will be fine. For anything above this you should consider a Cloud Server or a Dedicated Server
Step 3. Get WordPress up and running. Installing WordPress is fairly simple, it’s a case of uploading files and creating a database. You can install WordPress using Softaculous in a few clicks, as long as your host has a plan with Softaculous included.
Writing Your First Blog post
It’s really easy to write your first blog post. Simply login to WordPress, hover over the Posts link in the left hand menue, and click the Add New link and type away!
How to Customise WordPress
The simplest way to customise your WordPress site is to install a pre-built theme. These have been put together by web design professionals in such a way that all you need to add is text and images and you’ll have a great looking website.
How to Make WordPress Fast, like really fast!
So now you’ve got your first blog post online and you’ve got it looking how you want, it’s time to make it fast.
How to Secure WordPress
Securing your WordPress site is one of the most important tasks you can perform. The last thing you want, having gone to all the hard work of putting together a website, is for it to get hacked. We’ve put together two guides to help – WordPress Security Tips and Advanced WordPress Security Tips
Summary – What Is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS for websites and is loved by everyone from blog writers, to entrepreneurs, to large global corporations.
One thing to bear in mind is that there are two versions of WordPress, WordPress.org which is self-hosted and completely flexible and WordPress.com which is more restircted in terms of customisations.
If you need any WordPress advice we’re here to help!
Will’s our technical sales guy from the hills of Rossendale. In his spare time he can be found designing and building websites, or doing a spot of DIY!