WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), the world’s most popular CMS. Just like Drupal and Joomla it is a piece of software that can help you manage and organize your content into a remarkable and articulate website.
Originally, WordPress was fashioned as a blogging tool, but over the years it has become so much more than that. Nowadays, many WordPress driven websites look nothing like blogs (save that’s what the user desires). This is down to the flexibility of this amazing CMS.
WordPress powers simple blogs, corporate websites and everything in between. Companies like CNN, Forbes, Reuters, Samsung, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Wired, and many others use WordPress as part of their online presence.
WordPress is also ‘open source’ software, meaning that all of its code is free to use and customize. This is one of the powers of WordPress since programmers the world over have created their own additions to this powerful publishing platform; from website templates to plugins that extend the functionality of this amazing site building tool.
Features of WordPress
Flexible Template Design
Means that changing the look and feel of your site is as simple as installing a new theme – Very simple, its literally just a few clicks of the mouse. There are a overabundance of free and quality WordPress themes available.
More features that do not come with core WordPress can be extended with plugins. Plugins are pieces of code that you can download into your WordPress site to add new features and functions. There are thousands of plugins available and many are totally free.
Once your site is set up, you can concentrate on adding great content to your site. You simply type into a text editor within the WordPress Dashboard, hit publish, and WordPress takes care of the rest.
Easy Theme Customization
WordPress also has a feature called Widgets that allows the user to drag and drop “features” and place them in, for example, the sidebar. You may have a widget that allows you to display a poll to your visitors – for example. You can place that poll in the sidebar of your site by dragging the poll widget to the appropriate place. Widgets are typically used in the sidebars, but some templates allow widgets to be placed in the site footer, as well as in carefully designated areas of the homepage. We will look at widgets in much more detail later on in this book.
Search Engine Optimization
WordPress can help you with the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) of your site so that it has the potential to rank higher in search engines like Google and Bing.
WordPress can create just about any type of site, for example, a hobby blog, a business site, or an e-commerce store.
WordPress has a team of experts for the purpose of security. The team consults with well-known and trusted security researchers and hosting companies to make sure threats are minimized in every way.
Hosted Version (WordPress.com) vs Self-Hosted Version (WordPress.org)
There are actually two versions of WordPress. These are commonly referred to as:
1. Hosted Version available at WordPress.com, and
2. Self-Hosted Version available at WordPress.org.
These names refer to the website where that particular version of WordPress is available. They are equally WordPress, from the same company, but they are targeting different user groups so look and behave a little differently. It is vital that you understand the difference between these two.
|Features||Hosted Version (WordPress.com)||Self-Hosted Version (WordPress.org)|
|Domain Name and Hosting||Free.|
|Website customization||The site customization options are very limited.||You're in full control of your site, and can do whatever you want with it.|
|Ecommerce||It can't be used for an ecommerce site||It's great for an ecommerce site|
|Website monetization||You can't monetize your site via ads or affiliate links.||You're free to monetize your site however you want. Affiliate links, ads, sponsorships.|
Now your understand WordPress and its types we will focus on the self-hosted (WordPress.org) because:
- we want to be in full control of our website…
- we want to use a custom design
- we need the site for business purpose (important!)…