What is WordPress?

WordPress powers more than 43% of websites on online. That makes it he most popular way to create a website. It is used by many well known companies such as Sony, the New York Times and The Walt Disney Company.


But what is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system.

Well, that’s not a lot of help, is it?


So, what’s a content management system?

It is a tool that allows you to build a website without needing to know or understand code. It allows you to create, manage and modify the content on your website like images, graphics and text without any coding or programming knowledge required.

The code is there, but the interface you see is so much easier to understand.

You can create webpages and posts (also called blogs or articles) and the infrastructure is already there and laid out. You just need to follow along.

The interface allows all the content you create to be seen by your visitors exactly the way you want it to be seen.

When you write your content into WordPress it looks somewhat like other document programs like Microsoft Word, Google Docs and Apple Pages.

It allows you to easily upload and manage different media in the media library. Media can include images, pdf, audios and videos.

Note: I personally don’t recommend storing files and video on your website as it takes up valuable space and slows down your site when it is loading. Slow means go – people will leave your website if it is too slow. There are other places to store these types of media.

There is a front end and a back end to WordPress. You work in the front end and add your content. In the backend, the code puts the content you created into the right place and makes it visible to visitors to your website. You may never see the backend code and, really, you don’t need to.


What else can awebsite be built on if not WordPress?

There are many other content management systems out there including (but definitely not limited to):

    • Joomla
    • Drupal
    • Magento (primarily for eCommerce stores)
    • Squarespace
    • Wix

The first 3 require coding in HTML, CSS and using PHP. These are foreign languages to many and the good news is, you don’t need to know it with WordPress.

These last one in the list in particular – Wix – is of note because it explains why you can’t transfer your Wix site to WordPress – they are built using different code. They can’t transfer.


WordPress is open and free to everyone

On a technical note, WordPress is ‘open source’ code. This means that anyone can use, modify and build upon the WordPress software without having to pay any fees. This means that it is extremely responsive because there is a huge community behind it.

That’s why there are so many different bells and whistles you can add to WordPress. People are creating new things to for WordPress to do. They can sell these tools – usually as themes and plugins – that will add functionality to your website. You don’t necessarily need them, but they do exist if at some point you do want them.


A confusing name .com versus .org

There are a number of different options to build a WordPress website. The one I recommend is that you use a self-hosted WordPress site. This is the freeware WordPress.org.

I don’t recommend using WordPress.com as this is a better tool for new bloggers. WordPress.org is better for serious bloggers and businesses.

WordPress (from WordPress.org) can support a small website or a large, complicated one. It can even grow and adapt as your business grows. It is really up to you.

Because it is so customizable and flexible, I create all my websites using WordPress.

If you want to create a new website, why not make it a WordPress website?