Since this is going to be a blog about WordPress as well as my first article, I think the best way to start will be by discussing what exactly WordPress is. So here we go…
If you have just entered into the webmastering or the web designing/development business, by now you must have heard about WordPress and if you have been in the scene for the past few years then for sure you have heard about WordPress. So What is WordPress?, lets try to answer the question in a simple manner
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source web script (a web software) using which you can create a web blog or a website. One has to just upload the WordPress software into their web server or web hosting account, install it and voila! You have your own website!!
Initially intended just to be a blog (a personal web log) publishing platform, over the years, due to the huge community who work round the clock to extend and improve upon its capabilities, WordPress has grown into one of the most used and preferred Content Management System (CMS) (A content management is a system used to manage various kind of websites).
Who Created It and When?
Wordpress was released on March 27, 2003 as a fork of another blogging platform called b2/cafelog by Matt Mullenweg. Matt had been previously using b2/cafelog for his personal weblog but in 2002 the person behind b2/cafelog, Michel Valdrighi decided to discontinue with the development of the blogging software. Several months after development of b2 had stopped, Matt announced on his blog his plan of forking b2 (You may like to read his announcement post here: “The Blogging Software Delimma“). He was joined by Mike Little and together they started WordPress from the b2 codebase. Later on, Michel Valdrighi the original developer of b2 also joined them.
Since then, it has been an uphill ride for WordPress, each version of WordPress releases are downloaded by millions of people and there are thousands of web developers and web development companies who are working on building new themes and plugins for WordPress and on customizing WordPress for different clients.
WordPress vs Standard websites:
You may wonder, why would one prefer WordPress against standard websites build with HTML or PHP. The main advantage that WordPress offers over HTML and PHP websites is that in HTML and PHP websites most of the content is stored in separate files, one may need to edit each of the files to add any new content and most of the time may need to know programming to do the same. While on the other hand people using WordPress do not need to take up this pain of knowing programming and editing, reuploading each files, because most of the contents are saved in database. Also people can edit content through an admin panel which offers a huge amount of options to customize the website, edit content and add new contents. While yes, admin panels can be added to even standard websites by hiring developers but WordPress is more cost effective since it is free, bug-free, secure and on top of that thousands of developers are constantly working on developing new extensions and features for WordPress.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com
Many of you may have heard about WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is the website where you can download the WordPress script/software and upload it and install on your own web server and host. You will need a web hosting and a domain name for using WordPress software to create a site. While on the other hand WordPress.com is also owned by the same guys who look after WordPress, that is Automattic but is the hosted service for WordPress. WordPress.com offers free blogs to one who cannot afford buying a web hosting or a domain.
Wordpress.com blogs are sub domains of WordPress.com, something like example.wordpress.com but you can buy a domain and later on use it with your WordPress.com blog. You cannot use other ad networks with WordPress.com blog like Chitika, Adsense. Previously they only used to show their own ads in WordPress.com blog but have recently come up with their very own ad network which may help you to earn some money with the blog. Also WordPress.com users are limited to a few selections of themes and plugins that WordPress.com offers, they cannot upload any external themes or plugins. You cannot edit the code nor do you have HTML access.
For advanced users, WordPress.com offers paid upgrades for features such as domain name, custom CSS design, additional space and upload of audio and video files.
So if you are serious about having a site, then it will be preferential for you to use the WordPress.org script and install it on your own server since it offers more flexibility and functions.
Wordpress Themes are one of the most important aspect of WordPress that has helped WordPress become so successful. WordPress themes can be said to handle the design part of WordPress. Just like we humans have different clothes, hairstyles, skin colors which determine our appearance, a theme determines the appearance of a WordPress site.
You can find themes which fit your website from the main WordPress theme repository or you can choose from amongst the hundreds of Premium WordPress Theme Providers out there. Basically most themes not only handle the design, but also come with few added functionalities which helps the theme providers to compete with other theme companies or come up with themes targeting different niches and functions.
Wordpress plugins extened the functions of WordPress. Like themes are for design, plugins are for features. You can add different features by using different plugins from among a choice thousands of free and premium plugins. Like theme developers, there are many developers working on developing new plugins for WordPress.
Most of the plugins are free and can be found on the WordPress.org main plugin repository while on the other hand there are many plugins which are paid and can be found on external plugin marketplaces like CodeCanyon or WPPlugins
If you are thinking about creating or a website, then WordPress is certainly the best option for you. It provides you a huge amount of flexibility as well as functionalities. WordPress has a huge community supporting it, so you can be sure that your site remains updated with the new technologies. WordPress as in a short time got so much popularity and a lot of top websites in the world use WordPress as their platform. You will surely not regret using WordPress as the platform for you website. I hope I have been able to address the question “What is WordPress” in a simple manner.
Chow for now!!