What exactly is WordPress? How does it work? Why should we use it? If you have been wondering about WordPress and every single thing about it, then you are now in the perfect place. We will try to illustrate everything about WordPress so that you can be knowledgeable, able to use it, and be able to answer relatable questions.
See the world of technology, and how online systems are making life flexible, comfortable, and modern. We must be thankful to techno experts for creating a platform like WordPress. It is a popular website builder used by millions of business owners, bloggers, publishers, and everyone on the globe. This platform is used by more than 500 famous companies, universities, non-profits, governments around the world, and more. Popular organizations and brands like Facebook, BBC America, TED Blog, The WhiteHouse, and Microsoft use it to build their websites. Fortunately, we use WordPress too! We will discuss this in detail below.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source content management system that helps build beautiful sites of various types. It is written in hypertext preprocessor language and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database with supported HTTPS. The world’s most popular and widely used content management system powers over 43.3% of all the websites on the Internet. With a joint effort of Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, it was launched as a blogging platform in 2003. And it soon transformed into a CMS and is now a full-fledged website-building platform. If you are eager to learn about its history and how it changed and developed over time, you can check our article; WordPress History.
This platform is completely free to use and download. However, you need to purchase a domain name and web hosting to run a website with WordPress. It is a highly flexible, highly customizable, and highly versatile platform. It is like all in one platform. You can create any type of site from a small simple blog site to a scalable commercial professional site. That means you can create any sites that you have dreamt and imagined.
It powers both the backend and front end of the website. It has an easy-to-use dashboard that easily lets you add free or paid extensions, themes, plugins, addons, widgets, and blocks. With it, you can create blog posts, pages, and attractive templates with just a drag-and-drop editor. Moreover, WordPress has introduced Gutenberg block editor as a default editor where you can add everything in blocks from images, video embeds to links. The interface is user-friendly, straightforward, and very simple. Besides these, it requires no advanced computer knowledge to add and edit your content, and no downloads are necessary.
How does it work?
In general, it works by combining some core files, a database, files that you add or install, and a dashboard to let you manage the whole thing. The foundation on which your WordPress site is built is a set of files that makes up WordPress core. When you install, what you are doing is adding a set of files to your website. These files contain the code that runs WordPress itself. Similarly, the database is where all of your content and settings are stored which consists of 12 tables. There are separate ones for things like posts, taxonomies, metadata, and settings. It is not preferred to manually edit the database because editing may break your site.
Well, once you have installed WordPress, you’ll see an easy-to-use dashboard with links to different areas in the left column. You may need extra files to entirely run as you desired. Use the WordPress dashboard to install files and upload them from your computer.
Basically, themes work on appearance and content. Theme files include stylesheets and template files that WordPress uses to grab content from the database and output it on the page. You can install a theme from the WP dashboard but only one theme at a time for one site. Most importantly, WP themes allow you to set up your website using a simple theme customizer interface.
Plugin files( plugins) modify or add new features to your website. You can install them from the dashboard or search in the WordPress plugin directory. You can convert your site into an online store using plugins like WooCommerce, or use a membership plugin to make a subscription-based website. Alike themes and plugins upload files are found in the wp-content folder. Uploads include other types of media, including PDF files, videos, and anything else you want to upload.
After all, it is a content management system that uses a combination of some core files, a database, and some extra files that you add for themes, plugins, and uploads. And the WordPress admin screens make it possible for you to access all of this without having to write any code or explore the files on your server.
In another word, WordPress uses a database to store and organize all of your data, from the content in your posts and pages to your user accounts and site URLs, It does all of the work for you. This is what makes it such a fast, powerful tool for publishing online.
How to Start a Site With WordPress?
Well, if you have made up your mind to use WordPress for creating your site then you can go through this process.
- Buy a domain name. Find the domain registrar to buy a domain name. There you can see the domain checker to check the availability of the domain name of your choice.
- Choose a hosting service provider. There are numerous Web Hosting companies in the marketplace. Choose the best hosting and credible hosting provider with good customer reviews.
- Buy a web hosting plan. After you finalized the hosting provider you should consider which web hosting plan to choose that matches your budget and requirements. Select a hosting plan that’s optimized for WordPress.
- Install WordPress.Now it is your turn to install WordPress. Most hosting providers might offer a one-click WordPress installation tool on the web hosting control panel.
- Customize the website. Go to the dashboard of WordPress to go through the further processes. Choose a theme that fits your brand and content the best, install the plugins you need, add widgets, and tweak the design using the theme customizer.
- Start creating content. Create the essential static web pages and start publishing blog posts and templates.
- Promote the website. You can drive high traffic to your brand-new WP site using various methods. For this, you can use plugins for SEO, social media marketing, and email marketing and make your brand.
Difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
If you’re considering WordPress to build your site, you may have come across two different types of WordPress sites: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Let’s look at how they are different from each other, we have created the most detailed comparison of .com vs .org.
WordPress.org aka “the real WordPress”, is the popular website platform that you have heard all the great things about. And you know it is a popular open-source software, and 100% free for anyone to use. However, you need to purchase a domain name and web hosting to run a fully functional site. You can have full control over your site from customization to website maintenance. WordPress.org is where you’ll find free WP software that you can download and install on your own webserver to create a website. Likewise, you can install any themes, add plugins and extensions as you want and give a desirable look to your vision. In Addition, you have the freedom of hosting, storage, branding, and full support to plugins, themes, or anything else that is possible to add to a site.
Indeed, it is free and self-hosted software. The real cost of a .org website varies based on what you are trying to build. On the other side, it depends on the plugins, templates, and themes you have used; free or premium. Primarily, you can build your website at approximately around $46 per year.
WordPress.com is a hosting service created by Automattic that provides hosting, basic security, basic functionality, and maintenance. In fact, WordPress.com is not directly related to WordPress.org which is home to the most popular open-source CMS software, WordPress. Even though the .com blog hosting service uses WordPress at its core, there are several limitations to WordPress.com. You are limited in terms of monetization. With .com, you can only use WordAds, which is WordPress’ official advertising network. However, it takes care of all of the web hostings so you don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.
It is free for most users, but for advanced features, you must use a paid plan. You can’t install plugins and custom themes on free plans but it’s only available on their Business plan which costs $33 per month. The .com hosting service has 6 pricing plans. It’s free for up to 3GB of space. Its Personal plan $48 /year gives you 6GB, the Premium plan $96/year gives you 13GB storage, and the Business plan $300/year for 200 GB storage. Your site can be deleted anytime if they believe it violates their terms of service.
Benefits of Using WP
Over 43.3% of all the websites on the Internet are using WordPress, including well-known entities like the White House and Microsoft. The number of uses tells its benefits itself. Its amazing features and flexibility make it popular and people’s favorite. There are various reasons to choose, no matter what type of website you want to create. Some of them are listed below;
- Free and open source
- Easy to install
- User and Beginner friendly
- High site ranking
- Inherent built-in blog
- Mobile responsive
- Complete control over the site
- Multiple users functionality
- No HTML editing or FTP software required
- Free tutorials and good customer support
WordPress is a versatile CMS, designed with usability and flexibility in mind. This platform is a great solution for both large and small websites for varieties of websites from blogging, e-commerce, and business to portfolio websites. Unlike, WordPress there are some more website-building platforms like Shopify, BigCoomerce, Shift4shop, Wix, and many more. While WordPress stands out at the top offering more flexibility to create an amazing online presence for your business. We wish you all the best with your website and hope that you chose the right platform.
On the other hand, there are countless website design companies and web development agencies with expert developers and designers on hand. If you have no time and less technical knowledge but compulsorily needed outstanding professional sites, you can choose web development companies to do this. They can build your WordPress sites and display your vision and mission in an attractive layout, styles, and designs.