What is WordPress

Are you looking to form your website? Does one know — What is WordPress and what is it used for?

We know that it’s a touch to start out your own website by yourself. But with the assistance of WordPress, you’ll pretty much start on your own. 

The goal here is to assist the beginners with what WordPress really is, what it does, and what it is often used for.

What is WordPress? 

WordPress is a particularly popular software used to create your own website or blog. It’s completely open-source and beginner-friendly software released under GNU General Public License. It means that the software is available free for anyone to download, use, modify, and also redistribute the modified software. 

Due to this, anyone can start their own WordPress website without paying any fees. Download the software for free from WordPress.org, install and use on as many sites as you want. Also, you can also modify the code as per your needs if you’ve coding skills. 

This makes WordPress an outsized community and has been a go-to platform for both web developers and growing entrepreneurs. Hence, it’s a popular tool for people with no coding experience, who want to create an internet site for their own.

The goal of WordPress is to empower people that want to publish the content online, in any form they like.

WordPress.org Website
WordPress.org Website

WordPress application has an easy process of setting up and installation that even regular people can learn within a small time span and start creating, managing, and editing their website. You can build a variety of websites from blogging to e-commerce to business and personal portfolio websites. Hence, WordPress is also known for its versatility.

WordPress is an open-source software that is built using PHP language and uses MySQL for databases. PHP is a server-side programming language that runs in your web server before the page gets served to the browser. This is what makes your website dynamic and engaging. 

On the other hand, MySQL is a relational database management system (R-DBMS) that provides user access to the  database where all kinds of data can be created, updated, read, and deleted.

WordPress as a Content Management System

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). It provides features to publish, edit, manage, organize, modify, delete, and maintain contents all in one. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers more than 37% of all the websites on the internet, which makes it the most popular CMS.

WordPress Dashboard
WordPress Dashboard

One of the foremost common misconceptions about it is that it’s just blogging software, but the truth is there are thousands of popular professional websites using WordPress as a CMS. It is extremely flexible, extensible, and easy to customize even for beginners. 

With WordPress, you’ll make a business site, an online portfolio, start a blog, or create an online store. It comes with thousands of free and premium plugins that work as add-ons to extend the features and functionality on your site.

What is the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

You might be wondering about what’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org. If you’re just getting started with WordPress, then you may be wondering which one you must choose to start out building your website. First up, you’ll get to know the difference between WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is a free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web-server to create a website. With this, you can host your own blog and website.

What is WordPress.com?

WordPress.com takes care of all the web hosting for you. Like others, you don’t have to download and install the software or manage a web server. However,  you will still be required to create an account on WordPress.com and many website features are paid upgrades.

Here are some more differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

  1. Domain and Hosting: If you don’t mind a subdomain and don’t require much space for hosting your website then you should go with WordPress.com. The domain name you will get in the form of xyz.wordpress.com. But if you would like to host your own domain name, then you need to have a paid plan. Whereas in WordPress.org you’ll have a unique name, and you will get to find a separate hosting provider to host your website.
  2. Themes and Plugins: WordPress.com offers you a very limited number of themes and plugins while WordPress.org will offer thousands of themes and plugins. If you are particular about having a unique looking and attractive site then use WordPress.org. 
  3. Website maintenance: If you don’t want to take care of the maintenance of your website then choose WordPress.com. The WordPress staff of Automattic is responsible for all site-related maintenance. On the other hand WordPress.org, you are fully responsible for website maintenance.
  4. Financial Desire: If you are looking to make money from your website use WordPress.org. If you don’t want to make money use  WordPress.com.  The former offers you the freedom, and the flexibility to expand your website in the manner you desire.
  5. Online Store: If you are looking for an online store choose WordPress.org. But in WordPress.com, you do get paid e-commerce plans but those are a bit expensive and don’t get as much freedom. It has limited plugins and payment integrations.

What are WordPress Themes and Plugins?

WordPress Themes

A WordPress theme provides a design pattern layout for your website. It is just a set of templates and elegance sheets used to define the looks and display of a website. It can be referred to as the skin of the website. 

Themes provide style, colors, page layouts, widget positions, etc. You can also change the theme of your website without changing the content of the website. It gives your simple and dull website – a unique look.

WordPress Themes
WordPress Themes

You can change, manage, and add the themes from the WordPress admin area under Appearance >> Theme. Then you can search the theme of your choice and then install and activate the theme.

There are plenty of themes available in WordPress according to the demand of the user. Each theme is different from each other regarding styles, layouts, and features. You need to choose the one that suits your requirement for your website. If you are a beginner to WordPress, then start with the themes that are much flexible to use. The themes available in WordPress are thousands in number. There are more than 7500 WordPress themes available to choose from.

WordPress Plugins

A WordPress plugin is an add-in or add-on component that adds specific features to an existing system. Its main goal is to extend the functionality of your WordPress site. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins to be used on.

WordPress Plugins Directory
WordPress Plugins Directory

You can add some more functions on your website without having any codes to write by adding plugins. In WordPress, for each and every function there’s a plugin available. 

Once you use plugins, they will be customizable. It has extended plugins which will be added via the Plugin menu present in your WordPress dashboard. You can also remove that particular plugin if it is no longer in use.

What is a WordPress Website?

A WordPress website is any website that uses WordPress as its CMS (Content Management System).

Here are some of the types of websites that you can build using WordPress.

i. Blogs

A blog is a type of website where you can share your personal thoughts, photos, recipes, tutorials, reviews, and many more. This type of website is very much popular among the upcoming age content creators.

ii. Ecommerce websites

An e-commerce website is an online store where you can sell goods or services and collect payments via an online payment system. It’s becoming a go-to platform for building their virtual store for selling the goods. 

House of Whisky
House of Whisky

iii. Business websites

It can be used to make your business stand out professionally. This can be the way to advance toward the new age of advertisement and marketing. Many well-known brands are following this path to grow their business rapidly.

Sony Music
Sony Music

iv. Community Forums

A community forum is a platform where users of one kind can form a community and can make a platform for sharing the information among that community. For example, a user can post an invitation for a charity event (like blood donation) and can request people to be a part of it.

v. Portfolios

Just like a personal blog, you can build a website using it where you can showcase your talents such as photographs, designs, and arts. This will be a great way to make sure your work is noticeable. 

RollingStones
RollingStones

It has got many themes to choose from, and themes involve beautiful image sliders and stunning photo galleries for people who focus firmly on creating visual content. 

vi. Job Portals

Nowadays many websites have started making use of a job board/portal website to earn some extra money. You cannot only display the list of jobs, but also a search index, company reviews, and the average salary among others. With the help of it, you can set up this type of site too. 

vii. E-learning sites

Many schools and universities have started using it to teach their students through e-learning. These students can make use of tracking their course progress and can download the study materials as they need. It is safe, secure, and easy to manage.

viii. News and Magazines

With the age of digitalization, everything has started becoming online. Even news and magazines are stepping into this new age of virtual reading. You can easily start your news and magazine website in no time.

BBC America
BBC America

Why Choose WordPress for Your Website?

Here’s a glance at a couple of key features of using WordPress to set up and run your blog or business.

  1.  SEO-Friendly: WordPress is understood for having SEO built into the platform. It automatically generates title tags and meta descriptions for all of your pages and posts. This lets search engines realize your content, and it’ll get you indexed and potentially moved up within the rankings. Like everything in WordPress, there also are more advanced features offered by plugins and online tools.
  2. Mobile-Friendly: It works on all types of devices and screen sizes. You’ll access your website via a desktop, mobile, laptop, or tablet with an easy handle and no problem.
  3. Supports all media types: Above all, you’ll be able to use any kind of combination of text, images, and videos onto your website. As there’s no limit on any media types and WordPress provides you with a platform that offers you creative freedom.
  4. Security: It also makes it easy to stay your site’s software up so far, which is critical to keeping hackers and data thieves out of your site. Some WordPress software updates are automatic, to prevent security vulnerabilities, and you’ll choose whether you’d like your plugins to update automatically or whether you’ll handle those updates yourself.
  5. Easy to customize: The fun fact about it is that it’s completely customizable. There are thousands of themes and plugins to settle on from, to change the whole look of your website. You’ll even add features like a photo gallery, or a list.
  6. Easy to manage: It comes with a built-in update management system, which helps you update your plugins and themes from within your WordPress admin dashboard.
  7. Versatility: Therefore, it is versatile as it can run any sort of website. Regardless of if it’s an easy business site, a blog, a corporate site, a portfolio site, a marriage site, a fitness site, even an e-commerce store, WordPress can easily handle it all.

Pros and Cons of Using WordPress

Below are some pros and cons of using WordPress. Hopefully, they assist you choose if you would like to use WordPress for your sites.

Pros of Using WordPress

  • Notably, WordPress is an open-source CMS. Hence, users can build personal and commercial websites without having to pay any licensing fees. The openness feature makes it easier for little businesses and startups to run a website without investing.
  • It is cheaper to create. The cost and time for developing a WordPress website are considerably lesser than creating a custom-built website.
  • With WordPress, you’ll be able to create any website you want: from a personal blog to a business website, and from portfolios to news websites. You can also make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. Hence, it is flexible.
  • WordPress being a popular software, it is so user-friendly that even a non-tech person can learn how to use it and can develop its own website.  All you need is a domain name and a web hostings account.
  • The good thing about this software is that you do not need to know any coding skills to create a website. It does not require any PHP nor HTML knowledge, unlike Joomla or Drupal.

Cons of Using WordPress

  • If you build an internet site in WordPress, you may sometimes have a problem with the speed due to the themes, and plugins that you simply have installed into your website. This will decrease the speed of the site and cause slow load times.
  • It must be updated regularly because various updates and patches get released each year to fight hackers further to provide improvement to codes and themes. But sometimes updates may bring some small problems to an internet site during which case you’ll have to be compelled to revert to an older WordPress state.
  • You do not have to learn to code to use WordPress. However, some basic knowledge of HTML and CSS will make things easier. If you wish to personalize your site in a unique way, you’d definitely have to write numerous complicated code.

How to Start a Website in WordPress?

Building an internet site using WordPress is really a lot easier than most people realize. All you wish to try and do is to follow this step guide and you’ll be up running in no time.

But before that, you simply must be clear about what sort of website you are planning to build using it.

Step 1: Choose  a Domain Name

The first thing you would like to do is to settle on a website name for your website.

A domain name may be the unique name of your website. It’s just your website address. It’s a reputation by which your users can locate your site.

Therefore, your domain name should be:

  • relevant to the content of your website,
  • short and descriptive,
  • have a proper extension (.com,.org,.net),
  • simple and easier to recollect.

Once you’ve got an idea of what you wish your name to be, then you’ll get to check if that domain is out there or not.

Likewise, you can check the availability of your desired name using GoDaddy, Domain.com, etc.

If your first choice for a website name isn’t available then, you would possibly like to add a word or two to that.

Step 2: Get Web Hosting

The second thing that each one of these websites must have, is web hosting. A web hosting is a server that holds the file that creates up your website and makes it available at high speeds online 24/7 for the world to see.

HostGator
HostGator Web Hosting Company

Here are a number of items to recollect before selecting the hosting service for your website.

  • Their server location. Is it located in your country?
  • Price- always important.
  • How much web-space and bandwidth they offer?
  • Make sure that the host provides adequate customer support.

Likewise, some foremost popular and best hosting services within the business are DreamHost, Bluehost, WPEngine, HostGator, etc.

Step 3: Install WordPress

By now you’ve got a decent name and a reliable hosting, then now it is time for installing WordPress.

If you’ve got a shared or a VPS (Virtual Private Server)  account, then you’ve got two choices: one-click installation or manual installation.

One-click WordPress Installation: The name itself says it, with hosting providers offering one-click WordPress installation, downloading WordPress really is that easy.

Manual WordPress Installation: It basically just involves downloading WordPress to your computer first then re-uploading it to your hosting provider.

Step 4: Choose a Theme for Your Website

Most of the users really take while choosing the proper theme for their website. You must be selecting the WordPress theme very wisely in order that it perfectly fits on your website.

Theme selection is extremely important as everything for your website depends upon the theme.

Given below are a number of points that can help you to pick out a theme for your website.

Look for simplicity

You should choose the theme in such a way that it might look good and at the same time, you must not be compromising with the functionality of your website. Theme styling should not be complicated. The design layout of your website should support your goal and help the user find the information they need.

Responsiveness

Make sure that you simply check the compatibility of your theme with all kinds of screen sizes. It should be ready to automatically adapt based on the user’s device. So, whether someone visits on their laptop or their iPhone, they must still have a decent experience.

Browser compatibility

Make sure the theme you choose is supported by all the browsers. You must always test the selected theme on different browsers for mobiles also as laptops like Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

Plugin support

Remember that plugins are important for a WordPress website as these plugins make it possible for you to try and do anything with your WordPress website. Always make sure that your selected theme must support all the favored plugins.

Multilingual support

Your theme should support multilingual to support different languages for users.

Ratings and reviews

Be wise enough to look at its rating and reviews, before downloading a theme. You must always read its review carefully because it may have both good and bad reviews.

Step 5: Add Content -Add pages and posts

We must not forget that “Content is KING.” It is your content that pulls the user to your website. Your content should be informative, engaging, entertaining, and interesting.

Regarding the main types of written content on the site, there are two main categories:

  1. Posts

Posts are simply content listed in chronological order. You’ll find posts listed on your blog page. If it’s a blog of yours, then most of your posts will end up becoming the key content of your website. WordPress posts generally provide news or informational updates about a certain topic. They’re dynamic in nature.

  1. Pages

Unlike posts, pages are static, which means that they won’t be changed unless you edit them. A good website must have these essential pages onto them: Home page, About page, Blog page, Service page, and Contact page. Along with these try to add different multimedia to that, to create it more engaging and entertaining.

Step 6 : Customize Your Website

Now you’ve got added content in your website, your website may really start to seem like your own. Then it’s time to begin customizing your website to suit the requirements of your content.

The WordPress theme that you simply have installed might not be the proper one for you, so rather than feeling frustrated, a better option would be to start customizing your website.

There are lots of way you can customize your website, but start with these:

  • Add a navigation menu.
  • Change the title and tagline of the website.
  • Add a logo to your website.
  • Work on color schemes and fonts.
  • Add widgets.
  • Add a sidebar.
  • Change comment setting.
  • Manage mobile and tablet previews.

Step 7: Choose Plugins for Your Website

Plugins extends the functionality of our website. The user can add some features in their website with none coding skill by adding plugins.

It becomes sometimes difficult for the users to find the best suited plugins for them. Given below are a number of the points which can help you to pick out plugins for your website.

Create a List

First, you want to be clear about what one wants on your website. Make a listing of features that might suit your website. For instance, if you’re a beginner, you’ll use a plugin that focuses on SEO or performance. Always feel free to install more than one plugin.

Search Plugins

Once you listed your requirements, now it’s time to look for the plugins. WordPress Directory could be a good place, to begin with.

You can look for any plugin type by entering a search in the search bar. It’ll display all the plugins from the directory. Select a plugin to check its description and information.

Compare It

From the searched plugin, choose 3-4 plugins and compare them by reading their description. The description contains information about that plugin, why it’s used, what are its functions, versions, etc.

Reviews

You must always read its review carefully because it may have both good and bad reviews.

Jetpack Plugin Review
Jetpack Plugin Review

Step 8: Keep Updating

And this brings you to the ultimate step of this step-by-step guide. By now your website is prepared to be published for all the people to read it.

You must keep your theme and plugin up to date and you also want to keep your WordPress updated to stay yourself far away from hackers and viruses.

Conclusion

WordPress is usually utilized in many different ways from simple websites to e-commerce sites and anything in between. Anyone can use it to create their first website without knowing the way to code. At the same time, it’s free and straightforward to put in.

If you’re looking for becoming a content creator and searching for a platform to showcase your work then WordPress is often the place, or if you’re going to take your business online then it is again an honest place to start out at.

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