What Is WordPress? Explained for Web Design Beginners

The logo for WordPress

So what is WordPress, exactly?

What is WordPress? WordPress a free, open-source website creation platform. It offers the simplest, most popular way to create your own website or blog. It’s one of many Content Management Systems that allow users to build websites without knowledge of code or other tricky skills. It’s also the most popular CMS on the market, powering 65.2% of websites whose CMS we know. It powers over 40.0% of all the websites on the Internet. Yes – more than one in four websites that you visit are likely powered by WordPress.

Taking a step back-what is a Content Management System? A content management system is basically a tool that makes it easy to manage important aspects of your website – like content – without needing to know anything about programming.

The end result is that WordPress makes building a website accessible to anyone – even people who aren’t developers.

What Kinds Of Websites Can you Make?

For years, WordPress was primarily a tool to create a blog, rather than more traditional websites. Aspiring bloggers and wannabe journalist used the platform to put out articles and content with the hope of reaching a wider audience. That hasn’t been true for a long time, though. Nowadays, thanks to its massive ecosystem of plugins and themes, you can create any type of website with the platform.

WordPress is the most popular way to create an eCommerce store as well! You can also create: Business websites, eCommerce stores, Blogs, Portfolios, Event websites, e-learning websites, Resumes, Forums, Social networks, Membership sites. 

See examples of our sites using the software

An example of a WordPress theme
An example of a WordPress theme built to make designing websites easier

The 4 main reasons why WordPress is so popular:

  1. It’s free. You will need to secure web hosting and a domain name before getting to use it (which has a relatively low cost) but the platform itself is entirely free to download and use.
  2. It’s highly flexible and customizable. As we previously said, it has many, many applications – from blogging and creating an online portfolio to building an eCommerce store. It also welcomes community developers. As a result, many theme and plugin options are available in the official library and third-party depositories.
  3. It’s a scalable platform. It can handle websites of any size as long as the web hosting plan has the necessary resources (it’s important to undwerstand your hosting needs before you begin designing your new site). There’s no need to migrate to a different platform once the website takes off. 
  4. It’s relatively easy to use. Compared to hand-coding a website from scratch, it requires significantly less technical knowledge. Tweaking it with code is still an option, but it’s possible to build beautiful, fully functional websites with just the graphical user interface.
An example of a wordpress responsive design template
WordPress also means your site can a=cater to desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile devices

So, which version do you use?

  • -WordPress.org, often called self-hosted WordPress, is the free, open-source WordPress software that you can install on your own web host to create a website that’s 100% your own.
  • -WordPress.com is a for-profit, paid service. It’s simple to use, but you lose much of the flexibility of the self-hosted version. All you need to do to get started with the self-hosted version is purchase web hosting and a domain name.
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