Introduction to WordPress
If you’re a website owner, or even a passionate blogger, you are already likely familiar with WordPress. Today, WordPress is one of the most common open source platforms that is written in PHP and uses a MySQL database. In 2020, over 455 million websites use WordPress.com meaning that 35 % of all websites are powered by WordPress alone! It is an attractive content management system (CMS) for many types of website and sizes. The best part about WordPress besides how user friendly the experience is, that it can be accessed for free!
If you are getting started on a website, and don’t have a lot of knowledge on coding and how HTML works, WordPress is here to make your life much easier. Below are screenshots of what you expect to see when you integrate WordPress onto your website:
You don’t have to do anything but write content and find the images you want to upload to your website. This saves a lot of time, and you can avoid a steep learning curve if you don’t have any knowledge on HTML.
WordPress can be accessed via Software (WordPress.org) or via web hosting (WordPress.com), below we will explore the key difference between each to find you the solution you are looking for!
MySQL – This is an open source relational database management system based around the “SQL” structure query language. It is used for adding, removing and modifying information in the database.
PHP – Short form for hypertext preprocessor. It is an HTML embedded Web scripting language. The PHP code gets parsed when accessed by the server, it is embedded into the HTML but users cannot read the original PHP code; this enhances web page security.
Open Source – It is publicly available content that anyone can modify, inspect and share. It is often attached to software, and development in that area.
Content Management System – This is often abbreviated as CMS, it is a software that allows creating, managing and modifying content on a website in the simplest way. The CMS takes care of the need to code the website, and handles all the basic infrastructure for you.
HTML – Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the building blocks (the code) that make up a webpage and its content. Despite what most people might think, it is not a programming language, it is a markup language used to define the structure of your content.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org
Now that you know how accessible, user friendly, versatile the WordPress platform, let’s get started on your WordPress experience! The first step is knowing how much you want to customize your website on your own, or want to worry less about the details for your website.
WordPress.com takes care of all the website hosting for you by using a subscription service; you can buy into a monthly plan for extra customization options or start with a free plan. Just note that if you want to personalize your website, the free plan will attach WordPress.com to the website’s domain name. This might be fine if you just want a place for recreational purposes (personal and hobby related), or somewhere to blog. When it comes to a business, and professional needs, the assets gained from WordPress.org might be the solution you are looking for.
WordPress.org will require your own website management/maintenance, but you will have access to a number of tools provided by the software itself. You will just need to make sure you have a secure website hosting plan in place. WordPress.org does not offer website hosting of any kind, it is more well served as a collection of tools that can enhance your website experience.
Here is a small graphic created by I themes.com that outline the features, and customization options found within WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
If you are unsure which solution is better served for your needs, you can always start with looking into the WordPress.com experience first. If you find the plans to be too limiting to your custom experience, you can self-host your website and start using WordPress.org resources later. It might take a bit of exploring first to find what you are comfortable using/willing to pay into. The good news is that everything can be tried out for free! Just remember that you want to build your website to be accessible, secure, rememberable and be a good reflection to the image you want to create online.
Famous Websites Powered by WordPress
BBC America – Popular Entertainment Site
The Walt Disney – Company Homepage
Sweden’s Official Site – Country’s Homepage
Sony Music – Global Music Brand Site
Time – American News and Magazine Site
Credit: wpbeginner: Beginner’s Guide for WordPress for providing the images and compiled list.
This is just a small sample size on famous websites and brands that use WordPress. You can visit the official WordPress website to find more notable users. Take some time to browse the listings to see if you want to transform your website into something similar!