At its core, WordPress is the easiest and most popular way to create a website or blog. In fact, WordPress provides power to over 460 million websites on the Internet. WordPress powers more than one out of every four websites you visit is . WordPress is easily the most trusted CMS on the planet.
What is a CMS?
Content Management Systems are tools that make it easy to manage the most important aspects of your website – such as content – without having to know anything about programming.
With a CMS, you can create, manage, modify and publish content via a user-friendly interface. You can customize the design and functionality of your website by downloading or purchasing templates, extensions and code. Since WordPress is open source (Open source is source code that is made freely available for possible modification and redistribution), there is an abundance of options to accompany your unique CMS needs.
The end result is that WordPress makes the creation of web pages accessible to people who are not developers.
Content Management Systems are necessary to running an efficient online production, dealing with raw code and files isn’t ideal for most focusing on writing and marketing.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source content management system, which is licensed under GPLv2. This license allows anyone to use and modify WordPress for free.
That was not the case a long time ago. For many years, WordPress was just a tool for creating blogs and traditional websites. However, thanks to the changes to the core code and its massive ecosystem of plugins and themes, you can now create any kind of site with WordPress. WordPress not only makes up a huge number of business websites and blogs, but it is also the most popular way to create e-commerce shops.
Plugins can completely change the way a website works. They can be as small as a contact form and as huge as setting up e-commerce capabilities.
Themes can change the look and experience of your website as well as encompass their own unique functionality. Themes are typically the most fun to choose, but be careful. While you may find a beautiful theme that you love, be sure to check its performance metrics by using Google’s Lighthouse.
With that being said, you have plenty of choices with online marketplaces such as Themeforest. There are over 50,000 free WordPress plugins, 5,000 + free WordPress themes and tons of premium options online.
A little wordpress history
Let’s go way back back to the origins of WordPresss, its original creation a collaboration between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. WordPress was launched in 2003 as an independent project and emerged as an offshoot of an earlier project called B2 Cafelog. Since then, Matt has become the face of WordPress. WordPress is open source software and consists of a huge community of contributors.
Matt is also the founder of Automattic, the company behind the for-profit service WordPress.com. Suffice it to say that profits from WordPress services are increasing, thanks to WordPress contributors and a huge community that has developed a popular solution for creating all kinds of niche sites.
There are a lot of other well known companies that use WordPress. Microsoft uses WordPress to power its official blog. They also use it to power blogs for specific products such as Windows and Skype. Even famous bands love WordPress. The Rolling Stones website is powered by WordPress.
Even The White House Uses WordPress!
There are over 400 websites on the Internet that use WordPress, including well-known institutions such as the White House and Microsoft. No matter what kind of website you want to create, there are many reasons to use WordPress. One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is its free and open source software, which is not the case with alternatives like Squarespace & Shopify.
WordPress is trusted by some of the highest-profile websites on the internet.
The White House has been using CMSs since 2009, and WordPress since 2018. In 2021, the Biden administration decided to continue using WordPress for their new site.
When building a new website from scratch or installing a new theme or plugin on your existing site, you want a safe space to experiment without the risk of destroying all your precious efforts. There are some best practices to follow when running and developing a website:
- Always have a staging site. Having a duplicate copy of your site hosted on a light-weight server will serve as your testing grounds. You never want to make changes on a production site without first testing it on staging.
- If you’re a bit more tech savvy then you can test locally. Testing locally means running your WordPress file on your machine instead of on a server elsewhere. Local testing gives you full control of your environment and keeps interruptions away from your users.
Now you know why WordPress is great and why it is trusted by many to perform their day-to-day business needs. The flexibility of WordPress is unparalleled. Something simple like a contact form can be implemented with minimal effort. Adding something complex like a forum to your site can be done in just a few steps with WordPress. What if you wanted to add a social network feature to your site?. No problem, just install the BBPress plugin and you’re on your way. WordPress can handle most online needs.