What is WordPress and how does it work?
WordPress is an open source content management system. The software is designed to make most operations related to your website or blog as easy as possible. Open source means that anyone in the world can participate in the development and maintenance of the software. For this reason, it is very easy to find solutions online for any problems you might encounter if you have a WordPress site or blog. Or, to say it in just a few words: WordPress is a software program with which you can build and maintain a website, blog or web shop. WordPress itself is free provided you have a paid hosting package and your own domain name. This CMS is extremely popular and fairly easy to learn.
What exactly is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world.
More than 45% of all websites on the planet use WordPress. And over 80% of all websites on a CMS use WordPress.
It is quite easy to create your own WordPress website. Even for beginners. This is because WordPress works with templates (themes) and plugins. So you don’t build a website from scratch. You choose a template that suits you and adapt it to your liking.
To really understand WordPress, we need to discuss the three building blocks of WordPress.
How does WordPress work? A short WordPress explanation
The three building blocks are:
The WordPress editor.
Creating, filling and publishing a Page or Post is not that difficult. Anyone who knows how to work with Microsoft Word can find their way around with the editor of WordPress.
You can create rows, drag or import images, create columns, and dozens of other things.
WordPress Plugins – The Power Behind the WordPress Flexibility
Plugins are ‘small’ blocks of functionality. These are extra options that you can add to your site.
Do you want a contact form? Then you can install a plugin for that. Do you want share buttons? Install a plugin. Help with SEO? A plug-in solution. Something that stops spam? A plug-in. In total there are about 50,000 plugins so, there is a plugin for everything you may need.
For example, you can add an entire web shop to your website with the WooCommerce plugin. You can offer courses in combination with a plugin for a learning module.
You can install and activate a plugin via the WordPress dashboard with a few clicks.
With plugins you can add almost every imaginable functionality to your website. It’s like buying furniture for your house. You decide what you want or don’t want.
WordPress themes – A different look at the push of a button.
A theme is the design – the appearance – of the website. It is a combination of functionality and design.
Basically, a theme works just like a plugin. You can find, upload, install and set them up in the WordPress dashboard. All in a few minutes. How your website looks is very important. It determines what your website radiates. Professionalism, creativity, minimalism, colorful, order, organized chaos etc.
There are quite a few free themes available, but most of the free themes are not high quality or flexible. It is wise for most people to opt for a Premium theme (which costs about 30 pounds). People and companies with a larger budget can have a custom design made.
There are 4 ways to determine the design of your WP website.
- You can have the design of the website (the theme) made by a professional WP web design agency.
- You can buy a professional theme from a theme marketplace, such as ThemeForest.
- You can install a free theme (via the WordPress dashboard).
- You can make one yourself (but this is only recommended for those who know HTML, CSS and PHP).
Getting started with WordPress: creating your own website
To use WordPress you must have a hosting package and a domain name.
Hosting is renting a piece of disk space on a server that is connected to the internet 24/7. To use WordPress, you need to put the WordPress files on that piece of disk space. This may sound complicated, but in practice it is not that difficult.
Most web hosts (companies that sell hosting) offer a press one button WordPress installation.
After the (automatic) installation you can start immediately. With WordPress you can edit your website, blog or web shop wherever you have internet. After logging in, you will arrive at the admin dashboard of your WP site. Via the dashboard you have the control to adjust your entire online creation.
What is WordPress hosting exactly?
With WordPress hosting, you get everything you need to create and manage your own WordPress website.
- WordPress comes installed automatically or you can use a one click installer.
- If you are dealing with real professionals you’ll get perfect support with WordPress-related questions (very useful for people who haven’t worked with WordPress (that often) yet).
- Your website is up to 2 times faster than with a normal hosting package.
- You often get a free domain name.
- Backups are made daily (Made a mistake? A good WP hosting company can restore a previous version for you).
- You get more than enough room to grow for years.
- You can use numerous plugins and themes.
- You are free to implement your own coding.
After selecting a WP hosting package, you will be given time to find and register an available domain name. Did you find one? Then you can immediately go through the ordering process of the provider.
WordPress is installed automatically with the WordPress hosting package from hosting companies specialized in WP. After a few minutes you will receive an email with the login details for your WordPress website.
Have you purchased a general hosting package but not WP? Then you can easily install WP with most web hosting providers, usually with the push of just 1 button.
WordPress tutorial: What to do after installing WordPress?
Then use the WordPress login and experiment how you can work with WP by starting with some simple actions like creating a post, installing or deleting a plugin or changing your theme.
It is best to use one of the WordPress manuals. Here are some helpful links:
WordPress tutorial: Create your own WordPress website
The official WordPress codex
Recap: What is WordPress and how can I learn WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular (and free) software that allows you to create websites, blogs and web shops.
WordPress is best learned by coming up with questions yourself and searching and adding solutions with the help of the internet. If you have a WordPress hosting package, you can also call your web host with your questions. Finally, there are also WordPress Workshops and courses on the internet where you can get the same information. The advantage of such a course or workshop is the interaction. You can directly ask questions and wait for the answer. Good luck with your WP site!
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