What is WordPress? At its core, WordPress is the simplest, most popular way to create your own website or blog. In fact, WordPress powers over 39.5% of all the websites on the Internet. Yes – more than one in four websites that you visit are likely powered by WordPress.
On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free. 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 result is that WordPress makes building a website accessible to anyone – even people who aren’t developers.
Brief history of WordPress
In its early beginnings, developers envisioned WordPress as a blogging tool written in the PHP language that allows people to simply select a design, select widgets that will display text, images, or calendars, and add content. Helps in creating a blog. It was created to provide a user-friendly environment for writing new creations (or writing about cats, what is more likely). WordPress started attracting large groups of people and it took many years for it to become popular.
Version by version, hard working individuals who worked for free developed a platform that carried their initial idea. A simple blogging tool has begun to shape itself into a complete Content Management System (CMS). Although it was initially advertised and communicated as a “blogging tool” version, it evolved into a platform that supports e-commerce, news sites, and basically any other type of site. That’s when it became attractive to a large pool of web developers and really took off.
Because of that, practically every fourth website on the internet uses the help of WordPress to empower itself.
The number of users, sites, posts and other WordPress content reaches tens and hundreds of millions. Can you even imagine those numbers?
What Kinds Of Websites Can WordPress Make?
Many years ago, WordPress was primarily a tool to create a blog, rather than more traditional websites. That hasn’t been true for a long time, though. Nowadays, thanks to changes to the core code, as well as WordPress’s massive ecosystem of plugins and themes, you can create any type of website with WordPress.
For example, not only does WordPress power a huge number of business sites and blogs, but it’s also the most popular way to create an eCommerce store as well! With WordPress, you can create:
- eCommerce Stores
- Business websites
- Social networks
- Membership sites
- Or anything else you can dream up.
Who Uses WordPress?
WordPress is used by individuals, big businesses, and everyone in between! On an immediate note, we use WordPress! So the very site that you’re looking at right now is powered by WordPress. Lots of other well-known entities use WordPress as well. Here are some of our favorite examples:
The official Whitehouse.gov website is powered by WordPress:
Microsoft uses WordPress to power its official blog. It also uses WordPress to power blogs for specific products like Windows and Skype
Why Should You Use WordPress?
Over 39.5% of all the websites on the Internet are using WordPress, including well-known entities like the White House and Microsoft. Well, no matter what type of website you want to create, there are plenty of reasons to use WordPress. Here are some of the biggest
WordPress Is Free And Open Source
One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that it’s free, open-source software. While you will need to pay a little bit for hosting, you will never have to pay just to use the WordPress software. Beyond that, you can also find lots of open-source plugins and themes to change how your website looks and functions. Speaking of….
WordPress Is Extensible
Even if you aren’t a developer, you can easily modify your website thanks to WordPress’ huge ecosystem of themes and plugins:
- Themes – these primarily change how your website looks.
- Plugins – these primarily change how your website functions. Plugins can be something small, like a contact form, or huge, like creating an eCommerce store.
Currently, there are over 50,000 free WordPress plugins and 5,000 free WordPress themes, as well as tons of premium options. That to say – you have plenty of choices! Here is a hand-picked list of the best WordPress plugins.
WordPress Is Easy To Install
Think you need to be a tech genius to create your own website? Think again! If you can click a few buttons, you can install WordPress on your site.
Nowadays, most web hosts either:
- Offer to preinstall WordPress for you so that your site is ready to go right away.
- Give you dedicated tools that make the install process very beginner-friendly.
So What Is WordPress? It’s The Best Way To Build A Website
WordPress is the most popular way to build a website for a reason. If you want to build any type of website, from a blog to an eCommerce store, WordPress is a great option.
Just remember that self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not the same things. And, in most situations, self-hosted WordPress.org is what you want to build a website. Self-hosted WordPress.org gives you more ownership as well as access to all the benefits of the WordPress community.