Chapter 2: WordPress – An Overview

WordPress Overview

WordPress is one of the most widely-used blogging platforms available.

WordPress is a factory that makes webpages is a core analogy designed to clarify what WordPress is and does.

It stores the content that allows you to create & publish webpages only requiring a domain and a hosting site to work.

Let’s unveil it in detail…

2.1 What is WordPress?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS), which is open source and was created to manage blogs.

WordPress allows you to easily create and manage your blogs and websites content without coding and it can be used to create a fully operational website.

Today, WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world being used by millions of websites.

The best thing about WordPress is that it is an Open Source project which can be used by anyone over the web which means you can use it for anything be it your personal diary, your travel accounts or your views on any subject for that matter.

WordPress is an excellent platform for building a variety of websites.

Besides building a blogging site, WordPress can be used to build an e-commerce website, portfolio sites, business websites, news sites, and more.

Famous WordPress websites include TechCrunch, Mashable, The New York Times’s blog, etc.

Some of the features offered by WordPress are private and password protected WordPress posts and pages, easy importing, WordPress installation and upgrades, a full WordPress theme and plugin system, multiple authors, spam protection and intelligent text formatting. So, ‘WordPress is only limited by your imagination’.

With its intuitive interface, ease of use and the great number of free and paid themes and plugins, WordPress is the preferred choice to build a professional website.

All WordPress features are fully supported on all our WordPress hosting plans, so you can get started in no time and create your next successful online project.

2.2 What is Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is an application used to create and manage digital content.

Content is what makes any organization stand out from the crowd, content must be regular and well organized in order to maintain any branding possible thus rather than doing it manually CMSes are used for enterprise content management (ECM) and web content management (WCM).

An ECM is used for the collaboration in any workplace by integrating document management, digital asset management and records retention functionalities, and providing end users with role-based access to the organization’s digital assets.

While WCM facilitates collaborative authoring for websites.

It is easy to say that WCM is a more public content management tool whereas the ECM is totally built for more confidential contents to be kept secured within the organization.

2.3 How does WordPress work?

WordPress, like any other WCM system, is dynamically driven through the use of a database with multiple tables storing all the content information and the information required to specify the website structure.

You must have the ability to create and utilize a database to use WordPress.

After learning about WordPress the first thing that comes to our mind is that where to use it?

What kind of website can I create using WordPress?

So let’s move on to the section straight away.

When launched, WordPress was nothing but a typographic improvement, but as time passed and the community got stronger and WordPress was developed by contributors from all over the world, now WordPress is a robust system that can be used to create and manage any kind of website to keep it short.

To showcase some examples let’s look into the various implementations of WordPress already developed.

  • E-commerce Websites: WordPress is really great for E-Commerce websites because of its robust structure and ability to categorize contents. With the proper theme chosen to create an E-commerce website is considered to be one of the best options available.
  • Educational/Library Websites: One of the most important features of WordPress is to manage and categorize documents or other assets, though not self-sustaining WordPress is good enough to create and run a Library Website. Using DMS implementation as well as WordPress one can surely develop Library Websites.
  • Personal Websites: Whether it’s a small website containing your portfolio or a daily blog. WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best platforms to showcase your talent as it has dedicated sections for the contents and overall easy experience.

2.4 Features of WordPress

WordPress is considered to be the most popular content management system due to its characteristics:

  • The most important features of WordPress are that you can create a dynamic website without any programming and design knowledge
  • WordPress is theme-based which provides you options for various open source and premium design themes, which can be integrated easily without any designing knowledge
  • Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress, which can be used to add new required modules
  • WordPress sites are search engine optimization (SEO) friendly, it means sites built-in WordPress can be easily optimized for search engine listings
  • WordPress is Multilingual, which allow users to translate content in their language
  • WordPress has inbuilt Media Management System which is used to manage images, music, documents, etc. and can be used with text content

2.5 The Benefits of Using WordPress

Here are just the top 5 benefits of using WordPress:

  • The software is free! How many times have you been given something for free that is fully functional and ready to use? And if you want to upscale your site a little with premium themes and plugins, you’re still going to save tons of money over what you would pay for a custom-designed site.
  • It’s easy to use. Seriously. If you can send an email, use Microsoft Word, or set up a Facebook account, then you can use WordPress. In other words, if you’ve already used a computer, chances are you are already skilled enough for the WordPress basics. And even better, it’s hard to mess it up. You can easily add and delete pages and posts without accidentally messing up the overall design of your site.
  • You are in control. Owning your own site, and being able to make changes to it yourself, is the ultimate in online freedom. You don’t have to rely on an expensive web designer to make changes or fix a tiny error for you whenever they can squeeze you in. You’re in control of your site—and your wallet.
  • WordPress has a search engine (SEO) advantages. Search engines love sites that are easy to index (WordPress is) and that have frequently updated content. That’s where blogging comes in to play so nicely. Just by running your business or personal site and communicating with your readers in a way that’s natural to you, you’ll be producing fresh, relevant content the search engines can’t wait to get ahold of.
  • There’s a HUGE support community. WordPress isn’t just software, it has become a community. Some might even say a movement. In fact, WordCamps (1-3 day training sessions) have sprung up from grassroots efforts. They are informal, community-organized events put together by other WordPress users just like you. You’ll meet people of all backgrounds, ages, and nationalities at WordCamps. Plus, there are thousands of people and hundreds of resource and tutorial sites set up just to help you with your WordPress site.

2.6 WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

The one major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is who’s actually hosting your website.

With WordPress.org, YOU host your own blog or website.

WordPress.org is where you’ll find the free WordPress software that you can download and install on your own web server.

Getting your WordPress site set up involves purchasing a domain name, buying a hosting plan and then installing WordPress on your server.

Most hosting companies provide instructions or services to install WordPress for you.

WordPress.com, on the other hand, takes care of all of the hostings for you.

You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server.

2.6.1 Pros and Cons of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com have pros and cons, depending on your needs.

If you’re not interested in paying for your own hosting, managing your own web server or paying someone else to handle that for you, you’ll probably want to use WordPress.com.

It’s free and easy to set up and you have lots of options for customizing your site.

A few of the cons of using WordPress.com include that your domain will, by default, include “WordPress.com.”

You also can’t upload any custom themes, plugins or modify the PHP code behind your site.

While WordPress.com is free to set up, they do offer several premium upgrades, including domain name registration (if you don’t want WordPress.com in your domain name), the ability to upload videos and the option to use their premium themes.

Using the downloaded version of WordPress from WordPress.org opens up more control and flexibility for your WordPress site, but it also means more responsibility.

Using a self-hosted version of WordPress means you can use your own domain name, upload and install themes and plugins, edit the code behind your site and have access to your site’s database (or files).

Most of the showcase sites you see on the WordPress site showcase are the self-hosted version of WordPress since many of them have unique functionality or a custom-made design.

Conclusion:

WordPress will provide you with all the features you need to build a powerful website.

The content creation and management is really easy and you can get started in no time.

With all cool features included by default and the option to extend them even more, WordPress is one of the easiest and user-friendly applications that you can use to build your website and create engaging content for your visitors.

Chapter 3: How to Create and Maintain a WP Site