With millions of websites that use WordPress in our days, more and more people want to find more information and details about it. That’s good for all of us because the web needs lots of information and today, I’m going will talk about this software that millions of people use and millions of others don’t have a single idea about it.
However, 22% of all the websites in the world, are running on WordPress, and that’s without saying that the majority of blogs are created with it. So, let’s find what is WordPress, and how to use it to build websites and most importantly, how to succeed with a WordPress website in general.
You can also read WordPress facts and statistics.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source software created for blogging and content management systems (CMS). It’s flexible to use, compared to similar software that looks complicated to use and to develop. WordPress was founded in the year 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
The software is free as it’s an open source, and thousands of developers from around the world, are making WordPress the most popular blogging platform, with powerful functions, and lots of features that people love.
With WordPress, you can build a blog or any other website and forum. It’s flexible with thousands of add-ons called “Plugins”, and you can add functions or delete them with these plugins.
For example, you can build a complete community platform by using WordPress, and a few plugins that are created, especially for that. At the same time, there are thousands of WordPress themes to install and use for free from their public directory.
Actually, there are over 77 million websites worldwide built with WordPress. The majority of these sites are blogs and the other part is all the websites that you can imagine. WordPress developers and the team works always to innovate and add extra features to this strong software.
From the beginning in 2003 until now, there are exactly 115 WordPress versions and that’s a big number that reflects the activity behind it. It’s one of the most updated software, these updates include new ideas, system improvement, new functions, and bug fixing.
What is WordPress hosting?
As I said, WordPress is a software that anyone with internet access can download for free and install it on a server. To be able to build a website, WordPress should be saved on a server, it’s like hosting a person in the room. Simply replace the person by WordPress (I suppose you’re a newbie and want to make things easy to understand).
So, when we talk about a WordPress website or blog, we talk about the server that host that software and all the website files, such as HTML, images, text file and others.
WordPress is a PHP and MySQL based software, and that means lots of requests from the web browser to the server. That need lots of resources such as the RAM, the disk space, and the bandwidth or the transfer.
That’s why WordPress needs a customized server to handle all that and works properly. Inmotion Hosting is my recommended WordPress hosting provider. They are the number one shared hosting service with the fastest server and the best customer support.
They also integrated an auto-installer software for WordPress in their servers. That means you don’t have to download WordPress and uploading it and do the long and the complicated installation for yourself. The software is always stored on their server, and it’s updated regularly. So, you can install it with one click and it’s done.
Who uses WordPress?
WordPress is a complete blogging and CMS that works with any type of website. It’s used by thousands of popular websites and blogs, and it’s hard to list them all at once. People who use WordPress for a simple website believe that it was only created for that, and it can’t work with advanced uses.
That’s completely wrong because WordPress is one of the fewer software that works with any website system and function. It’s easy to customize and powerful in resources. The below are some of the most popular websites that uses WordPress.
The New York Times, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, Ford, New York University Library, CNN, Harvard Law School, Ben & Jerry, People Magazine, NASA, General Electronic (GE), Gigaom, CNN Political Tracker, AllThingsD, MTV Newsroom, I Can Has Cheezburger?, Time Magazine (blogs), Spotify, NFL, Honda, Nikon Pressroom, Lexus, TED, BBC Top Gear, Pepsi, Harvard Gazette, TechCrunch, GOOD, Startup Weekend, Undergraduate Admissions for Boston University, Jay-Z, National Geographic, The Toledo Museum of Art, Forbes, The Official Star Wars Blog, Kobe Bryant,SearchEngineLand, Carnival Cruise Line News, Herman Miller, Groublogpon for Groupon, Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, Administrative Conference of the United States, Her Royal Majesty (Paris-based literary arts magazine), Mixergy, Boing Boing, Courvoisier Cognac, PAC-MAN, Joe DiMaggio, AIGA Portland, United Nations University, Lollapalooza, Jack LaLanne – Blog,Reader’s Digest, Beetle Bailey, Foursquare, CBS New York, The Economist (Chinese version), Kim Kardashian, Marines Magazine,Adobe Blogs, Best Buy, Inside BlackBerry, Comedy.com, Mozilla, Ebay, Wired, Samsung, Yahoo!, Flickr, Web Worker Daily, Le Monde Newspaper, Number 10 Downing Street, Justin Bieber, Bata, Coca-Cola France...
We can divide WordPress into two different sections: the first is the WordPress.org that’s the original and the self-hosted software. That means people download the software from there, and install it on their servers, or in a distant server with their preferred web hosting company.
That’s a professional and the most powerful use of that software. No one can control the website and what it is about, it’s like owning the software and you have a full control and the freedom to build and manage your website.
The second use of WordPress that is not recommended for professionals is the WordPress.com, and it’s a commercial company use the WordPress software to host sites and make revenue with it. Their functions are limited and the user needs to pay lots of fees, in order to get a functional website.
In this case, you can’t add plugins and you can’t add your own custom theme. You can find more information about the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com by reading: what is WordPress self-hosted?.
How to use WordPress to create a website?
The WordPress use and management become easy, compared to the last few years when people should upload the software to the server and install it manually. It wasn’t a good idea for beginners to do all that without problems.
Nowadays, things are completely changed, and WordPress is saved automatically in the web hosting company servers. So, people don’t need to download the software and upload it as it was. Simply, they need to have a hosting account with an auto installer software.
When you have a web hosting account to host WordPress and all your website or blog files, you can think about the installation. You can request a free installation and setup for your site, I will install and secure your site with the top recommended WordPress plugins.
If you want to do all the work for yourself, then, the WordPress installation is easy and if you have used my recommended hosting, you can install in a few clicks by reading this detailed tutorial on how to install WordPress.
You will find the tutorial easy to understand with explanations and screenshots from every step in the installation process.
When you have a WordPress site installed and ready to use, you can start making it yours, and customize everything, such as the theme, the colors, and what you need. There are lots of themes, but the premium themes that rocket and used by professional bloggers and sites owners are the StudioPress premium themes.
They are optimized for SEO and loads faster and most importantly, these awesome themes includes the HTML5 markup that is important to rank higher in Google these days.
There are lots of WordPress tutorials for beginners and you can make things easy to understand and to manage. Follow these steps by step tutorials, and you will understand WordPress and its use. For the theme, for example, you can read how to install a WordPress theme step by step.
WordPress is the easiest platform to build blogs, and it’s optimized for SEO. That means Google and the other search engine crawlers can read the web pages easily, and understand what they are talking about. That will help in indexing your blog, and that’s what other software can’t offer.
The WordPress permalinks, for example, can be customized and you have many options to select from.
Once you have a theme installed, you can start creating your first blog post if you want to blog, or set your pages and other things if you want to create a business website. If you have questions or need help with WordPress, you can contact me using the contact page.