Building your own website has been made quite easy with the advent of WordPress. It powers more than 28% of all websites on the Internet today. However, due to the barrage of WordPress themes, plug-ins, and possible customizations, it may appear intimidating at first. If you are really looking at creating a new website, speaking to web designers will really help in understanding WordPress better.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS, or a Content Management System used as a platform to build websites even if you do not possess coding knowledge. Just about every design element of the website can be customized using this powerful, yet flexible tool.
The WordPress platform was first created by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg in the year 2003. The idea then was just to create a basic platform to help individuals create and host blogs on the world wide web. Over time, it has matured into a powerful platform for creating websites of different types.
Here it is also important to understand the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The former is purely a website builder which will allow you to create and then host your website for free, which usually starts from a blog. On the other hand, WordPress.org is a more powerful tool, which has many more functions. The primary focus will remain on WordPress.org through most of this article.
Features of WordPress
One of the biggest plus points of WordPress is that it is open-source software. In other words, the platform is not restricted as per any trademark or copyright and can be freely used by anyone for modifications or downloads. This is good in a number of ways:
- Several low-cost and free tools are constantly being created by WordPress
- You have the freedom to decide how to use and interact with WordPress. With the help of coding and other tools you can modify the same
- The WordPress community is very active and provide user-friendly features helpful for web designers regularly
- The CMS is able to scale as per its users’ requirements. As you acquire greater technical knowledge and skills, you will be able to do more with WordPress
The uses of WordPress can be extended with the use of plug-ins, both paid and free. Over 45,000 plug-ins are currently present in the WordPress directory. Additionally, with PHP knowledge, you can customize any plug-in as per the function you want it to perform. Here is a list of plug-ins commonly used in WordPress:
- Contact Form 7
- Yoast SEO
- W3 Total Cache
- Google XML Sitemaps
Sites for which WordPress can be used
WordPress can ideally be used to create the following types of websites:
- E-commerce stores- WordPress has the WooCommerce hosting package to get things started
- Business sites- Create a strong brand with WordPress
- News sites- The WordPress format is highly suitable for news articles
- Online portfolios- showcase achievements with the help of suitable WordPress themes
If you want to start simple, you can always begin with a basic blog, and then scale it up to create a news website.