What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free. The open source nature of WordPress made it one of the the simplest and most popular way to create your own website or blog. In fact, WordPress powers over 40.0% of all the websites on the Internet. 

A content management system is a tool which makes it easier to manage all of the various parts of a website, from your pages, to email addresses, without the need for programming expertise. The WordPress technology uses the PHP language and a MYSQL database to enable the creation of websites.

WordPress is among the most popular and simplest tools for website creation. Licensed under GPLv2, WordPress is also an “open-source” content management system, which means anyone can access, use, and modify the software for free.

What Kind of Websites Can You Make with WordPress?

WordPress is an excellent website creation platform suitable for creating a variety of websites. When it originally emerged in 2003, WordPress was intended primarily from the creation of blogs. Today, the comprehensive WordPress software enables the development of a huge range of website types, ranging from portfolios and learning sites, to ecommerce stores.

Part of what makes WordPress such a flexible open-source CMS, is its plugin ecosystem. The plugin architecture of WordPress means you can implement additional pieces of code which give your website new capabilities. For instance, you could add member accounts to build a membership site or learning management systems for online courses. WordPress can now create:

  • Blogs
  • News sites
  • Business websites
  • Ecommerce stores
  • Portfolios
  • Resumes
  • Forums
  • Social Networks
  • Membership sites

What’s the Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

When defining WordPress, one of the biggest challenges most people face is understanding the difference between the two types of WordPress. WordPress.org and WordPress.com both use the same fundamental technology, but there are a lot of differences between them:

  • Wordpress.com is a for-profit service powered by WordPress.org’s open-source software. You can access things like hosting and managed services through WordPress.com, which makes it easier to use for beginners with no coding knowledge. However, you won’t get as much flexibility with your site.
  • Wordpress.org is the original self-hosted software for the WordPress CMS. This software is free to use and install, and you can use it to create any kind of website you choose. However, you also have to handle things like hosting and security on your own.

What are the Benefits of WordPress as a CMS?

Over the years, WordPress has evolved into an incredibly comprehensive tool for site building. It’s used by 42.8% of the world’s top 10 million sites, as of October 2021. While not everyone will love the features of WordPress, most fans appreciate it for the following reasons:

  • It’s free: WordPress.org is free to use, though you will need to pay for hosting, domain names, and other essential aspects of building your own website.
  • It’s open source: An open-source CMS is constantly evolving thanks to input from a global community of developers. It’s also extremely flexible.
  • It’s extensible: Even if you’re not a developer, you can customize your site with easy access to a wide range of themes, plug-ins and add-ons.
  • It’s easy to use: Most hosting providers will offer to pre-install WordPress for you or give you a one-click installation process.
  • It’s great for SEO: WordPress has excellent content creation and SEO features, so you can improve your chances of ranking high on the search engines.
Updated March 02, 2024
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