Powering nearly a third of the world’s websites, WordPress is a free and powerful website builder that makes it possible for anyone to create a dynamic website and have an immense online presence in a matter of minutes.
Picture this; you’ve always wanted to build a website that your customers and followers will love. You have everything mapped out but creating your website is the only thing holding you back! This is because you’ve always believed that creating a website is a daunting and technical task that should be left to web developers. But because you’re very determined, you embark on research and come across the idea that WordPress could provide the ultimate solution!
However, the problem is you have no idea what WordPress is or how it works. Well, worry not, you’ve come to the right place. This write-up is a thoughtful beginner’s guide on everything you need to know about WordPress and how it works.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s simplest and most popular way of creating your website. Whether you want to create a blog, an e-commerce platform, or a regular website portfolio, WordPress is a free, open-source website creation platform that offers an excellent solution for both large and small websites.
Let’s give you the simplest way of understanding exactly what WordPress is. Just like your smartphone needs Android or iOS to work, your website needs WordPress. In other words, WordPress is the Operating System of your website.
Of course, WordPress isn’t the only operating system that your websites must run on. Several other platforms offer almost similar services but WordPress is ultimately the most popular and the leader in the industry. To put it into perspective, WordPress powers more than 43.3% of all websites in the world today! Well, the reasons for such huge popularity need no explanation.
What’s the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?
As a beginner, it’s important to know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org as they can be confusing. Well, WordPress.com is the hosted version of WordPress. It’s what you use in creating a website or a blog.
On the other hand, WordPress.org is where you can download any WordPress software so that you can install it on your web hosting account or server. You have to keep in mind that you’ll only use WordPress.org if you have a domain name and web hosting purchased from a reputable domain hosting company.
What Types of Websites can You Use WordPress to Create?
At its core, WordPress is a very versatile and flexible Content Management System (CMS) that can power both the front-end (the visible part of your website that your visitors see) and the backend (the interface where you can log in to add new content or make changes to your website) of your website.
But what kind of websites can you build with WordPress? Let’s briefly look at some of them.
There’s no doubt that your business will scale to newer heights by having an online presence. Apart from having a social media presence, one of the best ways of having an online presence is by creating a website for your business. Through this website, your customers will learn more about your business and what you offer.
It’ll also give you the chance of interacting with your customers, thereby helping you know the areas of your business that need improvement. WordPress is an ideal option for creating a website for your business. Besides being free, it has features that can allow your customers to contact you, schedule an appointment, ask for a quote, and much more.
Having an e-commerce website is an excellent way of selling goods or services online. It also allows you to collect payment via an online payment system. Well, WordPress is structured with an e-commerce plugin that makes all these possible!
If you’re so much into sharing your photos, reviews, thoughts, recipes, tutorials, and many other things, a blog can be an ideal way of doing it. WordPress is the perfect platform for creating your blog.
To this point, it’s safe to say that you can use WordPress to create all forms of websites. Whether you want to create an event website, a forum website, a membership website, an e-learning website, a portfolio website, or a wedding website, WordPress allows you to easily and quickly set up a website.
Features of WordPress
By now, you’re probably wondering whether or not WordPress is right for you. But before going into that, let’s look at the impressive features of WordPress.
Easy-to-Use User Interface
WordPress is a platform that’s easy to use. The fact that it focuses on accessibility and has no complicated settings makes it very user-friendly. For example, it’s designed with custom menus that make it very easy for you to create navigation menus with custom links to your pages.
The days when we had to sit behind a desk just to access the internet on desktops are over. Today, we all consume the internet on our mobile devices while on the go. So no matter what type of website you’re creating, it’s of great importance to ensure that the website is mobile-friendly. Well, WordPress is designed with mobile-friendly features. This means that a website created on WordPress is very responsive even when accessed on a mobile device.
We all want to optimize our websites so that they can appear at the very top of the internet search pages. WordPress is fully aware of this and that’s why it’s designed to offer a perfect code base for SEO. This makes it a lot easier for your website to be found on the most popular search engines, especially Google.
Built-in Blog and Media File Library
In most cases, you need to design a blog for your website to help in educating your customers and readers. This is a lot easier on WordPress as it comes with a built-in blog. Again, WordPress comes with a built-in media library that allows you to upload embedded media files such as videos and images to your pages or posts.
The WordPress Block Editor (New WordPress 5.0)
The new WordPress 5.0 has introduced a new WordPress Block Editor. Popularly known as the Gutenberg WordPress Editor, this feature enhances how you edit your posts thanks to its very versatile “drag and drop” feature.
So is WordPress Right for You?
The benefits that come with using WordPress are an indication of why it’s the most used website Content Management System. Let’s briefly look at some of the reasons why using WordPress could be good for you.
Although you must pay for web hosting and a domain name, WordPress software is free. All you have to do is download and use it. You also have to remember that you do not need any coding skills to create your website using WordPress. This is because WordPress is designed to remove any coding skills or language that could hinder its simplicity.
Easy to Use
You need not be a web developer to use WordPress. This is because it is easy to use. If you know how to use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress to create your website. Even as a beginner, you do not need any technical skills to use WordPress. This is because it easily allows you to create content quickly and publish it.
As a holder of the General Public License (GPL), WordPress doesn’t belong to any company or entity. As such, it’s an open-source software where thousands of developers and users contribute and collaborate in making the software much better. This means that it offers free usage for everyone while accountability and constant improvement are constantly encouraged.
Offer Highly Customizable WordPress Themes
WordPress offers endless high customizable themes that are designed to offer the perfect design layout for your website. You can change the outlook of your website by applying the appropriate theme to your website with a just click of a button.
WordPress also has more advanced themes that are like page builders as they give you even more control of your website layout.
WordPress offers several plugins that are essentially bits of software that you can include on your website so that it can work better. These plugins are a package of additional codes that you can add to your website for improved functionality, features, and integrations. Of course, most of these plugins are free. But just like themes, there are premium plugins that you have to purchase as they offer more advanced features, security patches, and options.
WordPress is Secure
It would be a lie to say that WordPress is 100% secure, but its security is among the best. This platform always strives to ensure that it’s as secure as possible.
WordPress is a Thriving Community for Users and Developers
Whether through WordCamps or WordPress Meetup, having a WordPress website gives you the chance to meet and interact with fellow users or developers. You’ll not only learn new ideas but you can also meet some of the best minds in the WordPress community.
How to Start Using WordPress
Now that we’ve looked at the numerous benefits of WordPress, you’re most likely thinking about how to start using WordPress. Of course, it’s absolutely free to use WordPress, but you definitely need a domain name, quality web hosting, and WordPress software installed on your website and the journey of using WordPress will be easy peasy.