What is WordPress?

Posted on 14. Jul, 2009 by .

Wordpress Content Management System

Every blogger is talking about WordPress. Every blogger would recommend it to you. But what is it? What does it do? Should you use it? I hope you find answers to these questions in this article.

WordPress in General

WordPress is a system that helps you manage the content you present on your web site. Because of that it is also referred to as a Content Management System or CMS.

A Content Management System lets you create, manage, edit and publish content in a organized manner. It does this in a straight forward way. Especially in WordPress you can control every aspect of the web site through a nice control panel.

Another aspect that makes it so great, is that it’s free. You don’t have to pay anything.

Who Should Use WordPress?

If you are sick of having to manage all your HTML files yourself or you do not know a lot about the technical side of a web site, then WordPress will be very useful to you.

It is great for people who do not like doing technical stuff. On the other hand it is also good for web developers. They can create plugins to extend WordPress’ default functionality to suit their needs.

Ultimately WordPress is useful for everyone.

Requirements

WordPress itself does have some technical requirements. If you want to know whether WordPress could be installed on your web server than just ask your web host about the following aspects:

  • PHP 4.3 or greater
  • MYSQL 4.0 or greater
  • The mod_rewrite Apache module

Most web hosting companies meet these requirements but it cannot hurt to ask before signing up for a hosting service.

Blogging with WordPress

WordPress is mostly used for blogs these days. The reason being that it was originally developed for this task.

Therefore blogging with WordPress is extremely easy once you get the hang of it. There is not a whole lot you can do wrong. If you don’t want to end up destroying your blog while trying a few things out then I would recommend installing WordPress offline.

Other WordPress Uses

BuddyPress is an extension of WordPress. All it does is to add specific plugins to your WordPress blog. These plugins serve to make your web site more social through adding functions such as private messaging.

WordPress is also used as an e-Commerce site. Again there are several plugins that help you in creating a e-Commerce web site.

WordPress Plugins

WordPress for its part is also very flexible. This flexibility comes in the form of plugins.

Everyone is allowed to create plugins. If you have a great plugin idea then go ahead and create it. In order to do that though your plugin needs to fulfill certain requirements. Therefore if you are seriously interested in developing plugins you should visit WordPress’ knowledge base.

All new WordPress plugins will be listed in the Plugin Directory.

How to Style Your Blog Differently

WordPress themes are a way to style your blog differently. These themes are basic PHP files containing some special WordPress modifiers. Therefore WordPress themes look  almost the same as normal PHP web pages.

Themes are made up of multiple pages, some of which are necessary. Every theme should at least include these files:

style.css
header.php
index.php
footer.php
sidebar.php
comments.php

Today there are so many themes available for WordPress it is hard to know where to start with. I personally recommend two web sites:

  • Woothemes – This web sites offers mostly WordPress themes you have to purchase, but they also have some free themes available.
  • DailyBlogTips – This is a blog which offers many free WordPress themes.

Depending on your needs I recommend to go to either one of the web sites. However if you are not so much into the technical side of a blog then I recommend purchasing themes from Woothemes. Their advantage is that everything is already built-in and you can change stuff without the need of editing source code.

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

Everyone doing research about WordPress will eventually come to ask himself whether there is a difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

Yes, there is a small but significant difference between these two web sites. WordPress.org offers the free content management system I’ve been talking about. On the other hand WordPress.com is a web site that offers free blogs that use WordPress.org as the blog management system.

In a simple sentence: WordPress.org  is the software WordPress.com uses to provide free blogs for visitors.

Has this article helped you in understanding WordPress better? Was it of any use?

2 Responses to “What is WordPress?”

  1. Sandesh Mascarenhas

    30. Nov, 2009

    hey man wonderful post………. This is something which I use to look out for during my initial days of blogging.
    You have written an excellent article which will benefit the new blogger who would like to start blogs using wordpress…..
    Keep up the good work………..hope to see such good post in future…………… :)

    Reply to this comment
    • jules

      01. Dec, 2009

      thank you. I am really glad that this article is of good use for you. Do you think that there is something I should have covered in more detail?

      Reply to this comment

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