What is WordPress?

January 3, 2017

This article is for those that are asking the question: what is WordPress? Alongside explaining what it is, we’ll also describe how it works, who uses it, and discuss the powerful benefits associated with using the WordPress platform.

WordPress is the world’s most popular website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. WordPress simplifies the website design and management process, as it allows users to build and maintain a professional grade website or blog without having to write a single line of code. Its user-friendly interface makes it one of the easiest, fastest growing, and most powerful web publishing platforms currently available.

Best of all, WordPress is completely free. It’s an open-source project, which means a large community of talented people, lead by a core team of skilled developers, have all made contributions to make WordPress the great software that it is today. There are hundreds of developers around the world that are constantly improving the functions and features of WordPress.

Evolution of WordPress

In its early existence, WordPress was designed as a tool to enrich the blogging experience.

Over time, the core developers expanded its functionality, turning into a powerful content management system that enables you to easily build a fully-featured website. Best of all, this can all be done from within your web browser.

In addition to being free and easy-to-use, WordPress is supported by an entire community of highly-involved website owners and developers. Over the years, an active and generous community has evolved to further empower all WordPress users.

How Does WordPress Work?

Websites are created using HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language, the hidden code that uses a scripted set of markup symbols, or HTML tags, to define how the web browser must format and display the content.

Rather than having to learn HTML and deal with complex lines of code, anyone can build and manage a full-featured, fully customizable website using the WordPress platform. By downloading and installing WordPress, you’ll have access to a user-friendly interface and customizable dashboard to help you manage your content and created a stunning website.

WordPress runs on PHP, a server scripting language that fits gracefully into HTML, and uses the MySQL database management system to store and retrieve your information, including your website’s content, user profiles, and custom settings. The vast majority of web hosting providers support PHP and MySQL, therefore they are compatible with the WordPress platform.

Essentially, WordPress comes in two flavors, either as a fully hosted service through WordPress.com or it’s self-hosted counterpart: WordPress.org. Both options are explained in our article entitled. WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

Who uses WordPress?

Over a quarter of all websites in existence operate on the WordPress platform. There is now over 75 million WordPress websites, a number that is rapidly growing with an estimated 50,000 new WordPress websites added daily. This accumulates to a total of 2.5 billion posts and 3 billion comments.  From behemoth Fortune 500 companies to individually operated photo studios, WordPress sites come in all shapes and sizes.

Otherwise put, you’re in good company if you choose to publish your website using WordPress. Many large corporations, news outlets, entertainment companies, and even celebrities are all using WordPress to publish incredibly attractive and intuitive websites. Who would’ve known that companies like Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, Sony, CNN, and Justin Timberlake all run their site on the WordPress platform?

If discovering additional well-known sites and famous people currently using WordPress inspires you, check out the WordPress site showcase, which features popular businesses and recently added websites.

Why should you use WordPress?

Once you become more familiar with the advanced features of WordPress you’ll come to realize that if you are using WordPress, whether for a personal blog or business website, you’ve made the right choice. Alongside being incredibly easy to setup, manage, and update, WordPress offers users the flexibility of adding features to optimize their website without having to hire a developer.

Unlike other content management systems, WordPress is open source and therefore free from restrictions and limitations. As such, WordPress programmers around the world have extended its capabilities for the entire community, resulting in thousands of professional grade, quality themes and plugins available at your fingertips. WordPress allows you the ability to add functionality to the core system by customizing it with features applicable to your needs. WordPress empowers you, the website owner, to have complete control over your website.

We hope this article provided you with insight into the powerful benefits associated with WordPress. If you aren’t using WordPress, what’s stopping you? If you’re concerned about taking on a new software that you’re unfamiliar with, then rest assured, Planet WP is loaded with many resources to help you manage and improve your WordPress site.

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