What is WordPress?
December 12, 2014
There are many options out there when it comes to creating a website, from different hosting options to the tools that you can use to create and manage the content. Unlike in previous years, website design is no longer limited to programmers and those with extensive technical expertise. Many site owners are more interested in managing the content than focusing on the finer details of the technology and today’s options can be a confusing tangle of details for many beginners to sort out. That’s why it’s nice to find a single solution that makes it fast and easy to create your own website and manage the information that you want to put online.
WordPress is a software which is used to manage a website and its content, including web pages, pictures, videos and menus. Originally known as a blogging tool, it has grown into a complete content management system which contains all of the content for a website and enables the people managing the website to create new content and manage existing content as needed. It can still be used to manage blogs as well as sophisticated, full-featured websites.
Unlike many types of design software, WordPress is actually installed on the web server that hosts the website. In order to make changes to the site and its content, WordPress users login to the software over an Internet connection and make whatever changes are needed. This means the site can be managed from anywhere, provided that there’s an Internet connection. WordPress then assembles and presents the individual pages of the site to visitors over the Internet as they request them. No login is required to view the site but the visitors still interact with WordPress as it serves up the requested pages.
WordPress was first released in 2003 and is currently used to maintain over 60 million websites worldwide, including many university and media sites such as the University of Maine and the New York Post. Its popularity is due to its many advantages as a website design tool.
- Setup is quick and easy. The WordPress software can either be downloaded from WordPress.org and installed through a specific hosting service or it can be run through WordPress.com which provides inexpensive WordPress hosting services of its own. The initial installation takes about five minutes and a full website can be customized and published within a few hours.
- Because the WordPress software is free under the GPL public license and installed on the server, there are no local software installations or licensing issues to be concerned with. The design software accommodates multiple users who can login from any location with an Internet connection.
- The software and the content it produces are all maintained using the PHP web programming language which is also free to use and widely supported. This means that the site can be easily transferred between hosting services or if necessary and there are no issues with proprietary file formats requiring expensive software to maintain.
- The software provides a collaborative environment, supporting multiple users for each site who can be assigned levels of access based on their ability and needs. This access ranges from basic subscriber rights for users who are authorized to view subscription-only content to content creation and editing rights to full administrative rights to manage the site itself.
- WordPress offers a fully-graphical interface that enables content creators to focus on documents and menus rather than files and commands. Once the software is installed, users can do more than 90% of the site management from within a user-friendly interface, easing the learning curve for new users and enabling them to focus on the quality of content rather than technical issues.
- New functionality is easily added through thousands of free design themes and plug-ins designed by the community of WordPress developers. These include add-ons for search engine optimization, site security, e-commerce, multimedia management, site backup and more. Also, because the WordPress community is so large and the software has such an impressive share of the market, it’s easy to find support and experts who are able to assist with more advanced issues.
One of the goals of WordPress is actually to democratize publishing, enabling everyone to be able to publish their message on the web with free and open source software such as WordPress.
WordPress is one of many tools used by Comeau Software Solutions to create this and other professional quality websites for customers. Its ease of setup and the ability to give the customer control of day-to-day content changes make it a preferred solution for web site design.
If you would like to know more about WordPress and how we can help you design your website, please contact us through this website or by phone at (352) 572-2997.