What Is WordPress? a Guide to the Free Website Builder

  • WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) that allows you to create a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a variety of features that allow users to create a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Check out Insider’s Insider Reference Library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular open source content management system (CMS) that is free to use. You can use it to create your own website without having to learn programming languages ​​such as JavaScript, Python or C ++.

What you should know about WordPress

WordPress logo

WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform.

Rafael Henrique / SOPA Pictures / LightRocket / Getty Images

WordPress can create a wide variety of websites thanks to a wide variety of features, including personal blogs, online portfolios, company pages, and e-commerce websites.

As open source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress does not belong to any company or entity. Rather, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as a blogging platform. As a student, Mullenweg used the b2 blogging system (also known as the cafelog), but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with the help of Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to evolve thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, nowadays it can be used to create all kinds of websites for all kinds of purposes thanks to a wide variety of plugins and themes. In other words, you can build pretty much any type of website you want using WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, ecommerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Quick note: If you search for WordPress online, you will likely find two websites, WordPress.org and WordPress.com. The former is where you can find the free software that you can install on your web host. The latter is a paid service that allows you to create a website.

WordPress.org allows you to own your website and offers the greatest flexibility. All you need to build your website is a domain name and a web host. WordPress.com will host your website and do it all for you, but at a financial cost and a loss of flexibility.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites are The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

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The New Yorker is one of many popular websites that support WordPress.

The New Yorker

The software includes many features that you can use to create a unique site.

The most popular features of WordPress

  • Subjects: Themes give your website a generic look and include color schemes, font styles, and a general layout. Themes are often customizable and are a great starting point for building your website without having to create it from scratch.

  • Plugins: Plug-ins are software that you upload to your website to add features and functionality such as e-commerce, contact forms, and an Instagram feed.

  • SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) makes the content of your website findable through search engines like Google. Better search engine optimization means that your content is closer to the top of a search list and WordPress offers a base code for search engine optimization.

  • Mobile friendly: Most WordPress themes are optimized for mobile devices and will translate your website design into something that works and looks great on phones too.

  • WordPress block editor: This feature, also known as the Gutenberg WordPress Editor, allows you to drag and drop your content for easy editing on WordPress sites and postings.

What You Need to Use WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (via WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name.

There are three common approaches to web hosting: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself VPS WordPress hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky with nearly 2 billion websites floating around right now. However, there are some general tips that will help you find and buy the perfect one available.

April 5, 2021