What is WordPress?

WordPress is used to simplify the design and management of websites. It is friendly enough that a novice blogger can use it to build a website, but it is powerful and flexible enough to meet the needs of a large organization or corporation. Due to its ease of use and proven track record of stability, millions of websites worldwide use WordPress as their foundation.

WordPress is software of the type known as a “Content Management System,” or CMS. As technical names go, this is rather self-explanatory: The “content” refers to the contents of a web page, and WordPress is a system that is used to create, arrange and present it. It was designed to assist bloggers in getting their message to the web. Bloggers are often not experienced web developers. Their goal is to create content and get it seen, and any cumbersome system that requires a great deal of technical expertise is an obstacle to that goal. A CMS such as WordPress takes care of the technical details and gives the user a shortcut to getting their message seen by the world. Of the available CMSes, WordPress stands out for its user-friendliness and its commitment to beautiful design.

The WordPress software provides the foundation of a website and can be accessed from a web page for management. This is easy and can even be done from mobile devices. Site features are controlled from a point-and-click interface that involves no programming code. New content can be added by clicking on a text area and typing. There are also features that simplify the addition of media such as images and videos.

WordPress complies with web standards so that creators can reasonably expect all of their viewers to see the same thing when they visit a site. Behind the scenes, each WordPress site is powered by a full-fledged database. This makes everything from dynamic web features to shopping cart technologies possible.

Virtually any feature one can imagine in a website is achievable with WordPress. Thousands of “plug-ins,” many of them available free of charge, are available. These extend WordPress beyond its simple website management functions and fill many different needs. Some increase site security, and others provide performance enhancements. There are plug-ins to alter a site’s appearance, to add features such as audio or video players to a site, and to add e-commerce features. These plug-ins turn WordPress into a complete platform that is relied on by so many users with so many different needs.

The look of a WordPress site is based on the visual “theme” that is installed. Hundreds of themes are available free of charge at the WordPress website. Each of these can provide a site with a distinctive, individual look. This again can be managed from a point-and-click interface and doesn’t require the services of a professional web designer. Of course, if one wants to hire a professional to design a truly unique, custom theme, this also is possible.

WordPress was designed to enable a maximum amount of possibilities with a minimum amount of fuss and to look great doing so. These qualities that made it such a popular choice for bloggers also make it ideal for small-business owners. An entrepreneur who already has so many functions to perform doesn’t need to add “web guru” to that list and has little time to spend on something with a steep learning curve. WordPress offers a quick, direct path to giving a business a web presence and makes it easy to update that site with fresh content. Perhaps most important to a cash-strapped business owner is that it costs nothing. It is available at no charge and is free for all to use.

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