Do you ever wonder “How is this website built?” or “What software is this site running on?” If you’re like most people, you’ve probably never given it any thought. Your favorite websites are there when you need it and it just works as expected. In this article, we’ll cover one of the most popular website software solutions around and dive into what it is and what it’s used for.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS). A content management system is any software that allows for easier manipulation (creating, editing, deleting) of data and digital content. WordPress is offered under GPLv2 licensing, so that means that anyone can use or even modify the software at no cost. For a more in-depth article about software license types, check out our blog post “The Purpose and Scope of Popular Open Source Software Licenses”.
What is WordPress used for?
While WordPress was founded primarily as a blogging CMS, it has evolved due to the overwhelming amount of plugins and themes. A plugin is an add-on that allows additional functionality to the system. This can be as simple as a plugin to remove the ability for comments or as complex as WooCommerce, a full-blown e-commerce solution for WordPress.
What else can WordPress be used as? With the proper plugins and setup, it can be used as:
- E-commerce Site
- Business Website
- Personal Blog
- Resume or Project Portfolio website
- Photography website
- Classified Ads website
- Social sites
- Membership sites
- Collaboration/Forum website
- Much, Much More….
There are currently over 50,000 plugins in the WordPress official directory, with new ones being added on a daily basis. With just a few plugins working together, you can truly create any type of website you want using WordPress.
What makes WordPress different than other Content Management Systems (CMS)?
The reason a lot of users prefer WordPress is that it’s so simple to use and customize. If you want to change the entire appearance of your site from top to bottom, you can simply add a new theme to “spice it up”. It’s also very easy to get started. Quite a few web hosting companies offer WordPress as a “One-click Install” software. This gives you the ability to get started in just a few minutes without any prior experience. The user interface may actually remind you of a typical word-processing program (screenshot below).
How many sites use WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world currently. It powers around 27% of ALL websites (source: WhoIsHostingThis), so saying “It’s a popular CMS!” is a bit of an understatement. In fact, the website you are reading this post on is powered by WordPress. If you have any questions about WordPress or would like to inquire about a custom web site, feel free to contact SandStorm IT at 901-475-0275.