When it comes to the world of creating and managing websites, WordPress is by far and away the most popular — and arguably most capable — tool for the job. But what actually is WordPress? What is it used for, and what can it really do?
To answer these questions — and more — check out our latest video explanation over on our YouTube channel.
Take a look:
Hi, this is Topher with WinningWP. I’ve been using WordPress for quite a while now and so fairly regularly I get the question “What is WordPress? And what is it for?”. So let’s answer that question. What is WordPress? At its most simple, WordPress is a piece of software for making websites – but despite the fact that it’s simply a piece of software, it’s actually a remarkable piece of software! WordPress is written collaboratively by thousands of people around the globe, and they’re all volunteers! That’s a remarkable feat! All of those people working together in concert to move something in the same direction. I’ve been a part of that group and it’s pretty amazing! It’s also completely free. If we take a look at the wordpress.org website, right here in the top right is a button that says download WordPress. And now, on this page, is a button that lets you download the latest version – and you could always get it here. But even more importantly than not costing money, the licensing for WordPress is such that both everyone owns it and no one owns it. Anyone who wants to, can use it for anything they want. There are no limitations there, with the exception that if you change it you must release your changes to everyone else, so that everyone can benefit from what you do. But what is WordPress for? It was written first for blogging. ‘Blog’ is short for ‘web log’ which is two words, and the log is like a journal – so it’s like a journal on the web. Because of that WordPress is really excellent at blogging. Here’s a pretty normal blog. There’s a title, a post, the sidebar, we have categories, archives, tweets, etc. There’s some comments at the bottom: a very normal blog. Here’s another one. This belongs to Matt Mullenweg: one of the co-inventors of WordPress. It’s also a pretty normal blog. Titles, pictures, posts, etc. But one of the interesting things about WordPress is that it has grown – and it’s now flexible enough to build any kind of website. This site is the Ottawa Citizen. It’s a newspaper for the capital of Canada. It gets an enormous amount of traffic and has lots and lots of content. Another great example is Vogue.com. Yes this is Vogue magazine – and they use WordPress. But even beyond normal websites with content, WordPress is also great at ecommerce. WooCommerce is a plugin [see: https://winningwp.com/what-are-wordpress-plugins/ for more info] for WordPress that drives almost 30% of all e-commerce on the entire web: including these sites. WordPress also excels at membership sites, where you pay to access certain kinds of content, like music and themes and educational material – and one last example: this website is an online community like Facebook, but for recipes and things. Here you can see the featured members how long they’ve been there, how many recipes they’ve contributed, etc. So if you’re interested in an online community like Facebook, but a little more private, WordPress can do that for you. It’s also flexible enough to power mobile apps. More and more people are using their phones to access the Internet these days, and to use native apps for their phones – and WordPress can help drive those apps as well. And in the end WordPress is a flexible enough tool that it can be used to build just about anything you can imagine! If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress be sure to check out WinningWP.com
All clear on what WordPress is? Questions? Thoughts?