What is WordPress, exactly?

July 17, 2021| MondialPress Translations
What is WordPress, exactly?

Have you ever thought about creating your own website? You’ve probably heard that WordPress is the “World’s Most Popular CMS or Content Management System” ….. But what does all this mean?

If you are new to the world of WordPress and / or are just looking to figure out what it is, you might feel even more lost while researching when and how to use it. While there are a ton of in-depth articles on the subject, very few can be found that clearly and simply explain the basics … and why everyone is talking about WordPress as the holy grail for building a website.

WordPress has grown so big and become so popular over the past few years that you must have heard the word a few times, not really knowing what it all really is (or is it vague in your head?).

So why not start from the beginning and stick to the basics? Yes? Let’s go!

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free content management system that can be used to build and manage your website. It’s open-source software, which means it’s developed by a community of people like you and me (just barely a little more skilled). It is the most popular way to create and manage a website, and it is used on over 40% of websites worldwide.

Essentially, WordPress is considered by many to be the best and easiest way to deliver your content on the web. It is the most popular content management system. It is also often called a CMS or a Content Management System.

What is a CMS?

CMS = Content Management System = Content Management System in good French. It is a platform that allows you to create, manage and maintain your website (and its content) without the help of a developer or any complicated code or coding.

There are several other CMS that you may be familiar with, like Joomla, Wix, and Shopify to name a few, but none of them have established themselves as quickly as WordPress.

Did you know? Over 500 websites are designed using WordPress every day. Developers around the world are dedicated exclusively to designing themes and plugins for WordPress, so popular is this platform! For example, there are over 55,000 plugins in the WordPress plugins directory alone. Extensions are the famous plugins.

WordPress: how does it work?

Now that we understand that WordPress is a tool that makes it easy to publish content on the web, let’s take it a step further.

From a technical point of view, WordPress acts as an interface between the creator (the one who publishes the content), a database (the server where the content is stored) and the visitor (who accesses that content) via a browser. web. WordPress connects all of these elements together.

Okay, this part might seem technical, but let’s go … What makes WordPress so good is that when you use WordPress to publish content to the web, you are basically just entering data (images, text, links, etc.) in a database. When a visitor requests to visit the website (by entering their URL in the browser), WordPress builds a “view” with all of the available information, which is then presented to the user in the form of a web page.

This is a huge advantage, because WordPress gives you the ability to easily edit any element on your website, whenever you want. You can then post the changes for your visitors to see instantly.

Why is WordPress so popular?

When it comes to building a website, there are plenty of ways to go about it today. A popular choice is to use a website builder (with a certain set of limitations) like Weebly, Wix, or Squarespace, to name a few.

With all of these options, why is WordPress the most popular and is it really worth a visit?

There are 2 main reasons why WordPress stands out.

WordPress gives you the freedom to completely customize your website like no other CMS. In short, WordPress separates content and content management, giving you complete freedom to edit and adjust it as well as greater control over all aspects of your website.

WordPress is relatively easy to use. The vast majority of WordPress users are people like you and me, with no technical or designer training. Everything is easy to find if you’re the least bit resourceful, after all. The interface is simple and easy to understand. There are text editors, free page builders like Elementor for creating layouts and landing pages. Much can be done with a simple drag-and-drop, without ever having to enter a single line of code.

Here are some other reasons people choose to go with WordPress:

  • Free and open-source software
  • Works for any type of website
  • Supports multiple types of content
  • Available in many languages (196 and more)
  • Supports bilingual websites
  • Learning the basics of WordPress is easy
  • There is a huge community behind
  • Fully customizable thanks to thousands of themes and plugins
  • Easy to adapt and develop
  • No need to be an expert to manage your site
  • Very good SEO functions
  • Excellent security features
  • Gives you 100% control over your website

… and, these are just a few reasons why WordPress is such a popular choice!

What is the difference between .com and .org?

When experts talk about WordPress, or when you hear that word in a conversation, it is usually to refer to the WordPress application itself, which is hosted on wordpress.org. But to avoid confusion, let’s see the difference between WordPress, wordpress.com, and wordpress.org.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the official website that hosts the WordPress application. It is on this website that you can download WordPress (the application). But that’s also where all the official WordPress documentation, manuals, support through the many forums, theme and plugin directories, and more can be found.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is operated by Automattic, a for-profit provider that manages the WordPress project and offers paid services for WordPress. You can build your website there directly, however, it may be limited by the platform, in terms of features and functionality.

What kind of websites can you create with WordPress?

The best example is the White House, Sony Music, Walt Disney, and even Snoop Dogg’s site (really!).

WordPress started out as a platform used primarily by bloggers, but today you can build almost any type of website with WordPress. No matter what you have in mind, there is a huge choice of extensions and themes to create exactly the type of website you want; whether it is a blog that receives little traffic, or a large e-commerce website with millions of visitors per month.

To give you an idea, here are a few examples:

  • Corporate websites
  • Information media
  • Portfolios
  • Resume
  • Forums
  • Social networks
  • Membership sites
  • …and many others!
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