What is WordPress? Explained for beginners

By | June 7, 2020

On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source content management system licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify WordPress software for free. A content management system is basically a tool that makes it easy to manage important aspects of your website – like content – without needing to know anything about programming.

The end result is that WordPress makes building a website accessible to everyone – even people who are not developers.

What is #WordPress? Simply put, this is the best way to build a website. 😉CLICK TO TWEET

What types of websites can you create with WordPress?

Many years ago, WordPress was primarily a tool for blogging, rather than more traditional websites. This has not been true for a long time, however. Nowadays, thanks to changes to the base code, as well as to the vast ecosystem of WordPress plugins and themes, you can create any type of website with WordPress.

For example, WordPress not only powers a large number of business sites and blogs, but it is also the most popular way to create an eCommerce store ! With WordPress, you can create:

  • Business websites
  • ECommerce Shops
  • Blogs
  • Portfolios
  • CV
  • Forums
  • Social media
  • Membership sites
  • … Just about anything else you can imagine.


What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?


The WordPress.org home page


The WordPress.org home page

We covered the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com in much more detail, but here is the short version:

  • WordPress.org, often called self-hosted WordPress, is free, open-source WordPress software that you can install on your own hosting to create a website that is 100% yours.
  • WordPress.com is a paid, for-profit service that works with WordPress.org software. It’s simple to use, but you lose much of the flexibility of WordPress self-hosting.

Most of the time, when people say “WordPress”, they mean the self-hosted WordPress available on WordPress.org. If you really want to own your website, WordPress.org is almost always the best option.

All you have to do to get started with WordPress is to buy web hosting and a domain name.

Who made WordPress and how long has it been there?

WordPress was created as a standalone project throughout 2003, the product of a previous project called b2 / catalog .

WordPress is open-source software, so these days it is made by a huge community of contributors. But if we had to go back to the origins of WordPress, its original creation was a collaboration between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.

Since then, Matt Mullenweg has largely become the face of WordPress. He is also the founder of Automattic, which is the company behind the WordPress.com for-profit service.

The history of WordPress between its creation as a blog platform in 2003 and today is long….

But suffice it to say that WordPress has pushed ahead and, thanks to its contributors and its huge community, has become the most popular solution for creating any type of website.

Who uses WordPress?

WordPress is used by individuals, large companies, and everyone in between! On an immediate note, we are using WordPress! So the site you are currently viewing is powered by WordPress. Many other well-known entities also use WordPress. Here are some of our favorite examples:


The official Whitehouse.gov site is powered by WordPress:

Whitehouse.gov is powered by WordPress

Whitehouse.gov is powered by WP


Microsoft uses WP to propel its official blog. It also uses WordPress to propel blogs for specific products like Windows and Skype:

Microsoft uses WordPress to power its official blog

The Rolling Stones

Even famous groups love WordPress! The Rolling Stones website is powered entirely by WordPress:

Rolling Stones group website uses WordPress

Why use WordPress?

Ok, so over 35.2% of all websites on the Internet use WordPress, including well-known entities like the White House and Microsoft.

But you, what do you think? Why use WordPress?

Well, no matter what type of website you want to build, there are lots of reasons to use WordPress. Here are some of the larger ones:

WordPress is free and open-source

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is that it is free software. Although you will have to pay a little for hosting, you will never have to pay just to use WordPress software, which is not the case with alternatives like Squarespace.

Beyond that, you can also find many open-source plugins and themes to change the look and working of your website. Speaking of that…

WordPress is extensible

Even if you are not a developer, you can easily edit your website thanks to the huge ecosystem of WordPress themes and plugins:

  • Themes – they mainly change the look of your website.
  • Plugins – they mainly change the way your website works. Plugins can be something small, like a contact form, or huge, like setting up an eCommerce store.

Currently, there are over 50,000 free WordPress plugins and 5,000 free WordPress themes, as well as tons of premium options. That said, you have a lot of choices! Here is a non-exhaustive list of the best WordPress plugins.

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WordPress is easy to install

Do you think you need to be a tech genius to build your own website? Think again! If you can click a few buttons, you can install WordPress on your site.

Nowadays, most web hosts:

  • Offer to preinstall WordPress for you so that your site is ready to start immediately.
  • Give you dedicated tools that make the installation process very user friendly for beginners.

WordPress is flexible

We’ve talked about this before, but WordPress is great because it lets you create just about any type of website. Even better, your website can also grow with you.

Want to add a forum to your existing WordPress site? No problem – just install the bbPress plugin! Want to add a social network? No problem! Just use the BuddyPress plugin.

You are never locked into a specific set of functions – you can always adapt and evolve.

WordPress help is easy to find

Because WordPress is so popular, it’s easy to find help if you ever run into problems. There are lots of….

  • Blogs
  • Tutorials
  • Forums
  • Facebook Groups
  • Developers

… Who you can turn to for free and paid help if needed.


What is WP? It’s the best way to build a website

WordPress is the most popular way to build a website for a reason. If you want to build any type of website, from a blog to an eCommerce store, WordPress is a great option.

Just remember that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not the same things. And, in most cases, WordPress.org hosted by yourself is what you want to build a website. Self-hosted WordPress.org gives you more ownership as well as access to all the perks and benefits of the WordPress community.

How are you going to use WP? We can’t wait to find out!


2 thoughts on “What is WordPress? Explained for beginners

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