An Online Guide To Wordpress

What is WordPress?

Simply put, WordPress is a free piece of web software which allows anyone to create their own blog or website. You don't have to know any code, or be highly technical - it is used by customers ranging from the ages of 90 to 9! The technical term for WordPress is a 'content management system'. This simply means that it does all of the hard work of coding and programming behind the scenes, while you can arrange your blog or website through an intuitive interface without having to worry about such things. While WordPress started out as a blogging platform, it now has the capacity to run even the most complicated of websites through its content management system.

WordPress Hosting

In order to set up a website that is more complicated than a simple blog, you will need your own domain name. The best way to do this is to go to a traditional domain hosting website, most of which fully support WordPress software. It is likely that you will have more functionality provided to you if you choose a domain host rather than sticking to WordPress' default options - for example, higher memory capacity, your own email account for the website, and better bandwidth. If your website or blog becomes popular, you will need this flexibility.

The important thing with webhosting, as with all consumer purchases, is to ask exactly what features the domain host provides, and whether there are any catches. For example, if they promise a free domain name, are you able to switch that domain to another host if you are not happy? It is often worth paying a few pounds to be able to do this, to avoid hassle later on. Similarly, even if their setup is compatible with WordPress software, do they offer support for it? Do a little shopping around and you'll soon find the best deal.

WordPress Themes

One of the beauties of using a popular content management system such as WordPress is that a large community of bloggers and website owners have been working on improving their own sites for years using the same software. The advantage of this can be seen in the availability of thousands of different "themes" for WordPress. In essence, you can choose exactly how your website will look, customising it at the click of a button. Not only that, but you will be able to make posts about one topic look entirely different from another. This can be endless fun - and it also helps you to stand out from the crowd.

WordPress Plugins

Themes are by no means the only way you can customise your WordPress site. Thousands of plugins are available, both for free and commercially, allowing your website to do pretty much whatever you want. Looking for a visible counter of how many visitors you've had? Easy. Want your website to send an email to every first time visitor? Consider it done. The near infinite range of plugins is one of the main reasons for its enduring popularity - and, as with most things to do with WordPress, installing and maintaining them is simple.

Uses for WordPress

WordPress is such a flexible platform that it is used for almost every imaginable purpose. Many people are satisfied simply with using the software to maintain a simple blog. Others use it to support commercial websites which generate significant revenue in e-commerce, to run webforums or community groups, or even to power international websites such as the New York Times or CNN! The sky really is the limit.