Most people getting started in website design have probably heard a little about WordPress. Many hear it bantered about and possibly see it in their hosting company’s control admin panel as an add-on program, yet have not investigated it due to a lack of understanding and fear of a rather difficult learning curve. Digging into WordPress is not difficult and takes a relatively short amount of time to become familiar with the structure and get a really professional and responsive website up within minutes.
A Little Bit of WordPress History
WordPress started out in 2003 as a means to enhance typography for what was becoming known as blogs. Back then, WordPress was only a single bit of code to accomplish this purpose. It later became a platform for hosting more complex blog websites. For those unfamiliar, a blog stands for Web Log. During this period, blogs quickly became a popular means to comment on or otherwise keep track of and take comments and engaging discussions on specific topics such as politics, current events, products or services.
WordPress – The Content Management System (CMS)
Today, WordPress has become much more than the most popular blogging platform, as it is also a creation tool for other types of websites around the world. It has become an elegant and well-structured publishing architecture. The world uses it for everything from the simplest of websites to the most complex of full-featured portals. By definition, it is a content management system (CMS), a type of framework that is built on server side technology using a scripting language called PHP and connected to a backend database server called MySQL.
Open Source, Free and Continuously Updated
WordPress is open source and therefore free, without licensing fees, and continually updated and refined. There are literally hundreds of people all over the world working on it. It is one of the most prevalent and common applications included via most hosting plans. One button installation without the need to download the files is common through the host’s admin control panel.
What are WordPress Themes, Plugins and Widgets
With thousands of themes, plugins, widgets and third party developers creating these resources, WordPress offers one of the quickest and easiest mediums to launch a blog or full-featured website project.
WordPress themes are basically templates that are used to determine the structure, look and functionality of a site. There are many thousands of WordPress themes available. You will find the Themes folder within the wp-content folder of your WordPress installation. You will find themes for just about any website motif sector you can think of. Many are free with other very professional themes being offered at reasonable pricing.
WordPress plugins offer a huge advantages over a standard website. Plugins consist of code packaged into a standard plugin format that allows for almost any type of out-of-the-box functionality you can think of for your website. This may be as simple as a contact form to a complex security plugin such as WordFence designed to protect your entire website from the dangers of hackers and spammers in cyberspace. Many of the plugins are free and others are paid. Some offer basic functionality for free with higher level functionalities available for a one time or monthly charge.
WordPress widgets are small blocks that perform a specific function for display and layout purposes. They may be content blocks that incorporate search, RSS, feeds Categories, recent posts mailing lists, comments or other dynamically derived content. May times these are interjected into the sidebars of various pages of a WordPress website.
A Giant Support Community and WordCamp Events
WordPress has become so popular that large conferences are organized and put on by WordPress users around the world. These have become known as WordCamps and feature top WordPress developers and others as lecturers and seminar instructors. WordCamps are for everyone and anyone who uses the WordPress platform from the beginner to the much more sophisticated core developer. They provide a free medium for individuals to grow the platform while learning about all the possibilities and the latest plugins and development techniques in an atmosphere of sharing and cooperation.
With the unlimited online resources, themes, plugins and widgets and numerous WordPress groups out there, there is no reason not to dig-in and learn this marvelous content management platform. You don’t need to know code nor be a computer geek to use this marvelous tool of website creation. With WordPress, you can try various resources (many for free) and interact with a dynamic and growing community to create the perfect website.