What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL which runs on a Web hosting service. It has many features including a plug-in architecture and a template system.

WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internet's "top 1 million" websites and as of June 2013 manages 26.4% of all new websites.

WordPress is currently the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, powering over 60 million websites worldwide.


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What You Can Use WordPress For?

WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes.

  1. Themes

    WordPress users may install and switch between themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure of the site. Themes may be installed using the WordPress "Appearance" administration tool or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP. The PHP, HTML & CSS code found in themes can be added or edited for providing advanced features. Thousands of WordPress themes exist, some free, and some premium (paid for) templates.

  2. Plugins

    One very popular feature of WordPress is its rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the core installation. WordPress has a database of over 24,000 plugins, each of which offer custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their site to their specific needs. These customizations range from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhancers to content-displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars.

  3. Widgets

    Widgets are small modules that offer users drag-and-drop sidebar content placement through the implementation of plugins' extended abilities. Some of these Widgets offer customization options such as web forms to fill out, includes or excludes of data and information such as Categories, Archives and Recent Posts, optional images though slideshows and/or carousels, amongst other customization features.These small modules are typically displayed within the header (header.php), footer (footer.php) and sidebars (sidebar.php files) of websites, but can also be placed outside of said locations enabling even further customization.

  4. Multi-user and multi-blogging

    Prior to WordPress 3.0, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with a website to host their own blogging community, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog.



Learn WordPress as a part of Level 2 Web Technologist curriculum