A quick guide to WordPress, the free-to-use website builder that powers some of the web’s most popular sites

wordpress

WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform.

  • WordPress is a free-to-use content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a wealth of features that allow users to make a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
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WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that’s free to use. It lets you build your own website without needing to learn programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or C++. 

What to know about WordPress

WordPress can be used to create a wide range of websites, including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and e-commerce websites thanks to a wealth of features.

As an open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress isn’t owned by one company or entity. Rather, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a college student, Mullenweg used the b2 (also known as cafelog) blogging system, but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with help from Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to develop thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, these days it can be used to make all sorts of websites for all sorts of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plug-ins and themes. In other words, you can pretty much create any type of website you want with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, e-commerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

The New Yorker is one of many popular sites powered WordPress.

The software includes lots of features to help you build a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (through WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name. 

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself VPS WordPress Hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are almost 2 billion websites currently in circulation, but there are some general tips that can help you find and purchase the perfect available one.

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