When I start using new software or a new application, I find it’s useful to start with a clean slate, throw out all my preconceptions and ideas and assume I know nothing about the application and that everything is new to me. And the first question I ask is always the same, what is this? Or, in our case, what is WordPress? Because of the history of WordPress, this question is crucial. WordPress is often perceived as being a simple blogging application, but in reality, it’s so much more.
From it’s humble origins, WordPress has grown into a full-fledged content management system, or CMS, that powers millions of websites all over the world, from traditional blogs to newspapers, online magazines, TV stations, nations, and social media sites. WordPress powers everything. To put it simply, WordPress is a publishing tool for the web. So to me at least, the answer to the question, what is WordPress, is, WordPress is whatever you want it to be.
And I think that’s a good place to start. WordPress is a simple and easy to use publishing platform for the web, and you can use it to create anything from a basic blog to an advanced website. And, you can even make sites that can switch between being blogs and websites at the touch of a button. The possibilities are pretty much endless. WordPress is free and open source, meaning it’s developed by the people who use it. In its ten year history, 82 feature updates have been released, and four major updates were released in 2013 alone.
WordPress powers a full 24% of all websites online today. And one in every four new websites created runs WordPress. Suffice it to say, WordPress is a popular web creation tool. To give you an idea of just how diverse the WordPress universe really is, let’s take a look at some sites currently running WordPress. To see a list of these sites, and other sites running WordPress, you can go to wordpress.org/showcase.
Of course, this is not a complete list of every single website running WordPress, but it’s a good list of great looking websites created with WordPress. WordPress has become a popular platform for businesses because it’s so easy to change its appearance. So as your business evolves, so can the site. It’s also being used by a lot of educational institutions, everything from primary schools all the way up to universities and beyond, again, because WordPress allows so much flexibility, and also allows users to create their own websites within the website.
You’ll find that a lot of celebrity websites run WordPress, the Norwegian 80s band, A-ha, and that guy that was in that famous movie that everyone’s talking about. WordPress also allows developers to create interesting experiences in a very easy way. One example is this website created for the Canadian Olympic Committee, another is this website, created for Sweden. Yes, this is the government website for the country of Sweden, and here you get all the information you want about Sweden and Swedish culture, all powered by WordPress.
So now that you know what WordPress is, you get some idea of what it can do for you and what you can use it to create. Now, it’s time to get started.