What is WordPress?
If you are in the process of creating a new website, you may hear or receive a recommendation to use WordPress. Questions may arise about "What is WordPress?", "Are there benefits to using WordPress?" and "How do I get started using WordPress?" All of these are great questions, and we will address them in this article.
- What is WordPress? ⤵
- What are the benefits of WordPress? ⤵
- How do I get started with WordPress? ⤵
What is WordPress?
WordPress is the most popular tool used to create websites. Currently, 33% of all sites worldwide use WordPress as the platform to build their website. Surprisingly, one out of four websites you may visit is created using WordPress!
In 2003, WordPress was initially created for blogging. Since then, it has grown in popularity and is used as a content management system (CMS) to develop various types of websites. E-commerce, recipe blogs, pop-star bands, forums, and even small to large businesses benefit from using the WordPress platform to create their website.
When it comes to using WordPress, it is key to know that WordPress is structured as a content management system (CMS). Like a retail store is broken down into departments to make it easier for people to find items, WordPress does the same with a website. A website consists of different components: a menu, header, footer, page content, sidebar, etc., which has a specific location in WordPress for it to be managed. WordPress then seamlessly pieces the different components together to create a functioning site. The best part is that you don't have to know a programming language to make the pieces come together.
What are the benefits of WordPress?
There are various benefits when using WordPress to create a website. The following is a list of some of the benefits which we will cover:
- WordPress is free! ⤵
- No programming experience is needed ⤵
- Numerous themes and plugins (addons) available ⤵
- No page limits ⤵
- Non-proprietary software ⤵
- Continually add functionality ⤵
WordPress is free!
WordPress is open-source software. It gives users the freedom to use, modify, and build a website. Although WordPress's core files are free, there can be other costs if one decides to upgrade to a premium theme or plugin to enhance the website. (See themes and plugins listed below for more information.)
No programming experience is needed
Numerous themes and plugins (addons) available
Those using WordPress are not limited to what comes with it right out of the box. WordPress is open-source software that cultivates a community where developers can create themes and plugins beyond the installed standard options. Having the ability to add new themes and plugins to WordPress opens inventive opportunities for creating new website designs and adding functionality. What once required a programmer now just requires finding the right plugin to upload and configure for a website. The options are limitless with themes and plugins.
As you start to look online for themes and plugins, you will find that some are completely free, others are free with paid upgrades, and some require you to pay for the premium theme/plugin. It is important to keep in mind that not all themes and plugins are created equally. Sometimes you will find a paid theme that includes premium plugins that give you more for your money. Make sure you read over the description to better understand what the theme or plugin will be offering. Please visit the articles, Guide to WordPress Themes and Guide to WordPress Plugins, for more information.
No page limits
Some website builders limit the number of pages available to create on their free version. WordPress does not put constraints on the number of pages or posts one uses to create a website.
As WordPress is open-source, it is not restricted to a specific hosting company. This allows the website owner to freely move their WordPress files and database to other hosting companies.
Continually add functionality
As a site grows and develops, you can add additional plugins to enhance the site. The plugins can provide features like newsletter signup, register for events, add a store, set up a forum, have paid memberships with specific page resources, and the list goes on. If you can't find a plugin that does what you are looking to accomplish, there is also always the option for you to hire a developer to create a plugin that meets your website's needs.
How do I get started with WordPress?
HostGator offers Softaculous, a quick install solution for adding a WordPress installation to your domain. With only a few clicks, you can get started using WordPress as your platform to build your website. Please see HostGator Softaculous Auto-Script Installer and How to Install WordPress With Softaculous for more information.
You can also install WordPress manually or through the One-Click method (for new Shared hosting). Here are the articles to guide you with the installation.
Once you get WordPress installed, we recommend that you check out the following articles to step you through some of the key processes needed to configure and publish your WordPress site:
- How to Reset WordPress Password: You may opt to change the password, which was created for you during the installation with Softaculous.
- WordPress HTTPS (SSL) Plugin: Once you get WordPress installed and an SSL is applied to your domain, add an SSL plugin (Really Simple SSL or HTTPS for WordPress are great plugins). It's best to start working on your new WordPress site with SSL enabled, but it is not required.
- Guide to WordPress Themes: This guide will go over using and installing WordPress themes.
- Guide to WordPress Block Editor: This support guide will help you configure content layouts using the block editor in WordPress.
- Guide to WordPress Pages and Posts: This article will go over how to create and manage WordPress pages and posts.
- Guide to WordPress Plugins: This guide addresses optimizing, installing, configuring, and reviewing plugins on your WordPress site.
- Guide to Publishing a WordPress Page or Post: The final step in publishing your website! This guide will help you preview your site before publishing and launching it in the online world.
Let's get Workin' with WordPress!
Hey there! We created video tutorials about WordPress just for you! These videos will be your step-by-step guide to creating your WordPress website.
Here are the links to our "Building your First WordPress Website" videos to get you started.
- How to Choose and Install a WordPress Theme - Ep 1 Workin' with WordPress
- How to Customize a WordPress Theme - Ep 2 Workin' with WordPress
- How to Create and Edit a Page in WordPress - Ep 3 Workin' with WordPress
- WordPress Navigation Menu and Widgets - Ep 4 Workin' with WordPress
- Building your Homepage with WordPress Block Editor - Ep 5 Workin' with WordPress
- How to Install and Activate WordPress Plugins - Ep 6 Workin' with WordPress
- How to Create WordPress Blog Post - Ep 7 Workin' with WordPress
- How to Build an Online Store with WooCommerce - Ep 8 Workin' with WordPress