You’ve probably heard a lot about WordPress lately. So, what is WordPress anyway?
WordPress is the world’s most popular tool for creating websites. WordPress is capable of creating any style of website, from a simple blog to a full-featured business website. You can even use WordPress to create an online store (using the popular WooCommerce plugin).
You say you’ve never built a website? That’s not a problem! With WordPress, you don’t need any coding or design skills to create a professional-looking site. There are thousands of free site designs to choose from (these are known as “themes” in the WordPress world).
With WordPress, it’s easy to build your website without writing a single line of code or knowing anything about HTML.
Unlike traditional desktop software, WordPress runs online (in the cloud, so to speak). There’s nothing to install on your computer, and you don’t need any special tools. You can update your website from anywhere that you have an Internet connection – even your smartphone. There are even free WordPress mobile apps for iPhones and Android phones.
Here’s the best part: WordPress is free. It’s both free to use and free to modify. So, if you are the sort of person who likes to tinker with code, you can dig in and make WordPress do just about anything you want it to do.
Unlike other “free” website tools, WordPress does not lock you into some proprietary service like Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace. You can host your website anywhere. Or move your site to another hosting service anytime you like.
There are a couple of different ways to host your WordPress website:
WordPress.com is the hosted version. That means your website runs on the official WordPress servers. You can go there right now and create a website for free in just a few minutes.
There are a few limitations to WordPress.com. You won’t have access to all of the thousands of themes that are available. And you can’t use WordPress plugins (those are mini-programs that add special features to your website). There’s also a small fee if you want to use your own domain name.
As I said, there’s no lock-in with WordPress. If you decide you like WordPress and want to take full advantage of everything it has to offer, you can easily move your site later.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version. This is what you’ll use if you want to run WordPress on your own web hosting account. When you use this version, you have complete control over the design and functionality of your website.
Check this video tutorial for a deeper analysis of choosing WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
There’s a reason why more than 30% of all websites are built with WordPress. Take a look at the WordPress Showcase, and you’ll see everyone from The New York Times Company to The Rolling Stonesusing WordPress.
Thanks to its vast open source community, there are plenty of places to get WordPress help when you need it. Both WordPress.org and WordPress.com offer support forums. And independent training websites (like WP Apprentice) also provide support to members. And, of course, there are hundreds of WordPress books to guide you on your WordPress journey.
Now that you know more about WordPress, why not signup for the free WordPress course. Our video tutorials will teach you the basics of WordPress in about an hour. You’ll be creating web pages like a pro in no time. When you’re ready to expand your knowledge, we offer a beginner-friendly WordPress tutorial for every challenge you’re likely to face.