You’ve probably heard of WordPress, but may not know exactly what it is. WordPress is a system for running web sites, that allows a person with only a small amount of computer skills to maintain their own website. The site owner can edit or create new pages, style the text, add photos, and more, without having to learn arcane technical skills. WordPress’s tools look like most of the computer tools you already use, like web browser or Microsoft Word. This is called a Content Management System, and WordPress is intuitive, and very easy to use. If you don’t even like to touch a computer, that’s okay, you can have me, or your sister-in-law keep your site updated. It’s simple!
WordPress is very popular, to the point that there are now more than 60 million websites running it. That is about 20% of all self-hosted websites on the internet. Popularity isn’t everything, but it is something. With so many people using WordPress, there is a huge community of developers out there making great things for WordPress everyday. Much of it is free, too. WordPress is expandable with plugins, and the internet is full of people who code, refine and share what they learn as well as what they create. This leads to a rapid pace of development, and WordPress has evolved very quickly.
WordPress is open-source. It is owned by no one, and is supported by the community of users. It is a software package that runs on almost any web server, is coded in PHP, a powerful open-source scripting language and it’s using a MySQL database (also open source). This means you get to use it for free, however you see fit! You aren’t using a propriatary system where a third party company controls everything, and you only get to use it as long as you’re paying through the nose! WordPress is yours, and everyone’s!
It is a secure platform. While no system that allows you to modify your website through a web browser is perfect, WordPress is pretty close to it. When an security flaw is found, patches are created and updates happen almost immediately.
The most wonderful thing about WordPress is its database. Not only can you have it’s built in data, you can add your own and store, calculate, compare and almost anything else you want with your data. You can have custom sets of data for anything you want, for example, a catalog of things you sell. Setting up an e-commerce website with WordPress isn’t hard, and you can make it exactly the way you want, every step of the way, from the number and kinds of fields, to how the admin works, and most importantly how this data looks when it is presented to the public site visitor. Having a website running a database is a beautiful and powerful thing.
These are some thoughts about WordPress
- easy to use
- easy to develop
- Open Source
- Popular and stable
- Huge community of developers/rapid development and progress