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What Is WordPress?

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:

I'll begin by assuming that you have no prior experience of WordPress whatsoever; I shall start with the basics. In this tutorial, I'll answer the question: "What is WordPress?" 

 

This video is taken from my course A Beginner's Guide to WordPress. You can watch the entire course for free here on Envato Tuts+.

In this post, I'll explain where you can get WordPress and what you can do with it. I'll also let you know the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress Defined

Anyone new to this software will want to know just what WordPress is. Well, there are two definitions for it:

  1. The first, and simplest, definition is that WordPress is a piece of software that you may install and use to create a blog, an app, a website, and so forth. 
  2. The second, and more complex, definition is that WordPress is a CMS—or Content Management System. Now, from that description I think you can deduce that it's for managing content.

Essentially, WordPress gives you a platform to share content with the world. And it gives you the tools that you need to do that efficiently and effortlessly. 

Open Source

WordPress is open-source software. Open source means that the source code is freely available for anyone to look at or amend. That means that anyone in the world may contribute to improve the software.

And WordPress is free, so that's a big bonus. 

WordPress has been around since 2003. During this time, it has been constantly updated. The latest stable version, at the time of writing, is v5.3.

At each major version, new features are added, and the platform itself was improved a number of times including bug fixes to ensure the smooth running of the software. 

Automattic, the team behind WordPress, is hard at work to bring us new features and to make content publishing much easier for everybody. 

How to Get WordPress

You may work with WordPress in one of two different ways: from WordPress.org or from WordPress.com. Depending on how you wish to work with WordPress, one or the other will suit you best. 

I'll explain:

1. WordPress.org

WordPressorg website
WordPress.org website

WordPress.org is where to download the standalone version of WordPress in order to install it on your own server. 

Working with WordPress in this way is the most flexible. As a result, it is also the slightly more complex option as you need more knowledge to get things up and running. 

But it's not difficult at all, as you can see in our many courses and tutorials about using WordPress. 

2. WordPress.com

WordPresscom website
WordPress.com website

WordPress.com lets you build a website with a WordPress instance hosted on their servers. What this means is that you don't have to have your own server to install the software. You'll be using their platform. 

It's a Software-as-a-Service model.

This option is the easiest of the two as it removes the more technical aspects of working with WordPress—installing the software and maintaining a server.

Which WordPress Is Best?

WordPress comparison table
WordPress comparison table

It really depends on what you want to create. 

WordPress.com is a paid platform, but it has a good free plan. You can start with the free plan and upgrade to the other pricing tiers later. 

Each pricing tier has a different set of features that are more or less better suited for certain types of users or a certain type of website or a blog. 

To give an example, if you want to upload custom themes, you'll need a business plan or the eCommerce plan. If you just want the basic stuff, however, you may start with the free plan.

For the purposes of using WordPress in Envato Tuts+ tutorials, we tend to need the flexibility of a standalone version from WordPress.org. We'll show you how to download the standalone version of WordPress and install it on a server on a computer to work with it directly there. 

What Is WordPress Used For? 

As I mentioned in the introduction, it is possible to use WordPress to create simple blogs to large, complex websites and anything in between. Essentially, anything that can be created by using a content management system can be created with WordPress. 

If you need to create a website for, say, a car dealership, you can do that with WordPress. Perhaps you need to create a website for a real estate agency? You can do that with WordPress. Or you're building a portfolio for a photographer, maybe? You can do that too. 

WordPress is very versatile, so you can create virtually anything with it; that's what makes it so popular and so powerful. 

WordPress Development

Envato Elements for the best WordPress themes
Envato Elements for the best WordPress themes

WordPress has a huge community behind it that's constantly working on the code. Developers are constantly producing WordPress themes and plugins so that this platform (that was once just a blogging system) is now a powerhouse, an amazing tool that can be used to create virtually anything on the web. 

Since you're now a little more familiar with what WordPress is all about, browse our tutorials to learn more.

The Best WordPress Themes and Plugins on Envato Market

Explore thousands of the best WordPress themes ever created on ThemeForest and leading WordPress plugins on CodeCanyon. Purchase these high-quality WordPress themes and plugins, and improve your website experience for you and your visitors. 

Here are a few of the best-selling and up-and-coming WordPress themes and plugins available for 2020.

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