WordPress is one of the world’s best known content management systems. It is free to use and open source and uses MySQL and PHP. Installed on a web server that is either its own network host or part of an internet hosting service, it is one of the easiest to use. In fact, in April 2016, it was reported that 26.4% the world’s top 10 million websites have been created using WordPress. It currently holds over 60 million websites. Released on May 27, 2003, it was initially part of b2/cafelog. Founded by Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg, it is part of the Free Software Foundation, released under GPLv2.
History of WordPress
b2, or cafelog, came before WordPress. In May 2003, it was believed to have been installed on around 2,000 blogs. It could be used with MySQL and it was written in PHP by Michael Valdrighi. Valdrighi is still a WordPress contributing developer. WordPress, as such, is b2/cafelog’s successor, but b2evolution is currently in development as well.
In 2003, Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg started to work together to fork away from b2. Mullenweg’s friend, Christine Selleck Tremoulet, suggested calling it WordPress, which became its present name. One year later, Six Apart, a competitor, changed the Movable Type package’s licensing terms. As a result, people could suddenly migrate to WordPress with ease. The MarketShare Report, an open source CMS watchdog, reported in October 2009 that the strongest brand strength of all open source CMS systems was enjoyed by WordPress.
WordPress went from strength to strength. In January 2015, 23.3% of the top 10 million best websites were using WordPress. In February of the next year, 59.1% of all global websites using CMS systems used WordPress, which equates to 25.8% of all websites.
WordPress regularly updates, code naming each new version after a famous jazz musician.
WordPress is, essentially, a web template system that people can use to create their own websites. They offer a wealth of different themes, some paid for, some free, that people can switch between without having to redo the content of their website. It uses CSS, HTML, and PHP, which can all be edited by users to create something unique.
WordPress is also famous for the variety of plugins. Again, there are both free and premium ones. These enable people to enhance existing features, or install out of the box features to their site. It is important to remember that most plugins are made by third party providers, which means that, if WordPress updates to a new version, they may no longer work.
Another service provides some mobile functionality. This means that, through the Automattic apps, it is possible to create new blogs, moderate comments, comment, add new pages, and view states while on a mobile device.
Integrated link management is also included with WordPress, which means its fully supports any SEO efforts made by users. This is a very cool feature for those who want to build a website that can actually be found. Each account can also be associated with multiple users, who can all add more blogs if they want to. This is a tool that allows for greater collaboration between different users. Those who want to have their own domain name will have to pay for this, which has made WordPress very popular between people who work together remotely, sharing the cost of their domain.
Features of WordPress
WordPress is known for its excellent features:
- It can be used as a website, blog, or both. People can create exactly what they want, without restrictions.
- Different plans are available, so all budgets can be met. Plus, since collaboration is possible, prices can be shared.
- 3GB of storage for free plans. This can be upgraded by signing up to a premium plan.
- Custom domains that can be configured, registered, and managed through WordPress.
- A site that can be fully public, fully private, or anything in between. Password protection, for instance, can be added to individual pages.
- A range of international tools, with the ability to translate the dashboard to some 50 languages. Plus, this is checked by the global community for accuracy.
- Availability of about 350 different themes, all of which can be customized
- A range of customization options, enabling people to build something that is truly unique
- A wealth of add ons to choose from to further enhance functionality of the website
- Fully mobile-friendly websites and blogs, which is very important in today’s online world
- Excellent support that is very friendly and very quick to respond
- Support for those who want to collaborate with multiple authors working on their site
- An intuitive, fast, easy-to-use editor that anyone can use. It is so simple to use that there should be nothing standing in someone’s way to actually get published
- High quality site management, giving people complete freedom of what gets posted where and when, who can comment on posts, and more.
- The opportunity to embed or upload media, through the simple drag and drop designer
- A range of desktop and mobile apps, which means the site can be seen on mobile devices as well
- WordPress ensures all content is always owned by the blogger, and not by them
- Global data centers to ensure all websites are secure and quick, as well as guaranteeing high levels of uptime. They want to make sure that people feel safe with them, and they work very hard at achieving that.
- Social sharing built in as standard, including Path, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook
- Very easy to understand statistics and analytics, even for those on a free plan, showing which posts are most read, where people are coming from, and more
- A strong community that is always working together to improve the look and feel of WordPress. As an open source program, anyone is able to work on it and improve it.
- A focus on search engine optimization, which helps people to make sure their website is found on Google
- Anti-spam built in as standard, so that people who only leave spammy comments can be removed instantly
- Publishing powerhouse capability with companies like TechCrunch, Boing Boing, TED, CNN, and TIME all having built sites using WordPress