WordPress is what they call a content management system. I prefer to think of it as a website engine.
WordPress “powers” some of the biggest websites online. The New Yorker, The Blaze, Time.com, TechCrunch, Sony and Variety.com are all great examples. Oh, and so is this humble little site you’re reading right now.
WordPress is simply a structured backbone for putting a website together. It can be made into a store, a magazine, a community or any other variety of website out there.
There is a learning curve to it but just about anyone can master the basics of using WordPress in quickly bringing their business or passion to the world.
WordPress dates back 2003. It was set up as open source, meaning it relies on community development and is offered for free.
How does WordPress stay “in business” if it is free? WordPress is just a core platform. As different kinds of web projects emerge they require extended functionality. WordPress makes its money by offering customizations in a variety of functions that work with WordPress.
How realistically easy is WordPress?
I moved most of my sites to WordPress in 2004. I was an early adopter and have kept up a passionate support of WordPress ever since.
My primary love online is writing and WordPress takes most of the hassles of programming away so I can spend more time doing what I love with my sites.
Over time I have not only used WordPress for my projects I have set it up and taught others to use it too.
Recently I helped a man with technophobia who runs his own woodworking business. We set up WordPress together for his business.
While I handled his customizations it didn’t take long to teach him the basics. Within days he was creating his own content by taking photos of his work and writing about his projects. That’s how quickly it can happen.
Understanding the Types of WordPress
WordPress is available via WordPress.com. You can either instantly set up a site there (as a part of WordPress.com) or download the script to host your site on your own server.
If you are setting up a site for business or personal reasons I always encourage a standalone installation featuring your own domain.
There are many “instant website” solutions out there. Wix.com and Weebly.com are good examples that are similar to WordPress. However, the standalone version of WordPress is a better way to go if you want a permanent online solution with a steady identity online.
This website is powered by WordPress. While I have handcrafted the design, the colors, the “look and feel” to my specifications it can quickly and easily be made to look and work any way you can think of.
Once upon a time when a website was made it was crafted for desktop computers. These days a website has to look right and function well on all kinds of screens: phones, tablets, large displays, etc. WordPress makes it easier to publish a website that looks right everywhere.
Take a look at this post. Content aside, this article is a good example of the power of WordPress. Everything is cleanly laid out with links to critical parts of the rest of the website. Creating such a page in the past required a lot of work. It took only minutes to put it together in WordPress.
All of the sites featured in my portfolio are WordPress. I am happy to give them the credit for the stable platform. The sites are mine even if they run on WordPress.
WordPress, like any other software out there, is a one-size-fits-all solution. But as with any such thing it can take some work to make it do what you want for your special needs. E-commerce, for example, will run on WordPress but only with a lot of modification.
That’s where guys like me come in. Having worked with WordPress for so long I can tell you if what you want to do can be done. Sometimes it can be found in a solution already built and sold by a developer out there. Other times it is something that needs to be coded from the ground up.
WordPress is great for such things. It has been around so long and the number of developers out there is so broad now that just about anything you can imagine can be done.
Please contact me with your questions about using WordPress for your needs. I can steer you in the right direction.