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What is wordpress

The most popular CMS in the world

Many will have heard the name WordPress in connection with websites. But what is WordPress anyway? WordPress is software that was developed to make blogs easy to publish and manage. No programming knowledge is required for this, everything works according to the “What You See Is What You Get” principle (YSIWYG), in which adjustments can be made in a clear editor and the user can see the changes directly. Over the years, the web application has been further developed by the development team themselves and by the Internet community and offers functions and uses that go far beyond its former scope. A so-called theme, which defines the appearance of the website, can be changed with just a few clicks. But that doesn't stop there either. Each individual design package can also be adjusted more precisely until it meets the requirements. The extent to which WordPress can be customized is also shown by a selection of websites that use the software as a basis. The Tagesschau uses WordPress for their blog, the singer Katy Perry for the entire multimedia preparation of their website. The same applies to the TechCrunch website, which provides one of the world's most important portals for innovations from the technology and startup scene. WordPress offers a wide range from a simple blog to a modern website with many different functions.



These are the most important features of WordPress


Hosting

Setting up a WordPress website is possible without major hurdles. The provider offers the possibility to set up a free domain on his web space. However, it cannot be freely chosen. After the selected username, the domain bears the addition "wordpress.com".

installation

If you have your own domain, you can also install WordPress on your own web space. The developers advertise that it takes less than five minutes between downloading the installation file and fully activating the WordPress backend, even for inexperienced users. This is a big advantage over other systems. In this case, too, the software can be used free of charge, only the web space and the desired domain have to be purchased from a provider.

Themes

There are tons of WordPress themes. These themes define, among other things, the colors, elements, fonts, images and effects used - i.e. the appearance of the website. Themes are developed by WordPress itself and by other users. The design packs are offered either for free or for a fee. Paid themes often include technical support from the developer, and a premium theme costs an average of $ 40. Most of the time, the costs are covered with a one-time payment. The operator of a website can further customize the theme for his own purposes.

Plugins

The number of optional plugins is also very large. You are not responsible for the appearance, but for the features that the website offers. A guest book, an online shop, a contact form and much more can be installed with plugins. But plugins can also optimize administration, for example the findability by search engines or the call speed through so-called caching. Plugins are also available in free and paid versions. With both plugins and themes, however, it is important to pay close attention to the respective developer. Because some plugins were programmed exclusively to infect the websites on which they are installed with viruses. In addition to the basic software, the plugins should always be kept up to date. This ensures that you work optimally with WordPress and that potential weak points are improved.

Community

The active community helps to keep improving the software. But not only the constant improvement is an advantage of WordPress. By exchanging ideas with other users, problems can be quickly identified and eliminated.


WordPress is successful all over the world


WordPress has achieved great market penetration since its release in 2003. More than 19.5 million websites use WordPress, because with the right extensions it is suitable as a full-fledged content management system and not just for managing a blog. The following comparison shows that WordPress offers a wide range of possible uses: Almost 15 percent of the 100 best websites, measured in terms of global accesses, use WordPress as the basis. On the other hand, if you look at the 100 best blogs, only eight percent of the operators rely on WordPress. In total, almost 29 percent of the Internet consists of WordPress sites. 22 percent of the newly registered domains in the USA use the software as a basis. On average, the developer offers a major WordPress update for download every 152 days. The enormous market penetration of WordPress is also reflected in the fact that the websites hosted on WordPress' servers use 120 different languages. English, of course, is used most often (71 percent).


WordPress uses


This is how the online shop works

The free WooCommerce plugin offers a good opportunity to get started in online trading (eCommerce). The plug-in can be used variably, so it is suitable for shops of all sizes and types. The maximum number of products that can be entered into the system is not limited. With the WooCommerce extension, all types of products can be sold, regardless of whether they are physical products, downloads or services. At the same time, various preset modes of transport and payment options can be used and adapted for your own purposes. It is also possible to issue vouchers and thus to grant discounts on individual products or the entire purchase. Thanks to an app for the smartphone, the plug-in can even be used on the go and stock levels can be managed. Thus, WooCommerce is the ideal platform to start an online shop cheaply and without development costs.

Optimize the blog

For everyone who just wants to start a blog, WordPress already offers optimal options. No further plugins are required for easy operation. However, it is advisable to install extensions. In order to increase the reach of the blog, it should be made as easy as possible for users to share the content on social networks. There are many plugins that make this possible. AddToAny is particularly recommended. The extension has been downloaded over eight million times since its release in 2006, making it more widespread. It also includes more than 100 social media platforms that can be individually selected for sharing the article. The symbols can be placed in front of or behind a text or video contribution. This enables users to share and distribute the content with just one click.

Once the users are on their own website, it makes sense to keep them on it by specifically linking the posts. The Recent Posts Widget Extended extension is suitable for this. This plugin has a variety of setting options. In this way, you can set exactly in which form and where on the website the latest contributions should be pointed out.

The optimal presentation of the website

If you want to use WordPress as a conventional content management system, you can optimize it so that it makes the website look modern and it is easy for the user to operate. This can be done with the Slideshow plugin, among other things. It creates a so-called slider from the content of the website, which, for example, places the most important topics to scroll through on the homepage. This form of representation is well received by the users. Because the individual slides, which contain a photo, the headline and a marker, give you a quick overview of the topic. We also recommend the Plugin FV Flowplayer Video Player, with which videos can not only be integrated. The video player or the preview image can also be adapted according to your own ideas so that it harmonizes well with the website's theme.


The inventor implemented his vision


Matthew Mullenweg, born in 1984, is the initiator of WordPress. In 2002 he set himself the task of developing a system for bloggers that was easy to use, adaptable and flexible. Another blogging system, the further development of which was discontinued, formed the basis. The further development is taken over by the non-profit organization WordPress Foundation. Around this structure, Mullenweg launched the company Automattic, with which the further development and further market development of WordPress is coordinated.



WordPress has been continuously improved since 2003


When answering the question “What is WordPress?” You have to start before the point in time at which the software first bore its current name. Because the first version of a blog software from Mullenweg was published on May 27, 2003. It was almost identical to the last update of b2 / cafelog, but the developers fixed some bugs and weaknesses. WordPress has been using b2 / cafelog as the basis of its programming language since then. In January 2004, the first software was offered for download under the name WordPress. Mullenweg developed the version bit by bit and added important functions to it. So plugins could be used for the first time relatively quickly after the release with version 1.2, while version 2.1 - it was released as the fourth update - included a new autosave feature. The names of the versions always bear the first names of famous jazz musicians. Mullenweg has announced version 5.0 for 2018, which will include a new editor. The developers have been offering WordPress hosting since the beginning, so that the user is not dependent on their own web space.