If you’re interested in using WordPress, read this article to find out all about the platform — from what you can use it for, what makes it different from other platforms, to how to get started in using it.
What is WordPress Used For?
WordPress is used for creating, storing, and displaying content on the web. It has been utilized by various people to establish their online presence — from personal bloggers, entrepreneurs, to big enterprises.
Many popular businesses have chosen WordPress to build their website — like the Walt Disney Company.
It has also powered websites of some famous names, such as Sylvester Stallone.
It’s different from WordPress.com, which is a freemium web publishing platform. It uses a simpler version of the same content management system.
While the WordPress.com is easier to use, its basic features can be limiting. It’s enough to start a blog, but not much else. You’ll need to upgrade to one of the paid plans if you need to add some function extensions.
On the other hand, the software you get from WordPress.org allows for more control and flexibility over your website. Since it’s an open-source platform, anyone can add custom modifications to the core code.
This opportunity allows many third-party developers to create products like plugins and themes — which are great customization features for those with no technical expertise.
WordPress Plugins are extensions you can add to your website to enable custom features. They are a major reason why the software has become so powerful and popular.
With plugins, anyone can transform their website into a portfolio, a forum, a membership site, a directory, and more.
There are over 55,000 plugins in the WordPress directory, and that’s not including the premium options available on various third-party websites. Regardless of the function you need, there’s guaranteed to be a plugin that can help you.
Similar to plugins, there will always be a WordPress theme that can fulfill your needs, no matter what type of site you’re making.
For online stores, consider Envo Storefront. The sleek and simple design makes it versatile enough for different types of businesses.
If you have an online magazine or news platform, try Shark Magazine. It has an impressive front page and a modifiable, mobile-friendly layout.
Editing the theme is very easy. The theme customizer screen’s menu-driven interface allows you to change the colors, background, layout, and more at the click of a button.
In case you want to make some custom changes, you can insert Additional CSS codes into the theme as well.
Further Customization Options
Other than using plugins and themes, there are many other ways you can customize your WordPress website.
For one, you can add custom codes to your plugins or themes. One way of doing that is with hooks. They are functions in the WordPress core that allow you to insert custom scripts.
You can also create custom post types for content that can’t be categorized as a default WordPress post or page — like a product for an online store or an article in a news platform.
Note that adding codes should be done with caution. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, try familiarizing yourself with the programming languages used in WordPress first. It’s also highly recommended to back up your website before making any changes.
What’s great about WordPress is its large developer community. Should you need any guidance, the support forums and documentation can provide you with answers. Plus, there are developer resources that you can refer to.
What is the Difference Between WordPress and Other Website-Building Platforms?
WordPress mainly differs in how it’s easy to use for users of any level, yet still being very extensible.
Without a site-building platform, you usually have to create websites with code from scratch and then upload it to the server to get it online. Any time you need to make changes, you need to log into the server and edit the website files manually.
This method only enables developers and programmers to create and manage websites.
Thus enters programs like WordPress, which eases those without coding knowledge to establish their online presence.
All you need to do is use the software that is already built for you, along with its tools and extensions. Performing updates, changes, and maintenance can be done in several clicks.
Along the way, site builders were also created to simplify the process of creating websites. Compared to WordPress, they are easier to use.
Nonetheless, most of them don’t provide as many additional features and functions. Not to mention, some website builders charge a monthly fee if you want to utilize them.
On the other hand, WordPress is free of charge. Plus, it’s non-proprietary, which eases developers to build custom modifications and take the software to the next level.
How to Use WordPress
To get started in using WordPress, you need to purchase web hosting to store all your site’s content.
For this, it’s recommended to choose a provider that has WordPress hosting. It includes a one-click WordPress installation, so you don’t need to download the software and set it up on the server yourself.
Additionally, the hosting will already be optimized for WordPress, so you can have all the resources you need to manage your website.
Other than that, you have to get a domain name, which works as an address for your website.
Once everything is set up, you can install WordPress from your hosting control panel. Then start building your website from the admin panel, which looks like this:
Here are some things you can do to get started:
- Create new pages — set up necessary pages for your website, like a homepage, a contact page, an about page, and so on.
- Customize the appearance — choose a fitting theme, add widgets, make menus, upload a favicon, and more.
- Install some plugins — look for essential plugins to manage your website, such as JetPack for improving site performance and security.
- Add new user roles — give access to people who will be using your website.
- Publish your first post — write a blog post to let people know about your new WordPress website.
WordPress is a content management system for making and publishing websites. It’s one of the most popular site-building software for personal blogs, online stores, business sites, and more.
Thanks to WordPress, anyone can establish their own online presence. Due to its ease of use, there is no need to have any programming skills to get started.
Despite its simplicity, WordPress is very extensible. As an open-source software, its users can create various customizations to transform their website. Third-party developers use this opportunity to make WordPress themes and plugins, which non-technical users can utilize for themselves.
If you’re interested in using WordPress, you need to purchase a web hosting plan and a domain name. Find a provider that has a WordPress hosting option, so that you can have all the resources needed to manage your website.
I hope this article has given you ideas on how to use WordPress to create your own website. Best of luck.