WordPress is one of the top CMS software in the world and it is currently powering over 23% of the websites on the internet. During its early stages, the CMS was largely associated with blogging due to its ease of use and the excellent blogging experience it provided. But as many people continued to adopt its use and developers continued to expand the core engine, WordPress is now considered as one of the best content management systems in the world, providing designers and developers with a broad range of functionalities and capabilities.
Where to get WordPress
WordPress is free and available for free download from the official website of WordPress – www.wordpress.org. Certainly, there are other third party websites and sources where you can still download WordPress for free, but the best source remains the official website of the developers.
For you to have a live WordPress website on the internet, you must have a hosting account. Currently, there are two primary options which you use to host your WordPress website. The first option is the free method where you let WordPress host the website on your behalf. In this case, your website will appear as a sub-domain within the root of the official WordPress URL. This can be a good choice when you are just starting out with WordPress, and you don’t intend to do serious stuff like e-commerce with the site. It is ideal if you are new to the CMS and you want a great way to learn more and practice with the software.
The second option is to self-host the WordPress website. With this option, you will have to purchase a hosting package from of the numerous providers and use it to host your website. This method allows you more flexibility than you would ever have if the site were hosted by WordPress. You will have the pleasure to run the site on your domain, and you will have the ability to use premium themes and plugins without any problems.
Once you have downloaded WordPress and secured a hosting account, either free or you have purchased a package of the hosting company, you have to install it before you can start to upload various content to it. The installation process can also be done in two different ways. The first is the manual way, in which you will have to create the database on the hosting account then upload WordPress to that account manually through ftp or other similar methods. This is quite advanced and may not be recommended for beginners.
The second method is the automatic installation done directly from your hosting account. Most of the hosting companies will provide WordPress installation scripts which offer one-click installation of the software. The installation scripts do everything for you and all you to click and follow the instructions.
WordPress themes are responsible for the aesthetic appearance of the WordPress websites. With just a simple click, you can overhaul the entire appearance of the website and give it more professional looks. It is because of the existence of thousands of WordPress themes that anyone can have the ability to make dazzling websites without any knowledge or advanced web design skills.
WordPress themes also exist in two categories. There are the free themes and the premium themes. The free themes are available for free download, but you may find that they have limited capabilities with regards to robustness. Premium themes, on the other hand, are available for purchase. They come with extensive functionalities that make it possible to have any kind of website you want. The prices of the free theme range, with the most advanced ones costing a little higher than the rest.
Whereas themes affect the aesthetics of WordPress sites, plugins affect the effectiveness and the functionalities of the WordPress websites. With the use of plugins, WordPress is turbo-charged to perform more advanced tasks that would not have been possible with the basic WordPress installation. Just like with the themes, there are thousands upon thousands of WordPress plugins, some available for free while other available for purchase.
WordPress is an open source application. By being open source, it means that its source code is accessible to the public to investigate and modify if necessary to make it suit their needs. As such, there is a vibrant community of WordPress developers trying their best to ensure that the CMS offers the best performance.
However, by being open source, even hackers and other people with malicious intents have access to the code and are always trying means and ways of hacking into the sites to cause havoc. The CMS is fairly secure but, there are instances when hackers managed to hack some of the websites. The best way to avert these kinds of dangers is to use the recent version of WordPress, make regular backups of the websites and install relevant plugins for additional security.