Released as a fork of the ‘b2/cafelog’ software, WordPress was first unleashed on the world on May 27, 2003. It was initially written by Matt Mullenweg and Mark Little, and has seen phenomenal growth in popularity since, with nearly 25% of the top 10 million websites being based on it as of January 2015. It was originally designed and used as a blogging tool – a convenient way to keep an online diary, but very quickly, people realised that it could be used for much more.
The basic premise of WordPress is that there are broadly two different types of Internet pages you can put up, those being ‘posts’ and ‘pages’. As the name suggests, ‘posts’ are the dynamic diary entry pages, and they can run in reverse chronological order -just like a diary. ‘Pages’ however, are static pages that once written don’t tend to need changing.
When you couple this with the fact that it is ‘theme-based’, it becomes an irresistible way of getting an idea for a website together quickly and on the Internet, but with the added bonus of being totally user-configurable, immensely flexible, and increasingly user-friendly.
These ‘WordPress themes’ are in effect the ‘skin’ you put on your website -the colours, the ‘look’, and how it all works, and the beauty of themes is that when you change your theme, the whole site changes in the blink of an eye.
WordPress is Open Source
Unlike most application software on the market, the WordPress core is totally open-source. This means you are encouraged to look at the coding behind it, and if you so choose, you can alter it in any way you want to make it fit your particular specifications. If you alter a routine or function call, there’ll be no ‘copyright police’ knocking on your door!
WordPress is FREE!
Unlike commercial programs, the WordPress core always has and always will be free; indeed many Internet service providers even have a free ‘One-Click-Wordpress’ service. All you need to do is log into your ISP’s dashboard, click the button, and five minutes later you’re away with the latest version of WordPress usually with that year’s theme already installed.
Thousands of WordPress Themes Available
If you’re not keen on the standard out-of-the-box theme, there are thousands of themes to choose from. If you simply do an Internet search for ‘WordPress Themes’ you’ll get many hundreds to choose from.
Also, the themes available from the WordPress dashboard offer a great way to start exploring the myriad of ways WordPress can help you in your quest for a good website. You can surf them right from the dashboard by clicking: ‘Appearance’, ‘Themes’, and then ‘Add New’. From here you can view the latest popular free themes, or you can even search for a particular type of theme. If you are looking for more professional looking themes, get yourself a premium WordPress theme. You can get yourself a great looking premium theme for only $39.
Editing your WordPress site is really easy.
When you first see the ‘Dashboard’ page, you’ll be inclined to think ‘Urgh!’, but as you very quickly learn your way around it, you’ll see how intuitive, instinctive, and how much fun it all is. You certainly don’t need a degree in programming, and within just a few minutes of first seeing the dashboard page, you’ll be popping up pages, changing backgrounds, sorting out the artwork, re-arranging your headings, and all manner of fun things.
Because WordPress is open source, it is inherently much more secure than commercial, proprietary software. Yes, this may sound nonsensical, but there are literally thousands of WordPress programmers working on the codebase. If an exploit is spotted, then within a very short space of time – usually only a matter of hours – a patch is written and available for download. For commercial companies, patches can take days or even weeks to appear, and in some cases, vulnerabilities are kept hidden ‘for commercial reasons’, so as not to alert or dissuade customers from buying their products.
Next time you need to get a website up and ready quickly and with the minimum of fuss, yet you still want it to look professional and polished, this could be just the system you’re looking for. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner looking to totally refresh your company’s website, or a hot new startup looking for the perfect ‘Now!’ corporate image, WordPress can offer you a way of getting first class results without necessarily breaking the bank.