What is WordPress and what can I do with it? In this article we answer these basic questions and give you a small overview of the popular blog system.
WordPress can be used to create Internet pages using an Internet browser. The big plus: You need neither programming skills nor graphic design skills for the first steps. With WordPress you can easily create a website. The system consists of a front- and a backend. The frontend is what your visitors get to see from your website. In the backend you manage the contents and functions of your WordPress page. The backend is password protected so that only you can make changes to your site.
Before using WordPress, you have to install it, which is usually done fully automatically. You can read about the technical requirements of your hosting environment in the article "Technical requirements for WordPress". WordPress is based on the OpenSource concept and is free of charge.
WordPress has become the most popular Content Management System (CMS) worldwide due to its high user-friendliness and the free provision of the software. According to a study by W3Techs (as of 2018), more than 30% of all websites use WordPress as a CMS. The following chart shows how far WordPress has left other popular content management systems behind:
The blue line in the graphic shows the progress of the search query "Wordpress" worldwide and reflects the interest of Internet users in this system. While the search trend in other systems, such as "Drupal", "Joomla" or "TYPO3" is declining, WordPress is increasingly setting itself apart from its competitors.
Another reason for WordPress's ever-increasing popularity is its constant further development. At short intervals, functions are constantly improved and new functions added, so that WordPress continuously develops into a fully-fledged CMS, while other systems have remained in their development.
In WordPress, content and design are clearly separated from each other. With so-called "themes" you can create your website with a completely different design in just a few steps. These design templates can be easily selected and installed in the backend. Also here there are a lot of free "themes", which you can use for free. During the first installation the current standard design of WordPress will be installed.
How to select and install templates can be found in our article "Installing WordPress Themes".
Plugins are small (or even larger) programs that add more features to your WordPress blog. The plugins are, similar to the templates, installed and activated via the plugin directory with a few clicks. So you can easily add further functions to your blog or your page without programming knowledge. There are currently more than 55,000 extensions registered in the WordPress plugin directory. In our article "WordPress Plugins" you will find everything worth knowing about the extensions and an overview of the most important plugins.
Finally, we would like to provide some facts about the development of WordPress. In 2003 the developer Matt Mullenweg started developing WordPress. On the basis of the already existing software "bs/cafelog" he developed the open source software "WordPress", with which it should be possible to publish articles and content on websites quickly and easily. WordPress was already downloaded 1.5 million times at the beginning of 2005. The WordPress fan community grew steadily, the open software of WordPress enabled developers to further develop the core of the application. New plugins and designs were released worldwide by developers and designers, contributing to the huge success of WordPress.
The wordpress.org and wordpress.com platforms were launched at the beginning of 2005. Wordpress.org is the platform for free software, here you can also find the latest downloads and updates. In 2005, Mullenweg founded Automattic, a company that offers wordpress.com, a free installation option for a WordPress blog. Costs only arise if you want to connect your site to a domain or if you take advantage of the support.
We are pleased if we could arouse your interest in WordPress. The following list contains some links to get started with your WordPress page: