If you’re reading this, you’re on the right track. You’ve stopped making the usual excuses for not creating a website and making money from it, and now you’ve started looking for information on how to get started and you see that everyone is talking about the same thing: WordPress. But what exactly is WordPress?
I still remember when I didn’t have a clue about what it was, and I kept listening to people around me talk about creating websites with WordPress.
I, who had studied some web programming and knew how fucked up it was to create a website from scratch by cracking code, saw how everyone created some enviable fucking websites with incredible ease.
What was going on? How could they make such cool designs? Were they all programming cracks?
They were using WordPress.
A new world opened up before me. A world of illusions, hope, and flying unicorns.
The same world that I hope will open up before you too after reading this entry.
Well, let’s stop the nonsense and get down to what interests you: what is WordPress?
Table of Contents
What is WordPress and what is it for?
WordPress is a content management system used to create and manage all kinds of web pages in a very simple way.
This would be a short explanation of what WordPress is, but you’ve probably stayed the same as at the beginning. So let’s go a little deeper into the subject.
WordPress was created in 2003 with the idea that everyone should have a platform to create their own blog where they can communicate and share information with others.
Over the years it has not stopped updating itself until today, ceasing to be a platform destined only for blogs, to become a platform capable of creating any type of web: blog, corporate web, personal web, online store… and in short, almost any type of web you can imagine.
Currently, it is estimated that about 25% of the websites on the Internet are created with WordPress. That is, 1 out of 4 websites are made with WordPress.
If you want to read more statistics about WordPress, you can take a look at this link.
And best of all… IT’S FREE!
And how is it possible to create such different websites?
Thanks to the themes or templates and the plugins.
Wait, wait… themes? Plugins? I just learned what WordPress is, and now you’re throwing more weird words at me?
Do not worry… let’s go step by step.
What are themes or templates?
Templates, also called themes, for the more cools, are files that change the appearance of a website.
When you install WordPress, it comes with three themes installed by default, from which you can choose for your website.
There are thousands of themes you can choose to install on your website, and thanks to them you can give it the look you want and transform it for one purpose or another. Here I leave you the review for my favorite SEO optimized theme I use in case you want to take a look at it.
There are free and paid. Although if you want to create a professional website, it is always advisable to invest in a paid one, since it will have a better finish, will be better optimized, and depending on the theme, you will have more customization options than with a free one.
What are Worpdress plugins?
Plugins are tools that add extra functionality (which does not come by default in WordPress) to a website.
Like the themes, there are thousands of plugins that you can install on your website, both free and paid.
What extra features can you give a website?
For example, from adding buttons to share in social networks or subscription forms, setting up backups on the web, making it load faster… to creating pages by dragging and dropping items, turning the web into an online store, or making a membership site where you have to pay to see private content.
So, as you can see, thanks to WordPress, Themes and Plugins, you can make almost any kind of web you need.
Why WordPress will improve your life?
You know what WordPress is and what it’s for, and if you’ve come this far, it’s probably because you’re interested in creating a website. But you may not yet be aware of the advantages of using it for your project.
The first thing you need to know is that WordPress is designed for people who have no idea about programming or anything else related to advanced computing.
If you don’t want to, you won’t have to write, modify or delete a single line of code.
Others have already done that for you.
All you have to do is install it, choose a theme that you like, and start creating pages and posts on your blog.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t modify the code.
If it were the case that you needed to remove or add some extra function or customize your website, even more, you are totally free to do so if you know something about programming (PHP and CSS above all).
Because customization begins by choosing a theme that you like, but the limit is set by your programming knowledge.
But, well, you are here because you want to know what WordPress is, and not to talk about programming.
The fact is that with WordPress you can have a professional and 100% functional website without having the slightest idea of programming in record time.
And not only that but adding new content and new features will be a breeze.
Do you know how to use Word? Open Office? WordPad? or any other WYSIWYG text editor?
Then write new pages and entries for your blog you will have it by hand in 5 seconds, since WordPress has a text editor in which you can write, add titles, format the texts, insert images, add links, etc, as if you were writing in any of the programs I just mentioned.
Do you know what a pain in the ass it is to create new pages by cracking code?
With WordPress, all this is easier than taking candy from a child, as Mr. Burns would say.
Now let’s look at the main advantages of WordPress that will make your life better.
Advantages of using WordPress for your website
- Easy to install, update and use: In less than 2 minutes you have WordPress installed in your hosting ready to start working with your website. Updating is a matter of a single click, or even automatically, depending on the hosting you contract. What’s more, its ease of use will mean that in a few hours you’ll be able to move through it as if you were at home.
- Blog function: you can create a blog for your website in a minute in a very easy way. All the entries you publish will be automatically displayed on it, you can add categories and tags to them, and people who read your articles can leave comments on it.
- Extreme customization: you have a huge variety of themes to customize your website, and if you still want to customize it more, you can add your own CSS styles.
- Almost infinite expansion of its functionality: thanks to the available plugins, you can add a lot of extra functionality to your website, being able to achieve almost any purpose you want.
- Responsive to all devices: the vast majority of available themes are responsive, i.e. they fit all devices to look equally good on the computer, tablet or smartphone.
- Made to please Google: WordPress is programmed in a way that makes it irresistible to Google and other search engines, especially if you publish regularly on your blog. This is good for getting visibility and for people to find your site when they search for the topic you’re dealing with. Come on, what is known as on-page SEO.
- Easy to monetize your website: when you have achieved a good number of visits, you can easily monetize your website, either by adding advertising to it, promoting products or services, or even offering your own.
These are, roughly, the main ones of using WordPress to create your website, although there are many more that you will see as you use it.
Things that many programmers would headbutt to the wall to get them, with WordPress they are done in a minute.
What types of websites you can do with WordPress?
When I explained to you before what WordPress is, I gave you a hint of the kind of pages that can be done with it, but let’s see it a little more in-depth.
It was the main function when it was created and it is still its most well-known and prominent function today.
You can publish entries (or posts) and they will be seen one after the other on the main page of the blog, and users can leave comments on them.
Also, depending on the topic, you have one or two sidebars available in which you can add different widgets (modules) to display useful things, such as the latest blog entries, a word search engine, buttons to follow you on social networks, etc.
If you have to make a website for a company, organization, etc., where you can display information about what it does, what services or products it offers, where it is located, add a contact form, etc., with WordPress you’ll have it covered.
There are many specific themes to create this type of website, but one that stands out among all is Astra, a fully customizable theme with which you can leave the website completely to your liking. Ideal for people who do not want to complicate their lives.
Corporate or personal website with blog
Like the previous one, but completing it with a blog where you can publish entries related to the company’s theme.
The same if instead of a company, you are a freelance professional where you want to offer your services and have a blog where you can publish articles related to your profession.
If this is your case, you can also take a look at Astra, perfect for creating this type of website. In fact, it is the one I use in eCommerce expert with Woocommerce.
There is a lethal combination to turn your website into an online store, which is WordPress plus the Woocommerce plugin.
There are several plugins that transform your website into an online store, but the best known and most used is WooCommerce.
With WooCommerce, you will have all the functionalities you need to manage an online store: upload products, add payment and shipping methods, manage orders, and customers…
In addition, there are lots of specific plugins to increase the functionality of WooCommerce, in case you need to do something else besides what the plugin itself offers.
Other types of websites
The ones mentioned above are the most common types of websites that can be done with WordPress, but it doesn’t end there.
Thanks to the tremendous amount of themes and plugins you can install, you can turn your website into almost anything. Among others, these are some of the websites you can make thanks to them:
A social network with the BuddyPress plugin, a forum with the bbPress plugin, an online academy for courses with LearnPress, a price comparator with the WPcomparador plugin, a dating search engine with the Online Dating theme or a web directory with the Website Directory theme, both developed by PremiumPress, etc.
And so I could spend a good time giving examples, but I think you’ve already got the essence of what I mean, and let’s leave it at that.
How to get started with WordPress
Once you have seen the advantages of WordPress and know that it can be used to create almost any type of website, you are probably wondering how to start with WordPress to create your own website.
Well, the first thing you should know is that you can create a website or blog in two different ways: downloading WordPress from WordPress.org or creating a free blog from WordPress.com.
Although the best option, in general, is to download WordPress from WordPress.org and I encourage you to do so since you will have full control of your website.
WordPress and Search Engine Optimization
I have already said that one of the advantages of WordPress is that it is ready to be liked by Google. What I mean by this is that thanks to WordPress and the various SEO plugins that exist, you have greater ease in optimizing your pages and thus achieve good web positioning.
Something that if you were to create a website by programming or with another content manager that is not prepared for it, it would cost you more to work.
This is very important, because who wants a website that doesn’t receive visits?
WordPress allows less advanced users to achieve a correct SEO on page level without major difficulties.
Obviously, if you start from scratch, you have to learn and practice until you find the key, but it is evident that you will have it much easier than with any other system.
In case you need help with this topic, I leave you with this guide for SEO in WordPress, which can be very useful if you want to get more visits from Google and the rest of the search engines.
It’s a long way to go, but in the end, it’s worth it for the results you get.
You know what WordPress is, everything you can do with it, and how it will improve your life if you use it.
If you are about to start your project and didn’t know how to create your website yet, I encourage you to try WordPress, you’ll see how useful it is and how easy it is to manage it and create new content on it.
If you have already convinced yourself to use WordPress in your project, I encourage you to keep an eye on the next blog posts, because I will explain how to install WordPress on your website, and other articles related to the world of web design, themes, and WordPress plugins.