Consider these next several paragraphs a crash course in WordPress basics, one of the most widely-used web tools available today. So the next time you’re at that dinner party, and the IT guy starts blathering on about “post categories” and “child themes”, you’ll be prepared. (You’re welcome.)
Okay, we’ll admit it. We love web technology. It’s what we do most of our working day. And one of our favorite web tools is WordPress.
Sure, you’ve heard of WordPress (www.wordpress.com), but maybe … just maybe … you’re one of those folks who think, “What the heck is WordPress, and why should I use it?”
We’re glad you asked! Ready? Let’s go!
What is WordPress?
Generally speaking, WordPress is web software. Technically speaking, it’s called a “content management system” (CMS). It’s used by web developers as a framework for building amazing websites – like the one you’re on right now.
WordPress was launched in 2003 as a blogging platform, and has become the leading tool for building and managing websites of all kinds. It’s used by global corporations like CNN, Forbes, GM, and UPS, as well as individuals and mom-and-pop online stores. It’s the most popular CMS by far (76 million users), and one-fourth of all websites globally use WordPress.
Why is WordPress so popular?
WordPress has become the developer’s top choice for several reasons.
- Unlike traditional HTML sites, WordPress sites don’t require extensive knowledge coding and developing skills.
- It’s incredible flexible. The design and layout can be changed easier than previous technologies (like strict HTML-only sites) often allowed.
- It’s super user-friendly, and easy to update. If you can use programs like Microsoft Word, you can learn to use WordPress.
- Many themes (or site templates) are “responsive”; they automatically adjust to fit mobile screens. So your website can look great and function beautifully, no matter which device is being used.
- WordPress integrates social media seamlessly.
- WordPress offers the ultimate in SEO friendliness, and some great SEO plugins are available for even better visibility.
- It’s packed with amazing options, such as e-commerce, event registration, newsletter forms, animated graphics and more.
How much does WordPress cost?
The software is free, and has been since its beginnings in 2003. It’s continually being updated, and those updates are free, as well. However, there can be associated costs, such as premium themes, plugins, hosting, imagery/graphics, WordPress consultants, and so on.
Don’t all WordPress sites all look the same?
Absolutely not. The look, feel, design, layout, color, and so on are determined by a particular WordPress “theme”. There are countless thousands of WordPress themes available. Some are free (like this); other “premium” themes (like this and this) require some cold, hard cash (usually in the $30-$75 range). Most developers agree that a quality premium theme is usually worth the money. The good news? Your WordPress theme can easily be changed, which means virtually unlimited designs for your site!
Can I edit my own WordPress site?
Absolutely! WordPress offers an user-friendly dashboard for making updates. There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but you’ll get the hang of it very soon. Not interested in all that stuff? eXcelisys has a great web team than can handle it for you, or hold your hand and give you guidance.
Can I move my existing site to WordPress?
It depends. Since WordPress is a dynamic web platform, it works best when starting your site from scratch, as opposed to migrating eXisting pages over. Even then, your static site may not look eXactly the same when powered by WordPress. However, converting your current site to a WordPress site is easier than you might think. We can grab your images, text, and any other content, and integrate them into a new site relatively smoothly.
If you want your site to look the same, but function on a WP platform, that’s definitely doable. Want a fresh look? With the thousands of unique themes available, the sky’s the limit when it comes to design.
Okay, so that’s the low-down. As a reminder, here are three quick takeaways for that dinner party with the IT guys:
- WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system.
- It’s simple, free to use, and infinitely customizable.
- Your next web project will look great and function beautifully when built with WordPress.
Okay, one more shameless plug: at eXcelisys, we’re WordPress experts, so we can tackle any size project, from full-on custom WordPress development, to support and maintenance. Heck, we can even fix some of those issues you may run into from time to time with your current WordPress site.
Ready to get started? Just get in touch with one of our web solutions specialists! It’s no charge, so no eXcuses!
**This article is provided for free and as-is, use, enjoy, learn, and experiment at your own risk – but have fun! eXcelisys does not offer any free support or free assistance with any of the contents of this blog post. If you would like help or assistance, please consider retaining eXcelisys’ consulting & development services.
eXcelisys, Inc. is an independent entity and this web site/information/blog post has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with The WordPress Foundation, WordCamp, or the WordPress open source project..