Let’s start our adventure by looking at what WordPress is and why using it to build your website is one of the best available solutions these days.
In short, WordPress is an open source web software application that you can use to create and maintain a modern website, even if you don’t have any technical expertise. Since it is a web application, WordPress does not need to be installed on your home computer, or any other machine under your control. It can live on the server (a kind of computer) that belongs to your website hosting company. WordPress is free, easy to use, and packed with excellent features.
Originally, WordPress was an application meant to run a blog website, but it has now evolved into a fully-featured Content Management System (CMS). Actually, at the time of writing, WordPress powers around 40% of the entire internet. And if that’s not enough, the newest version of the platform gets downloaded 1 million times every two days.
Even though WordPress was originally a blog engine – used primarily to run blogs – it’s now being used by a number of big (by today’s standards) online agencies to run their sites. Outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Reuters all use WordPress as the base of their web publishing platforms.
Undoubtedly, the platform has evolved a lot over the years, and, even though a massive amount of new functionality got introduced, WordPress still remains one of the easiest to use web publishing platforms out there.
In web years, WordPress has been around for quite a while and was in development the whole time, getting better constantly. WordPress’ very first release, Version 0.70, was launched in May, 2003.
WordPress as a platform and as a community of users has evolved in two main areas. The first one is gathered around WordPress.org – the native, main website of the WordPress project. The other is WordPress.com – a platform providing free blogs for every user who wants one – the one we’re going to be using in this guide.
Essentially, WordPress.org is about developing the platform itself, about sharing new plugins, discussing the technical aspects of WordPress, and being all “techie” in general. WordPress.com (the image above) is a purely community-driven site where bloggers can meet with each other, and publish their content on free blogs based under the “wordpress.com“ subdomain. That being said, there are paid plans available at WordPress.com as well.
What you need before we begin
In short, nothing specific.
WordPress can be used by anyone, regardless of their experience with creating websites.
The only thing that you really need is an email address – registering for a free WordPress.com account requires you to input your email.
Please proceed to the next part of the course, it’s where we’re going to begin by registering a new WordPress.com account.