What is a WordPress Website?

What is a WordPress website? Can one ask such a deeply philosophical question without getting caught up in its complexity? We think so.

In this article, we’re going to let you know not only what a WordPress website is but also give you some insight into how they work.

So if you want the what and how of WordPress, stay tuned.

WordPress Hosting

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. It’s so popular that most hosting companies have optimized WordPress Hosting packages.

The best thing about WordPress hosting is that you get an optimized WordPress stack without any extra stuff you don’t need. This makes WordPress hosting very affordable for the value you’re getting.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use WordPress hosting effectively, feel to contact our hosting experts anytime.

Whatever You Need

First, WordPress is whatever you need it to be. At its heart, WordPress is a computer program that helps you manage the content of a website. What kind of website you want to create and how you want it to look are up to you.


In terms of scale, WordPress can grow with you. If you only need three or four pages of a site, then WordPress can help, but it’s almost too much.

WordPress really pays off when you’re managing a website that has a hundred or more pages. In fact, the more pages you create the more WordPress helps you.


WordPress uses the most current PHP code and relies upon a MySQL or MariaDB database. The PHP scripts generate dynamic pages using content pulled from the database.

The necessary code to create, read, update, and delete content from the database is included in the WordPress core files. This makes WordPress a complete content management system.

Complete Content Management System

WordPress is a complete content management system (CMS). What does this mean?

In the old days, when someone wanted to write a website, they would create numerous HTML files that became “pages” of the site.

The problem here was that the author would have to repeat themselves a lot, copying and pasting content that was meant to appear on each page.

Later, it was possible to dynamically update content on various pages using designated files and “server side includes“. But, as you can imagine, it grew tedious managing content for sites that grew to eventually hundreds or thousands of pages. What we now think of as “blogging” would be unmanageable.

Dynamic scripting languages like PHP helped simplify the process. This way, you could create a few template files and save the content in a database using MySQL. And the templates would generate the content based on the URL.

This is how WordPress works. Instead of creating and managing hundreds or thousands of files, you can manage all of your content from an efficient administrative Dashboard.

Collection of Files

But when we’re talking about what a WordPress site actually is, we’re talking about a series of core files, theme files, and plugin files.

Core Files

At the core, WordPress is a series of PHP files developed by volunteers around the world. So when your hear someone talking about “WordPress Core” you’ll know what they’re talking about.

The core files provide the key functionality of WordPress. The core functions in these files are used by themes and plugins to customize WordPress.

Theme Files

Theme files control the look and feel of your site. They use special template files like header, footer, and sidebar, to generate pages of your site. So if you request a post, you’ll get the single blog post template. If you request a page, you’ll get the page template.

Plugin Files

Plugin files work similarly to theme files, but they let you introduce special functions into any site regardless of theme. Like special apps that perform specific functions, anyone can write a plugin and make it available to the world as long as they follow the WordPress coding standards.

Putting It All Together

A WordPress website can be many things conceptually and practically, but it starts with you. What do you need from WordPress?

You can use WordPress to build virtually any kind of website. And with affordable WordPress-optimized hosting, the possibilities are limitless.

Christopher Maiorana Content Writer II

Christopher Maiorana joined the InMotion community team in 2015 and regularly dispenses tips and tricks in the Support Center, Community Q&A, and the InMotion Hosting Blog.

More Articles by Christopher

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