What is WordPress?

What is wordpress

No matter if you’re new to the digital world or have been maintaining an online presence for years, chances are you’ve heard of WordPress. But what is WordPress and how can it assist in your digital marketing goals? This article will explain the powerful tool and how you can utilize it to increase your business online. 

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What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, open-source, content management system (CMS) that allows you to create powerful, dynamic websites. Originally created as blogging software, WordPress has evolved into a tool that perfectly handles eCommerce, memberships, portfolios and more. There is truly no limit to the types of websites you can create with WordPress and with its intuitive interface, updating and maintaining your website is quick and easy.

History of WordPress

WordPress was launched in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as a fork of the b2 cafelog project. The idea was to give web developers and website creators an easier way to make changes to their website without having to use HTML. 

Compared to the long list of features users can access with today’s out-of-the-box WordPress installation, the first iteration of WordPress only included a texturized engine, links manager, XHTML 1.1 compliant templates, an administration interface, and the ability to do manual excerpts and new templates. Suffice to say, the platform has come a long way!

Because of its open-source nature, WordPress has grown into a powerful tool for website creation and management. Though it started as the brainchild of two men, a large community of contributors continue to push the platform forward. In addition, hundreds of developers create thousands of helpful plugins to extend the functionality of WordPress. 

The WordPress community is strong and because of that strength, WordPress will remain a robust, future-proof tool for website development. 

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com

  • wordpress.org example
  • wordpress.com example

If you searched for WordPress online, you may have noticed that there are two sites: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. For someone new to WordPress, this is probably confusing. However, the difference is pretty simple. 

WordPress.org is the fully free, open-source platform that businesses, web developers, and website creators can use with a number of hosting companies, like InMotion Hosting, to build and maintain their website. It’s fully customizable — giving you the ability to install plugins, add themes and implement custom code to make the website your own. 

WordPress.com is the for-profit platform owned by the company Automattic, which was also created by Matt Mullenweg — founder of WordPress. WordPress.com is a “website as a service,” allowing users to get their web presence up-and-running quickly with both hosting services and a website. However, WordPress.com isn’t completely free as it charges for domain registration and other features. 

In addition, though WordPress.com is extremely easy to use, that ease-of-use is at the sacrifice of flexibility and customization. With WordPress.com, users on Free, Personal, or Premium plans cannot install third-party themes and plugins. Unless a user wants a simple website for a hobby, this restriction significantly reduces the website’s functionality and its ability to grow in the future. 

Overall, WordPress.org is the 100% free, fully-customizable, open-source platform that can be used with most hosting providers. WordPress.com is the for-profit “website as a site” platform that gives users a very simple website but without the ability to install third-party plugins and themes. 

With InMotion Hosting WordPress Hosting plans, your first domain registration is free!

Why WordPress – Ease of Use

As mentioned, WordPress is a very powerful tool for creating and maintaining a robust website. With the platform, you can build any website you envision. In addition, with the WordPress ecosystem, you can easily customize your website with third-party plugins and themes to meet your business’ needs. 

Review the infographic below for more reasons why you should use WordPress.

Why wordpress infographic

Getting Started with WordPress

Per the above, getting started with WordPress is pretty simple. Secure a hosting plan and then install WordPress with the one-click installer or enjoy it preinstalled on your hosting account

Once WordPress is installed, use the below articles to get your website up and running! 

Would you like to learn more about WordPress? Check out our WordPress Educational Channel for more information, tips, and tricks on WordPress. 

Stormy Scott
Stormy Scott Content Marketing Writer

Stormy is a Content Marketing Writer at InMotion Hosting. Her content focus is WordPress, web design, and help articles for small businesses.

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