What Is WordPress And How Does It Work?
If you are thinking of creating your site with this platform, let’s see the most important details that will make you better understand what WordPress is and why millions of websites use it. If you are wondering what is WordPress and how does it work? to understand if it is right for you, do not worry. You are in the same boat as many people who contact me via email asking me the same thing. The answer is always the same; if you want to open a website or blog, WordPress is the one for you! What sites can be created with WordPress?
Under the hands of a WordPress expert, this platform can be used for anything. However, even if you are a novice beginner and want to use it for your project, WordPress is the most accessible software around, not surprisingly it has been used by over 70 millions of sites on the web, but this implies having to apply at least a minimum to learn how to use it. It also seems reasonable to me, right?
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) or a content management system that allows you to use it to create websites and blogs without knowing anything about programming.
On the Wikipedia page, it says that WordPress is a “Blog” software platform, this could have been true in the first few years, but in the following years, the platform has made great strides so that it is now used for any website.
It is Open Source software under GNU created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little distributed under the GPLv2 license. The philosophy behind the Open Source software movement is that you are free to use, distribute, copy, modify and improve WordPress without asking anyone for permission.
The work to help maintain and improve WordPress always comes from thousands of developers, experts, bloggers, simple users all over the world, and that is why WordPress can no longer be considered owned by a single person or company but by everyone without distinction.
It is developed in PHP and relies on a MySQL data manager for its operation.
One of the peculiarities of this software is that it is free, this means that to download, install and use it you will never have to pay anything, even after some time, no monthly subscription, even if sometimes I have had clients from web agencies (also renowned) who have been asked for money to use WordPress.
It has a control panel that will allow you to manage it visually, extremely easy and intuitive; it will enable you with a few mouse clicks to create and manage entire websites independently, obviously in Italian.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s free, WordPress has a community of developers and support among the largest in the world and is used by the biggest brands in the world such as the New York Times, Microsoft, Playstation, Walt Disney, Mercedes-Benz; famous people like Sylvester Stallone, Rolling Stones, Usain Bolt and many more.
Two curiosities about WordPress: it is written with a double W and a capital P, and new versions (updates) are always given the name of a Jazz musician.
What is a WordPress theme
WordPress to create a layout of a website and also manage the visual aspect needs a theme. With WordPress, you can use and install free items already included in the software itself in the appropriate section in the control panel. You can choose external services with more professional WordPress themes, one of the most popular is themeforest.net
An item (also called Template) is a set of files (PHP files, style sheets, images) that help to create all the graphics of the site, it is possible to buy ready-made and pre-configured themes for specific development needs, and example ready-made themes for real estate agencies, ecommerce themes for online sales, for car rental, journalism, mechanics, and so on.
Alternatively, if you are familiar with programming, even a simple markup language such as HTML is enough to create a custom theme without the need for external services and additional costs, in this case, you will have to invest your time.
To find the installed theme and activate a new one, go to the “Appearance” section on the left command bar and click on “Themes.” Below this section, you will find other relevant articles such as the one for set menus and widgets, the “Customize” section, and the theme editor.
What is a WordPressplugin:
Plugins are “small” software that installed can extend functionality or add additional functions to WordPress and improve its use according to your needs, are created by developers, professionals in the sector but also by enthusiasts and in any case are checked in advance and verified before being allowed to use them.
Plugins can be used to create contact forms, photo galleries, include links to social networks; in short, there is a plugin for every need, but this does not mean that it is an excellent rule to abuse it.
The plugins section is located inside the WordPress control panel in the command bar on the left where you will find the word “Plugin” where you can enter the list of installed plugins, add a new one directly from the panel or via the editor edit the source code of any plugin.
You can find countless free plugins in the official list of WordPress plugins. Many of these while being free are excellent, useful, and used by most websites (see Yoast, all in one seo pack, WP Super Cache). However, The beautiful thing is that you can also choose paid professional plugins for specific needs. The best site to buy professional plugins is codecanyon.net.
Let’s say that a widget is a component (such as those of Jeeg steel robot) that performs a specific function; only you do not have to launch them, drag them with the mouse from the position of the widgets available on the left towards the appropriate sections that are located on the right and place them inside an article that will make the widget that generates the function appear inside the sidebar of the website in specific positions.
The widget can also “appear” in other sections of the site not only in the sidebar, but it all also depends on the theme you are using and which allows you to use widgets in other parts of the site as well.
Each widget has a specific name in Italian that clarifies its function. Each section where you can drag the widget always has a particular title that clarifies the position where the widget will be displayed.
WordPress has default widgets that will be present at each installation. However, you could find yourself with new widgets by installing a theme that provides widgets with particular functions and the same speech by installing plugins.
The widget section, as mentioned before, can be found under “Appearance” in the left command bar.
How WordPress works:
With WordPress (.org), you can create static sites and dynamic sites that, in any case, must make use of other integrations such as WordPress themes and databases, any plugins but not mandatory.
To be precise, WordPress can also be used without a theme, but let’s talk about being a programmer and knowing where to “put your hands.” However, in any case, we are talking about particular uses.
When you proceed with the installation of WordPress, which can be manual or automatic, the settings are written into the MySQL database, which will save the data that can be managed and modified at any time.
These data interface with the settings of the theme that creates the structure and graphics of the site. Everything can be managed from the WordPress control panel. (in Italian of course)
In cases of use of professional themes for WordPress, an exclusive theme control panel is available in 99% of cases that interfaces with WordPress that will allow you to manage the theme/site layout settings, colors, font type, and size. And many other functions without understanding anything about programming and various codes.
What does it take to make WordPress.org work?
- A hosting service
- A MySQL database, always included in a specific hosting service for WordPress
- A theme, even free, better professional
- Plugins, optional according to needs
- A little study and practice (I recommend the Italian courses for WordPress on Udemy )
- A computer haha
Note: WordPress could also be used without the aforementioned services with a local installation using XAMPP software that gives you the ability to install WordPress directly on your PC (locally) at no cost, to use and test it, or even create your site and then move it by uploading it to a web spezio to make it visible to everyone online.
WordPress works by interacting with a MySQL database; everything contained in the website is saved within the MySQL database (like a warehouse), which allows the site to work by interacting with each other.
REMEMBER that the database is not included in the WordPress software but is provided through the hosting service chosen where to install and use WordPress.
Some features of the database can also be set through individual plugins or through a control panel called phpMyAdmin accessible from a browser that allows the administration and management of the database at any point. However, here it will be necessary to be capable and practical of MySQL databases.
Costs to use WordPress:
As mentioned before, to use WordPress (in this case, WordPress.org), you need a hosting service for WordPress that provides web space and a database that can cost from 30 euros per year to 100 euros for shared hosting or from 400/600 euros per year for dedicated hosting.
Also in the case of WordPress.org, it will be necessary to use and purchase a domain name (www.nomemiosito.it) which can cost from 5 to 10 euros/year, more and more often the domain name is offered for free with the buying a hosting package sometimes forever just for the first year.
An excellent hosting that offers a free domain forever is flamenetworks.com, which I recommend considering that it includes a dedicated IP address.
There are no other costs apart from additional charges regarding any plugins and professional themes that you choose to use, regarding this topic, I suggest you read because it is always better to use professional WordPress themes.
So the only fixed costs to be incurred to use WordPress in full autonomy are, hosting service and domain name anyone who tells you otherwise is taking the piss!
What is a WordPresshosting:
First of all, since this question is also asked very often, a hosting service also called “host” is a network service that provides a web server with an ample “TOT” space where it is possible to upload and insert all the files to create a WordPress site, image files, plugins, etc. etc…!
The peculiarity of WordPress hosting in comparison to others is the functions made available by the hosting service included in the package to be purchased that help to manage WordPress better and make it work better.
WordPress is free, open-source, and relatively easy to use. With millions of websites running on WordPress, there’s no reason not to trust this platform.
After having talked extensively about what WordPress is, in the next step, you will find out how you can lay the right foundation before diving into your website. See you soon!