What is WordPress and how does it work?

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). This literally means: a system for managing your content, such as blog posts, pages, images, and so on.

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). This literally means: a system for managing your content, such as blog posts, pages, images, and so on. With over 6 million users worldwide, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. In 2021, their market share is 30%.

WordPress is an open-source content management system released under the GPLv2 license, which means that the WordPress software can be used or changed by anybody for free. A Content Management System (CMS) is a technology that allows you to manage critical components of your website, such as content, without having to know how to code. As a result, WordPress makes it easy for anybody, even non-programmers, to develop a website.

How does WordPress work?

To begin creating your WordPress website, you should first select a theme. Every WordPress site comes with a basic theme. A theme determines how your website looks, and each theme has its unique design, layout, and features. You can change your theme at any time without losing your content because it is configurable.

Working with an editor to create pages or articles allows you to publish material whilst editing. Blocks, including headings, paragraphs, buttons, and images, are used in the basic editor. This helps you to create your page while maintaining a well-organized layout. You can simply switch to a code editor if necessary.

Time to customize

After you’ve found the perfect theme, click the Customize link in the Appearance menu to make it your own. The Customize link will take you – in most cases – to the theme customizer, where you can easily tweak your theme whilst viewing a live preview of your website. Additional configuration panels for extra customization options will be added to advanced WordPress themes.

After you activate the WordPress theme customizer, you’ll see all of your modification choices on the left side of your screen, as well as a live preview of your website on the right. Regardless of the theme you’re using for your website, the WordPress theme customizer comes with a set of basic panels. You must click on the individual panels to make changes. By clicking on any of the blue pencil symbols on the right side of your screen, you may view the settings for a single item.

Installing WordPress Plugins

WordPress Plugins are similar to apps for your phone. They allow you to customize and add functionality to your WordPress site. Think of contact forms, photo galleries, and other such features. You can install plugins by navigating to the Plugins page in your WordPress dashboard. There are over 58,000 free WordPress plugins available at the moment. There are also paid (premium) plugins from third-party websites and developers, like Woosa

The difference between WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

The distinction between WordPress.org and WordPress.com lies in who hosts your website. 

Prefer to use your own hosting provider? In that case you want to use WordPress.org. You must also install WordPress manually (or via your hosting provider), purchase a domain name and maintain your server. Compared to WordPress.com, it’s a much more interactive though more flexible experience.

WordPress.com provides hosting services for your website. You won’t have to download any software or manage a server, either. Your website’s URL will be www.mywebsite.wordpress.com if you use WordPress.com. You can upgrade your WordPress.com account and purchase a custom domain from a third-party vendor as well (meaning your URL will look like this: www.mywebsite.com).

Which one to choose: WordPress.org or WordPress.com?

You may be considering whether WordPress.org or WordPress.com is a better fit for your needs. Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks of both alternatives in greater detail so you can make an informed decision.

WordPress.org

WordPress.org is the way to go if you want total control over the modification and maintenance of your website. Managing a WordPress.org website, on the other hand, requires significantly more effort. You must acquire and set up your own domain name, as well as upload and install plugins and a theme, change your website’s code, and maintain its security. WordPress.org is free to use, but you must pay for all other aspects of running a website.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the way to go if you want an all-in-one solution that handles the majority of the work for you. You won’t have to bother about managing your server, paying for hosting, or registering a domain name again. A WordPress.com plan also includes a lot of customization tools to help you make your website seem exactly how you want it to. There is a free and a premium edition of WordPress.com. You won’t be able to upload any custom themes or plugins if you continue with the free edition, and you’ll have a WordPress subdomain. You may, however, pay for premium upgrades and other plans that offer you even more power and control, as well as purchase a custom domain from a third-party website.

We are developers, so nevertheless we like flexibility and total control. Therefore I would never choose WordPress.com but always WordPress.org.

Jessica Risch has been active in the e-commerce industry since 2013 and is the founder of Woosa. With her passion for technology and design, Jessica characterizes herself as a creative and committed sparring partner with the aim of making online business easy. With her start-up Woosa, she makes advanced WooCommerce plugins simple and within reach for both starter and advanced webshop owner.

Jessica Risch
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