December 2, 2020

What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

What is the main reason for using WordPress? If you never heard of WP before, let’s go over information about this nearly best website developing platform. Needless to say, WordPress is far ahead of main opponents — Drupal and Joomla. WordPress started out just like a simple blogging platform, but it evolved over time. Now, lots of folks use it successfully for building and maintaining websites, including e-commerce sites.

With WordPress, you can set up a nice online shop or any kind of business platform online.  Yes, you’ll need to pay money for the best stuff available. But, if you’re looking for ways to set up a website or personal blog, look into WordPress because today, WordPress seems like almost the best option out there. Go ahead and learn some useful info about WordPress solutions. Also, in this blog post, we’ll tell you how to put it to the best use.

What is WordPress?

wordpress inscription on table
top view of coffee cup and keyboard with wordpress inscription on table https://blog.grinfer.com

Years ago, people had to pay a bunch to web developers to build websites using CSS, JS, PHP. Then, came the CMS’s. These allowed anyone to easily build their sites without having to spend money on website development creating basic stuff.

Released in 2003, WordPress itself was written in PHP. At the start, WordPress was known as a blogging platform or a platform that provided some amazing features to promising entrepreneurs. The WP platform has evolved over time becoming much bigger and stronger. It’s now a super customizable and robust solution, which can match the complex demands of even bigger enterprises. By today, WordPress has gained enormous popularity and became the most widely used content management system (CMS) highly popular globally.

WordPress is heavily used by amateur website developers or people with no experience in coding. It will let you create your own site with a simple block editor and arrange the content exactly the way you want. Users can easily change the designs of their site and add new features to the site with WP themes and plugins. WordPress is so popular that, in case you need help and assistance with anything, you can easily find some local meetups or attend conferences online (called WordCamps) to get help.

Again, you don’t need to write any codes by hand to use WordPress. Basically, WP provides the abstraction layer, which keeps you off from the technical details. Everything is already laid out, so no worries about anything. Once WordPress is set up, all you need to do is to pick a theme and start adding content. And you are good to go!

WordPress has the following coding stack:

  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • CSS
  • jQuery

So, forget about messing around with programming languages like JavaScript or PHP, and other fancy programming languages. This makes it perfect, especially if you’re about creating a basic website or blog. Saves tons of money. Bingo!

WordPress works best on a Linux Server but also works on Windows Servers. WP has two main components:

  • WP plugins
  • WP themes

WP themes:

Basically, they represent files written in html, php, css. These files decide on functionality, as well as what the basic design your website will have at the end. Plenty of options which will change anything in a website’s functionality or design instantly. WordPress themes come with a personal settings panel that allows you to change colors, load logos, change backgrounds, create nice looking sliders, customize as per your own choices. 

WordPress themes will also let you decide what front end styling you want and what markup to use. To tell you the truth, there was a time when only a single one WP theme was available and active. Today, you’ll be surprised how much WP has changed since then. WP themes come in two categories now: free and premium. Pick everything that will make your website look amazing and collect benefits later after you’ve put everything together and launched it online.

WP plugins:

They extend the website’s functionality by adding/integrating such features like options of security and protection, SEO, Google analytics, caching, other good stuff. WP websites are usually provided with many or zero active plugins. On average, WP websites have from 10 to 30 plugins active (depending on site needs), which allows extending site features beyond the standard. Plugins are used for setting up e-commerce platforms, social networks, community forums, and also come in two categories, either free or premium level.

Benefits of WordPress

According to today’s estimate, over a third of sites on the Internet are built with the power of WP. However, don’t get confused thinking that WordPress provides hosting. WP lives on the WordPress .org, where you can download a free version of it.

Getting started is as easy as selecting a hosting provider to run the server. Choosing one of such services as SiteGround, Flywheel, or Bluehost is a good move for finding a host. This lets you select their pre-installed WordPress options. Some hosts do not have WordPress pre-installed but have a 1-click installation option once you are signed into the hosting provider’s website. Yes, they’ll ask you to pay some money for hosting service, but you won’t be paying for WP itself. A good trait. This isn’t exactly the case with such alternative solutions to WP — Squarespace.

Once you have found a hosting provider and sorted everything out, you’ll have the option of installing a free version of WP.

Advantages that WordPress software provides:

  • WordPress themes and plugins make it extendable;
  • Easily manageable;
  • Safe/secure;
  • Handles different media types;
  • Provides search engine efficiency.

Here is more reasons why WordPress is awesome for creating a design that you like and building websites:

  • First, WP is constantly growing, improving, and offering updates.
  • Secondly, tons of themes and add-ons can be integrated with WP CMS. What does this mean? Basically, an expansion of functionality for any WP website. This is going to be available at any time instantly.
  • The third reason is flexibility in customizing in any way you desire to have it. No need to learn the basic configurations. Since WP also gained huge popularity for keeping personal blogs, have an outstanding blog built with the WP software.
  • Finally, WordPress is a multilingual platform. It is available in over 70 languages and for that reason, it is used internationally. Hence, language is never a barrier when it comes down to building websites with WordPress.

Advantages from the developer perspective:

  • Huge support base.
  • WP  lets us extend what most of us want – functionality and control.
  • Offers thousands of top-notch tutorials, teaching how to implement and use any functionality and feature in WP.
  • Creates forum or e-commerce sites at ease.

Advantages from the content manager side and SEO point of view:

  • WP interface is extremely user-friendly.
  • Auto Saving.
  • Revisions.
  • Furthermore, WP is innovative, stable, and extremely responsive.
  • Among several other platforms available on the Internet, WP still holds the largest user base. Therefore, its community will last for long.
  • WordPress has an immense collection of free themes, which will assist newbies to commence their journey without spending much.
  • The plugin directory of WordPress is as immense and large as its community. This directory has everything you could imagine.
  • This software also obtains updates on a regular basis. Therefore, this makes it a secure platform.
  • WP has the potential to handle high traffic without being crashed.

To summarise everything said above, WordPress comes with a full pack of features for every user. And for every other feature there’s a directory with thousands of WP plugins.

WordPress pros and cons

Even though WP is one of the easiest software to handle and develop websites with, there is a common misconception among non-developers. This confusion deals with the fact that lots of people think they can develop professional-level sites by themselves. And have it with no money spent whatsoever. So, as a result, the Internet is swarming with thousands of not working websites or these websites that won’t work on mobile devices like Androids. Also, Google search won’t see these sites and don’t deliver new leads to the businesses themselves. This is almost like they have no value whatsoever.

Here are some disadvantages of WordPress that you should consider while choosing a website development platform:

  • Needs frequent updates.
  • Customization needs coding.
  • PHP skills and web design knowledge required for modifications.
  • WP Scripting.
  • Too many plugins (over 50 thousand).
  • PHP security weakness.
  • Queries.
  • WP heavy plugins make websites slower to display and load. This happens when you select a few plugins and use them at the same time. Each plugin is related to the website’s page and needs to load too. This can make the whole website performance work very slow.
  • Uploading high size images also makes a site slower to load.
Suggestions to website creators:
  • Choose the best WordPress theme, which should also be SEO-friendly.
  • Don’t use many unnecessary plugins all at once. This kills your page load.
  • Have high-quality images, but stay away from uploading directly. Try “Filezilla” to upload, because this makes the load faster.
  • Try to customize the WP theme with your known code. If this is not possible, then go for plugin installations.

After all, when people claim that WordPress doesn’t provide enough security, this statement is not quite correct. The CMS itself is fairly secure and, if everything was set up correctly with only secure plugins that were well-coded and with custom themes were used, then security should not be an issue here. Because WordPress is very flexible, use different types of content, so you can build fairly complex content structures.

Where the WordPress usage should be avoided? WP is not the right tool if you’re trying to build a web app, a CRM, or something like this. The problem here with WP would be in the database structure and limited toolkit. For example, when you’re building a web app, you might need to enqueue certain actions, such as sending an email, Even though this usually takes a couple of seconds, you’ll have a small delay when loading a page if this happens synchronously.

Also, it does not really make sense using WordPress if you’re using an API. Because in this case, you would have a slow response time. Also, try to define your custom database tables but remember that WP does not provide a fluent ORM such as Laravel’s Eloquent. So, why would you make life even harder? Pick the right tool for the job instead. Use it effectively.

Another case — a big amount of data needs to be stored. Plus, you need to compose complex queries. In this case, WP won’t be of much use, unless you enjoy using raw SQL. If you use custom post types and post meta for storing content, queries become very inefficient. By defining custom database tables, you’ll be spending time pretty inefficiently.

Conclusion

WordPress is a massive success, it provides a powerful range of build solutions for a wide range of applications and intentions for digital publishing. It’s totally fine to use WP for mastering websites even if you have no knowledge in coding. WP makes it possible to create an entire thing by just installing this software and publishing content via WP. 

With WordPress we have an ideal combination of tools that just work very well together, this is why WordPress is used so extensively by professional, and amateur web developers. Also, WP is popular today with such big corporations like MSNBC, BBC America, Sony Music, etc.

Learn WordPress, get a deeper understanding of all pros and cons, and know the way how everything is put together. Eventually, you’ll build almost anything you can dream up. Including REST APIs to power native desktop or mobile applications. So, WP is a very powerful and universal solution that will let you build websites from scratch.

Thankfully, there are loads of useful videos, articles, as well as courses on how to use it offered online by accredited instructors. If you visit the Grinfer e-learning platform,  you’d see lots of great opportunities to learn WordPress. So, take WordPress courses online today and become a WP pro tomorrow!

Learn Online with Grinfer elearning platform

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