WordPress: What Is It and What Makes It Great
Wordpress Drag and Drop Editor, Vector

Introduction to WordPress

https://wordpress.com/ & https://wordpress.org/

Most websites have a single tool in common: WordPress. Diving straight to the point, WordPress is an outstanding platform that powers the back end of >40% of websites worldwide. So, what exactly is it, and how did it become the foundation of modern web development?

Brief Overview

At its core, WordPress is software, a tool, if you will. It’s designed to help individuals, businesses, and organizations create a digital presence on the web without needing to deal with complicated coding. Be it a blog, an online store, a portfolio, or any other type of website, WordPress facilitates it. When you visit a site and see its layouts, articles, images, and other content, there’s a good chance this platform is running behind the scenes.

Historical Background

The start of WordPress dates back to 2003. The founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, likely never envisioned just how revolutionary their creation would be. What began as a simplistic tool for bloggers has morphed into a complete platform trusted by the world’s leading brands, including the likes of CNN, Time, and Microsoft, to name a few.

In its early days, WordPress faced competition and was not the only platform striving to simplify web creation. Yet, over time, it established dominance. Its adaptability, combined with an intuitive interface, sets it apart. Its open-source nature, meaning that it’s free and can be modified by anyone, ensured a democratic approach to web development. This opened the floodgates for a surge of users and developers who adopted the platform and contributed to its growth.

However, it is more than just software. It’s a digital revolution that’s made the web accessible to everyone. It’s changed how we use the internet, making it accessible for individuals and businesses of all scales. As we learn more in the subsequent sections, we’ll unpack this platform’s core features, benefits, components, and varied applications.

Core Features of WordPress

Next, we will look at the features that make over half of the internet choose this platform.

Open-source Software

Its open-source nature is arguably the most important feature. To put it in simple terms, ‘open-source’ means the software is free, both in terms of cost and liberty. Anyone can download, use, and modify it. This feature might sound unremarkable at first, but it’s very important. By being open-source, WordPress has fostered a vast, global community. Developers across continents contribute to its improvement, ensuring that it remains cutting-edge, secure, and, above all, relevant.

Content Management System (CMS)

At its heart, WordPress is a Content Management System. Simply put, it’s a tool that lets users manage digital content without requiring specialized technical knowledge. The CMS functionality ensures these tasks remain straightforward, whether adding a blog post, updating a product listing, or changing a website’s visual aesthetics.

Extendable through Plugins

In WordPress, plugins are basically power-ups, like in a video game. They provide added functionality, allowing users to make their websites to fit specific needs without starting from scratch. Want to add an e-commerce function to your site? There’s a plugin for that. Need enhanced SEO capabilities? Again, there’s a plugin. The beauty of WordPress lies in its over 50,000 plugins, each designed to meet a particular need. These plugins mean that WordPress’s potential is unlimited.

Customizable with Themes

Themes cater to virtually every aesthetic preference and functional need with thousands available. From minimalist blogs to vibrant e-commerce sites, there’s a theme tailored to every vision. The beauty is, that most of these themes are customizable. So, while one can start with a preset design, tailoring it to personal or brand specifications is straightforward.

In essence, the strength of WordPress isn’t just rooted in its foundational features but in its adaptability. Its open-source nature ensures it is continually evolving. Its CMS functionality guarantees user-friendliness. Plugins ensure adaptability, while themes provide versatility.

Benefits of Using WordPress

After covering the core features of WordPress, let’s move on to the benefits of using the platform.

User-friendly Interface

Simpler is always better, especially when it comes to software. WordPress is very aware of this and provides an easy-to-use UI. Even novices, taking their initial steps into website creation, find the platform inviting. Without the need for exhaustive tutorials or advanced technical know-how, one can create and manage content, a testament to WordPress’s commitment to user empowerment.

SEO-friendly Platform

A website without traffic isn’t worth much. WordPress is built for search engine optimization and promises better rankings. From clean permalink structures to optimized speed and performance, WordPress lays down the red carpet for search engines, ushering sites toward better visibility.

Strong Community Support

Behind every great tool is an even greater community. WordPress boasts a large network of developers, designers, and everyday users. This community acts as a safety net, offering solutions, troubleshooting issues, and providing valuable insights. For every challenge faced, there’s a good chance someone in the WordPress community has a solution.

Frequent Updates and Improvements

Without frequent updates, a platform suffers. WordPress evades this trap by offering regular updates. These aren’t mere tweaks but substantial improvements, ensuring that websites are secure, optimized, and in sync with the latest web standards.

Flexibility and Scalability

From modest blogs to huge e-commerce platforms, WordPress’s adaptability is legendary. Its flexibility ensures that the platform scales seamlessly alongside as one’s vision or business grows.

WordPress isn’t just a tool—it’s an ally. Its benefits ensure that users, regardless of their expertise or goals, have a platform that supports, enhances, and amplifies their digital goals. Now you know why it’s so great, let’s find out what you can use it for.

Applications of WordPress

1. Blogging:

Arguably the most significant use of WordPress is blogging. WordPress has been the preferred platform over the years, for any blogger, from personal diaries to professional news outlets. Its intuitive interface, combined with powerful tools, makes crafting and managing content a streamlined process.

2. E-commerce Websites:

E-commerce is becoming more and more important in today’s world. With plugins like WooCommerce, WordPress transforms standard sites into online stores. It handles everything – product listings, shopping carts, checkouts, and even digital downloads. The ease with which entrepreneurs can set up shop and cater to a global audience demonstrates advanced e-commerce capabilities.

3. Business Websites:

Beyond personal blogs and e-shops, businesses, from startups to Fortune 500 giants, lean on WordPress. Why? Its flexibility. Whether showcasing services, detailing company history, or offering customer support, it molds itself to fit varied business needs. Its scalability ensures that their digital presence can grow with their business.

4. Portfolios:

For artists, photographers, writers, and designers, a portfolio is their calling card. With its themes and plugins, WordPress enables these professionals to display their work visually appealingly. The platform’s adaptability ensures that each portfolio highlights the work and mirrors the individual’s or agency’s unique style.

5. Forums:

Community engagement has never been more vital. Tools like bbPress facilitate the creation of forums. These digital spaces allow for discussions, exchange of ideas, and foster a sense of community among users, be it for a product, hobby, or shared interest.

6. News and Magazine Sites:

CMS capabilities make this platform a prime choice for news and magazine sites. Its ease of categorizing, tagging, and publishing articles ensures that readers always have access to the latest updates.

7. Membership Sites:

Exclusivity has its charm. For creators and businesses offering premium content or services, that’s where the ability to create membership sites comes into play. With the right plugins, users can gate content, offer subscriptions, and build a loyal customer or reader base.

In summary, a common thread binds the applications of this platform: empowerment. WordPress empowers individuals and organizations to make a strong digital appearance.


Wrapping up our article, it’s clear to see why it’s such a big deal in the web world. Starting out as a simple blogging tool, it’s grown to be a go-to for all things website-related.

What really makes WordPress stand out is its user-friendliness and community spirit. It’s designed so that anyone, regardless of tech skill level, can set up a site. This means that everyone, from beginners to tech pros, has the tools they need to put their content online.

The community is also a major plus. With so many people using and supporting the platform, it’s easy to find help, tips, and tricks. This group of users pushes the platform forward, making sure it stays up-to-date and functional.

So, looking at the big picture, it is more than just a website tool. It’s a reliable and supportive system for anyone wanting to have an online presence. If you’re thinking about building a website or blog, give WordPress a try. It’s straightforward, backed by a great community, and has proven itself as a solid choice over the years.


Written by Pieter

October 27, 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

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