What is WordPress?
WordPress is a free and open-source website-building platform that you can use to make your own websites without any coding knowledge. WordPress has singlehandedly made the internet more accessible to millions of people. In fact, as of May 2021, 41.4% of the top 10 million websites are run on WordPress.
While originally created as a blog publishing system by American developer Matt Mullenweg and English developer Mike Little. Today WordPress has evolved into one of the most popular content management systems used around the world.
WordPress is the most hassle-free and simplest way to create your own websites from scratch. And the best part is that it is open source and licensed under GPLv2, which means anyone can use and modify the software for free.
It is important to mention that WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different things. WordPress.org is the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is the open-source free to use web building that everyone knows and loves. But you need to manage your own hosting and domain registration we suggest using A2 Hosting. WordPress.com, on the other, is the for-profit company that uses WordPress.org to provide simple-to-use solutions for users looking for the most hassle-free experience.
In the past few years, there has been a rise in easy-to-use website hosting and building services like Square Space and Jimdo. They don’t nearly offer the same level of flexibility and customizability as WordPress. This is why this tool still remains the top choice for individuals and fortune 500 companies to make their websites and blogs.
How does WordPress work?
WordPress itself is just a content management platform that provides users with a clean and easy-to-use dashboard to make their websites. A website built on WordPress is actually powered by two critical things PHP and MySQL.
PHP is a scripting language on which the WordPress platform is written. PHP coding language is a server-side language, which means that it runs on the server before it comes to your server browser. In fact, PHP is one of the most popular languages on which the internet is built upon. And PHP has WordPress to thank for its popularity.
The second component to WordPress is MySQL. MySQL is a database management system that allows users to manage data and categorize them into indexes. This makes managing large amounts of data easier and efficient. WordPress uses MySQL to manage data for everything on your website.
Now that we know the composition of WordPress let us take a look at how it works. WordPress does three important jobs
- It provides an easy-to-use dashboard for a website. Website managers can use this to manage all the content on their website.
- WordPress creates a MySQL database to manage all the content on your website. So, whenever a user requests particular information, like clicking on the home page of a website. WordPress handles the MySQL query to retrieve that information and show it to the user.
- Allows users to add themes, plugins, and short codes to increase the functionality and aesthetics of their website.
In fact, the last part is what makes management system so great. The flexibility of the WordPress platform means that even users with minimal coding and website experience can make beautiful-looking websites just by using community crated content like themes and plugins. Here is an example of some the great plugins in 2021!
The community that has grown around this platform means that there is a never-ending supply of user-created plugins, themes, and other features. This makes WordPress an alive and breathing ecosystem that doesn’t require any central dependence to flourish.
How to make your own website using WordPress?
Making your own website using WordPress is the best and cheapest way to take control of your own website. While there are literal books written on how to make a website using WordPress. And I can’t possibly cover everything there is to know about making a website using this management system here.
But regardless, here is a condensed version of what to expect when you make your own website using WordPress:
1. Selecting a domain Name
The first thing to understand about WordPress is that it is just a platform on which you will build your website. It just gives you the right tools to customize, manage and add content to your website. You will need two other things for your website, a domain name, and hosting.
The domain name is the actual name of your website. This is how you will be found on the internet. For example, the domain for Google is www.google.com. Similarly, you can select and register a domain name for yourself. For example, you can name it www.thisismywebsite.com. You just have to make sure that your name is not taken by someone else. There can’t be two same domains on the internet. But there is a near little trick around this, you can use different domain suffix. So instead of the website URL ending at .com, it can end at .org, .net and .io.
You have to make sure the name truly represents your vision for the website. It is also helpful to make the domain name easy to remember and less complicated. Once you have selected a domain name, you can go to any of the thousands of domains registering websites and get your domain name registered. Some websites offer both hosting and domain name registration services, so it is better to stick with them to simplify the process.
It is important to note that you need to pay to register a domain. And you don’t own a domain indefinitely. The registration has to be renewed at regular intervals, usually annually.
2. Choosing a website hosting service
After you are done selecting a domain name for your website, the next thing is to select a website hosting service. So why do you need website hosting, you ask? Well, you can technically host a website on your own personal computer. But that is a bad idea, for starters, the website will go down as soon as you turn off your computer. And your website won’t hold under traffic as your personal computer is not designed to host websites.
So, to make a website, people usually pay for a hosting service. The website host is the one that has to physically ‘hold’ your website. This is done on huge server farms. So, when you buy a website hosting subscription, you are basically renting out storage space in some data farm.
The advantages of this are that your website is online 24/7 and can handle massive traffic. Website hosting services these days offer many more features like security features, backup, and customer support. Using a website hosting service is a no-brainer for most people.
3. Installing WordPress
Once you have a domain registered and you have bought a subscription for website hosting. This is where WordPress comes in. You don’t necessarily have to use WordPress at this point; you can technically code and make your own website from scratch. But that would be like making your own wheels with wood for your car when you can go buy actual rubber tires from the market. And in this case, the tires are completely free to use.
Installing WordPress on most website hosting services is as simple as clicking one button. And it takes just a few minutes. Once installed, the WordPress dashboard loads in. This is where the magic happens. There are thousands of guides available online to help you navigate the dashboard.
4. Choosing a WordPress theme
The next step is to choose a theme for your website. There are thousands of free themes available to choose from. The best part is once you choose a theme, you can pretty much customize it into anything you want.
There are premium choices for themes as well that are ready to go as is, so if you want to pay for minimum hassle. The premium themes can be a good choice as well.
5. Setup your WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are what make it such a powerful tool. A WordPress plugin is a program that was written in PHP. The purpose of a plugin is to add specific features or services to a website made on WordPress.
Plugins eliminate the need for a website maker to know PHP. They can just install pre-coded Plugins.
6. Add content to your WordPress website
This is the final part of your WordPress website creation process. Now it is time to actually add content. This can be anything from blog articles to images or videos. Now is the time to make the website what you want it to be. There are obviously best practices like having a home page and an about page for your website. But you can literally do anything you want now.
You are now a proud owner of your own website. Before the website becomes available for everyone to see, you need to publish it. Double-check everything and make sure everything is where it needs to be. Once you are ready, you can publish, and the website will be visible to the internet.
For any assistance or help reach out to us at NLSoftworks!