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What is WordPress?

Educative Answers Team
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Overview

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little introduced WordPress in 2003 as a fork off their other project called b2/cafelog. With time, WordPress matured from just an ordinary blogging platform to a full-fledged web-development tool.

WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) written in PHP that uses MySQL for its Data Management System (DMS). WordPress powers 37% of the current market share of websites – this reflects WordPress’s rising status as the most preferred tool for web development. To publish websites using WordPress, the user only needs a domain and hosting service.

WordPress provides users with an extensible ecosystem of thousands of Themes and Plugins that make it easier for users to customize their website.

Themes

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To make websites aesthetically appealing and eye catching, WordPress supports more than 5,000 themes that can be used to shape their websites. It also allows you to develop your themes while being confined to the WordPress standards (e.g., a valid PHP file coupled with structured HTML for content and CSS for styling). You can create and submit your theme to the official Theme Repository.

Additionally, since WordPress is open-source, you have the liberty to download themes, use the base source code of that theme, and make relevant changes according to your needs instead of developing it all from scratch. There are two types of themes available on WordPress website: Free themes and Premium themes.

To learn how to make a WordPress theme, look at their official Theme Developer Handbook

Plugins

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While themes decide how the website looks, plugins add the functionality. Plugins are sort of an add-on software that allows a website to adopt functions it was not originally designed to have.

WordPress has a marketplace for more than 50,000 plugins available for users to incorporate plugins into their websites. These plugins allow a wide range of customization possibilities including search engine optimization (SEO), client portals used to display private information to logged-in users, content management systems, and content display features.

Similar to themes, you can develop your own plugins and host them on the Plugin repository.

To learn how to make a WordPress plugin, check out their official Plugin Developer Handbook.

Why WordPress?

  • As an open-source software, WordPress gives you full access to their software and allows you to make amends to tailor the software according to your needs.
  • The extensible ecosystem of WordPress enables you to customize your website with a wide range of themes and plugins.
  • WordPress is written in high-quality code and produces semantic markup, which makes it SEO friendly. Moreover, this helps search engines, like Google, rank your website higher.
  • If you run into a problem, it’s easy to find support using the official WordPress Support.
  • WordPress supports a wide variety of media including audio, video, and gif files. You can also embed media from other websites including Youtube, Instagram, and SoundCloud.

Here are some popular websites developed using WordPress:

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