If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what is WordPress, and you have no clue about what it is, then no worries. We’ve covered it all up for you and here’s everything you need to know about it. In fact, our intensive research won’t just tell you what is WordPress, but will also provide you useful information such as the functionalities of this platform, its pros and cons, and much more. We will brief you with every little piece of info you need to know about WordPress, so let’s get started!
WordPress is one of the best platforms to get your work started or to establish your online presence. If you are completely new to the online world then look at it as the engine that powers a website. The best part is that you can do it for free. That means no more limited features but access to complete features of this tool and that’s what makes WordPress unique and one of the best content management systems.
WordPress is the tool you would use to design the appearance and add the various functionalities to your website. You can get a head-start with a free WordPress theme to make things easier or use one of the two leading front-end page builders — Elementor and DIVI to design your website from scratch. You can also combine the two and choose a theme that is both free and compatible with either of the two-page builders.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) that’s built with PHP and MySQL. The PHP is used for front end designing while the MySQL constitutes the backend database of this platform. To put it in layman’s lingo, WordPress is the most widely used blogging and website content management system (or CMS). No wonder this platform powers up over 35% of all websites on the internet and has the largest market share.
Designed with usability and adaptableness in mind, WordPress is a scalable solution that is ideal for websites of all sizes. It is undoubtedly a superb CMS that can be used by a wide range of websites. From blogging to e-commerce to business and portfolio websites, there’s hardly anything you cannot design on this platform.
Initially, the makers of WordPress built this platform to offer bloggers a free platform to blog on, but eventually it grew into one of the largest CMS, mainly because its free. Also, users can easily manage their blogs, collaborate with others, and add functionalities through WordPress plugins. This wasn’t the case with WordPress’ predecessors, and there was a need to hire a developer or learn advanced web development to manage a website. Adding functionalities to the website also required advanced knowledge of coding, which is no longer the case — at least not when you use WordPress.
What is a WordPress Website?
A WordPress website is any website that’s powered by WordPress and uses WordPress as its CMS (content management system). WordPress enables access to the backend of the website and also controls the front-end, which is how the viewer sees the website. The backend is usually known as the admin area and has controls to how and what you wish to display on the front end.
Let us now check out some types of WordPress websites that you can create:
A blog is more like an online diary or a chronicle of something that you wish to share with the world. Usually, Bloggers create a blog on a topic that they are passionate about and therefore, it is an exclusive kind of website that publishes content revolving around a particular hobby. Usually, bloggers share content such as their thoughts, photos, experiences, reviews, tutorials, etc… Not every blog is a hobbyist’s initiative and there are some awesome people out there who use blogging to transform this world.
Example – My Favorite Blogger is Bill Gates who shares meaningful content on his personal blog gatesnotes.com
An e-commerce website lets you create an online store that you can use to sell goods or services online and collect payment via an internet payment system. You can do this by installing an eCommerce WordPress theme or by using a WordPress e-commerce plugin to extend the default functionality of WordPress and create your online store. You can also integrate third-party store builders like WooCommerce or Shopify to your WordPress website and the possibilities are limitless.
Online presence is a must for businesses of all sizes and the key is to power it with scalable and easy-to-use technology. This is exactly what you can do with a WordPress website and that too without hiring a designing team to do that for you. You can add several business-related functionalities such as Contact, Request-for-Quote, Booking and Scheduling appointments, and more. Here are some WordPress booking Plugins that you can add to your Business Site today.
A membership website allows you to restrict content viewability and sell subscription-based access to your Members. In other words, it enables you to put content behind a paywall or an account login. You can add this functionality to your website and sell premium content like a Pro by simply installing a WordPress Membership Plugin. Once you do that and set up the WordPress Membership Plugin, your users or members will have to use a premium log in credentials that you provide them with.
If you are an independent contractor, self-employed professional, a firm, or an agency then you need to showcase your skills to potential clients. You can do so in an effective manner by creating a WordPress Portfolio website that showcases your work. If you are an artist or a web designer, then you can list your artwork and graphics to earn the trust of potential customers. Also, you can add in your professional profile and achievements. There are many free WordPress themes that you can use to create WordPress Portfolio websites.
With so many people using the world wide web, it is critical to provide them with a platform to interact with you and also with one other. Doing that helps you build a community and get targeted users on a single platform. You can create a forum on your existing WordPress website or create a forum website and connect it to your business site. This works extremely well for small businesses and social media influencers who wish to build a community.
WordPress makes it easier than ever to create an event website and to interact with those interested in it. You can use a WordPress plugin for bookings, collecting emails, and even to sell tickets on your event website.
Online learning culture has grown exponentially and there are students and professionals who take various online courses. So, if you have specialized in a certain field and wish to share your expertise by setting up an e-learning website then you can do that through a WordPress website. You can then impart online courses, track individual progress, download resources, and more.
If you wish to create an online wedding website to share an invite, pre-matrimonial photographs, and other fond memories then you can easily create it using WordPress. Doing this gives you absolute control over your pictures because you own the domain and pay for the hosting. So, you own the website and all the content that’s posted on it.
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System, better known by its abbreviated form CMS is a massive software application that consists of several programs that help manage your website’s data. It helps classify and present your content to the reader in a user-friendly manner, which in turn drives organic traffic. A good CMS would be one that is flexible and can offer several functionalities. Also, one that integrates other software applications, such as third-party digital marketing tools that you may purchase.
What is WordPress used for?
The big question — what WordPress is used for — has no definite answer. It’s like asking ‘What is a car used for?’ Obviously to drive, but the destination is something that you need to decide. Likewise, WordPress is used to manage and present a website’s content in a user-friendly manner. How you do that or why you do that is completely subjective and no matter what you intend to do with it, you’ll always find a WordPress theme to help you get there.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a set of functionalities that gives your website the look and feel you wish to. With thousands of premium and free WordPress themes available in the WordPress repository, you can easily design a website for whichever business you wish to. Also, you can create an online store and sell your products or services through your WordPress website. Again, to do this you need to choose the right WordPress theme for your online store.
What is WordPress Plugin?
You often hear the word WordPress plugin and may have often found yourself wondering about it. So, as we’ve set out to demystify every teeny weenie bit of WordPress, we simply cannot miss out on what is a WordPress Plugin and what this word means. A WordPress Plugin is a short piece of code that you can use to add various functionalities to your WordPress website.
Can I use plugins if I host my website from other website not from WordPress?
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) and the plugins created for WordPress are small pieces of code that add additional functionalities such as scrollbar, calendar, parallax etc… to your website. These functionalities could be style-based or for purposes such as SEO, but would still be just a piece of code that is compatible with the WordPress CMS. This CMS can be installed on any web host such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, etc… by installing the CMS on the server. So, if you switch from one web host to another then you can definitely backup your WordPress website and reinstall it. On the other hand, if you wish to migrate from WordPress to Wix or some other CMS then you may not be able to use it due to compatibility issues.
What happens to the videos and plugins of my wordpress site if the business plan expires?
If you have a WordPress hosting plan that’s about to expire, then you must purchase another hosting plan and install WordPress CMS. Alternately, you can choose to buy a WordPress hosting plan which comes with WordPress pre-installed on the server. Once you have done that, then backup all your content from the hosting that’s about to expire and upload it on the new hosting plan.
Benefits of using WordPress
Now that you know what is WordPress and the types of WordPress websites that you can create, you know that the possibilities are unlimited. Let us now move forward and analyze the key benefits of using WordPress as a CMS for your website.
Ease of Use
WordPress is a beginner-friendly platform that is easy to use and manage. So, you can easily build your website with it without hiring a web developer to manage the website for you. In fact, you can design an entire website from scratch without any prior experience in website development.
Most people confuse WordPress Hosting with WordPress and assume that this is a paid CMS. As a matter of fact, WordPress is absolutely free and you can even download it on your computer to practice web development. By website hosting, the web host only means that the software is installed on the server and the technologies support it. If you have some technical knowledge then you can as well buy a regular web hosting and install the WordPress CMS for free using cPanel or any other website control panel.
You can use WordPress to create various types of websites ranging from Business websites to eCommerce stores. Now that makes this platform truly unique.
No Prior knowledge required
You need not have any experience in building websites or designing them to get accustomed to WordPress. If you know the basics and are willing to put in the time and effort then you can get started in no time.
WordPress is open-source software that can be downloaded from WordPress.org for free. The WordPress CMS is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), so you know that no entity or individual has any type of proprietary right over it. Despite that, there are avid developers who spare no efforts in rolling out timely WordPress updates to fix glitches. Also, there is an interactive forum where you can post queries and get answers.
WordPress is a simple and straightforward CMS that eliminates the need to code in order to create a website. It’s a fact that the CMS is built using lengthy codes and so are the themes and plugins which may have editable code. However, there is no need for you to know any of that in order to create a basic website. You can add in functionalities using plugins, which are code snippets that let you perform a certain function on your WordPress site.
Add more functionality
WordPress is an extremely flexible platform that you can use in any way you please. Without writing a single line of code, you can use WordPress plugins to sell subscriptions by using membership WordPress plugins, add calendar, or even create forums. These plugins are readily available in the WordPress repository and can be downloaded with just a few clicks.
Design as you want
You can download from a multitude of WordPress themes that provide you with different designs and layouts. You can then choose one that’s the closest to the design that you have in mind and download and activate it. Once you’ve done that then you can customize them according to your needs. Also, if you are bored of your current design, you can change it whenever you please.
Nothing on internet is absolutely safe and therefore to claim that WordPress is any of that would be a false claim. Nevertheless, WordPress development team works hard to release security patches in its updates from time to time and offers better security.
WordPress users are an active clan and you can interact with them on the WordPress community forums or in meetups and camps organized exclusively for WordPress users. This provides you with a platform to interact with those who have already been there and done that. If you are a self-starter then this could enable you to expand your skillset.
Although WordPress is absolutely free, there are concerns about free WordPress plugins and themes. As these are created by third-parties it could contain malicious code and that led to the development of the premium market. You can find many premium WordPress themes and plugins from reliable companies that come with clean code and support.
Disadvantages of WordPress
WordPress is one of the most widely used CMS, which is a popular platform among content creators across the globe. This platform currently dominates the market with a heavy bunch of loyalists who never seem to get enough of it. However, despite its widespread popularity, this platform has its own set of drawbacks, which we shall now discuss.
WordPress Disadvantage #1 – PHP version
You may have heard about all the good stuff that comes with regular WordPress updates, but did you know that quite a few people have been experiencing serious compatibility issues? This only gets more frustrating when there are technical glitches that are absolutely out of the website owner’s control.
Like for example, if your web hosting service provider makes use of a certain version of PHP which isn’t compatible with the latest WordPress update, then things don’t go well.
This is a fact, which was tested by my team personally, and many other users, as you can see here.
Again, there is every possibility that the latest WordPress Update is incompatible with user’s customizations or plugins. No long ago, my websites used certain formatting, which was compatible with WordPress before. However, post update, this platform did not take into account any of those customizations.
This simply means that if your website’s formatting does not match with the latest rollout of this tool, your website could crash into nothingness without any prior warning. Also, as soon as you are finished installing, there are so many other updates that you need to look into. This will consume a lot of your precious time and may take hours and hours to install.
At times, even the processing of the database is prolonged, which will certainly waste your time and may even erase some of your data. Therefore, it requires you to backup your data on a regular basis to ensure the safety and security of your website’s data. Also, not to forget that with every update, the size of the tool increases exponentially, which makes the system slower and sloppier.
Let me be clear with the position of WordPress in the market — it is the King of all the Content Management Systems and has the largest market share. As the industry’s frontrunner, WordPress is also the most targeted CMS in the industry. After all, when someone’s at the top, everyone aspires to take your place by pulling you down. In the case of WordPress, this is done by introducing threats or by exploiting vulnerabilities.
In the world of computers and the internet, the main threats come from potential hackers with devious intentions who create bugs and worms and all sorts of malicious viruses to break into a protected network. Such malware can be very dangerous for the tool as well as for its users. Just think about what can happen if your customer data was stolen? Even worse, if that data belonging to customers from the EU, who are protected under GDPR.
The risk of losing customer data and other confidential data can be really frustrating and preventing them would deprive you of all the benefits that of WordPress. As a matter of fact, most cybercriminals create backdoor by manipulating plugins and themes with malicious code. These are the same plugins that allow you to make use of a host of functionalities such as lead capturing, designing, optimizing and every other feature you can think of.
WordPress largely relies on WordPress plugins when it comes to allowing additional functionalities to its users, without coding. However, since it is an open-source platform, the WordPress plugin repository isn’t regulated and may contain potentially dangerous WordPress plugins.
To counter this issue, WordPress needs to establish a strong regulatory mechanism, to ensure that all the WordPress plugins and themes in its repository are free from malware. However, considering the size of this platform (which has increased exponentially) having such a mechanism seems like a tough thing to do.
A bunch of add-on software and certain security measures may increase the security level of your website or data like a security scanner, SFTP encryptions, file permissions, removing footprints and even changing the table prefix, etc. Constant updates in the tool are mandatory; not updating the tool brings along yet another set of problems.
WordPress is a widely used tool which is used by everyone, everywhere, but this does not give it a reason to become slow or sluggish. The significant use of heavy plugins and busy databases is the reason for the tool to gradually slow down.
Having your Management system to work efficiently, you have to make sure that your system has a capable CPU to draw power from along with proper RAM and storage. Not just this, on user’s end also the lack of reliable CDN and hosting, huge images or too many post revisions may also affect the sluggishness of the tool.
WordPress, instead of using an efficient and capable support community, has an open space community, which invites a lot of traffic to the website, creating more lousiness in the system.
No Dedicated Support Team
The problem with WordPress is that there is no ‘Support’ page on the tool. The bad support page, which pops up, is a result of a teenager’s mind who created a blog function putting in function over function to what is developed of it today. WordPress cherishes non-technical users who may not provide proper accurate or technical solutions to the problems, but it is assured that they will provide with a non-certified easiest quickest solution to a problem like installing free plug-ins to solve an issue. Resistance is not so much liked by most users of WordPress or any other organization. Every individual wants his tasks to be done without a stoppage or a barrier, which, is not practically possible. There are problems on this support page, which has no line-by-line answer with proper illustrations and steps. If a user has no prior knowledge about the technical aspects of WordPress, he may find himself in the stars. Thus, a proper support page with ethical and verified solutions need to be posted on WordPress.
Not all plugins work
Being an open-source model of information, there are random anonymous people adding their personal information to post on their websites. For this purpose, they require plugins. The free plugin section of WordPress contains all sorts of poorly built and well-built plugins, which may or may not work. WordPress should have all of the available plugins to work in order to maintain its high status in the market. This unreliability of ‘might work or might not work’ is frustrating on some level.
Crash and Login Issues
Opening the dashboard to access your essential files and there you find,’ WordPress Login Temporarily Disabled.’ How would you feel? That rage when you cannot even access your own files due to some server error is wild. The website crashes a lot too, with the ‘unable to log in to the dashboard until the block expires’ message.
A Content Management Tool of number one status on the Internet cannot afford to have such petty issues. I rarely see any other top website crashing so often and displaying errors like these. This can be because of many reasons, out of which server hacking, server not responding and ISP issue are most probable. How can a user rely on a tool, which cannot even depend on itself? Sharing personal information on websites like these is clearly not satisfactory for many users, but again it also is for most of them.
Gets Bloated up with time
WordPress does get bloated with passing time. For the first months, every process will be speedy and effective, but with passing time, the processes start taking more time, the loading time increases, websites start to crash, and many other problems take place. All of this bloating in the tool takes place in a critic’s opinion because of its writing code, PHP. PHP, which was also used to write the algorithms for Facebook and Tumblr. Not just this, in today’s time, over eighty percent of the web is made of PHP. It has its own pros and cons.
Another reason, which could be the reason for its bloating, is the size of its code. Most HTML codes and themes are bloated in nature. Users need to install minifiers, which reduces the size of the bloated software to make it run effectively and efficiently. Thus, with time, WordPress gets crowded with images and other multimedia data, which makes the system run slower and sluggish.
These are the main seven disadvantages of using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS). In my highest opinion, I blame the use of PHP for coding WordPress in such a primary and elementary programming language. According to a critic, PHP is used to teach non-programmers, how to do programming. It is a very essential and crucial programming language in the history of programmers, but slowly and steadily, things can become better if proper measures are taken to make the top position seem worth. Of course, there are other factors discussed above which make WordPress, not the best option for CMS, but looking at the websites developed from WordPress, its benefits are much more than its disadvantages.