Understanding WordPress: What is WordPress and how does it work?

Understanding WordPress: What is WordPress and how does it work?

In this article, you will learn exactly what WordPress is and how the WordPress CMS works. We will go through the basic functions of WordPress, how it can be customized individually through themes and plugins, and how the active WordPress community and support contribute to making your website successful and sustainable. You will gain insights into the differences between the two main versions of WordPress: WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Whether you want to create a WordPress site for your business, personal brand, or for another purpose, this guide will help you understand WordPress in its entirety and utilize it optimally for your needs.

Table of contents

What is WordPress?

Since its founding in 2001 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, WordPress has evolved from a simple blogging platform to a comprehensive CMS as a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Today, it powers over 42.7% of all websites on the internet, providing people like you with the ability to easily create a WordPress website. Its flexible nature, coupled with a user-friendly interface, makes WordPress attractive to both developers and non-developers alike, showcasing what WordPress is: a versatile solution for creating a variety of website types – from corporate websites to e-commerce shops, blogs, and more.

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. This means that you have complete access to the source code and can customize it as you see fit. The open-source nature of WordPress fosters an environment of collaboration and innovation, making it a preferred choice for developers and users worldwide.

The main features of WordPress include:

  • Simplicity: WordPress is known for its simple and intuitive user interface, making it easy for you to create and manage a WordPress website without deep technical knowledge.
  • Flexibility: With WordPress, you can create almost any type of website, from a simple blog to a full-fledged e-commerce website. This gives you the flexibility to customize your WordPress pages exactly to your needs.

In addition, WordPress offers a variety of features specifically tailored to creating and managing digital content:

  • User-friendly dashboard: The WordPress dashboard allows you to efficiently manage your content and provides an overview of all the important aspects of your website.
  • SEO optimization: WordPress is designed to be SEO-friendly, meaning your website is optimized for search engines and therefore has a better chance of appearing higher in search results.
  • Responsive design: WordPress supports responsive web design, ensuring your WordPress website looks and functions well on all devices, whether it’s a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Using WordPress as your CMS not only provides a strong foundation for your online presence but also gives you access to a huge community of developers and users who are constantly contributing to improving and expanding the system. With WordPress, you can rely on having a solid platform that can grow and evolve with your business or personal brand.”

Basic Features of WordPress

WordPress is not just a platform for blogs but a comprehensive CMS that holds over 60% market share worldwide, providing you with the freedom to easily create and manage a WordPress website. Here are some of the basic features that make WordPress such a popular tool:

  • Pages and Posts: Effortlessly create pages such as your homepage, an imprint, a privacy policy, or a contact form. Publish posts to keep your content dynamic and up-to-date.
  • Menus and Media: Organize your website through custom menus and manage media such as images and videos to make your WordPress pages visually appealing.
  • Plugins: Expand the functionality of your website with a variety of plugins that can integrate everything from SEO optimization to social media.

The Gutenberg editor is a revolutionary tool that simplifies content creation in WordPress. Its user-friendly interface allows you to create and format content similar to Microsoft Word or Google Docs. For beginners, a comprehensive tutorial is available to help you get the most out of this editor.

If you choose to use WordPress.org, you benefit from free usage and extensive customization options. In contrast, WordPress.com offers a different user interface and various monthly pricing models. To make the most of WordPress, a ‘Learning by Doing’ approach is recommended, supported by structured resources such as the free WordPress book on WebsiteBerater.com.

The visual design of your WordPress website is facilitated by a wide range of themes and page builders that help you create an aesthetically pleasing website. WordPress.org is a dynamic CMS based on PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, built on a database to store and manage content. Taxonomies such as categories and tags help you categorize and organize your content, making it easier for users to find relevant information and navigate your WordPress pages more effectively.

Understanding WordPress: What is WordPress and how does it work?
Image from Werner Moser on Pixabay

Extensions and Customizations

In WordPress, you can customize and extend your website thanks to a variety of plugins and customization options. Here’s how you can effectively implement this:

Plugins – Extending Your WordPress Functionality

  • Installation: Plugins can be installed directly through the WordPress dashboard or as a ZIP file, adding new features such as SEO, security, and performance optimization.
  • Popular Plugins:
    • Yoast SEO optimizes your WordPress pages for search engines..
    • Jetpack offers backup and security features.
    • WPForms allows you to create professional contact forms.
    • WP Rocket allows you to create professional contact forms.
  • Premium Plugins: For advanced requirements, there are plugins like WPtouch Pro or Squirrly SEO Pro, which provide additional features for SEO, performance optimization, and content marketing analytics.

Customization Options – Personalizing Your Design

  • Customizer & Page Builder: Use the Customizer in the admin area to customize fonts, colors, and layouts, or use page builder themes like Elementor or Beaver Builder to design the look of your website.
  • Framework Themes: These provide customization options for available child themes. Additionally, direct code editing is possible to customize specific themes or create a child theme for third-party themes.
  • Best Practices: Choose the right customization option, avoid changes to the theme’s core files, test customizations on a staging site, and ensure that the customizations do not negatively impact website performance.

Plugin Customization Services – Tailored Optimization

  • Design Customizations: Customize the design of plugins to match the rest of your website by adjusting CSS files and PHP templates and adding additional functionalities.
  • Development Services: For unique projects, custom WordPress development services are available tailored to your specific needs and goals. These services offer integration into existing WordPress websites, updates to the latest WordPress version, adding new features, and speed optimization by removing unnecessary features.

With these tools and services, you can tailor and extend your WordPress pages exactly as you envision, creating a strong online presence that reflects your personal or business brand.

Webdevelopment

Whether it’s a homepage, online shop, or optimizing an existing landing page, we design your perfect web presence.

WordPress Community and Support

If you want to navigate the world of WordPress successfully, the WordPress community is an invaluable part of your success. Here are some resources you can use to get support and deepen your knowledge of the WordPress CMS:

  • WordPress Support Forums:
    Visit the WordPress-Supportforumto learn from the experience of other users, ask your own questions, and find solutions to common problems.
    For specific information on plugins, from installation to creation, the WordPress.org Forum is the first point of contact.
    The Support-Handbook provides you with tips, tricks, and advice for optimal support.
  • The German-language WordPress forum is an excellent resource for users who want to communicate in their native language. Other platforms such as the WPDE forum, the WordPress group on LinkedIn, and various Facebook groups are available for exchanging ideas with other German-speaking WordPress users.
  • Support for Premium Themes/Plugins:
    If you are using paid themes or plugins, contact the respective provider for support first. Even if they may not offer German support, it is important that you seek specialized help.

The WordPress community is a dynamic network that helps you effectively create and manage your WordPress sites. Take advantage of the diverse support offerings and dive into the world of WordPress to get the most out of your website.

Conclusion

After examining the versatile possibilities and features of WordPress in depth, it can be summarized that this content management system is an efficient and user-friendly solution for creating and managing websites of various kinds. The flexibility provided by WordPress through themes, plugins, and the dedicated community enables both beginners and professionals to customize their web presence individually and effectively.

The importance of WordPress as a cornerstone in web development is underscored by constantly growing user numbers and the ongoing development of new features. It is advisable to utilize the resources offered and the knowledge of the community to continuously optimize one’s own website and solidify the digital footprint. With WordPress, you have a stable and adaptable platform by your side, ready for the future of the internet.”

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