WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries, and online stores. Used by more than 60 million websites, including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2018, WordPress is the most popular website management system in use. WordPress has also been used for other application domains such as pervasive display systems (PDS).
WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg, and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.
To function, WordPress has to be installed on a web server, either part of an Internet hosting services like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org in order to serve as a network host in its own right. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.
WordPress has a web template system using a template processor. Its architecture is a front controller, routing all requests for non-static URIs to a single PHP file which parses the URI and identifies the target page. This allows support for more human-readable permalinks.
WordPress users may install and switch among different themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website without altering the core code or site content. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present and every theme should be designed using WordPress standards with structured PHP, valid HTML (HyperText Markup Language), and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Themes may be directly installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool in the dashboard, or theme folders may be copied directly into the themes directory, for example via FTP. The PHP, HTML, and CSS found in themes can be directly modified to alter theme behavior, or a theme can be a “child” theme which inherits settings from another theme and selectively overrides features. WordPress themes are generally classified into two categories: free and premium. Many free themes are listed in the WordPress theme directory, and premium themes are available for purchase from marketplaces and individual WordPress developers. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom themes. The free theme Underscores created by the WordPress developers has become a popular basis for new themes.
WordPress’ plugin architecture allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. As of March 2017, WordPress has over 55,286 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization to client portals used to display private information to logged in users, to content management systems, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars.
Not all available plugins are always abreast with the upgrades and as a result, they may not function properly or may not function at all. Most plugins are available through WordPress themselves, either via downloading them and installing the files manually via FTP or through the WordPress dashboard. However, many third parties offer plugins through their own websites, many of which are paid packages.
Web developers who wish to develop plugins need to learn WordPress’ hook system which consists of over 300 hooks divided into two categories: action hooks and filter hooks.
Native applications exist for WebOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. These applications, designed by Automattic, have options such as adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.
Prior to version 3, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multisite (previously referred to as WordPress Multi-User, WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MS adds eight new data tables for each blog.
As of the release of WordPress 3, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.
WordPress has been around since 2003 and is the most popular blogging software on the market. Over the last few years, WordPress has also become the content management software of choice for non-blogging websites. Here are the top 10 reasons why WordPress is so popular and why you might want to consider switching to a WordPress platform for your company’s website.
WordPress powers more than 31% of the web — a figure that rises every day. Everything from simple websites, to blogs, to complex portals and enterprise websites, and even applications, are built with WordPress.
WordPress combines simplicity for users and publishers with under-the-hood complexity for developers. This makes it flexible while still being easy-to-use.
The following is a list of some of the features that come as standard with WordPress; however, there are literally thousands of plugins that extend what WordPress does, so the actual functionality is nearly limitless. You are also free to do whatever you like with the WordPress code, extend it or modify in any way or use it for commercial projects without any licensing fees. That is the beauty of free software, free refers not only to price but also the freedom to have complete control over it.
Here are some of the features that we think that you’ll love.
Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.
With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.
If you’ve ever created a document, you’re already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.
WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your content. Create drafts, schedule publication, and look at your post revisions. Make your content public or private, and secure posts and pages with a password.
Not everyone requires the same access to your website. Administrators manage the site, editors work with content, authors and contributors write that content, and subscribers have a profile that they can manage. This lets you have a variety of contributors to your website, and let others simply be part of your community.
They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why it’s important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text, captions, and titles, and insert images and galleries into your content. We’ve even added a few image editing tools you can have fun with.
Every piece of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards set by the W3C. This means that your website will work in today’s browser while maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of browser. Your website is a beautiful thing, now and in the future.
WordPress comes bundled with two default themes, but if they aren’t for you there’s a theme directory with thousands of themes for you to create a beautiful website. None of those to your taste? Upload your own theme with the click of a button. It only takes a few seconds for you to give your website a complete makeover.
WordPress comes packed full of features for every user, for every other feature there’s a plugin directory with thousands of plugins. Add complex galleries, social networking, forums, social media widgets, spam protection, calendars, fine-tune controls for search engine optimization, and forms.
Your blog is your home, and comments provide a space for your friends and followers to engage with your content. WordPress’s comment tools give you everything you need to be a forum for discussion and to moderate that discussion.
WordPress is optimized for search engines right out of the box. For more fine-grained SEO control, there are plenty of SEO plugins to take care of that for you.
WordPress is available in more than 70 languages. If you or the person you’re building the website for would prefer to use WordPress in a language other than English, that’s easy to do.
WordPress has always been easy to install and upgrade. If you’re happy using an FTP program, you can create a database, upload WordPress using FTP, and run the installer. Not familiar with FTP? Plenty of web hosts offer one-click WordPress installers that let you install WordPress with, well, just one click!
Using blog or website software that you aren’t happy with? Running your blog on a hosted service that’s about to shut down? WordPress comes with importers for blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, Tumblr, and WordPress. If you’re ready to make the move, we’ve made it easy for you.
Hosted services come and go. If you’ve ever used a service that disappeared, you know how traumatic that can be. If you’ve ever seen adverts appear on your website, you’ve probably been pretty annoyed. Using WordPress means no one has access to your content. Own your data, all of it — your website, your content, your data.
WordPress is licensed under the GPL which was created to protect your freedoms. You are free to use WordPress in any way you choose: install it, use it, modify it, distribute it. Software freedom is the foundation that WordPress is built on.
As the most popular open source CMS on the web, WordPress has a vibrant and supportive community. Ask a question on the support forums and get help from a volunteer, attend a WordCamp or Meetup to learn more about WordPress, read blogs posts and tutorials about WordPress. The community is at the heart of WordPress, making it what it is today.
You can be in WordPress too! Help to build WordPress, answer questions on the support forums, write documentation, translate WordPress into your language, speak at a WordCamp, write about WordPress on your blog. Whatever your skill, we’d love to have you!
For developers, we’ve got lots of goodies packed under the hood that you can use to extend WordPress in whatever direction takes your fancy.
The WordPress APIs make it possible for you to create plugins to extend WordPress. WordPress’s extensibility lies in the thousands of hooks at your disposal. Once you’ve created your plugin, we’ve even got a plugin repository for you to host it on.
Create WordPress themes for clients, other WordPress users, or yourself. The WordPress API provides the extensibility to create themes as simple or as complex as you wish. If you want to give your theme away for free you can give it to users in the Theme Repository.
If you want to build an application, WordPress can help with that too. Under the hood, WordPress provides a lot of the features that your app will need, things like translations, user management, HTTP requests, databases, URL routing and much, much more.
WordPress comes with default content types, but for more flexibility, you can add a few lines of code to create your own custom post types, taxonomies, and metadata. Take WordPress in whatever direction you wish.
WordPress comes with the latest script libraries for you to make use of. These include jQuery, Plupload, Underscore.js, and Backbone.js. We’re always on the lookout for new tools that developers can use to make a better experience for our users.
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