What is WordPress and What Makes it So Popular?

WordPress is the simplest and most popular tool to create a website. According to a survey published by Netcraft, of the estimated 1.3 billion websites on the internet, 455,000 are powered by WordPress. This means that WordPress accounts for around 35% of all self-hosted websites on the internet.

Even though it was introduced in 2003, WordPress 5.3 has already been downloaded 7 million times. This excludes the download numbers for the 36 previous versions.

Considering the statistics, you might be wondering why this platform is so popular. To help you out, in this guide, we’ll take a look at what WordPress is and why it is so popular around the world.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free platform that allows you to create any type of website without having any technical knowledge. With a simple setup, you can even install WordPress software on your existing web hosting service and build the website using its easy-to-use interface and non-technical tools.

As an open-source content management system, WordPress allows you to create a website, blog, e-commerce marketplace, portfolio websites, and more for free. On top of that, you have countless free web designs to choose from and you don’t need to possess web-design or coding skills to be able to develop and manage a site on WordPress.

To understand what we mean by open-source content management system, let’s breakdown the terms:

  1. Content Management System (CMS): WordPress is a CMS, which allows you to manage your website’s content that you want to display to the viewers. A CMS provides you with the interface that allows you to upload any content without having to deal with coding. The system then displays that content in the form of a well-designed website.
  2. Open-Source: WordPress is an open-source software, which means anyone can use it for free and make any edits into its code. The platform is not owned by a single organization; it is managed by a global community of volunteers.

For instance, anyone looking to add a blog post on their website can use a simple editor to create or enter content including text, images, videos, and buttons. Once the user creates a basic layout, WordPress will create a front-end page for the blog post as seen below:

Other than content management, building your website with WordPress is easier than ever. Two WordPress add-ons help you enhance your website without writing any codes:

  1. Plugins: These are used to add new functionalities to websites. These functionalities range from simples ones, such as a subscription form to complex functions such as converting your site into a full-fledged e-commerce store.
  2. Themes: These are used to manage the style and design of your website. Depending on the nature of your website, you have countless themes to choose from. For instance, theme options for a corporate website will be different from those of a travel blog or an e-commerce website. Your choice will depend on your purpose in creating a website.

What Makes WordPress So Popular?

 

When it comes to creating, building, and managing a website, you may have heard about Wix and Squarespace. However, they only power 1.6% and 1.3% of all websites. WordPress, on the other hand, powers 35% of the websites.

Here are some of the factors that make WordPress the most popular platform:

Flexibility

WordPress is popular because of the flexibility it offers. While it was initially designed to help create blogs, it rapidly transformed into a full-fledged content management system (CMS) that you can use to create any type of website and customize its design, style, look, and functionalities.

It’s no wonder that the platform is used by individuals and small and large businesses to achieve various goals. You can use WordPress for creating a:

  • Corporate Website
  • Blogs
  • E-commerce Store
  • Forum
  • Membership Site
  • Resume or Portfolio Website
  • Social Network
  • Online Course

Let’s specifically consider e-commerce websites. You must have heard about Shopify, but thanks to its WooCommerce plugin, WordPress remains the most popular e-commerce platform around the world.

Taking flexibility to the next level, with WordPress, you can combine the different use-cases to develop a single e-commerce website. You currently have over 5,000 free WordPress themes and 50,000 free plugins, besides the paid options.

With WordPress, you can have a single platform for your business website and e-commerce store, add a blog section to share valuable industry and product-related information to your target audience as well as enhance the site’s SEO performance.

You can even add a forum to the same website to help shoppers interact and request reviews from others. You can use the bbPress plugin to add a forum to your existing WordPress site.

You’ll be impressed to know that the official white house website (whitehouse.gov) is powered by WordPress. In addition, it’s used to power Microsoft’s official blog as well as blogs for its specific brands, including Skype and Windows.

If you only wish to create an online course, you may want to incorporate the social network functionality so that course takers can interact and share knowledge and clarify any confusion. The BuddyPress plugin is designed just for that. The perfect example of this is WP101, an online course about WordPress usage. Powered by WordPress, the website also has a forum to help leaners.

Another example of a successful WordPress-powered platform is Weddingbee. It offers valuable wedding-related information and is an active forum. The site started out as a blog and developed into a massively popular website with a community of millions of brides and wedding enthusiasts.

Simplicity of Use

As discussed earlier, you don’t need programming and other technical skills to create and build a website on WordPress. Without knowing CSS or HTML, you can create a well-designed website on the platform.

Free of Cost

The main WordPress is totally free of cost. Although there are other costs associated with it, the platform remains one of the cheapest options to run a website smoothly.

Ample Assistance

Given the popularity of the platform, its users around the world make an enormous global community. This means you have access to readily available resources and help whenever you get stuck somewhere.

No Rules

With incredible flexibility, WordPress doesn’t have any rules that you need to stick to. Your account won’t be deleted by anyone as you have complete ownership of your account.

Getting Started With WordPress

It’s important to note that when we talk about using WordPress, we’re referring to WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. Don’t get confused between the two sites.

Everything that we have discussed so far is related to WordPress.org, which is also known as a self-hosted WordPress. WordPress.org is an open-source, non-profit software that you may install for free and use to manage any website.

WordPress.com, however, is founded by the same person who introduced WordPress.org but is a for-profit platform. It is a particular implementation of the software offered by WordPress.org.

You can build a WordPress website on WordPress.com, but it will lack the level of flexibility available on WordPress.org, which is why we suggest using the self-hosted platform, that is, WordPress.org, to create and build your WordPress website.

Now that you have a clear idea of what WordPress is and what it offers, you must be excited to create your dream website or build your existing one using this user-friendly platform.

Apart from the WordPress software itself, you need two things to start your own website:

  1. Domain Name: This refers to the permanent address of your WordPress website on the web. Many of us recognize it as a URL. For instance, ours is onesmartsheep.com. When a user searches for your domain name, your web hosting presents your website to the user’s browser. You may now be wondering what exactly is web hosting. Let’s find out:
  2. Web Hosting: It’s an engine powering the WordPress software, making your website available to visitors around the globe. In other words, purchasing web hosting is like renting space on a computer that will be devoted to operating the WordPress software.

You will find a large number of web hosting providers for WordPress on the internet. They offer a wide range of features to help you with WordPress including easy setup wizards for installation of the software and so on. When you purchase web hosting, some providers will offer a domain name for free, while others will charge you.

Way Forward

Without any doubt, WordPress remains the undisputable leader in the world of web development. There’s a reason why so many professionals trust the platform when it comes to web development. Now that you know what WordPress is, its features, and how to get started, you can start developing your own website.

However, if you have too much work on your hands or are struggling with web design, then you’ll love our support.  We, at One Smart Sheep, have helped hundreds of online entrepreneurs. Our premium WordPress hosting service and web designing services can make your idea a reality.

With our expert developers and engineers, we will find the perfect solution for you. Whether you want to maximize income through an e-commerce website or pursue your passion with an inspirational blog, we can help you out. We do all the work for you at affordable rates while you sit back and relax.

To learn more about our service and pricing plan, please click here.