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What is WordPress? A Simple Guide for Beginners

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) used for building websites and blogs. Since it first launched in 2003, WordPress has become the most popular CMS in the world, powering over 810 million sites. It’s easy to use for beginners and experienced web developers alike - all users need to do is install WordPress on their hosting account and they have the power to create a beautiful website without having to code any HTML.

In addition to providing an easy way to create websites, WordPress also offers a huge library of themes and plugins, allowing users to customize their site with additional features such as contact forms, SEO tools, shopping cart functionality, and more.

The best part is that these additions can be installed quickly with no coding required - making it ideal for anyone who wants a stunning website without having to dedicate months of development time. With these tools at your disposal, you can easily launch a professional-looking business website or blog in no time. 

WordPress can help both beginners and experienced web developers quickly create professional-looking websites.

In this article, I’ll explain what WordPress is, answer some common questions about it, and why it’s my go-to solution for a new website.

Let’s start from the beginning, “What is WordPress?”


WordPress is a powerful open-source online content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to build and manage a website.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a powerful open-source online content management system (CMS) that makes it easy to build and manage a website. It was initially created as a simple blogging platform but has since become one of the most popular open-source software packages used today. WordPress allows users to easily create custom designs, upload multiple pages, add plugins for additional features, and even monetize their website with advertisements.

It is used to produce dynamic Web pages. When you get your website built, your content is actually being served on WordPress. So you get all the benefits of WordPress without having to worry about setting up everything yourself.

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What is WordPress Used for?

Is there a particular niche you're interested in, or maybe you've got an idea for a concept you'd like to build? Then WordPress can help. While you won't be able to build the exact website you want (at least not yet), this amazing piece of software can serve to create something unique.

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) heavily used in the blogosphere and is the most popular web page builder. The WordPress platform allows you to create any kind of website from hobby blogs to multi-million dollar e-commerce stores.

Who Made WordPress And How Long Has It Been Around?

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems in use today, with millions of users and websites across the world. The CMS has a fascinating history, originating as an offshoot of the b2/catalog in 2003. As an open-source project, it has been developed and refined by an incredible team of programmers, web developers, writers, and designers over the years.

At the heart of WordPress' inception, however, was a collaboration between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. The pair worked together to develop what would become a vast online platform for publishing content that's now used all around the world.

Since then, Matt has largely become the face of WordPress and founder of Automattic behind for-profit services such as WordPress.com. Overall, WordPress is over 20 years old and continues to grow thanks to an astounding user base – showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

WordPress Usage Statistics

WordPress is the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS) used for building and managing websites. Usage statistics of content management systems now report that WordPress powers over 810 million websites or 43.3% of all websites on the internet and over 64% of all websites whose content management systems are known.

It has become the leading web development platform due to its easy setup, vast array of plugins, and customizable themes. This is because it has had an increase in usage averaging 12% per year since 2011 according to W3Techs.

  • Roughly every two minutes, another top 10 million site starts using WordPress. (W3Techs, 2021)
  • WordPress has been the fastest-growing content management system for 12 years in a row. (W3Techs, 2022)
  • 20.4% of WordPress websites use WooCommerce. (W3Techs, 2022)
  • There are almost 60,000 free plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory. (WordPress, 2022)
  • There are almost 60,000 free plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory. (WordPress, 2022)
  • Divi and Astra are the two most popular active WordPress themes used by the top 1 million sites. (BuiltWith, 2022)

Over the last two decades, WordPress has transformed from a blogging platform to a highly customizable CMS with a large user base. These statistics can help keep you informed about the current state of WordPress and predict future changes.

What Kinds Of Websites Can WordPress Make?

There are many web hosting options to choose from, making it difficult to determine the best one for your website. Web hosting companies typically provide a range of hosting packages tailored to the needs of various customers. This ranges from business website owners to personal blog creators.

We recommend starting with a basic hosting solution and then upgrading to a more advanced plan as your site gains more traffic.

Now, let's examine some of the most popular options that are currently accessible.

Blogs and News websites

As I have mentioned above, WordPress started as a blogging tool. Due to its origins, it’s rich in blogging features including;

  • Differentiating between blog posts, pages, and even portfolios.
  • It’s a great tool for organizing content using categories and tags
  • It’s easy to use with different tools (plugins) available to build the best blog you wish.

After installing WordPress, the next step is installing a WordPress theme that aligns with your blog and how you want your audience to perceive it. You can find WordPress themes in your WordPress dashboard when you log login to your wp-admin panel.

In addition to the theme, add plugins to help you with any functionality you want that is not in the theme. To grow your blog apply the best SEO practices.

Business Websites

WordPress is probably the best for building a business website. There are several reasons WordPress is compelling for this usage scenario. These include:

  1. Customizable features that meet the needs of your business
  2. The plugins that populate your site
  3. Community support

For business owners and marketers, a WordPress-powered website is a great way to keep customers engaged. But, with the number of options, it's often easy for a business owner to become overwhelmed with all the choices and features available.

You don’t have to be, using WordPress will make it easy to manage your content as a business and generate leads with easy-to-moderate customer/ audience engagement.

Ecommerce Stores

WordPress is not just for blogging. I could write an entire book about building ecommerce websites using WordPress, but I’m not sure how much it would sell. The reason why online stores are so good to build with WordPress is the same reason WordPress is so great at handling more content than a personal blog or site: You get a robust content management system for free.

A well-designed and thought-through ecommerce website can make or break a business. And we’re not talking about how to design it. We’re talking about keeping track of order status and production timeframes and tracking shopping cart abandonment rates, one of the most important aspects of any ecommerce site is how you price your products—we know this is extremely simple but getting it right may seem impossible.

For instance, any good ecommerce community will know the importance of SEO, but many overly ambitious merchants overlook this critical element. Anyone selling physical goods will tell you it is difficult to get everything onto the web page to make your store look great.

WordPress is far from being the only CMS product on the market, but it is unquestionably the most popular. WooCommerce is also rapidly growing in popularity. Both products are great tools for building robust e-commerce websites.

Mobile Applications

Mobile applications have the potential to grow the overall mobile traffic for your website and help facilitate a variety of mobile-specific user behaviors. WordPress has a number of plugins that can help you achieve app functionality at a low cost. If you want to take this route, start by analyzing the best WordPress apps in the marketplace.

The use of WordPress as a CMS (content management system) streamlines the process of taking your website to the next level. Creating an app out of your site can be user-friendly to both visitors and members.

These apps offer convenience features like searching user profiles by using location data, meeting up with other users in real life, or seeing what your local area code is before you call customer service. As the popularity of mobile devices continues to grow, creating an app-based experience will only become more imperative for both users and hosting companies.

Portfolio Sites

There is no question that WordPress is the WordPress theme for creating professional-looking websites. See a site similar to what you have in mind? If you have a blog it should be compatible with WordPress, tools. The list of WordPress themes for portfolio sites is endless. You can find one that matches your taste or let other designers create the one you like best. Best of all, these themes are usually free.

If you’re a designer, business owner, artist, or just someone who has a very personal site that you want to look professional, WordPress is a great fit. The WordPress developers have made it extremely easy to get started with this platform.

Membership Websites

Membership features are a popular way to monetize a website. There are plenty of member’s member-only content sites that allow users to access specific content at various levels. It’s an awesome way to get attractive content from visitors who would normally take actions like sharing the article on social media.

Plugins are available to make this possible for you to create a membership website using WordPress. These websites are great for selling online courses and any subscription-based products.

What is the Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

WordPress.com is the hosted version of WordPress and allows anyone to create a blog or website with just a few clicks of the mouse. It's the simplest way to get your site up and running, as it takes care of hosting, domain registration, and more.

Your website URL will include the word “WordPress”, like mysite.wordpress.com, by default; however, paid upgrades are available that allow you to add custom domains, Google Analytics integration, and other features to separate yourself from all of the others using WordPress.com. WordPress.com is owned by Automattic, which was founded by one of the original creators of WordPress Matt Mullenweg.

On the flip side, there’s WordPress.org which is for those people who want full control over their site or blog without any restrictions on themes plugins, etc.. With WordPress.org you have to find your own hosting provider and upload/install WordPress to them yourself.

However, this gives you far greater freedom over what you can do with your site when compared to WordPress.com (for free at least). If you’re looking for more than just a blog or if the cost doesn’t matter then choosing this route could be beneficial.

Why Choose WordPress for Your Website?

Perhaps you know that WordPress is a free, open-source software. It is a self-hosted platform for publishing content on the web. Or perhaps you’re even aware that it’s a fully customizable CMS that can be used for any purpose.

You might even know that WordPress will allow you to publish articles, images, and videos all from within one browser window! But do you really understand how it can change your business?

1. WordPress is free to use

The WordPress software is completely free. This means using the software won’t cost you a cent. You will however have to pay for a hosting provider to launch your website online.

Beyond providing an easy way to create and maintain a website, WordPress also offers cheap hosting relative to other alternatives like Squarespace. With WordPress, you have the ability to find budget detailed plans at various web hosting providers for as low as $5/month versus spending more than double on Squarespace plans.

What's more, tons of plugins and themes can be downloaded from the official repository or third-party websites free of charge — so there's no need to spend money when it comes time to get your site set up right out of the box either.

2. WordPress is an Open Source CMS

Being an open source has its advantages for WordPress. This is because anyone around the world can modify the source code and redistribute the WordPress platform. The open-source software community is what makes WordPress better and better over time.

3. Easy for beginners to Use

You don’t need a university degree to get started using WordPress. WordPress’ foundations are that it’s made for people who do not have coding knowledge or technical expertise in web development.

This does not mean developers can’t use WordPress, in fact, it’s an even bigger advantage for you as a developer as it gives you the freedom to customize the source code. Beginners can easily use plugins to create what they want to build.

4. WordPress is SEO friendly

A website without visitors is not profitable to your business, WordPress has tools to help you build a website that is favored by search engines. Plugins like Yoast SEO can help you set up your website for success. You can add Meta descriptions, and manage your internal links.

In addition, WordPress caters to all types of media, Images, videos, PDFs, docx files, etc. It gives you the freedom to offer your audience content the way you wish.

5. WordPress is Secure

You have heard of hackers I believe. This is why security is always part and parcel of website design. Anything can happen when your website is not secure online. With WordPress, your website is protected, it’s one of the safest and most secure CMS platforms available.

Just like with the rest of the WordPress features, security software can be installed through plugins to manage your website security with ease. This is especially important with ecommerce and membership websites to protect your user information.

Real Examples Websites Built on WordPress

WordPress is the go-to choice for individuals, small businesses, and large organizations alike. The platform's flexibility, ease of use, and scalability are why so many have chosen to use WordPress as the base of their online presence.

It can be used for simple blogs, gallery sites, and complex magazines; it's a great way to create dynamic websites that promote your services or products in an effective manner. Not only are there tons of free themes available right out of the box, but more advanced users can also customize the look and feel even further through code.

We ourselves here at Tecko Host love using WordPress and believe in its power to build amazing websites. We've been building high-quality websites on the platform since day 2015 and use it for our own site too.

Here are some popular websites using WordPress to power their online:


Tech Crunch is the world’s leading technology blog delivering the freshest news and events in tech. Spoiler alert, It’s built with WordPress. Their website is fast, simply designed, and readable.

TechCrunch used a custom theme to build the blog. It also uses some of the leading WordPress Plugins, like WordPress Importer, and Jetpack.

BBC America

Headquartered in New York City, BBC America is an American pay television network owned jointly by the giant BBC Studios and AMC networks.

Their website is mobile-friendly making it easy to stream the most popular TV series like Doctor Who, London Spy, etc. It is powered by the BBC America custom theme and some custom plugins like Bbca Livestream and Bbca le Advisory.

The New York Times

The New York Times is one of the biggest news outlets in the world. At the end of June 2021, The New York Times had 7.9 million total subscribers, with 7.1 million paying for its digital products. Of the digital subscribers, 5.3 million subscribed to the News app.

Their custom theme was developed by the NY Times development team, Akismet, Yoast SEO, Contact Form 7, and WordPress importer plugins. It feels like reading the actual newspaper from The Times.


Whitehouse.gov is the official website of the United States government created to provide an online portal for the American people to access information about current events and the executive branch’s activities. The White House has maintained its presence on the World Wide Web since 1994.

From publishing blog posts from President Obama that update citizens on policy changes to providing tools that help individuals apply for health care coverage or understand student loan repayment options, Whitehouse.gov has become an invaluable resource for inspiring citizens to get involved in important conversations around politics and social issues that shape our nation's future through WordPress platform.


Microsoft is one of the largest and most iconic companies in the world, achieving global success with software such as Windows and Office. They are constantly innovating to ensure their dominance in the technology industry, and their latest endeavor is using WordPress to power their official blog.

With WordPress, Microsoft can easily maintain the huge scale of its blogs for various products like Windows, Skype, and more. Through these blogs, they are able to communicate new innovations or provide support for customers quickly and efficiently across all devices.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to utilizing WordPress' capabilities in this manner, from interactive tutorials to customer troubleshooting snippets – whatever it may be, WordPress provides a comprehensive solution to Microsoft's blogging needs.

The Rolling Stones

The iconic and legendary band The Rolling Stones has been around since 1962, churning out hit after hit and defining rock 'n' roll for generations. While the band's appeal is as timeless as ever, they have embraced modern technology to help them reach their fans in a new way. For example, the Rolling Stones website is powered entirely by WordPress.

Having all of their content on one platform makes it easier for fans to find what they're looking for. From exclusive content like interviews with the band to streams of their latest albums, you can find everything about the Rolling Stones right from your laptop or mobile device.

As well as being fully integrated with social media networks like Twitter and Facebook, the slick design of this site ensures that however, you access it - whether through desktop or mobile - viewers will be highly impressed by what they see.

Is WordPress right for me?

WordPress is the ideal choice for those who want to launch a website quickly and easily. One of its major benefits is its simplicity; users of any skill level can create and manage their website content using the intuitive interface. Plus, since WordPress is an open-source platform, you can download it for free so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront costs.

Aside from being easy to use, WordPress also offers great flexibility to help you build different types of websites as needed. Whether you’re trying to put together a personal blog or an online store, WordPress has all the features you need to get up and running in no time.

You can also customize your website with many different plugins and themes – providing more customization options than most other popular platforms. Furthermore, thanks to its SEO capabilities, your website will be properly indexed by search engines so it can gain more visibility too.

How do I start using WordPress?

Creating a WordPress website can be very simple and hassle-free. First, you’ll need to select quality web hosting that best fits your needs. Fortunately, there is no cost associated with using WordPress as its server since it’s open-source software and absolutely free.

After ensuring that you have the right web hosting to start using WordPress, the next steps are easy. You simply need to find the download button on the WordPress website and get started almost immediately.

Assuming secure hosting services are already in place, installation of the core WordPress code is straightforward and requires minutes, sometimes seconds. Afterward, all you need to do is go through configuration screens and choose from abundant designs to customize your site and make it unique.

Additionally, numerous WordPress plugins are available on the platform for easier management of e-commerce sites or blogs depending on what your intentions for having a WordPress website are. Therefore, getting started with using WordPress could likely be a huge success with just a little bit of effort and dedication from your side.

You'll need a few things to get started with WordPress:

  • Reliable web hosting services.
  • A domain name is a distinct and unique identifier for a website.
  • The WordPress software is typically installed on your website by most web hosts.
  • To use the hosted version of WordPress on WordPress.com, you can create a WordPress.com account.

In Summary: What is WordPress

WordPress is one of the most popular ways to build a website today, and it’s easy to see why. With WordPress, you can quickly create any type of site – from a simple blog to an eCommerce store. It’s easy enough for beginners but powerful and flexible enough for professional developers. Plus, it has plenty of additional features that make powering a website even easier such as robust themes and plugins with special functions like SEO optimization capabilities.

When you use WordPress, always remember that there are two versions – self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. While they may look similar at first glance, they work very differently and offer different levels of customization and access to features depending on your needs.

For most websites, self-hosted WordPress.org is the preferred platform because it gives website owners greater ownership over their site along with access to the full range of benefits from the larger WordPress community including support networks, tutorials, forums, and more.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to power your web presence or simply want more out of your existing website design experience, then try setting up a self-hosted WordPress site today!

Frequently Asked Questions About WordPress

Here are a few common questions that people ask about WordPress on the internet:

What is WordPress and why it is used?

WordPress is a content management system that is used by millions of people around the world to build websites. It provides an easy-to-use platform for setting up and managing your site, from the design process through to the content creation and ongoing maintenance.

With WordPress, you can create professional-looking sites with little or no coding experience required. Plus, its vast library of plugins allows you to add more functionality to your site, such as e-commerce or contact forms. As a result, WordPress makes web development easier and more accessible for everyone.

What is WordPress in simple words?

In simple terms, WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) that enables users to easily create, manage, and update websites without requiring any coding knowledge.

The platform provides plenty of customization options through themes and plugins that allow you to customize the look and feel of your website, as well as add additional features such as contact forms or e-commerce integration.

Does WordPress require coding?

No, you don't need any coding or programming knowledge to use WordPress. It provides a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to set up and manage their website. There is an array of themes available for users to choose from, allowing them to customize the look and feel of their site without needing any coding skills.

Is WordPress free or paid?

WordPress is a free open-source software, which means it can be used without any cost. However, you may need to purchase hosting and domain services from a third-party provider. When it comes to customization features, such as themes and plugins, some of them are free while others require payment.

Can you earn money on WordPress?

Yes, it is possible to make money with WordPress. You can monetize a website by creating content and selling advertisements or affiliate products. Additionally, you can create membership sites that charge users for access to specific content.

There are also services such as paid web hosting and domain registration that can generate revenue from your WordPress site.

How much does WordPress pay per view?

WordPress does not pay per-view, but you can make money with it in other ways. You can create content and sell advertisements or affiliate products to generate revenue.

You can host webinars or offer online courses on your website and charge users for access. Furthermore, WordPress users have the option of building an e-commerce store and selling products online. Another way to make money

Is it easy to learn WordPress?

Yes, WordPress is relatively easy to learn. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone, even those without coding knowledge, to set up and manage their website.

The platform also provides plenty of customization options through themes and plugins that allow you to customize the look and feel of your site or add additional features such as contact forms or e-commerce integration.

How can I create a website for free?

Creating a website for free is surprisingly easy. First, you'll need to select a hosting provider that offers a free plan and sign up for an account.

Once you have your hosting set up, you can install WordPress to get started. Then, choose a theme to customize the look and feel of your site or add plugins to add more functionality such as contact forms or e-commerce integration.

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Nonofo Joel
Nonofo Joel

Nonofo Joel, Head of Growth at Fine Media, is an inbound marketing expert committed to business innovation and success. As Part of his work, he helps companies choose the best hosting options ideal for their business. He passionately advances human capital development across Africa as a dedicated volunteer on the Lehikeng Board.

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