What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) built in PHP and MySQL and was released in 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. Being open-source this means that the content management system itself is 100% free to use and modify in anyway. In order to run WordPress needs to be installed on a web server using software like Apache and it needs a database which MySQL is preferred. Features include the ability to run an unlimited number of plugins with a template system. WordPress is used by roughly 26% world’s top websites and is without any doubt the most popular blogging system on the internet and is currently used by over 60 million websites.

WordPress uses a template system in order to make the websites look and feel customizable these templates are called themes. There are literally thousands of themes ranging from free to thousands of Rands to purchase. These themes allow users to gain control over every aspect of the website and they can be installed without the need of any coding knowledge. There are generally 2 main categories of WordPress themes, Namely free and premium themes. WordPress users may also design their own custom themes if they have the abilities to do so.

The plugin system allows users to increase functionality and extend the features of the website. With over 40,501 plugins available at present there is basically very little that you cant achieve using WordPress. WordPress also encourage developers to submit their plugins to a repository for review this provides a certain level of security and standards for users who might be interested in downloading and installing third party plugins.

In closing, I would say that WordPress is a very cost effective way to build websites fast and cheaply and because of its ease of use and the vast amount of plugins and themes out there today you can put together a spectacular website with almost limitless functionality with a very small budget.

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