A lot of people want to know what WordPress is because it is one of those words that is commonly seen all over the internet. WordPress, or sometimes just referred to as just “WP”, is a content management system for websites. Despite the widespread use and popularity of WP, it still remains completely free and open source software.
Content management systems
The basic concept of a content management system, or CMS, is to allow people without any programming or web design knowledge to create and update their own websites. This is accomplished with a page creator that can be used to visually create a new page or edit an existing page. Other things can be done with these systems, but content creation is the main purpose.
This new content can automatically get published on the live website, making it a simple task that really only requires writing. The content can also be arranged into user created categories, which gives blogs a way to organize their information. Content organization on websites is essential to allow for easy navigation by site visitors.
WordPress was actually created as a blogging platform, since blogs typically focus on writing and not programming when they are built. This CMS has made blogging as popular as it is today because it has made it accessible for everyday people that are not overly computer savvy. In fact, anyone who can turn on a computer, visit a website, and write an email can create their own WP site.
Even though it was designed for bloggers, many affiliate marketers, businesses, and e-commerce websites are now being created with WordPress. This has been done because it offers a great base system for a wide variety of purposes. By adding themes and plugins to the system, the look and functionality of the site and CMS can be completely altered.
Self-hosted WordPress vs free hosting
WP actually comes in two different forms: free and self hosted, so it is important for people to understand the difference before they start creating their first sites. WordPress.com offers completely free WordPress blogs to anyone. This is great for complete beginners or people who just want to make a site for fun because there are no costs at all for domain names or website hosting.
The downside to WordPress.com is that it is not ideal for anyone trying to make money online, even though they do offer some ways to monetize the free sites through affiliate marketing. The money earned from these methods will be shared, so more money can always be made with a self hosted site because it has complete freedom with advertising and site customization.
Self hosted WordPress software is available for free from WordPress.org, but a site will still have to pay for a website hosting account and a domain name to use it. However, these are actually essential for a business website because it allows for unrestricted usage and unbridled capabilities.
All the free sites will run on a sub-domain of WordPress.com, so it doesn’t give a business a professional appearance. They will also be severely limited in terms of website design and custom changes to the site. Self hosted WP has unlimited potential because it can use premium themes and plugins, which control the design and capabilities of the site.
A theme controls the actual design of a site. It is a lot like a template, but many aspects of a theme are able to be easily customized through the WordPress administration dashboard. Themes are a crucial part of this CMS because they allow people without any web design experience to choose a theme that fits their type of website.
There are thousands of themes that are completely free. These are great for a wide variety of types of businesses and offer many different possible site designs to WP site builders. Premium themes are also commercially available. Since a premium theme is sold by a developer, it is typically much more powerful than the free alternatives.
More powerful themes can offer a wide variety of features that make it simple for site builders to customize the design of their site without programming or design experience. A lot of them will offer a variety of site designs within a single theme, so users can pick one that will work best for them.
At that point, even more changes can typically be made to text, colors, images, sizes, and much more, allowing people to actually create a site with a unique look. Many of these premium themes will also offer more advanced features that allow users who do have programming or design knowledge to enhance or customize their sites even more.
A plugin expands or alters the capabilities of the WordPress system. By using one or more plugins on a site, WordPress can be given almost any kind of power that is possible with website programming. This means that the system is basically unlimited when it comes to what types of sites it can create, as long as it has the plugin to add the desired features.
These plugins are available for free and from commercial developers, so there are thousands of them on hand for sites to use. Many of them are made to incorporate commonly used website features. As an example, a plugin can allow for easy affiliate advertisement creation or quick insertion of Google Analytics code to track website visitors
Some of the plugins that are available are extremely simple and were just built to tackle a single task, such as adding a Facebook “Like” button to each page of a site or changing the way some of the basic WordPress system works. There are a lot of good, free plugins available like this that can accomplish a lot of useful things for site builders.
The commercial plugins are typically much more complex. Many of them can access API systems to communicate with other sites like affiliate networks, automatically create content for a site, perform search engine optimization to improve search engine rankings, or even turn a WordPress site into an e-commerce website. They are ideal for businesses or individuals who run websites to make money.
Getting started with WordPress
WordPress affiliate website covers the entire process of creating a WordPress site for affiliate marketing or any other purposes. Use it for everything from setting up a WordPress sites to backing one up and adding contact forms.