Beginners guide to wordpress is a must because WordPress is one of the most widely used Blogging platforms. It’s an open source CMS which is powered by PHP and MySQL. According to recent surveys, almost 20.7% of websites on Internet is powered by WordPress.
Like BlogSpot which is powered by Google, WordPress is powered by its parent company Automattic which offers two variation of this popular blogging platform; WordPress.com and WordPress.org (Self hosted WordPress).
Therefore, you need this guide to wordpress.
This article was carved out of Hash Agraval’s ebook: “The Ultimate WordPress Guide” Hash is the publisher of one of the fast growing blogs on the internet today, he makes a living from blogging; meet Hash at ShoutMeLoud.
WordPress was started as a blogging tool that evolved as a CMS (Content management system). First version of WordPress was released in 2003, and it is an Open source project licensed under GPLV2. In the last 12 years, WordPress evolved as one of the most popular platform for creating blogs and Websites.
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WordPress is based on PHP and MySQL, and is founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. WordPress project is backed up by parent company Automattic, which also offers various WordPress related services and products like WordPress.com, VaultPress, JetPack, VideoPress, WordPress VIP, Gravatar and many more.
For beginners, here are two important things to know about WordPress:
1. WordPress themes
Unlike standard Website and CMS’s we know of, WordPress is backed up by a huge community of freelance designers, developers and WordPress development companies that offers free and premium WordPress theme.
One of the biggest challenges for a website today is to have a great design, and WordPress themes are answer to that. Anyone can download WordPress themes for free from official WordPress repo, 3rd party Websites or by paying a little for premium market place.
With few clicks of button, you can change the design and look of your theme. As I mentioned above, WordPress can be use to create a blog or a Website, and theme part makes it really easy for anyone to start a Website with almost no coding knowledge.
2. WordPress plugins
WordPress plugins extend the core features of WordPress software. It helps in adding new features to your WordPress powered Websites, and there is a WordPress plugins for almost everything. All you need to do is find a plugins (features) that you need for your WordPress powered site, and with the help of the plugins; you can easily add your desired feature.
Due to huge number of WordPress plugins, one can easily get confused with which plugins to use and that is why you need a guide to wordpress. A solution to this is listed to the professionals who have been running and managing professional blogs on WordPress. You can download WordPress plugins from official plugins directory or from many individual plugins developer or companies. In the end section of this eBook, I have shared a list of WordPress plugins that you should have on your blog.
WordPress.com vs. WordPress.Org: What’s the difference?
WordPress offers two variations of its software: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. WordPress.org is also popularly known as self hosted WordPress blog, which I will explain later. For now, let’s have a look at WordPress.com
WordPress.com: Free Hosted WordPress Platform
WordPress.com is a free blogging platform offered by Automattic, which will let anyone to create a blog for free. When you create a blog on WordPress.com, you will get a web address like domainname.WordPress.com. Your blog will be hosted on WordPress server, and this platform is perfect for those people, who want to have a blog for personal writing.
There are many paid addons that are also available; you can a buy custom domain name, you can use paid themes and so on. WordPress.com has many limitations in terms of managing your blog. For ex: You can’t install 3rd party plugins, you have limited choices for themes.
From a personal blog perspective, this is not a bad option, as WordPress team takes care of managing your blog architect, and backup. But, if you plan to blog professionally or earn money from your blog, WordPress.com is not an ideal choice.
WordPress.com is useful for:
• Individual who wants to start a personal journal blog.
• Company who needs to have a web-space for announcement, and factors like design and hosting-space is not an issue.
WordPress.com is not for:
• Individuals who are planning to make money from a blog
• Companies that wants to blog for marketing
• Individuals who needs total control over their website (FTP, custom code, Custom plugins)
You can’t use ad networks like AdSense, Infolinks or create a blog for Affiliate purpose. Here is an official TOS page for using WordPress.com blogs, which will give you all the information regarding fair usage and TOS of WordPress.
WordPress.org: Self Hosted WordPress Platform
WordPress.org is a complete solution for people who are looking to start a blog for making money, for promoting their small business or for any other usage like creating an E-commerce site. In old days you need to download a copy of WordPress.org from official download page and install it our own hosting server.
Get these SEO ready WordPress themes
These days all web-hosting companies let you install WordPress with 2 simple clicks. WordPress.com and WordPress.org have similar interface (WordPress dashboard), but WordPress.org removes all the limitations of WordPress.com, and offers you complete guide to wordpress control over your blog.
With guide to wordpress, you can create or use custom themes, or install 3rd party themes or plugins on your self-hosted blog. You can monetize it anyways you like (AdSense, Affiliate, In-text ads, Paid reviews) and so on.