WordPress was created in 2003 as an open-source blogging system. Since then it has evolved into a robust and sophisticated system for developing websites as well as blogs. One of the most exciting aspects of WordPress is that it also functions quite well as a Content Management System (CMS) for creating dynamic websites that different members of an organization can edit and contribute to. Instead of relying on conventional websites based on static html or on complex [footnote] and expensive [/footnote] content management systems, many developers now use WordPress as an easy cost-effective way to create websites that can be updated and maintained by clients who don’t know [footnote] and probably don’t want to know 🙂 [/footnote] HTML/CSS.
The WordPress Ecosystem: Themes, plugins and more
WordPress also features themes that can instantly change the look-and-feel of a site with the click of a mouse, and an a extensive library of plug-ins and widgets for equipping a site with just about any bell and/or whistle imaginable. Best of all, WordPress is supported by a vast worldwide community of developers who add new features and work to make the system better every day. Perhaps you will become one of them.
This is NOT WordPress.com!
You may already be familiar with a site named wordpress.com but be aware that wordpress.com is quite different from the native wordpress installation that you are about to put on YOUR website. WordPress.com provides a free place to create websites that draw on the wordpress platform but you have much less power over the experience than with a native installation. [footnote]You also have fewer options for messing things up[/footnote] With a native installation you can install powerful plugins, for example, alter the css of your theme, or ftp into the wordpress infrastructure and download or upload components such as images or themes. Also you can break things, but you can also fix them.
We will begin our exploration of WordPress by installing it.