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In this tutorial we will learn about WordPress — an online, open source website creation tool and the most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today. Video by iThemes.com
WordPress started in 2003 and is now the largest self-hosted blogging tool and is used on, literally, millions of sites worldwide.
You’re in good company if you use WordPress to publish on the web. Many famous blogs, news outlets, music sites, Fortune 500 companies and celebrities are using WordPress. For example, famous blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch are both on WordPress. News outlets like The New York Times’ blogs and CNN’s on-air personality blogs all use WordPress, too.
That should tell you something about how powerful and safe it is to use. But don’t let that scare you. Just as the NY Times uses WordPress, so do many “first-time-onliners” who have never touched any type of web design system at all. So it’s simple enough for even the most wary user.
Since WordPress is open source, it’s free. That’s always a bonus. And again, because it’s open source, it also has a thriving community of developers constantly improving the software and creating plugins to expand the software.
WordPress lets you create pages (stand alone content) and posts (time-driven content) to build out the content of your site. And you can also easily manage your site’s look and feel with themes.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an online, open source website creation tool written in PHP.
But in non-geek speak, it’s probably the easiest and most powerful blogging and website content management system (or CMS) in existence today.
WordPress is highly customizable, and has literally thousands of plugin pieces of software so you can use your site for just about anything.
If you’re ever curious about who uses WordPress, head on over to the WordPress site showcase and you’ll be impressed by the number of well-known sites and
famous people using WordPress to power their websites.
The Benefits of Using WordPress
Here are just the top 5 benefits of using WordPress:
1. The software is free! How many times have you been given something for free that is fully functional and ready to use? And if you want to upscale your site a little with premium themes and plugins, you’re still going to save tons of money over what you would pay for a custom designed site.
2. It’s easy to use. Seriously. If you can send an email, use Microsoft Word, or set up a Facebook account, then you can use WordPress. In other words, if you’ve already used a computer, chances are you are already skilled enough for the WordPress basics. And even better, it’s hard to mess it up. You can easily add and delete pages and posts without accidentally messing up the overall design of your site.
3. You are in control. Owning your own site, and being able to make changes to it yourself, is the ultimate in online freedom. You don’t have to rely on an expensive web designer to make changes or fix a tiny error for you whenever they can squeeze you in. You’re in control of your site—and your wallet.
4. WordPress has search engine (SEO) advantages. Search engines love sites that are easy to index (WordPress is) and that have frequently updated content. That’s where blogging comes in to play so nicely. Just by running your business or personal site and communicating with your readers in a way that’s natural
to you, you’ll be producing fresh, relevant content the search engines can’t wait to get ahold of.
5. There’s a HUGE support community. WordPress isn’t just a software, it has become a community. Some might even say a movement. In fact, WordCamps (1-3 day training sessions) have sprung up from grassroots efforts. They are informal, community-organized events put together by other WordPress users just like you. You’ll meet people of all backgrounds, ages, and nationalities at
WordCamps. Plus, there are thousands of people and hundreds of resource and tutorial sites set up just to help you with your WordPress site.
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