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What is WordPress? A simple explanation for beginners.

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You have most likely landed on this article because you either 1. want to create your own website and have heard about WordPress again and again during your research. Or simply because WordPress is currently on everyone's lips. Here you can find out in detail why WordPress has such a high market share, what exactly WordPress is and, above all, what you can do with it.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free open-source content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily create, manage and update websites and blogs. Originally launched in 2003, WordPress has become one of the most widely used platforms for creating websites. The WordPress market share is currently 62.8 % (as of February 2024). The high popularity is due to the user-friendliness, the customizability through themes and plugins as well as the active developer community of WordPress.

WordPress offers a wide range of themes (design templates) and plugins (extensions) that allow users to customize their websites to their own liking and add functionalities such as online stores, contact forms, photo galleries and much more. It is particularly popular for blogs, corporate websites, online magazines and e-commerce platforms.

To answer the question of what WordPress is in just one simple sentence: - Probably the best way to create a website in 2023.

By the way: There are many myths surrounding the popular CMS. In the following article we have 7 WordPress myths tidied up:

What types of websites can I create with WordPress?

You can use almost any type of Create a website with WordPress. The most popular use cases for WordPress include blogs, company websites and online stores.

  • Blogs: WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform and is ideal for creating personal blogs and news sites on various topics.
  • Company websites: You can create professional company websites to present your company, services, products and contact details.
  • Online stores: With plugins such as WooCommerce, you can create e-commerce websites to sell products online, manage orders, accept payments and track stock levels.

These are just a few examples, and the customizability of WordPress makes it possible to create virtually any type of website you can imagine. The choice of themes and plugins, as well as customization, will ultimately determine the character and functionality of your website.

Here you can find out how in just 4 steps Create your first WordPress website can.

Who is WordPress suitable for?

Generally speaking, WordPress is suitable for anyone who wants to start a website, an online store or a blog. WordPress is characterized in particular by its simple user interface and allows you to create beautiful websites even without programming knowledge. With plugins and themes, you can also expand WordPress and give your website a very individual character.

Is WordPress suitable for professional use?

WordPress originally started out as a pure blog CMS. Over the last 21 years, however, WordPress has developed more and more into a professional and, above all, powerful website tool. The "big players" have also recognized this. Many well-known companies, organizations and celebrities use the popular CMS for their websites. Among the best known are Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz and Playstation.

Microsoft, for example, operates its news platform with WordPressto share technology-related news and articles. The car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, uses WordPress for its corporate and brand websites to present information about vehicles, technologies and more.

Screenshot from Microsoft News
Microsoft operates its news platform with WordPress

This is just a small selection of well-known companies that rely on WordPress. In fact, there are many more companies that rely on the versatility of WordPress.

To finally clarify the question of whether WordPress is suitable for professional use: Yes, WordPress is definitely suitable for professional use and scores particularly well with its versatile customizability and many application options.

If you are now curious whether your favorite website is also based on WordPress, you can find out for yourself with a tool such as builtwith.com. Simply enter the desired URL and click on Lookup. Under the "Content management system" category, you can find out whether the website you entered is based on WordPress.

What is the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?

WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different platforms based on the same open source software, but offering different services and configuration options.

What is WordPress.com?

Is a for-profit paid service that allows you to create a WordPress website in just a few clicks and without any prior technical knowledge. WordPress.com is probably the easiest and fastest way to create a WordPress website. However, you lose a lot of the actual flexibility that WordPress offers. Migrating to WordPress.org at a later date is usually only possible for an additional charge.

Advantages

  • Simple operability
  • No prior technical knowledge required

Disadvantages

  • Chargeable
  • Much less flexible and therefore rather unsuitable for companies
  • Subsequent migration to WordPress.org is costly and complicated
  • Your website is not 100 % yours, as you only have access to part of the data

What is WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is free of charge and allows you to run your website on your own server. WordPress.org gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to designing your website. You also have full control over your website at all times. When people talk about WordPress, they mostly talk about WordPress.org. WordPress.org is therefore the most common way to run a WordPress website.

Advantages

  • Free of charge (WordPress Download)
  • Very high flexibility and therefore best suited if you want to create a professional website
  • If you really want to own your website, this is the best option in most cases.

Disadvantages

  • If you have no prior technical knowledge, installing WordPress can be a challenge. Alternatively, you can also opt for managed WordPress hosting, which does all the work for you and allows you to install WordPress with just one click.

Overall, the choice between WordPress.com and WordPress.org depends on your needs and technical skills. WordPress.com is ideal for beginners or personal websites that don't have the technical skills or resources for hosting, while WordPress.org offers more control and flexibility for advanced users who want to fully customize their website. If you want to earn money on the Internet with your website, you should always rely on WordPress.org.

What does WordPress cost?

The download and use of WordPress is basically free of charge. However, there are costs for operating the software. This is because WordPress can only be operated on a web server. You are therefore dependent on web hosting, or even better, hosting that specializes in WordPress. Web hosting is available for just a few euros a month and is suitable for private WordPress projects. Specialized WordPress hosting, on the other hand, is somewhat more expensive. In return, you get support specialized in WordPress, faster loading times and usually better reliability. This is why WordPress hosting is best suited for company websites. With WPspace you get WordPress hosting from as little as € 13.50 / month.

In addition to the costs for hosting, you may also incur additional costs for WordPress plugins or themes. Many plugin and theme developers usually offer a free version that covers the basic functionalities. However, you can also purchase a premium version, which adds extra features to the basic functionalities.

Why should you use WordPress in 2024?

In the ever-evolving world of the internet and digital presence, WordPress remains a top choice for creating and managing websites in 2023. Regardless of what type of website you want to run, there are many good reasons to rely on the popular CMS:

User-friendliness and versatility

WordPress has gained a good reputation for its user-friendliness in particular. It is accessible for beginners, but also attractive for experienced developers. With an intuitive dashboard and simple navigation, you can create, edit and publish content effortlessly without the need for in-depth technical knowledge. Experienced developers, on the other hand, greatly appreciate the massive extensibility of the CMS, which often forms the basis for the largest website projects.

Whether you want to create a personal blog, a company website, an e-commerce store or a portfolio, WordPress offers a wealth of themes and plugins that can be adapted to your specific needs. The customization options are almost limitless, allowing you to design your website the way you want.

WordPress is extensible

The large and active community is constantly developing new plugins and themes that offer additional functions and extensions for your website. No matter whether you SEO pluginscontact forms, social media integrations or other special functions, there is probably a plugin for it.

The beauty of it all? Many WordPress plugins and themes are completely free! There are currently over 50,000 free WordPress plugins and over 5,000 free WordPress themes. That means you really have a lot of options!

SEO friendliness & mobile responsiveness

WordPress is search engine friendly by nature. The structured and clean code base, the ability to optimize meta tags and URLs and the availability of SEO plugins make it easier to optimize your website for search engines and achieve a better ranking. The clean code base in particular has a direct impact on the PageSpeed of your website, which is a direct ranking factor for Google and Co.

At a time when accessing websites via mobile devices is becoming increasingly important, a mobile-friendly website is a must. Most modern WordPress themes are mobile responsive by nature, which means that your website will look and function well on different screen sizes and devices. By the way: mobile responsiveness should be part of every SEO checklist so WordPress is already doing a lot of the work for you here.

You can rely on the community!

With a huge user and developer community, you have a wealth of online resources at your fingertips. From forums to tutorials to support groups, you'll never be alone when you encounter problems or questions.

So, what is WordPress now? It's probably the best way to create a website in 2023

Overall, WordPress will remain a top choice for creating and managing websites in 2023. With its combination of ease of use, versatility, SEO friendliness and a strong community, it provides a solid foundation for individual and business online presences.

Remember that WordPress.org and WordPress.com are not the same thing. In the vast majority of cases, a self-hosted WordPress.org is the better choice. Especially if you are serious about your website and want your business or self-employment to be successful on the internet, for example in finding new customers.

With a managed WordPress hosting tariff from WPspace, you don't need any prior technical knowledge for WordPress.org and can get started right away. You can install it with just one click:

And should you ever need support, you can rely on the numerous WordPress Tutorials on the Internet and our WordPress Glossary leave.

Picture of David Broll
David Broll
Founder and CEO of WPspace, technology nerd with over 11 years of experience in the IT industry and an absolute WordPress fan.

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