What is WordPress?

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Overview of WordPress

We have been deploying websites for many years, we have used systems such as Joomla, Drupal, Concrete5 and so on, But the one that we really fell for was WordPress…. So What is WordPress?

In this post we try to uncover what WordPress is and how it can help your business get online.

So you want to start an online shop, a directory or just have an online presence for your corporate company. You could be an individual that wants a personal blog even. WordPress allows us to do all these things and much more.

Now when we’re taking about WordPress, we’re talking about the downloadable WordPress.org opposed to WordPress.com. Yes they are different and maybe we’ll go into that on another blog post at some point. As of writing, over 60,000,000 (yes 60 Million) websites use WordPress as their platform.

WordPress gives us a great platform of being able to manage and modify your website with a nice user friendly back end that can be protected by a user name and password. Other methods of protecting the backend can be provided by the use of plugins and some themes. You can also give other staff members access to certain parts of the back end by modifying permissions, knowing that they can only add/modify/delete what they have access to.

You can download WordPress completely free from the official site – Click here. By all means only download WordPress from the official download link.

WordPress started life originally as a blogging platform and to this day has evolved into a full CMS (Content Management System) in its own right. It also has the ability to be heavily extended by the use of themes and the thousands of plugins that are available. You’ll find it hard to find 2 identical WordPress websites.

WordPress is free and open source. It is based on PHP and MySQL.

Content

When creating your pages on your WordPress website, there are 2 main content types that you would typically use; Pages, Posts.

General pages such as ‘About Us’, ‘Our Services’ would be set up as a page as there is little/no need for user or date meta information. News, Blog Posts, and portfolio items for example would be set up as Posts.

You can add more content types to WordPress (Post Types) by the use of either Plugins or manually adding them through coding your own.

All content can be classified in your site by the use of categories and tags.

Themes

WordPress comes with its own themes installed, these are great for getting started and understanding the platform. But it is highly recommended to either build your own theme or alternatively purchase a theme from one of the many theme vendors out there. We regularly use themes like X theme as it offers a lot of customisable options and support is amazing. We also develop our own themes as well, however using one off the shelf allows us to keep costs down for our clients.

Plugins

As important as the look of your site is functionality. We heavily support the use of SEO optimisation plugins like Yoast, aside from that we also heavily rely on Formidable Pro for contact forms and front end content management of the site. This can be submitting an article, event management and much more.

So what do you need?

When deploying a WordPress website, you’ll need the following

Domain Registrar

Spidrweb exclusively uses 123-reg for Domain Registrations, we would highly recommend them.

Hosting

As for hosting, all websites hosted by us are on a mixture of platforms made fully redundant across multiple suppliers.

As of writing we use 1and1 Cloud servers, 123-reg VPS servers and Amazon EC2 instances for hosting our WordPress websites.

Backup

Equally important is backup – We would highly recommend backing up your wordpress platform, you can use plugins to do this, or just as simple is a database and file level backup.