What Is WordPress and How Does It Work. Hint – It Makes Blogging Simple & Addictive

This is the most in depth, step-by-step, practical article on what is WordPress and how does it work. I invested 2 days of my time carefully researching, writing and editing the content you’re reading now, to help YOU learn more about this topic and get your blog up and running ASAP.

what-is-wordpress

WordPress is the web platform that makes blogging simple and addictive

I know how painful it feels like to have a strong desire for information and couldn’t find it. This is the type of article I wished I had access to back in 2005 when I first stumbled upon blogging.

If you find a better post on the subject, please email me, and I’ll give you my Niche Blogging Profits eBook ($29 value) free, plus a 60-minute Skype consulting call ($200 value) where you get to ask me anything about blogging and WordPress. Consider it my thank-you gesture for your “detective” work!

What Is WordPress and How It Makes Blogging So Simple and Addictive

In short, WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS) that people just like you and me, use for publishing blog posts/articles/information, and get “famous” or “rich”.

In the next minutes you’ll learn…

  • the difference between WordPress.Org and WordPress.com
  • what is a plugin and how does it work
  • what is a widget and how to use it
  • how to dress your blog (e.g. select your theme)
  • and other must-know things.

WordPress firstly started as a blogging system, and quickly evolved into a monster CMS with 1000’s of plugins, widgets and themes to select from. WP is limited only by your imagination and techie skills.

Think of WordPress (I call it WP in short) as a full-featured, fully customizable web site creation platform used by millions of individuals, businesses and organizations worldwide.

Stats — WordPress.com

Stats valid at the time of writing the article.  Source: http://en.wordpress.com/stats/

I am not going to bore you with hard-to-grasp details or PHP and HTML jargon. You can learn that later. Here we’re going to cover the basics, the essentials you need to know to get your blog up and running ASAP.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org

Both services are free, and basically provided by the same company. Here are the key differences between them…

WordPress.com

WordPress.com gives a free hosting platform, but you cannot monetize your site, nor sell it

What is WordPress.com and how much does it cost?

WordPress.com gives users a free blog they can use to post content but you are not allowed to place ads or advertise your product, or service. You can always upgrade for the premium account if you like to get an ad-free site with a personalized domain name, hot themes, custom design, and many other options.

Wordpress.org

WordPress.org enables you install a blog in 60 seconds through a self-hosted web host

WordPress.org offers a free downloadable file which helps to manually create a database onto your web host, and install your blog. Today, all respectable webhosting firms offer a free WP install option with their service. That means when you go with a self-hosted WP platform, you can install a blog in as little as 60 seconds – and without having to manually create a database or deal with coding.

Once the blog is installed, you need to log in into its dashboard with the username and password which you’ve chosen yourself (that WordPress emailed you) and make some basic settings editing.

WordPressDashboard-StartABlogHowTo.com

Take a sneak peek into my dashboard…

First thing you see a WP dashboard it’ll feel intimidating. Just play with the menu and everything WP has to offer there. It took me close to 3 weeks learning the basics of WP and the difference between plugins and widgets, and what each does. That’s the learning curve you cannot really skip.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Self-Hosted WordPress Website
Like this infographic? Get more WordPress and hosting tips from Synthesis.

WordPress Plugins: What You Need to Know

Think of plugins like extra options to your car or upgrades to your computer.

Plugins help enhance your WordPress blog and extend your blogging experience at the same time like nothing else – with plugins you can do almost anything you can imagine of. In the free WordPress.org directory you can find, download, rate, and comment on all the best plugins the WP community has to offer.

Before you make a plugin work, you need to install it and activate it. Some plugins will only work for/in the sidebar of your blog, which means you need to use the specific widget of that plugin in order to enable its effects.

Using widgets is a simple “drag and drop” move. See the snapshot below (click to enlarge it)…

Widgets Enable Plugins to Function on your Blog and Add the Extra Features You Need

wordpress-widgets

Drag the widget you want to use from the center area and drop it on the right

Next we’re going to showcase some of the most popular and useful plugins you should try for your blog. You won’t need all of them, just a few. You might also want to look for other alternatives, as what I’ve mentioned here is just one main plugin per its category.

There are multiple plugins for anti-spam, just like there are for anti-hacking, commenting, social media, SEO, inter-linking, affiliate tracking, and so on.

Also I don’t use all these plugins myself, nor do I recommend all of them. I just included them because that’s what most people are looking/searching for when starting their blog, so I think it’s helpful for you to see this aspect and get to know the world of WP plugins better.

Top 12 Most Searched for Plugins by their Category… Free Downloads!

wordpress-gallery-plugin

WordPress Gallery Plugin

WordPress Gallery Plugin makes it as easy as it could possibly be to create gorgeous sliders for your WordPress powered site.

Free Download

wordpress-membership-plugin

WordPress Membership Plugin

 

WordPress Membership Plugin transforms your WordPress website into a fully functional membership site.

Free Download

 

wordpress-seo-plugin

WordPress Seo Plugin

WordPress Seo Plugin improves your blog WordPress SEO.

Free Download

 

 

wordpress-calendar-plugin

WordPress Calendar Plugin

WordPress Calendar Plugin allows you to manage your events and appointments and display them to the world.

Free Download

 

 

wordpress-forum-plugin

WordPress Forum Plugin

WordPress Forum Plugin adds a bbPress forum to your blog. It is lean, mean, and ready to take on any job you throw at it.

Free Download

 

wordpress-facebook-plugin

WordPress Facebook Plugin

WordPress Facebook Plugin makes your WordPress site social in a couple of clicks, powered by Facebook.

Free Download

 

wordpress-shopping-cart-plugin

WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin

 

WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin allows you to add an ‘Add to Cart’ PAYPAL button for your product on any posts or pages.

Free Download

 

wordpress-video-plugin

WordPress Video Plugin

WordPress Video Plugin adds a filter for WordPress that allows easy video embedding of 65 supported video sites

Free Download

 

 

wordpress-directory-plugin

WordPress Directory Plugin

WordPress Directory Plugin allows you to build local directories, business provider listings, Yellow-Pages style business directories, Yelp-like review

Free Download

 

wordpress-slider-plugin

WordPress Slider Plugin

WordPress Slider Plugin adds beautiful, responsive EasyRotator photo rotators and sliders to your WordPress site in seconds.

Free Download

 

 

wordpress-mobile-plugin

WordPress Mobile Plugin

WordPress Mobile Plugin (e.g. WPtouch) enables you add a simple, powerful & elegant mobile theme for your website.

Free Download

 

 

wordpress-backup-plugin

WordPress Backup Plugin

WordPress Backup Plugin makes simple automated back ups of your WordPress powered website.

Free Download

 

 

WordPress Themes:
Dress Your Blog for Success!

wordpress-themes

WordPress.org provides free clothes for your blog. Take time to choose wisely.

WordPress themes are the clothes for your blog. When you select a flexible theme, you will be able to adjust the way your blog looks like for the end user (readers, visitors and customers).

A good theme provides your visitors with a pleasing reading experience and great interaction.

Never underestimate the power of looks. Get the wrong theme and your readers won’t stick to your site, traffic won’t grow.

FREE Themes vs PREMIUM Themes

There are plenty of free and paid (also called premium) themes for your WP blog. Some free themes are as good as premium ones, although they are not providing the continual support and upgrades like paid themes do.

Plus, the bad thing with free themes is that they’re much more vulnerable to hacking attacks, viruses and malware exploits.

For these reasons alone, I highly recommend you stick with a premium WP theme and learn how to get the most out of it. Plus, a premium theme has plenty more features and other powerful advantages compared with a free  skin. This blog runs on Genesis for example. I’ll write an in depth review on it soon. Stay tuned.

P.S. If you have no money to invest in a premium WP theme, then you’ll obviously select free clothes for your blog. However, this doesn’t look professional, so once you make the money go with one of the premium skins out there. It really counts.

What Is WordPress and How Does It Work – SlideShare Presentation