Beginners Guide to WordPress

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS). The hosted version (on WordPress.com) allows you to create and maintain a website through a comprehensive administrative interface without needing to know web markup languages (HTML), style sheets (CSS) or any other tools.

It is simple enough for a beginner to learn in a few hours, yet still has power and flexibility. There are paid upgrades and themes avaialble to provide addtional capabilities. There is a self-hosted version (available from WordPress.org) that you can install and maintain yourself, although this demands a higher level of technical competance. you pay your own hosting and storage costs but have more freedom to customize WordPress how you will…

WordPress is Open Source Software, created by thousands of programmers all over the world and released under a non-commercial license.

WordPress is a web-based application, written in the PHP programming language and running on the MySQL database. It’s designed to run on Linux servers. All three are Open Source.

WordPress began life as a blogging platform, but with addtional features inclduing static pages and add-ons, it is a good platform for small business and professional websites. You can also use it for membership and subscription sites.

WordPress has thousands of free templates and styles (themes) and add-on applications (plugins) available. Changing your theme or adding a plugin is very easy.

WordPress owes its popularity to it’s simplicity and free license, in direct comparison to other website tools, which demand greater technical skills, or purchase under expensive licenses.

WordPress Hosting options
WordPress is web-based software – you create and maintain your site through your web-browser.

You can create a free WordPress blog hosted at WordPress.com then assign it to your own domain name for less than $20/£10 per year plus the cost of the domain registration. Whilst this is cheap and takes care of all the software maintence worries, WordPress.com has a restricted number of available themes and plugins; it does not support commercial themes and you are limited in how you can customize the site.

The alternative is to host your WordPress site yourself using the self-hosted
Wordpress.org release. Almost all web-hosting companies have a 2-click WordPress installer program. The WordPress installation consists both of the PHP program files and a MySQL database. You will need to take responsbility for backing up both programs and the database holding all your site content.

References:
WordPress.com – start your free blog on the hosted
WordPress.org – get the source programs commercial themes and add-ons for a self-hosted site
WordPress.tv – tips and tutorials

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