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What Is WordPress? A Beginner’s Guide to Building Websites

If you are looking to build a website or blog, chances are that you have come across the term “WordPress.” But what exactly is it? 

Simply put, WordPress, developed by Matt Mullenweg in 2003, is an open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites without any coding experience. It is one of the most popular CMS platforms in use today.

The Benefits of Using WordPress

One of the main benefits of using WordPress as your CMS platform is its ease of use. The software comes with a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for anyone to create and publish content online. Additionally, there are numerous resources available online, such as tutorials, forums, and documentation which can help new users get started quickly.

Another benefit of using WordPress is its flexibility. With thousands of plugins and themes available through the official plugin directory or third-party providers like WP Engine or managed WordPress hosting services, users can customize their site’s functionality and appearance according to their needs without having to write any code themselves.

With its vast range of features like user registration systems, comment sections on blog posts, search engine optimization tools (SEO), and social media integration options, among others – there’s no wonder why WordPress powers over 43% of all websites online today.

Self-Hosted vs. Hosted Version Of WordPress

There are two versions of WordPress: self-hosted and hosted. 

Self-hosted means that you will need your own web hosting account, while hosted version refers to those provided by companies like Wix or Squarespace, where they host everything for you on their servers, including installing updates, so all maintenance work is done automatically.

  • Self-Hosted: 

In this case, you install WordPress on your web server. The upside here is complete control over every aspect, including source code access. Still, the downside includes more technical know-how required along with additional costs associated with setting up infrastructure such as servers, etc.

  • Hosted: 

In this case, you do not need to worry about any technical details, as the hosting provider manages everything. The upside here is the ease of use and low cost associated with it, but the downside includes less control over every aspect, including access to source code.

WordPress Is The Popular Choice for Various Websites

  • Blogs: 

As a blogging platform initially created to make publishing content easy for users without any technical knowledge required – many bloggers still choose this powerful tool when starting their own sites.

  • E-commerce Stores: 

With plugins like WooCommerce readily available within the WordPress Plugin Directory, setting up an online store becomes simple, even if you’re not well-versed in coding.

  • Portfolios & Business Websites: 

The vast array of themes and plugins available make it easy for professionals or businesses to showcase their work, products, or services in a visually appealing manner.

Customizing Your Site With WordPress Themes & Plugins 

WordPress’s widespread utilization as a CMS can be attributed to its versatility, which is derived from the multitude of themes and plugins available. 

Themes provide the overall design for your website, while plugins add specific features or functionality such as SEO optimization, lead capture forms, analytics tools, or additional security measures. 

This adaptability makes it suitable for small personal sites as well as large-scale projects like online businesses or professional portfolios.

Choosing the Right Theme for Your Website

Choosing the ideal theme for your website is essential to guarantee that it looks professional and complements your branding. There are thousands of free and premium themes available in the WordPress Theme Directory, catering to various industries and purposes. When choosing a theme, consider factors like responsiveness (how it adapts to different screen sizes), compatibility with popular plugins, and ease of customization through built-in options or custom CSS code support.

WordPress Offers Essential Plugins to Enhance Your Website Functionality

WordPress (WP) offers a vast array of helpful plugins that makes your website more functionable without writing any source code yourself, you canjust rely on them – pre-built pieces of Wsoftware designed specifically for extending WP capabilities:

  • Contact Forms: 

Easily create user-friendly contact forms using popular choices like Contact Form 7 or WPForms Lite.

  • E-commerce Store Integration: 

Turn your blog into an e-commerce store using WooCommerce – one of the most widely used e-commerce plugins for WordPress.

  • SEO Optimization: 

Improve your site’s search engine rankings with popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack.

  • Social Media Sharing: 

Encourage visitors to share your content on social media platforms using tools such as Social Warfare or AddToAny Share Buttons.

Monitor Your WordPress Website 

The Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights plugin is an excellent tool for tracking user engagement, bounce rates, and other important metrics. 

Additionally, you can also use caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, which can significantly improve page load times and overall site speed – crucial factors in maintaining high search engine rankings.

The open-source platform is constantly providing new and inventive plugins due to the work of its contributors. To find more, you can browse through the extensive collection available in the official WordPress Plugin Directory.

WordPress Has A User-Friendly Interface & Editor

One key aspect that sets WordPress apart from other platforms is its user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for beginners to learn how to build their website without any prior coding knowledge required. You can start creating pages using the straightforward block system provided by the WordPress Editor or customize existing designs through drop-down menus within the Customizer tool.

Building Pages with Blocks in the Editor

The WordPress Editor, also known as Gutenberg, offers a modern and intuitive way of building web pages using blocks. Each block represents a specific element on your page, such as text, images, videos, headings, or even more complex features like contact forms and galleries. To add a new block, click on the “+” icon located at either the top left corner of your editor screen or between existing blocks.

Using Customizer Options

Besides working with blocks in the editor itself, you can further personalize your site’s appearance through various settings available within the Customizer tool. This feature allows you to modify aspects like colors, fonts, and layout options while providing live previews before making changes permanent. 

Accessing this powerful customization area is simple – navigate to “Appearance” > “Customize” from your WordPress dashboard.

Get Started With Helpful WordPress Resources 

If you’re new to WordPress, there are plenty of resources available online aimed at helping you get started with building your first site on this powerful content management system platform.

One such resource is WP Beginner, a free website specifically designed for those just starting with WordPress. It offers detailed instructions, tutorials, and guides to help you navigate the world of WordPress and build an impressive website.

WP Beginner and Other Helpful Resources

  • WordPress.org: 

The official WordPress.org website provides extensive documentation, forums, and community support for all things related to the open-source platform.

  • YouTube Tutorials: 

There are numerous YouTube channels dedicated to teaching beginners how to use WordPress effectively. Some popular ones include wpbeginner’s own channel as well as WPCrafter and Tyler Moore.

  • Blogs & Websites: 

Many experienced users share their knowledge through blogs or websites like WPMU DEV, Elegant Themes Blog, or WP Tavern, which offer valuable insights into managing websites built on this versatile CMS.

Choosing the Right Hosting Provider

For hosting your WordPress site, some popular options include:

  • Bluehost 

Bluehost is known for its easy-to-use setup wizard that makes installing WordPress simple even if you have no experience working with web hosting services before – 

  • InMotion Hosting 

Provides free access to Softaculous auto-installer tool, making it easier than ever to install WordPress on your hosting account, and SiteGround which offers managed WordPress hosting plans with excellent customer support.

When selecting a hosting service for your website, consider factors such as:

  1. Price: 

Compare the pricing of different web hosting providers and choose one that fits within your budget while still offering the features you need.

  1. Performance & Uptime: 

Look for a provider with a solid track record in terms of server performance and uptime guarantees. This ensures that your site will be accessible to visitors without any major downtime issues.

  1. Customer Support: 

Opt for a company known for its responsive customer support team who can assist you promptly when needed – especially if you’re new to managing websites built on this popular content management system.

In addition to these considerations, it’s essential to research each potential host thoroughly by reading reviews from other users or consulting online resources like HostingAdvice.com or wpbeginner’s list of recommended hosts before making a final decision.

Virtual Private Server Benefits

A virtual private server (VPS) gives you maximum flexibility when managing your website’s performance, especially when opting for managed WordPress hosting plans offered by companies like WP Engine – founded by Mullenweg himself after raising $1.10 million in funding.

VPS hosting provides numerous benefits over traditional shared web hosting services. Some key advantages include:

  • Dedicated resources: 

With a VPS, you have dedicated resources such as RAM and CPU that are not shared with other users on the same server. This ensures better performance and stability for your site.

  • Better security: 

Since each VPS is isolated from others on the same physical server, it reduces the risk of cross-site contamination or attacks originating from neighboring sites sharing the same environment.

  • Faster load times: 

As your site grows in traffic and complexity, having dedicated resources can significantly improve page loading speeds which directly impacts user experience and search engine rankings.

  • Easier scalability: 

Upgrading to a larger plan with more resources is often easier with a VPS compared to shared hosting, where limitations may be imposed due to resource constraints affecting multiple customers on one server.

Most Important Plugins Of WordPress

WordPress has a great selection of add-ons that can help upgrade your website’s performance and user experience. Here, I will discuss the two essential plugins that every WordPress site should have: Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin and Jetpack Professional Features.

Akismet Anti-Spam Plugin

Akismet is a powerful anti-spam plugin that comes preinstalled with all WordPress installations. It helps protect your blog from spam comments by filtering out malicious content before it reaches your site. This ensures that only genuine comments are published on your blog posts, maintaining the credibility of your content while saving you time spent on manually moderating spammy messages.

  • Fights against comment spam effectively
  • Maintains the integrity of user-generated content on your site
  • Saves time spent on manual moderation tasks

Jetpack Professional Features

The Jetpack Professional plugin offers an extensive range of features designed to optimize various aspects of managing websites built using WordPress. Some key functionalities include:

  • Automated Backups: 

Regularly backs up your entire website, including database and files, ensuring data safety in case of unexpected issues or server crashes.

  • Premium Themes Access: 

Provides access to hundreds of professionally-designed themes suitable for different types of businesses allowing you to customize the look and feel of your website.

  • Security Scanning: 

Monitors your site for potential security threats, malware infections, or vulnerabilities and provides recommendations to fix any issues detected.

  • Social Media Integration: 

Easily share blog posts across various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., increasing the reach of your content while driving traffic back to your site.

  • Search Engine Optimization Tools: 

Offers built-in SEO tools that help improve the visibility of your website on search engines like Google and Bing by optimizing page titles, meta descriptions, and XML sitemaps, among other factors contributing to better rankings in search results pages (SERPs).

Having the right plugins installed on your website can be a great way to improve its performance and protect it from malicious attacks. Investigating the WordPress Plugin Directory is a crucial action in discovering the ideal plugin for your requirements.

Start Your WordPress Journey Today!

WordPress is a highly versatile CMS that enables users to quickly and effortlessly construct and manage diverse webpages. Given its user-friendly interface, customization options, and wide range of plugins, WordPress is the most preferred choice for website building worldwide! Whether you’re a business owner or blogger, WordPress has everything you need to get started.


Yes, WordPress is an excellent choice for beginners due to its easy-to-use interface and editor. Users can choose from numerous themes and plugins to customize their site without any coding experience. Additionally, there are many resources available online, like WPBeginner, that provide tutorials on how to get started with WordPress.

To learn WordPress as a beginner:

  • Select the right web hosting provider.
  • Create your WordPress site using the block editor or page builders.
  • Familiarize yourself with customization options in themes and plugins.
  • Browse through resources like WPBeginner or join community forums such as the official WordPress Support Forums.

Youssef Hodaigui is an entrepreneur, blogger and SEO expert with a strong track record of success in launching and growing blogs and websites. He has a deep understanding of search engine algorithms and the latest digital marketing techniques, and he is committed to helping bloggers and entrepreneurs achieve their online business goals.

The Wall is a digital blog that helps the marketing, media and communications industries to understand the effects of emerging technology and media change. From ecommerce and email, to search and social media, The Wall features expert commentators and analysis of digital developments.


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