What is WordPress? My Answers to Your Questions.

Brittany Shaver

wordpress-logo-simplified-rgbWhether I suggest using WordPress to my client – or they already know its awesomeness, 90% of the sites I develop are on the WordPress platform. Here are some of the most common questions I’m asked regarding WordPress.

What is WordPress?

Technical lingo: WordPress is a powerful open-source content management system (CMS) which is powered by PHP and MySQL. It’s a hosted web application and features a publishing platform and a rich plugin architecture.

For the common folk: WordPress is much like software which I install on your hosting account, which is free (open source) to download. It enables you to login to your Web site and edit your content, publish blog posts. Perhaps the most powerful feature is the ability to use “Plug Ins” (which are like cool extensions / features) such as Facebook like buttons, contact forms and so much more.

How long have people been using WordPress?

The initial release of WordPress was in May 2003

Why should I have my site built in WordPress?

I could talk about this all day. :) Instead, here’s a short list of why you should use WordPress

  • Saves you money. How? With WordPress, you can login and make changes to your site content. You don’t need any special software – just an Internet browser and connection. No more paying a webmaster for a small change, it’s as easy as editing a Word document or typing an email. Look at that toolbar, you can stylize text, add images, links, embed video code and much more. Did I mention you can also add pages, change menu items, and access contact inquires within the panel?
    Check out this screen shot of typing up this blog post! It's that easy!

    Check out this screen shot of typing up this blog post! It’s that easy!

  • Saves me time. With an array of plugins (the cool extensions I mentioned earlier), sometimes what seems as a intricate programming request may just be a few clicks away. For instance, do you need to accept payments via PayPal on your site? No problem! Want to add a survey and collect the data in your email? Totally doable! By having plugins available, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel to install such features. I do the installation, fine-tuning and testing – and wa la!
  • Built in Awesomeness WordPress was, and continues to be, built with SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a blogging platform and security in mind. Although I do some finessing to fit each clients’ needs –  to have the capability right out of the box, is, well – awesome!

Is there anything you can’t do in WordPress?

Okay, I might be a little biased and say NO! Honestly, anything is possible with a WordPress site. Since the application is written in PHP, any PHP programmer can make modifications to plugins, install their own code and make any WordPress dream come true. However, it may not be the best solution for your specific need. One case where I wouldn’t choose WordPress would be if you had 1,000 products to sell online – that’s not what WordPress was made for. Although, there are plugins improving the eCommerce experience.

What are WordPress themes?

Wordpress themes are like clothes for your site. They are outfitted with a certain color scheme, layout and possibly a slideshow and maybe a special feature to spruce up their look & feel. You still need to add your content (pages, blog posts, etc)

Do I have to pick a theme for my WordPress site?

Absolutely not! Can you? Yes! But having a site in WordPress does not mean it has to look a certain way. I can take any design and make it compatible with WordPress. Also, I can customize and existing theme to save you time and money as well. Sometimes my clients pick a theme that is closely related to what they want, and I customize the look & feel to their brand. I usually find some great, money-saving themes here.

I already have a website, can you change it to WordPress platform?

Yes! I often do WordPress Conversions, and the look & feel of your site will not change whatsoever.

What are the technical requirements for Worpdress?

All you’ll need is Linux hosting plan (php). Most of my clients’ hosting needs can be satisfied by using Host Gator’s hatchling plan.
hosting-plan-wordpress

Is WordPress Here to Stay?

Yes! For over 10 years, WordPress has grown and constantly released updates and improvements. WordPress is not only great for bloggers, but small businesses and even Fortune 500 companies! Some noteable sites using WordPress are TED Blog, Playstation Blog, BBC America, MSNBC TV and many more are featured on WordPressPress.org showcase.

Wait! On WordPress.com, I can sign up for free! Why should I pay you?

Well WordPress.com is free, but is primarily for blogging. Yes, you could play around with some free themes and such and I’m sure you’d get something up nice and shiny. However, WordPress.com doesn’t support plugins, so you couldn’t extend it’s awesomeness as much as a hosted WordPress site. Also, it takes a web designer / developer to really dig in to fine tune everything just how you want it.

Okay, any more questions? If so, please contact me. I’m happy to help!