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A Beginners Guide to WordPress - A Brief History

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A Beginners Guide to WordPress - A Brief History

WordPress is a well-known content management system that the web has adopted as one of the most used systems out there. When it comes to an easy to use CMS that caters for many of the requirements users tend to need, WordPress ticks the boxes.  

There are a hundreds of content management systems available as open-source software to choose from. They range from the likes of Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc, but WordPress appears to be the most favoured amongst users with a whopping 61% market share.

(Image Source: iBlogZone

 

 

WordPress before it became WordPress… 

Before the dawn of WordPress came into existence, the CMS was known as B2 cafelog - a blogging system that generated pages dynamically from the contents of the MySQL database.  

At the time, it was created by Michel Valdrighi, a French programmer who developed the weblog by gaining inspiration from other blogging platforms. 

In 2003, developers Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg created a fork of the b2 cafelog and released, what people know today as... WordPress. That's now grown into one of the most popular CMS systems available and is used by millions of users worldwide.

(Image Source: torquemag

 
Side note - the image above displays the downloads of the version 4.6 rather than the whole of WordPress but it gives you an idea of the scale of the system.

Since the release of this popular CMS, it has become and still currently is an open-source software tool that is freely downloaded without having to worry about copyright or payments.  There is also a commercial arm to the project now, which is based over at wordpress.com.

Some interesting facts about WordPress 

When it comes to WordPress, there are many interesting fun facts out there. Here are a few that are worth knowing. 

  • The rise of the trend known as the "hamburger menu" was popularised by WordPress (Solamar
  • From all the plugins ever to be developed, Akismet is the most downloaded plugin (DesignBombs
  • WordPress is also available for intranet sites (SkillCrush
  • Wordpress can be translated into 70 different languages for worldwide use (WPstand
  • 27% of websites within the internet are powered by WordPress (Torquemag
  • 48% of blogs run on WordPress (ZnetLive
  • WordPress was launched on Memorial Day (WPstand
  • 24 Posts per second are published around the world on WordPress (Torquemag
  • WordPress gets a staggering of 37 million google searches every month (DesignBombs
  • Big brands from the likes of McDonald's, eBay, Sony and many more are powered by WordPress (Solamar

These fun facts are certainly something to remember and could come in handy one day! For more fun and awesome facts, have a look at the source links as they provide many more facts. 

What can you do with WordPress? 

When it comes to using WordPress, there are many opportunities to get creative starting with the likes of designing, developing a theme, adding plugins or even developing full custom websites. 

Ready-made themes 

There are many reasons why WordPress is as well-known as mentioned in the above sections - however, one of the most common reasons is how it's able to use ready made themes. 

Implementing themes doesn't require an advanced knowledge of programming languages (unless you’d like to get creative with design)

When it comes to choosing the perfect theme, it can be a tricky and time consuming process process. To help you see some of our favourite themes, we’ve released an article containing 20 WordPress themes we think are certainly worth having a look at. 

Custom Development 

At times, many users tend to stay away from using ready-made themes and decide on having a custom built theme. There are many reasons as to why a company would decide to do this. One could be that there are no themes available with all the functionality needed within the website or they may just want a one off design.

As a team of designers/developers who are specialised in many CMS platforms including WordPress, we create custom themes on a daily basis - have a look at our case studies to see some examples. 

E-commerce websites 

WordPress is not just a blogging platform or a portfolio based website platform. It also supports e-commerce, through use of plugins such as WooCommerce.

It allows businesses to set up online stores quickly from either ready-made themes or on a custom development project. With an easy to use CMS and a great community behind it, the support behind any issues found is great and they are normally answered by someone in the community pretty quickly on the likes of stackoverflow.com. 

Cross Platform Support 

With the technology advancement over the years, we’ve seen a quite an increase in mobile usage when it comes to website browsing or any other activities. Recently a new article released by guardian showcases a staggering statistic of how mobile has overtaken desktop when it comes to surfing the world wide web. 

For WordPress, whether you decide to go for a ready-made theme or custom developed, the responsive feature is pretty much a must these days. 

Advantages of WordPress worth knowing… 

When it comes to benefits of using WordPress, it’s safe to say there are many and here are a few that are worth knowing:

  • Ready-made themes are quick and easy to install/manage. 
  • Great support with a large community behind the CMS. 
  • Google favours WordPress websites as they're developed to be SEO friendly out of the box. 
  • Quick and easy to update when an update is available - requires only a click of a button at most cases.
  • Easy to use - you don’t need to be an expert on coding, it’s as simple as using Microsoft Word. 
  • Due to thousands of plugins being created, you can download and install plugins to extend the features of your website - we’ve recently released an article on WordPress plugins, to find out more, give it a read. 
  • Give access to multiple users to manage the website with different roles. 
  • The website can be altered from any location as long as you know the details to your admin login. 
  • Until the release of the version 3.9, WordPress was using an older MySQL database style - some of you may know made that these are vulnerable, but after various updates, it now uses MySQLi which is a lot more secure and reliable. 
  • Built-in blogging options that let you start posting articles in an instant without having to download any additional files/plugins. 
  • Free system - you have the power to do whatever you need to once you download the software (open-source software)
  • The system can host videos, images, audios and any other type of media - it is not only text based. 
  • When it comes to websites, navigation is key - WordPress has a built-in feature that makes managing navigation as simple as editing contents. 

Potential issues you need to be are of… 

As far as the drawbacks are concerned, there can be quite a few for WordPress. It is crucial to be aware of them and here are a few that are worth knowing:

  • If you are thinking of altering any designs/features, a basic knowledge of PHP is required since WordPress is written in PHP. 
  • Plugins can be great to have and certainly save you time, however, not all plugins are of the same quality and many do become vulnerable making your website open to getting breached. 
  • If you are thinking of altering any design side of the website, a basic understanding of CSS and HTML are required. 
  • Setting up WordPress may not be an easy task. It requires a database setup as well as the setting up of website hosting. 
  • Updating your site is crucial. When it comes to WordPress, if you’ve got an outdated theme or a custom theme, it can alter your structure of the website so be careful to backup first. 
  • Having bloated code can also be an issue. This type of extra code is frequently added via the WYSIWYG editor where it can add unnecessary HTML code without you knowing. 
  • SEO is setup out of the box as mentioned for WordPress, but at the same time, it can cause issues with duplicated and empty tags/categories across your blogs/contents. 
  • An up-to-date knowledge on security is also very much needed to ensure that your website is secure. As with any other websites, WordPress has been in the press for a while now due to website breaches. 
  • When it comes to themes & plugins, there are free versions as well as premiums versions. If you’re wanting to get the best version of the theme/plugins, then premium will be the one to go for, however, they are sometimes quite costly. 

Hope you’re up-to-date with the history now… 

As with all CMS system, there are pros and cons and it is crucial to be aware of them so you can choose the best system suitable for you..  

We hope you now know what WordPress is and what it can do for you. We hope this will have given you a better understanding when it comes to making the decision whether you'd like to use it or not.

Need a helping hand? 

When it comes to WordPress, our experienced team of designers/developers can help create a design whether you decide to go for custom development or ready-made theme. Get in touch and find out what we can offer you

 

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