WordPress is a household name that has become synonymous with “blog and website” out in the tech world. Anyone who is anyone that has a desire to see their words in the blogosphere or sell their product to the world has heard of WordPress. And those who have heard of it and seen what it can do may be itching to get started.
Kudos to you for being pumped about making your voice heard. WordPress is quite possibly the best option out there for blogging, selling and creating. But listen, there are some things you need to know. There are some WordPress basics to learn. Before you can take advantage of everything WP has to offer, you should understand what it is, how it can be used and the benefits that WP can provide for your needs.
Let’s get down to business and discuss the absolute WordPress basics you need to know first.
What exactly IS WordPress?
I’m glad you asked. The correct question might be, “what ISN’T WordPress”. After all, WordPress comes standard with a ton of features, all to improve your experience as a publisher and your audience’s experience as readers and consumers. Let’s start with the WordPress basics, shall we?
WordPress is a publishing platform, a “freely distributed, standards-compliant, fast, light and free content management system” that is highly customizable. Put simply, a content management system or CMS like WordPress is an application that can be used to create and manage your digital content, whether it be website or blog.
WordPress offers an extremely vast creative license, where there are virtually no limits to what can be done. A free CMS allows you to change the code, extend it or use it for commercial purposes, without paying licensing fees.
As mentioned, WordPress comes stockpiled with a ton of features that are standard to get you started (and finished if you wish). Yet, as limitless as those features are, there are thousands of plug-ins or add-ons available to add to your WordPress site to customize, extend and expand it even further. Some of these plug-ins offer SEO assistance, forms for your audience to use to contact you and even plug-ins for firewall and security.
The bottom line: WordPress is a tool made specifically for content creation and management. If it is read, watched, viewed, liked or shared, WordPress can handle it.
How is WordPress used?
In the past, WordPress has been mistaken for a simple blogging tool. However, it is so much more than that. WordPress can be used in many ways for a vast variety of businesses and brands.
For your own venture, start by answering these questions: What type of web presence are you looking for? What tools do you require for your business or brand? How will YOUR WordPress be used? These are all WordPress basics to consider.
Here are some examples of the various uses of WordPress:
• Blog and Website Together. WordPress shows its skill by offering a CMS that can handle both your blog content and your website content together, an all-in-one solution. Businesses that wish to integrate their e-commerce pages and informational pages with their blog can do so on WordPress. Want just a blog? Don’t worry. WordPress excels at that too.
• E-Commerce. WordPress offers many different plug-ins such as WooCommerce that add commerce options to your website or blog. For businesses looking to sell hundreds of products to entrepreneurs looking to sell services, WordPress allows you to sell virtually anything with ease and style.
• Portfolio and Creative. Artists and designers alike enjoy using WordPress to create visually stunning portfolios and creative websites. There are various WordPress themes available that are specially made for this use.
• Podcast and Video. WordPress is a perfect CMS for those looking to post vlogs (video blogs) or stand on their soapbox with a Podcast. Better yet, a website will help you get your name out there so your audience can find your voice in the crowd.
• Project Management. Yes, WordPress does this too. If you can’t seem to find a project management tool that your team can use effectively, you can create one using WordPress.
These examples are only scratching the service of what WordPress has to offer. With the freedom to create, your options are endless. You can create what you want to use.
What are the benefits of using WordPress?
Beyond the plug-ins and the option to do as you wish with the application, WordPress offers many benefits to its use. Sound too good to be true? It really isn’t.
• Beyond simple setup and updating. If your stomach churns at the words HTML, CSS and domain, WordPress is for you. The setup is extremely simple. The management and the updating you must do afterwards? Even simpler. After you create your free account, your website can be up and running in two minutes. Already have a domain name? You can use it for a small additional fee.
• Professional design at your fingertips. If you’re anything like me, I am a sucker for beautiful design. This is one of my favorite parts about WordPress. There are hundreds of professionally designed themes for you to use for your website or blog, a lot of them free to use. If you choose to purchase a theme however, the cost is still low for the professional look you receive.
• No coder? No problem. Even for advanced business features, you do not need a coder. Thousands of programmers have created plug-ins for your website or blog that offer so much functionality it is ridiculous. Simply find the plug-in you desire and add it to your application.
• Optimized for mobile. Uncle Google has recently decided that he will be making SEO decisions based on how functional your website is for mobile. WordPress is already optimized for speed and agility on mobile devices, taking that out of your hands. Many themes available are also responsive, or mobile-optimized to give you a great looking blog or website on the road.
• Strength in numbers. WordPress has grown so much that there is a community dedicated to offering advice, ideas and creating a better WordPress (if that is possible). It is available for WordPress users to gain insight and learn how to improve their blog or website from those with experience. Ready to move on from WordPress basics? They’ve got you covered.
WordPress is a Pandora’s box of content management, ready to help you create the web presence of your dreams. Now that you have an inside look of what WordPress is, how it can potentially be used and the benefits that come right along with it, you are ready to get started using these WordPress basics.