What is WordPress
Lesson - 1
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How to start with WordPress
WordPress is free. Yes, that’s right – it’s 100% free. You can get started today with a WordPress website in just a few steps. Basically, you have to install WordPress software and a few plugins on the webserver to start a fully functioning website.
Here is a problem; when you search for the term “WordPress” you will find two results:
And you might think both are the same, but they’re not. In fact, they are very different.
- WordPress.com is a fully commercialized online platform.
- WordPress.org is open-source software.
So it’s important to understand how they are different and which version of WordPress will suit best to you.
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Difference Between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
The main difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com is who is actually hosting your website.
With WordPress.org, you host your own site (web-expert / we recommend this).
All major WordPress powered website like blogs.microsoft.com or Whitehouse.gov uses WordPress.org, and so do we.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, it’s WordPress.com that take cares of all things to run a website (but with less freedom and limited resource).
WORDPRESS.COM VS WORDPRESS.ORG: PROS AND CONS
Both versions have their own pros and cons. You can’t really say the .com version is bad but personally, I would say the .com version has more cons than pros. You can decide for yourself which version is good for you.
WHEN TO USE WORDPRESS.COM
With the .com version, you don’t really need to buy hosting or have to worry about the basic maintenance of your site.
You can literally start with the free plan, though there are paid plans as well.
However, the free plan limits you to 3GB of storage data and provides you with a subdomain (like yoursite.wordpress.com) for your website. It also includes WordPress.com’s own ads.
In order to use your own domain name, you will be asked to upgrade the plan.
Also, you won’t be able to install your own “plugins” or “themes” unless you pay for the expensive business plan which will cost you around $300.
Verdict: So, if you want your site to grow in the long term, plan to monetize your site, or looking for more flexibility then I would say the WordPress.com version will not be a great choice for you.
WHEN TO USE WORDPRESS.ORG
WordPress.org is open-source software and it needs to be installed on a web server (hosting) in order to work.
Best hosting companies provide simple one-click installation. Trust me the entire process is really easy.
In fact, you can start with as little as $2.95 per month with the WordPress.org version.
Plus, WordPress.org has much better customization options. You will be able to install plugins, use custom website themes, and do just about anything you want with your site. Above all, you can monetize your website however you want.
Want To Grow Your Website Into A Brand?
Features Of WordPress
WordPress has lots of impressive features. The possibilities are endless when it comes to customizing a WordPress website.
There are literally thousands of plugins that extend what WordPress does. That is why it is the unquestionable leader in website development.
Here are some of the features of WordPress.
💛 Flexibility – You can use WordPress to build any type of website you want, including a personal blog, portfolio website, business website, e-commerce website, a government website, online community website, and so on. You can even create your own app.
💛 Simplicity – WordPress allows you to publish and build your website content quickly. Even as a beginner, you can easily use WordPress to build your website.
💛 SEO – WordPress is designed by keeping SEO in mind. SEO allows the website’s content to be found via common search engines such as Google.
For more control on SEO, there is plenty of SEO plugin readily available in the WordPress directory. Yoast SEO plugin is one of them. More than 5 million website owner is using the Yoast SEO plugin.
💛 Speed – WordPress is a lean website framework that is constantly striving to remove bloated code which slows down the loading speed of a website.
So performance speed isn’t a major concern while developing a website on the WordPress platform.
💛 Media file library – WordPress includes a built-in media library through which you can easily upload and insert media files to your Website.
You can even insert an image gallery on your web page with a proper alt tag and captions.
💛 Easy to use – You don’t need to hire a web designer every time you want to make a small change to your website.
💛 No coding required – WordPress simplifies the concept of making a website. It has removed the requirement of needing to know how to code in order to build a website.
However, if you know how to code then you can enhance the functionality of your website to the next level.
💛 Extendable with plugins and themes – The functionality and features of WordPress can be extended with plugins.
A WordPress plugin is a software that you can install on your website to add additional features like e-commerce, SEO, contact forms, and more.
💛 Website security – None of the websites is 100% secure on the internet. However, WordPress security continues to improve with a keen-eyed security team of core developers and users.
💛 Highly active community of users and developers – You will be amazed to know the WordPress community has a reputation for being incredibly welcoming, helpful and innovative.
You will get lots of help from the community regarding your website. you can also join the local WordPress meetups and more.
The features of WordPress are endless. You will get thousands of free or premium plugins and themes for your website. Just use them to meet your website’s needs.
What is WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme is a set of files that is responsible for the layout and design of a website.
It includes a set of page templates written in HTML, PHP and other languages with a CSS stylesheet.
Which all together gives the appearance to your site, including the layout, typography, colour, and other design elements.
There are thousands of free and premium WordPress themes available for you to use.
In fact, When you first create a WordPress site, it will come with a default theme installed.
But, it’s very basic, and most probably it won’t meet your website requirements.
Choosing the right theme will make your website more attractive, easier to use, and improve visitor engagement.
WHICH ARE THE MOST POPULAR WORDPRESS THEMES?
Out of thousands of themes, it’s really difficult to choose the best theme for your website.
But not to worry I have made things easier for you and recommend Astra – A customizable theme that comes with pre-designed demos so you can get started in minutes.
A few examples are:
All of these theme templates are easy to use, well-supported, and have dozens of beautiful layouts.
Some themes operate like page builders, allowing you to create your own page layouts without code. Astra is one of them – just get the pro version and you are all set to use the premium template.
- Themes can be added via the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes
- Using the built-in search function, you can find a free/ premium theme available on the WordPress.org
- Themes can also be packaged as zip files that you upload through the Appearance > Themes menu uploader in your WordPress dashboard.
Don’t worry we will explore the WordPress dashboard in the next chapter. There you will get more details on installing the theme.
What is WordPress Plugin
Plugins are a piece of software containing a group of functions that provides extra functionality and features to your website.
Plugins can make everything from small tweaks to massive changes to your site.
There are thousands of WordPress plugins available for free at the official WordPress plugin directory.
But be careful when choosing which ones you want to install on your site. To know more on the topic, must-read Things you should know about the WordPress plugin.
MUST HAVE WORDPRESS PLUGINS FOR ALL WORDPRESS WEBSITES
As per your website requirement, you will install plugins on your website. It can be anything but here are the few must-have plugins that you should install in the first place.
💛 WordPress SEO Plugin – Yoast SEO
💛 WordPress Security Plugins – iThemes Security
💛 WordPress Backup Plugins – UpdraftPlus
💛 WordPress Cache Plugins – WP Rocket
💛 WordPress Forms Plugins – Contact Form 7
💛 WordPress e-commerce Plugin – Woocommerce
By now we have understood what is WordPress, how it works, and what is themes and plugins.
Now, it’s time to learn how WordPress is installed on web servers.
How to install WordPress
WordPress.org is open-source software and it needs to be installed on a web server in order to work.
Anyways you will be needed hosting to run your website. So choose a hosting provider who is equipped with one-click WordPress installation.
Having said that, we will go with Fastcomet hosting and see how to install WordPress on the webserver which will be a quick and easy process.
Go to Fastcomet and get hosting. Choose the Fastcloud Plan it will cost you only $2.49 per month (a special price for our visitors).
On the next page, you will be asked to register a domain name (URL of your website).
Simply enter the new domain name for your website and proceed to create your account on Fastcomet. Fill in all the account details there and move to the “product information” section.
Recheck the hosting plan you have chosen and select the data centre near your location and also select for how long you want to register your website. and make the payment.
Once completed you will receive a confirmation email with login details of the cPanel of your hosting account, a place from where you will manage your account settings and install WordPress.
Log in to your Fastcomet hosting account and go to the control panel (cPanel).
Look for the “Softaculous Apps Installer” section and click on the “WordPress icon” followed by the “install” button.
Next, you will be asked to choose the domain name under which you would like to have your WordPress installed.
Be advised that you do not need to create a separate database for your script prior to installing it via Softaculous. The auto-installer will create a new database for you during the setup process.
Keep the directory field empty, i.e remove “wp” from it.
Next, enter your website name, site description, email address, and create a username & password (these login details will be used while login into your backend of the WordPress site).
Tick all the checkboxes and hit the “install” button. WordPress installation will begin and it will take a couple of minutes.
Upon completion, you will get a success notification. That’s it!! You have successfully installed WordPress in your webserver.
NOW TEST YOUR WEBSITE
To check if everything is working perfectly, type in your domain name (website address) into the web browser.
With WordPress correctly installed, the thing you’ll see is a very basic website like this:
If this doesn’t look too attractive, don’t worry, in our next lesson you’ll soon learn how to change the design to something more appealing.
Also, we will explore the WordPress dashboard in detail and see how to install themes, plugins, page builders, and much more.