WordPress is the world’s most popular tool for creating and managing websites — any kind of website, from a simple blog to a full-featured business website.
You say you’ve never built a website? No problem! With WordPress you don’t need any coding or design skills to create a professional looking site. There are thousands of free site designs to choose from (known as “themes” in the WordPress world). With WordPress it’s easy to build your website without writing a single line of code or knowing anything about HTML.
Unlike traditional desktop software, WordPress runs online (in the cloud, so to speak). There’s nothing to install on your computer and you don’t need any special tools. You can update your website from anywhere that you have an Internet connection – even your smartphone.
Best of all, WordPress is free in every sense of the word. It’s both free to use and free to modify. So, if you are the sort of person who likes to tinker with code, you can dig in and make WordPress do just about anything you want it to.
Unlike other free website building tools, WordPress is completely portable. That means you can host your website anywhere and move it at any time (something that can’t be said for services like Wix or Weebly).
Speaking of web hosting, there are a couple of different ways to host your WordPress website:
WordPress.com is the hosted version, meaning your website runs on the official WordPress servers. You can go there right now and create your own website for free in just a few minutes. This is the best place to start if you just want to see what WordPress is all about.
You should be aware of a few limitations to WordPress.com. You’re limited to only the themes that are pre-installed and you can’t use plugins (those are mini-programs that add features to your website). There’s also a small fee if you want to use your own domain name.
Don’t worry though, if you decide you like WordPress and want to take full advantage of everything it has to offer, you can easily move your site later.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version. This is what you’ll use if you want to run WordPress on your own web hosting account. When you use this version you have complete control over the design and functionality of your website.
There’s a reason why 30% of all websites are built with WordPress. Take a look at the WordPress showcase and you’ll see everyone from The New Yorker to the The Rolling Stones using WordPress to run their website. While you’re at the showcase you may even find some inspiration for your own website.
So now that you know what WordPress is, it’s finally time to start building your website.