What is WordPress?

This video is part of a series in progress.

To start off this course, let me answer a simple question: what is WordPress?

WordPress is an open source application that was originally designed to create blogs but now is used to build almost any website you can think of.

Using WordPress, you can design anything from a simple blog to an advanced website. There are 2 options, either using WordPress.com - which is a cloud hosted service - or you can install WordPress on your own server and host it, which one to choose and why we will cover in later sections.

WordPress was created Matt Mullenweg. On his blog you can read about what he is doing.  Matt's blog is a standard blog that outputs a lot of content, and you can read it, you can click around if you want to, and it also has pages that you can go to that have more information.

However WordPress doesn't have to be just a blog; it can be pretty much anything you want. A lot of magazines use WordPress because it's an easy way of organizing content, and you can also style it and make it look like pretty much whatever you want. The Huffington Post is a good example. It's a magazine, but it has kind of a blog structure and a lot of advanced features, like social media features such as Facebook like and recommend buttons. It has advertising. It has lots of navigational tools, and it's pretty easy to read. There are also other sites that have no blog like features at all, such as eCommerces and some business portfolio sites.

As you progress through this course, we will be building a site for the fictional company Joe Blogs Plumbing. This is a self-hosted site, and it has a lot of interesting features.

Not only is it easy to build content, but more importantly, managing that content is very easy through the WordPress dashboard.
The WordPress dashboard is something you will find both on WordPress.com and also on your self-hosted sites.

If you want to just set up a basic web site and you have no idea how to do any type of web design or web development, you can set up a WordPress web site and never have to worry about the code.

WordPress ships with a full Administration panel that appears inside your browser. So all you have to do is activate WordPress, set it up, and then you can manage all your content, write new posts, new pages, manage photos and videos, all from within this Admin panel, through your browser.

That means you don't have to constantly upload and download files and manage the HTML and CSS code; you simply work in this very easy to understand panel. This is the true strength of WordPress: easy usability for everyone.

Anyone can set up a WordPress site and anyone can make it work to their advantage.