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If you want to build a website or start a blog, one of your first questions when researching websites is likely – What is WordPress?  I suppose you are looking for a simple definition and some examples. 

In simple terms, WordPress can be defined as a publishing platform used to create websites and blogs.   WordPress is a content management system (cms) written in PHP.  This software application stores and manages the files and data that create a website and display that website on the internet. 

WordPress has a highly customizable, user-friendly interface that can be used by anyone who has some computer knowledge. 

Millions of websites are built using WordPress, in fact almost 75 million sites are powered by WordPreses.

Even big brands including big brands like the New York Times, CNN, PlayStation, Ford and even the People Magazine!

A pretty impressive list of users, right?   If its good enough for these big organizations, it’s with no doubt good enough for your website.  


Examples of WordPress Websites. 

WordPress is a great website platform for many different types of websites and blogs.  Among these are personal blogs, portfolio sites, small businesses, membership sites, news sites, forums, membership sites, and e-commerce sites. 

Here are some examples of WordPress websites.

Facebook Newsroom 

This is the homepage for the official blog of Facebook. Seriously,  the largest social media network shares their news, stories and updates here. 

Facebook WordPress Website

Another example is the website for the famous car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. You can check out the beautiful layout and all the information.  

The popular app and video game, Angry Birds, is another example. The homepage looks like this:

Ok, so you probably want an example of someone more like you.  A small business website.   This is a photographer in a tiny town in Colorado.  Simply Blessings Photography is built on WordPress and is a beautiful website and blog. 

Small Business WordPress Website

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com 

WordPress is available on two different platforms; WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Often, beginners cannot differentiate between the two. So let’s get clear on the definitions.

The lack of knowledge on these platforms may cause someone to choose the wrong platform for their needs.  

WordPress.org is the platform that hosts the software which is later uploaded to your own web hosting server. WordPress is a free open source content management system. Open-source means that many experts are all continuously working on it together.

WordPress.org can be fully customized for a completely unique website. It it is scalable because you can start small with just a few pages and grow into bigger a website with more features.

In addition, WordPress.org acts as the official resource and support website for individuals who host their own WordPress sites. There is a hosting forum where members can share ideas and ask questions about the WordPress blogging platform. 

To host your own website, you must have a domain name and a hosting account.

On the other hand, WordPress.com is a commercial blog hosting service for hosting a website for free (with paid for upgrades).

On this platform, the blogging software is hosted on the site, you only need to sign up for a user account to have your blog. WordPress.com doesn’t support custom made domain names and hosting accounts so you will not actually own your website. However, one can own a domain name and point it to his/her own personal account on WordPress.com.

Who is WordPress.com for?

WordPress.com is best for new bloggers who are blogging for fun, and not for income or lead generation. If you’re very active, you can give your blog more exposure by taking advantage of its “social” features that allow you to connect to all the other blogs. 

After growing your blog or brand, you can move your blog to the wordpress.org platform and monetize it.

Still undecided? 

As with anything, there are advantages and disadvantages, so I wrote this post 10 Pros and Cons of WordPress just for you. 

Why Use WordPress.org?

WordPress.org is best for individuals and businesses who are planning on using their websites to grow their business and generate revenue. 

In fact, WordPress is the most popular with business websites. Of the top million websites, business sites outnumber news sites running on WordPress by 5X

WordPress.com is very limiting when it comes to the use of your blog, which includes restrictions on advertising and marketing. Your blog could be closed down if you are using it for purposes against their terms and conditions. But this is not the case with WordPress.org. 

The fact that your blog is hosted on your own server allows you to market and post ads on your website. That’s why it’s very important to have your WordPress.org blog that is hosted on your own server.

Related Content: For more information on about web hosting and how to choose the best web hosting company I suggest you read my article here:


How Does WordPress Work?

WordPress is a software application that provides the structure to create a website and display it on the internet.   You may be curious how this works.  

It does this with two components: PHP language and MySQL.

PHP is the server-side scripting language that WordPress is written in. This means it runs on your web server and tells the webpage to be loaded to the browser when you request it. 

Basically, PHP helps add and retrieve information from a database. Then the information is put into an HTML page, which is what you see on your screen.

MySQL is a relational database management system that uses a software language to store and manage the information for your website.  Basically it is the filing cabinet where all the information is stored. MySQL is where WordPress data like your blog posts, pages, comments and so on are created, edited, stored, read, and deleted.

This article by dummies.com provides a more comprehensive response to – how does WordPress work? 


How to use WordPress. A quick Tutorial

Website on WordPress

To help you understand how WordPress works, I’ll walk you through a quick tutorial here.  This will give you an idea of  how to use it if you decide to build a website on WordPress. 

If you would like a go straight to building a Website, I have just the resources for you. Sign up for the WordPress Website with the free course and get all the VIP resources you need to build a Website this weekend.

If you want to start a free blog for fun you can simply go to WordPress.com.  Sign up for a free blog and you can be up and running quickly.  

If you are building a website for business or starting a blog for profit you need WordPress.org. 

Related Content: Are you interested in starting a blog?  Then you should read my step-by-step tutorial to start a blog.  

Technically you can download WordPress.org on your desktop and practice building your website.  Although without hosting, you will be the only one who can see your site on the internet.  

That’s not really going to grow your business online, is it? So you need to follow the correct steps to set-up your website properly.

1. Buy a domain name and set up web hosting.  

Your domain name is the address of your website – my domain here is www.businessinaweekend.com. You can secure your website name with any domain registrar.  The simplest way is to buy your domain name through your web host. 

The web host is basically the company that has all the servers (computers with lots of storage) to store, maintain and display your website on the internet.

Step 3 Sign up for hosting with SiteGround for your website. Beginners step by step tutorial to build a wordpress website for your small business

Web hosting companies offer many additional service and range in cost so its important to choose the right host for your business. You will want a company that hosts WordPress.  (Don’t worry I can help you with that here).

2. Install WordPress 

This may sound complicated but if you choose the right host, they will have a simple installation process.    Installation is really just downloading the software onto your website. 

Generally, your web host will offer a “one click installation process” out some version of that.

They will ask you when you sign up for hosting if you want to install WordPress.  Otherwise you will find the option to install WordPress on the dashboard or other area on your host. 

WPBeginner offers a step by step tutorial outlining how to install WordPress on many different web hosts.

If you want to skip right to setting up your WordPress website and writing your blog  – I have a gift just for you – you can enroll in my FREE WordPress Website Course here.

3. Learn to work in the WordPress dashboard

WordPress websites have what is called the front end (the website that you see on the internet) and the backend (where you work to create the website).

After you load oftware, you can access your website from the address that will look like https://mydomainname.com/wp-admin/. Once you login in, you will see the dashboard in the backend of your website.    

Your dashboard will look similar to this. This is like your command station for your website. 

WordPress dashboard on your website. Beginners step by step tutorial to build a wordpress website for your small business

See the options on the far left in the gray column?  You will learn to navigate these different options to customize your website. 

As you begin to design your website, the pages section will list your landing pages – such as your home page. The posts section will list your blog posts and information related to each article.

4. Design your Website with a Theme

The theme defines the layout and appearance of your website.  

Think of your theme as to how you plan to decorate your house or what you want your storefront to look like.   In fact, your website comes with a free theme preloaded. 

You can see how this looks by choosing preview on the dashboard or typing your website in the URL.

Step 8 choose and install a theme for your website and blog. Beginners step by step tutorial to build a wordpress website for your small business

One of the many advantages of WordPress is the huge amount of customization that you can do.  You can choose another theme (either free or paid) and start designing your website. 

5. Create the Essential Pages for your Business

You will need to create the basic pages for your website blog.  The pages should include: home, about, contact, and legal pages.  

Let me stop and explain the difference between pages and posts.  You can see both options on the side of the dashboard.  Pages are basically static and have one link associated with them.

Posts are the same in terms of the code, but they are meant for a blog that is written in chronological order. 

Many themes have amazing templates for sites with all of these pages that you can load.  So, choosing the right theme is important because it will effect how these essential pages look. 

6. Write a blog post (if you want to blog)

Once you have completed all of the steps above, you can start writing a blog post.    To start a new post – go to the Dashboard menu and choose Post.  The drop down will have an option for “Add New”

You will see a section “Enter title here”  where you can type the title or headline of your post.    Then under that is the area for writing content.  

New Blog Post on WordPress.org Gutenberg

Blogging can be as simple as writing a post and publishing it. Although if you want to be successful at growing your business online you need to be writing helpfully blog posts that get noticed.

Related Content: In this article I help you learn how to write and engaging post with the most effective blog post structure.


Conclusion

And there you go!  You have more insight into what WordPress is with a good definition, some examples and a brief tutorial. 

I believe that you can now differentiate between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. You’re also aware of all the advantages and disadvantages of using either platform. Despite its disadvantages, WordPress is still an amazing platform that offers its users lots of flexibility options. 

Related Content that you might be interested in:

How to Start a Successful Blog from Scratch

Essential WordPress Dictionary for Beginners

FREE WordPress Website Course here.

Although it isn’t the ideal solution for all cases, WordPress is the best platform for business owners who want to build an online presence in the most cost-effective way.

What additional questions do you have about WordPress? Ask in the comments.

Beginners step by step tutorial to build a small business WordPress website from scratch 2019

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