How it works and how to create a site
First released on May 27, 2003, WordPress is a CMS (content management system) or blogging software. Since its announcement in 2003, the software evolved a lot and has now become a top blogging software with tens of millions of websites created using it across the globe.
This is an introduction article in which I’ll discuss what WordPress is and show you how it works, as well as how to create a website using it. If you want to know how WordPress works, then read on…
What is WordPress
Now CMS refers to a system that allows you to manage your content online easily. CMS is closely associated with blogging and site creation. It of course has many other uses but for our purpose, talking about its blogging facet is enough.
Thus, in basic terms, WordPress simply is a tool that allows the creation of a website or a blog without you having to write code the hard way.
Note: WordPress, not to be confused with WordPress.com, is the self hosted version of WordPress. Unlike WordPress.com, WordPress.org is a script that you can install on your own servers and it gives you full control over your website.
Basic Introduction to WordPress – How does it work?
WordPress mainly uses PHP and MySQL programming languages to run its functioning. If you are a developer, you can contribute to the WordPress core to help keep it evolving. For non-developers, you are free to modify the software as you please for your purposes, as long as you abide by the GPL policy. The application consists of three main parts, i.e the database, the core files and the content files.
The WordPress database
The WordPress database is a MySQL database, and it’s where all your settings, user data and all other data about your blog is stored.
The core files
These are the files that you find in the folder when you download WordPress. There are a more than a thousand files in the folder and they include index.php, functions.php, header.php, wp-config.php and so on. They are the structures that manage your content, read your database, and perform everything in the WordPress installation, so your site functions smoothly. They are basically the back bone of WordPress managing your blog running in the background.
The content files
The rest of the files inside the WordPress directory are called content files. These include everything inside your themes directory, plugins directory as well as the images, and other files are all called content files. These are generally the ones you can modify or delete to modify your site.
Introduction to creating WordPress websites
As said above, WordPress specializes on blogging sites. When you get set to create a new blog using WordPress for the first time, it is likely that you’ll find it a hard time to attune yourself to the workings of the software. It can be a bit confusing.
But to put it simply, all you need to set up a new blog are two things, namely a domain name and a web hosting account.
Domain name is the name or address of your blog, so when people type it in to their internet browsers, they are directed to your website.
On the other hand web hosting is a service that lets you store and upload all your files and folders in one place online, all your images, files, design and all the rest are going to be stored in there. So when your domain is linked up to your web hosting account, every time people type in your domain name, the browser goes and gets the content for them to access it. Or in other words your page loads on their internet browsers.
You’ll also need FTP software to upload WordPress and carry out installation of the software. FileZilla is a good choice as far as FTP software tools are concerned.
Once you have collected all these resources, the next steps are easy which are outlined in a few words as follows.
- Download WordPress
- Upload the software files, upload the files that you have just downloaded. This is done using FTP software. You’ll need to get your FTP login details from your web hosting provider as you are going to need it to be able to use FTP.
- Install the WordPress script and you’re done.
Of course the devil is in the details and there’s a lot of steps in between. (If you find installing and setting up WordPress confusing, I can lend a hand. Just follow my free step by step guide to setup a blog.)
Working with WordPress
You have installed WordPress, what now? You can build on the default installation and modify your design and start posting stuff.
You need to first log into your dashboard. You simply have to point your browser to www.yoursite.com/wp-admin/. After that your tasks may include creating your first post, changing themes or adding plugins.
Creating a post – once you’re logged in, you can post as many articles or pages on your blog as you want.
Changing or modifying themes – themes mainly determines how your website looks. There are bunches of themes to choose free and you have total freedom to choose one and modify it as you please.
Adding Plugins – plugins add more functionality to your WordPress blog. Just like themes, there are a lot of plugins you can install and run.
Settings—you can set and adjust settings to make your website perform in a certain type of way. You can adjust comment settings, reading, writing a whole lot of other things.
I hope that this basic introduction to WordPress article helps you understand how the software works, and makes it easy for you to get started setting up one using it.
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