What’s WordPress?

A consistent question I get asked is: Do I have to know how to code to use WordPress? And my answer is always a resounding “fuck no.”

I hate coding, which is precisely the reason I build websites using WordPress – because WordPress does not require me to ever touch code (although you can if you’d like).

Back in the day, before WordPress, developers and designers were the only people who could build websites because most sites – even simple local business and app sites – were built using HTML, CSS and Flash.

Today, just about anyone can use a content management system (CMS), which is like an easy-to-use website builder for non-coders.

Here’s a glimpse of what the backend of a WordPress website looks like:

Launched in 2003, WordPress began as a personal blogging platform.

I first learned about WordPress around 2009, when my professor made us create a blog for a class assignment.

my first website

Today, it’s is the world’s most popular CMS.

Drupal and Joomla are two others, but I’m not a fan of them at all.

First and foremost, Drupal and Joomla are way harder to use; and therefore, manage and sell.

Second, there’s a lot less support for these platforms because they’re not very popular.

By far, WordPress is the best choice for creating a simple website today. Here’s why.

Why WordPress?

Everyone (small and big; simple and complex) uses WordPress.

As of January 2017, WordPress is used by 60 percent of all the websites using content management systems (CMS), which is 29.3 percent of all websites. And as of January 2015, more than 23.3 percent of the top 10 million websites on the Internet use WordPress.

Fun fact: Mashable, TechCrunch and New York Times all use WordPress.

Because everyone uses WordPress, and because you’re interested in full stack marketing, it’s safe to say you’re going to work with a client – sooner rather than later – whose site is built on WordPress. And it’s likely that this person is going to want you to know how to use it.

And what better way to learn how to use it than to build a simple WordPress site yourself?

It’s easy to use.

WordPress is ridiculously easy to install.

In fact, it takes less than seven minutes. Sometimes even seconds, depending on your hosting provider. And most are automatically installed when you purchase managed WordPress hosting.

It’s customizable.

While we may not be doing a lot of customizing at this stage, we (or your client) may want to add features later. With WordPress, adding features is a breeze thanks to plugins, which we’ll learn about soon.

There’s massive support for WordPress.

Because WordPress is massively popular, it has significantly more plugins, themes and talent readily available to help you if you get stuck on something.

Seriously, just join a Slack group with technical people (here’s another list of Slack groups and one more), and anyone will be able to help you. There’s also probably Facebook Groups you could join as well.

“There’s a HUGE support community. WordPress isn’t just software, it has become a community. Some might even say a movement. In fact, WordCamps (1-3 day training sessions) have sprung up from grassroots efforts.” (Source)

It’s free.

WordPress is free to install and use. The cost comes from hosting fees.

It’s responsive.

Just about every WordPress theme on the market today is “responsive,” meaning the site adjusts to site visitors’ screens, making it easily viewable based on any device.

It’s easy to manage.

Because it’s easily manageable, it’s easy to make changes to the site without having to call a programmer.

And because it’s not scary to maintain, it’s an easy sell to local business owners, who don’t want to pay a pricey developer to “maintain” their site for them.

NEXT: WordPress.org v WordPress.com