This WordPress guide is dedicated to all those who intend to start a website and are wondering what is this “WordPress” that everyone is talking about.
In this article, I’m not going to teach you how to use WordPress, how to install a plugin or theme, or how to create and customize your own web pages.
I’ll simply explain what WordPress will allow you to do, how it will help you build your website, and what are its strengths that will allow you to start a successful online business.
So if you are looking for a WordPress manual to understand what it is for and what its potential is, this is the right page.
You will find many in-depth links that will also guide you towards a study path if you decide to continue with your project.
I recommend that you take a look at all the guides that I will suggest, to be able to really understand what you will be able to do with WordPress.
I must point out that in this WordPress guide we are referring to WordPress.org. In fact, there is also a .com version which, however, is very limited and is not our field.
The differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com are really huge.
However, if you have already created a blog in WordPress.com, you can easily transfer your site to WordPress.org.
The main difference between the two platforms depends on the fact that the .org version is software that you can install in your webspace, which you can get with a subscription to a hosting service.
The .com version, on the other hand, is a ready-to-use platform. This means that the webspace in which to create your site is provided directly by WordPress. To use it, therefore, you just need to create an account on WordPress.com.
If the latter option seems more convenient or simpler to you, in reality it is not.
First, know that installing WordPress.org is extremely simple and takes just a couple of clicks, you won’t need any technical knowledge.
The biggest problem, however, is that the limitations imposed by the .com version are so many and can even determine the success of your project.
For this reason, in this guide, we are mainly concerned with WordPress.org, because we want to help you achieve your goals!
WordPress Guide: what is WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System), or, to put it simply, a system that allows you to create websites without knowing any programming language.
You know a simple video writing program, for example Word?
You can write some text, add images, create tables, etc. With WordPress, you can do more or less the same thing, only you have many, many, infinite more possibilities!
Creating your website and learning how to use WordPress will therefore be incredibly easy, but also fun and above all satisfying because it will allow you to create the website of your dreams in total autonomy.
You will be able to create the pages with the look you want, but also add features quickly and easily, such as contact forms, photo galleries, videos, popups, and much more.
Thanks to its flexibility, simplicity and richness of features, WordPress has become the leading system for building websites. Just think that 40% of websites have chosen WordPress!
A curiosity: the WordPress project was born in 2003 and, already from its first versions, each release is assigned the name of a jazz musician.
Version 1.0 of 2004 takes the name of Miles Davis and, passing through many other great artists including Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, we arrived at version 5.7 dedicated to Esperanza Spalding.
What types of sites can I create?
Born simply to create blogs, that is a sort of online diary, over time it has evolved considerably to include very advanced features.
With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want. From a blog to a forum, from an eCommerce to a showcase site, and many others.
Starting from a common base for any type of website, you can add all the features you want, using themes and plugins, which I talk about in detail below.
This is the main feature that made WordPress so famous: flexibility.
There are no limits to your creativity, your goals, your dreams.
With WordPress you will get exactly the website you want.
How does WordPress work?
To use WordPress, you will need to have a domain and a hosting plan, that is, an address for your website and a space on a server where you are going to store the files that make up the site.
You can buy the domain and hosting service from a provider, but be careful about choosing quality hosting. It must be safe, reliable, perform well, and have great support service.
Once you have purchased the hosting plan, you will need to install WordPress. The procedure is very simple and in a few minutes, you can start creating your first pages.
You will have access to a control panel, called the Dashboard, from which you will manage the creation and modification of your pages and articles, you can define the appearance of your site and add features.
WordPress guide: what are themes
To customize the structure and graphics of your site, you can rely on WordPress themes, that is templates with ready-made graphics that you can modify as you wish.
There are premium themes and free themes, and on our site you can find lots of tips on choosing the right theme.
One of the main portals on which you can find beautiful WordPress themes is Themeforest.
The choice is huge, but you can help find the right one by using the filters and categories.
A tip: look at user reviews and the number of downloads.
Choosing the right theme for your website doesn’t just mean deciding what your pages will look like.
The themes, in fact, include several features to offer to your visitors, but also useful for the management of your site on your part.
Some themes, for example, include a page builder, which is a more flexible page creation system than the standard WordPress one.
If you choose a theme specifically designed for the type of website you want to create, you will find specific features.
For example, if you want to create a hotel website, you can choose a theme that includes a booking system and the creation of pages to show the rooms.
But there are many multifunctional themes, suitable for different purposes, which are exceptional, like Enfold, for example.
With this type of theme, you can make all kinds of websites you want. To include specific features, you can always rely on plugins.
What are plugins
To implement the features, you will need to rely on plugins instead.
They are like little programs that allow you to perform certain functions: they can be useful for creating an ecommerce, adding a contact form, helping you with SEO (search engine optimization), and for much more.
To get an idea of everything you can do, take a look at our WordPress manual on the best plugins. As you will see, the possibilities are practically endless.
I warn you, though!
Those who enter the world of WordPress can easily fall victim to the so-called “compulsive plugin installation“.
If you browse the WordPress plugin directory, you will discover tons of plugins and all of them will look wonderful.
The desire to add dozens of features to your site just because they seem interesting, useful, or even just funny, can be very strong.
I advise you to hold back and only install the plugins that will actually be of use, to you or your visitors.
First of all, a site that is too feature-rich can become difficult to navigate.
You would risk distracting the visitor too much and therefore not getting the results you hoped for.
Also, it can become more complicated to manage.
Simplicity is sometimes the best solution, especially on the web.
Learning to use WordPress isn’t difficult. All it takes is a little bit of effort: study the main features and you will immediately start building your website.
Here on our blog, you will find, as you could understand, many WordPress manuals dedicated to beginners (but also for the more experienced) that will help you take the first steps.