Decoding WordPress from Scratch — A Beginner’s Guide

Decoding WordPress from Scratch — A Beginner’s Guide

WordPress is one of the most popular open-source, community-driven, CMS (Content Management System). It’s staggering to know, as of 2021, over 455 million websites are powered by WordPress. 

It offers a unique platform to build a WordPress website, WordPress blog, and an online store. In this article, we’ll figure out the hype around it, what is WordPress, and what is WordPress used for? We’ll also walk down the fine street of what makes WordPress one of the best website builders, and one of the best blogging platforms.

WordPress for dummies/beginners might seem overwhelming at first, just keep reading with an open mind and you’ll get the hang of it in no time. In your WordPress journey, May the force be with You!

Let’s explore WordPress and understand what open-source, community-drive, and CMS means. Before that, click on the sun on the top corner, for those who prefer a darker reading setting! 😉

Open Source

Open Source software means anyone can use, study, change, distribute the software, and its source code to anyone for any purpose. The open-source model is more like a decentralized software development that encourages open collaboration (just like cryptocurrency, no regulations and complete control over transactions!).

Open-source software gives you access to leverage the software without restrictions of any kind, unlike on closed-source (proprietary) platforms. Examples. Linux OS, Android by Google, Firefox Browser, WordPress CMS (don’t get confused, I’ll clear it as we further), etc. 

So, no restrictions on your inner Da Vinci. Go ahead, fiddle around, click ‘All Thing Everything WordPress’ (that’s our tagline, sweet right?), and who knows you might make the next popular super cool awesome website!

👉 Fun fact: Whenever you build a website, there are thousands of brains that have worked on the unique thing you might integrate or use into your website. How do you ask?

But, before that

🅦 Do you know?
WordPress community includes many industry leaders and top-notch companies/organizations – involved as contributors to the community. Also, some of the greatest and coolest websites are built on WordPress.

Don’t believe me? Check this out – Showcase.

Community drives, what?

WordPress User Hierarchy

The WordPress community is more like a cult. People interact on forums, communities, in-person, public meetups, exhibitions, events, and whatnot. The zeal to track and decide where to take WordPress ahead in the future is ever-growing and runs 24X7X52. So, the moment you sign up, you become a part of one of the world’s largest armies (some would find it offensive!) communities.

Now let’s understand what the community comprises and how it leads to making WordPress such a versatile platform. For better understanding, I took learning and excerpts from Care and influence, a theory about the WordPress community. Using this article, you can understand the 5 sections of the WordPress community.

  • Visitors – As the name suggests, it’s the people who visit different websites, such as ours. To gain information, shop, or find other products/services, etc.
  • Users – Users are the people who use WordPress as their CMS. Many users make websites, blogs, develop pages, e-Com stores, etc. to showcase and sell their products and services.
  • Extenders – These are hardcore developers, who make cool gizmos that integrate with the website and make magic happen. What magic do you ask?

    Let’s say you wish to sell handmade cookies on the website you have built, but how do you set up payment tabs, SSL encryption, newsletter tabs, etc. Extenders build these plugins (we’ll talk about this later 😜) and integrate them into your website. With these plugins, your customers can pay and buy your cookies, and make you a millionaire (don’t forget this is an imaginary scenario!).

    These geeks also provide other services such as Website building, integrations, migrations, and of course, cool flashy bits (maybe not offered for free sometimes!).
  • Contributors – Anyone could be a contributor as long as he/she is contributing to the core software. It could be developers, testers, coders, designers, teams, or individuals. They work together on updates, modifications, new plugins, themes, interfaces, and more. You can also become a contributor!

    To contribute you can either work on designs, updates, etc. or raise a ticket about any bugs or issues faced. Each ticket gets equal importance and is put up amongst the community, and if many votes are there towards the same issue, then it is changed or fixed. After these tickets are resolved, contributors push towards working on new updates, and revamping the whole feel of WordPress!

    So, contributors are all those good peeps who take up these tasks and fix the interface, theme, provide updates, feedback, guides, and more. They are always working towards keeping WordPress in a top-notch shape and maintaining its status as one of the best CMS and Website Builders.

🅦 Do you Know?
Even WPWhiteBoard is a contributor, How? Because we provide guides and thorough insights on news, tutorials, resources, basically ‘All Thing Everything WordPress’. And our team, believe me, we will have an introduction soon! You will find the tech team at WPWhiteBoard involved in all sorts of WordPress-related forums, answering people their questions and whatnot. Also, they have made some cool plugins (but that’s for later).

Contributing to WordPress is not about coding or developing, it can be about anything that makes it intuitive and seamless. So, make sure that you pay homage to WordPress and become an active part of the community!”

I should be more active in the WordPress community
  • Leaders – Did you know that WordPress was started due to an existing blogging software not being maintained by its developers? Let’s go eons back to 2003, there was a blogging website, pretty basic, just share anything kind, named b2/cafelog.

    Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little founded WordPress, using the non-maintained b2/cafe log, forked (to continue improving without original developer’s support) it, adding their touch and innovation, and rolled out version 1.1 built over b2/cafelog.

The launch itself received a spectacular response, and this marked the commencement of a journey which years later would impact millions of lives, and rule 43.2% of the internet’s websites (Yes, whether it is a simple blog or an all-bells-and-whistles website, 43.2% of websites on the entire WorldWideWeb). 

Most importantly, the leaders do not hold any stake, they just track and uphold the community’s decision. As every organization, organized or not, needs leadership and experienced management. These leaders fill in that spot.

As a beginner, you need to know that WordPress is not a website builder, but builds websites. Confusing right? Well, thanks!

Presenting WordPress’ true face (because there’s always scope for some drama!). Is it a CMS or a Website Builder? Let’s get to know what a Website Builder and CMS is.

Website Builder

Building a new site is easier on a Website Builder. These platforms provide everything you need right from themes to plugins. All you need to do is drag and drop whatever functionality or design you want on your website. 

The usability is top-notch and saves you a lot of time and effort. To get started on launching a new site with a website builder, just sign up, take a subscription, and voila! Your website creation journey begins! 

Other important processes such as storage, maintenance, security, etc. are all covered (not always though – it depends on your subscription plan). One thing that is a miss and will affect you at a later stage is – flexibility. You cannot move to another platform, it is possible sometimes but is a costly affair, and sometimes impossible to achieve. This is due to proprietary (closed source) tools that work only with Website Builder’s platforms.

Advantages of Website Builders

  • Usability has to be the foremost forte. The fluidity and simplicity of website builders are great, even for non-coders. 
  • The builder maintains your website, takes backups, scans for basic security threats, and maintains it. 
  • You can build any website, as long as you can imagine it, it can be built. That too for any amount of audience!
  • Examples: Zyro, Shopify, Weebly, Jimdo.

CMS – Content Management System

A CMS is oriented towards the management, creation, and modification of digital content (that’s what the literal definition states).

Then what is a CMS?

Let’s understand it this way, a CMS offers you an infrastructure, which allows you to go ahead with your blog, website,etc. As compared to writing codes for storage, analytics, creating web pages, integration, and other fancy words.

One of the major advantages is the flexibility (open-source, tada!) it offers in comparison to website builders. Also, one can get plenty of website options to build, as CMS is great for eCom, Blogs, and more. For non-coders, CMS is the stairway to website heaven, and an opportunity to make up for zero coding skills!

With a CMS platform, you have a wide range of options and commands at your fingertips. All this enables you to create what you want, in any way you want. If you wish to get a tailor-made website, you can get that too (but, you may have to pay for that)! 

The learning curve is a major factor but with readily available resources, you can get to know the ins and outs of CMS, and not be dependent on anyone. Thus, it might seem difficult at first, but one you start using it, you’ll be able to learn WordPress in no time!

Premium features are also available, which can be needed as your website grows or your needs change (They are not usually free!). Many companies create wow sites (wow+websites), and also sell these services. You can always have them at your disposal!

Advantages of CMS

  • Great for blogs, e-Com, forums, social media, social networks, and more.
  • The website is budget-friendly, as you can find maximum plugins and themes for free.
  • Learning is required but the curve is linear and very rewarding.
  • Examples: TYPO3, Drupal, Weebly Joomla, and of course, W______SS 

Now comes the question, what is WordPress?

WordPress is a CMS.

But! The features and functionality it provides are similar to that of a Website Builder, but not completely. And as per the latest innovation and rapid development of updates, WordPress is due for a complete makeover. Who knows it might soon become a different breed, better than both Website Builder and CMS!

These factors make WordPress extremely popular, owing to its usability, interface, noob-friendly software, along with a plethora of themes, plugins, and other features, for free!

For the nerds who want to know ‘All Thing Everything WordPress’, you can read a thorough dissection between CMS vs Website Builder.

🅦 Do you know?
If you want to use WordPress to build a website but don’t want to do it yourself, WordPress.com comes to the rescue. No need to get confused, there are two official sites – WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

If you want to check them out, here are the sites: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

Now, let’s understand the difference between WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com.

WordPress.comWordPress.org
They provide you with web-hosting (server space) and a domain name (example: WPWhiteBoard.WordPress.com).

For a website name like WPWhiteBoard.com, you’ll have to purchase this domain name!
It is the place where you can download the software and start building your website right on your PC/laptop.

You will need to pay for a domain name and web hosting to launch it online! (the same with WordPress.com)
You can perceive it more like a Website Builder, with an easy drag and drop function for themes, plugins. All the free themes and plugins provided by WordPress are free for use, for more and wow ones, you may have to pay!All the free plugins, themes, available in WordPress are at your disposal and should suffice for a few terms till your website and needs grow.
Requires initial investment, but gives you a good value for the money spent!It also requires some initial investment for a domain name and web hosting. But if you’re willing to learn a little, you can make your website at a fraction of the cost in comparison to WordPress.com. Also, a great value for money plus a valuable skill learned! 

This is also an introduction to WordPress.org. And if you feel that is the path for you, how do you start right from the complete WordPress installation to creating a website with WordPress?

Time for some self-promotion!

We have bucket loads of articles going through the ins and outs of WordPress, right from what it is to I know ‘All Thing Everything WordPress’. Find curated articles in each section right from WordPress guides from basic to advanced, WordPress tutorials, WordPress website tutorials, buying your domain name and hosting, WordPress admin panel, starting a WordPress blog, and more.

A moment of attention: All the hyperlinks (like this → WPWhiteBoard) leading you to other articles are for your perusal and additional information. You have the choice to read them, as this article will cover everything you need to know and start your WordPress journey!

What makes WordPress so cool

I can go on and on about how great and refreshing it is using WordPress to build a website, how great are the WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, backed by WordPress security.

WordPress gives you a platform to pool in all your unique ideas that can be easily showcased onto your website. It is very easy to make a WordPress site from scratch, defying the laws of coding (not sure that’s possible, but moving on!) without any knowledge of coding.

My heart can go on and on about WordPress, about how good it is, its unmatched offerings, flexibility, customization options, etc. The list goes forever, but here I have tried to pin down some core reasons as to why you should choose WordPress!

  • Functionality
    The most important feature of any software is its usability, and flexibility for its users. WordPress provides an equal learning curve to both coders and non-coders to create a super awesome website. Yes, coders do have an advantage over toggling through and getting started. But non-coder, WPWhiteBoard is here for you! Find detailed step-by-step articles in our beginner section, which will take you right from installing WordPress to creating your dream website!
  • Affordability
    Nothing in this world is for free, nor your time or your money. As the human tendency is to make the best value out of the money spent, WordPress gives you all the advanced features and much more to create a free website! The free also means the freedom it gives to its users, you can have complete control over it, choose your hosting, open your site from anywhere, and manage it. Also, you can make many websites (multisite) using WordPress, which is a super cool thing.
  • Drivability
    The main issue after creating and launching your website is driving the maintenance, understanding analytics, and of course, driving the traffic. WordPress has got you covered with all of these features as plugins that install in a matter of seconds (don’t blame me for your slow Wi-Fi/internet!). Using them becomes a breeze, and adds to the whole intuitive experience and crisp interface of WordPress as one of the best CMS available!
  • Scalability
    Whether you’re just starting with a blog or an online store, WordPress never lets you go empty-handed. You can easily scale your website, manage users, emails, content, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), posts, scheduled posts, promote yourself, earn with ads, send us feedback, and whatnot! WordPress is so versatile that writing about it makes me fall in love with it again, and if you’re still not convinced, you have to try it to believe it!
  • Remainibility (Remaining everything+Ability)
    Just think of every other advantage of Website Builder and CMS, compile it, and imagine it being written here! With WordPress as your website platform, you can use and integrate any layout, designs, color tones, and more. The WordPress site design also handles all your demands and tantrums, like this should be like this, grammar-nazi friendly, I am very punctual at posting timely, security, management, maintenance, and so on.

In comes Disclaimer: I won’t accept but I might’ve exaggerated some bits. Here at WPWhiteBoard, we aim to provide ‘All Thing Everything WordPress’. And we’d like you to help us achieve our aim to educate WordPress to everyone, and in that journey learn and discover something out-of-the-blue.

Takeaways

So, after reading this blog, I’m are sure that you’d go —

“Define WordPress – It is a super cool CMS. I can blog, make websites, correction, any kind of website, in any design and method I want.”

“Community-driven – In total 5 players, visitors, users, extenders, contributors, and leaders. They do their job, unlike some people I know, and contribute to building WordPress, updates, plugins, themes.” 

“CMS – Stands for content, something. It just manages digital content, stores it, and posts it like Thanos, klick!”

Conclusion

In parting notes, I’d like to mention and thank the great and mighty WordPress, for providing a great deal to write about. Moving ahead, in this article you learned everything there is to know about WordPress, not everything but something that clarifies the vision, the history, and your mission should you choose to accept WordPress as one of the best CMS!

Also, sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications and latest updates about WordPress rumors and cult meetings. 

Here it is, everything you need to know about what WordPress is and what it is all about. The next step from here would be to know about hosting and then you can get started with building your own website! Yes, it’s that simple. Here’s Detailed Comparison and Insights on Self vs Managed WordPress hosting: .

Kindly Note: Because I’m a mere human, I can exploit the right to be wrong…sometimes. Also, this is more of WordPress for dummies guide for me, than for you. So, if anything needs correction, or you have topic suggestions, or need someone to chatter with, state your purpose and content intent at [email protected]

Quick update: Want to know what the next big change in WordPress is all about? Must Watch: State of the Word 2021.

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