Getting Started with WordPress: An Introduction
What is WordPress?
WP is the most popular Content Management System, or CMS. These web software packages are installed on a server and can then provide a wide range of functionality. WP helps to automate the process of creating interlinked pages using “dynamic pages”. These are designed once and then automatically generated by WP whenever that particular content is requested by a visitor. These dynamic pages can take on a standard appearance, theme and layout, even including headers and sidebar menus. The designer only needs to implement these common features once, then all dynamic pages will have them automatically.
How Does WordPress Work?
WP is a combination of PHP and CSS, with some elements defined via XML. PHP is the code that is actually executed, in order, to produce dynamic pages built from the various designer-selected components. It is executed like any other computer programming language. The CSS portions of WP are cascading style sheets that define visual aspects such as colors, fonts, text sizes, dividers and tables. These files contain parameters for how various elements will appear, such as links, text, lists and headers. Finally, the XML components store information for content such as RSS feeds, which are used for links to content and descriptions of it. These are particularly popular for podcast websites, as they can link to media files (MP3, OGG, PLS, et cetera.)
How Do I Install WP?
WP is packaged as a ZIP archive containing all of its components, most of which are .PHP files. To install it, one simply needs to extract these files and upload them to the root directory on the server where it is needed to operate from. The site can then be accessed at that address, invoking “index.php” in the directory to start the interactive installation process. This process takes place in any modern web browser and is fairly simple. During this process, the user will need to provide relevant SQL database name and login information that WP can utilize to store content and settings. For detailed information on how to install WP, visit WP Beginner.
Is it strictly necessary to install WP on a server yourself?
Those still getting to grips with the idea of “What is WordPress” or “How does WordPress work” may not be ready to set up a new installation on a server by themselves. The developers of WP have novices covered, however. These new users can simply create a free blog account on the developers’ official site and configure it as they please, or you may need some WordPress support services to help you out on your WordPress website. The interface will be the same as one would encounter on a self-administered server, so it’s a good place to learn, or even to just see if WP is the right choice for their needs. Though great as a demonstration, these hosted blogs can be used on a permanent basis, too. The service is free if the user doesn’t mind having some advertisements on their blog.
To see all of the features and benefits of WP, you can try it out for free. Be sure to explore the available Plugins and Themes to configure WP exactly for your application. You’ll likely be surprised just how much versatility is available in this rightfully famous CMS.