What exactly is Wordpress, anyway?

What exactly is Wordpress, anyway?

Is it a programming software that you load and make sites in, like a graphics program for graphics?

Where do people’s Wordpress sites reside? In their own domains like a person’s regular website? Does this mean that a Wordpress user has to have a development site residing on his computer so that blowups don’t blow up the operating site? Or are people’s Wordpress sites residing on some Wordpress planet and people set them up and let them run somewhere else? How do you tweak and improve a Wordpress site? Same as when you tweak and improve a regular website?

Does Wordpress suck you into a user-management system like Facebook, where all behaviors are for sale to any business or government employee?

What exactly is Wordpress, anyway?


WordPress is a Content Management System or CMS for short. Others call it a blog site, because you can post articles there. I don’t know how WordPress “market” its websites or webpages. Do you mean that WordPress account holders are “tracked” and the contents there are “sold” to third parties?

If you want to “tweak” your WP sites, well you can easily access them. Log-in to WP and use the features in there to modify everything there.

It’s a piece of software that you load onto a web server which allows you to create a website without having to write the individual pages in HTML and CSS. It’s especially useful in situations where the people who will be adding or updating content on the site don’t have HTML/CSS skills.

A Worpress site can be run on any server that meets the requirements. This can be on your own web space that you rent from a hosting provider (in which case you have to install and maintain Wordpress yourself). There are also sites (such as wordpress.com) which provide hosted Wordpress accounts, where you sign up and get access to a pre-installed version. This is less flexible than hosting it yourself, but requires much less technical knowledge.

The look and layout of a Wordpress site can be altered by installing different themes (there is a huge marketplace for 3rd-party themes to suit all tastes/budgets), and themes can be modified if you know HTML, CSS and a little PHP. Other aspects of the program can be changed by installing plugins (again, there’s a huge marketplace for these too, both free and paid).

No, and if you manage your own installation of Wordpress then no 3rd-party has anything to do with your system or the users you add to it.

I hope that helps to answer your questions. If there’s anything else you want to know please ask.

So it’s a fill-in-the-blanks website?

And it resides on a server just like any other website (I’ve written a couple of simple ones)?

And it has to be updated, tinkered with and tweaked while it’s live in the server?

That’s a bit of an over-simplification. It started out as a blogging tool - you could log in, type your blog post into a form, and it would be displayed in a list with your other posts, with a link to its own page etc. These days, as Hamiltondist points out, it’s evolved into a content management system and is used to manage some pretty big sites. You can probably find a better demonstration of what it can do by searching youtube for an ‘introduction to wordpress’.

Yes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with PHP, but Wordpress is written in PHP and needs to be run via a server in the same way.

Content-wise, new articles or posts can be added and published working live on the server. You can also install plugins and update Wordpress itself in this way. Developers though will often be running Wordpress locally to develop and test changes before moving them over to the live server.

Have a look at this: http://www.wp101.com/videos/what-is-wordpress/

Thank you for your kind responses.

I’m currently struggling with having two sites internally runnable in WAMP (not at the same time, choose one or the other). The instructions online aren’t getting it done. If I ever get that figured out I’ll give Wordpress a whirl.

From my experience, a couple of years ago, Wordpress was simply a PHP blog script. With new advances in their coding, they have turned it into a full blown CMS.
It is a PHP script that you run on a Linux server.

WordPress is a free and open source content management system (CMS) and blogging tool based on PHP and MySQL which runs on a Web hosting service. It includes so many plugins to create an attractive web page. It is very simple and easy to use platform.

WordPress.org provides the script / software that you can install WordPress on your website autonomous way, whereas WordPress.com is totally opposite, which hosts your blog for you. If you decide to host by yourself, you’ll need your own website. Generally, this means that you pay for a domain name and web hosting, through one or two different companies. Source: hostingaficionado.com/wordpress-com-or-self-host-a-website/

Wordpress is the best CMS in my opinion. Also it’s the most used CMS in the world.

You should be able to have as many sites as you like set up in WAMP.

Oh, that’s nice.

I think everybody should have free ice cream on Tuesdays.

But seriously, folks, I tried three of the methods available on the web to accomplish this and none of them worked.
I eventually got it started, by doing something freeform that I didn’t really understand but it worked.

Where are you getting stuck? What set of instructions are you following?

I’ll get back to you if what I did fails, which is not unlikely…