What Is WordPress? The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

WordPress is the popular website-building platform worldwide, powering over half of the web’s content. It allows you to easily create blogs, websites, eCommerce stores, and more.

In this beginner guide, you will learn everything you need to know about WordPress, including:

  • What is WordPress?
  • Why Use WordPress?
  • What Types of Websites You Can Build With WordPress?
  • How Does WordPress Work?

By the end of this beginner guide, you’ll have a good understanding of WordPress and how to use it to create your own website or blog.

What is WordPress?


WordPress is a website creator as well as a content management system (CMS). It is free and open-source software that allows you to build any type of website you can imagine. It is the most popular CMS software in the world, powering over 43% of all websites on the internet.

History of WordPress

WordPress was founded in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, two users of a blogging platform called “b2/cafelog”. When the development of b2/cafelog slowed down, Mullenweg and Little decided to fork the project and create a new CMS that would be more user-friendly and flexible.

As a result, WordPress soon transformed into a CMS and later a full-fledged website creation platform.

The software is released under the GNU Public License, which means that anybody can use or change the WordPress software for free. Plus, the software is written in the PHP scripting language. All website content, including settings, blog posts, and pages, is stored in a database.

Some of the notable milestones in the history of WordPress include:

  • 2003: WordPress is released.
  • 2004: WordPress 1.2 release, which adds support for plugins.
  • 2005: WordPress 1.5 release, which adds support for themes.
  • 2010: WordPress 3.0 release, which adds support for custom post types and taxonomies.
  • 2015: WordPress 4.4 release, which introduces the REST API.
  • 2018: WordPress 5.0 release, which introduces the Gutenberg block editor as the default editor for WordPress.
  • 2021: WordPress 5.8 release, adding support for full-site editing.
  • 2023: WordPress 6.2 release, which includes browser mode, style book, custom CSS, etc.

WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: What’s the Difference

In this guide, when we say WordPress, we are talking about WordPress.org.

WordPress.com and WordPress.org are two different platforms that both use the WordPress CMS. However, there are some key differences between the two.

WordPress.com is a hosted platform, which means that WordPress handles all the technical aspects of your website, such as hosting, security, and updates. It is also one of the free blogging platforms to start a blog.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted platform, which means that you are responsible for all the technical aspects of your website. This includes finding a web host, installing and configuring WordPress, and keeping it up to date.

See the difference between the two in our complete guide on WordPress.org vs WordPress.com.

Why Use WordPress?

If you’re thinking about starting a blog or a small business website, you might be wondering why you should use WordPress as your website platform.

There are plenty of WordPress alternatives available to help you create your website. However, we feel that WordPress is the ideal website platform for beginners and small businesses.

This is why WordPress powers over 43% of all websites.

But here are just a few reasons why you should use WordPress for your website.

1) WordPress is Open Source

WordPress is an open-source platform. It comes under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL), which means it is free to use, change, and distribute.

The open-source nature of WordPress is one of the key factors for its popularity and success. It allows a worldwide community of developers and contributors to work together to expand the platform, build plugins and themes, and offer continuing support.

As a result, WordPress has evolved into a powerful and configurable content management system that runs millions of websites and has a huge and active user base.

2) WordPress is Easy to Use

One of the reasons WordPress is the best website builder is because it is easy to use.

When you first start using the program, there is a slight learning curve, but most beginners easily learn it and manage their own websites.

With WordPress, you can make your own website without knowing how to code. The admin interface is simple to use, allowing you to easily manage content, media, appearance, and plugins.

To create posts or pages, you can use the Gutenberg editor. It uses a drag-and-drop system based on blocks, providing a visual and user-friendly way to edit content. You can format text, add images, and embed multimedia with ease.

WordPress Block Editor

3) WordPress is Highly Customizable

Customizability is one of the most notable benefits of using WordPress.

WordPress has over 11,000+ free WordPress themes in its official plugin directory. Or, you can find more WordPress themes for third-party websites. You can use themes to control the visual design and layout of your website.

WordPress.org Free Themes Repository

In addition, you can also create your own custom themes to suit your unique needs and branding.

Like WordPress themes, there are over 59,000+ free WordPress plugins in the official WordPress plugin directory. You can use it to add new features and functionality to your site. Whether you need a plugin for SEO or are looking for a plugin for social media integration or any other specific feature, you can likely find a plugin that meets your requirements.

Free WordPress Plugins

Furthermore, you can also create your own plugin or find more plugins on third-party websites.

4) WordPress is SEO-Friendly

Building a WordPress website isn’t enough. If you want people to find and visit your website, you use search engine optimization.

WordPress, by default, offers built-in features that enable effective on-page optimization, such as clean permalink structures, easy content creation, alt texts, slugs, etc.

Furthermore, WordPress offers several powerful SEO plugins that help you optimize your content, meta tags, sitemaps, and other SEO elements.

For example, this is how Yoast SEO analyzes your content and offers advice on how to improve it for search engines.

Yoast SEO Analysis

5) WordPress is Multilingual

WordPress has been fully translated into over 70 languages. You can easily select your website language during installation or change it later from the settings page.

Choose Site Language

In addition, you can keep the WordPress admin area in one language while creating a website in another. Plus, you can also use a WordPress multilingual plugin to make a website in different languages.

WordPress themes and plugins may also be translated, and many of the most popular WordPress plugins are already available in various languages.

6) WordPress is Scalable

The self-hosted WordPress platform provides a highly scalable environment for your websites. You are free to select any hosting provider and plan that best meets your present needs.

If you are running out of your web hosting resources, you can upgrade your plan or switch to a new web host. This flexibility ensures that your WordPress website can grow and change as your business or audience grows.

7) WordPress is Secure

Security is a major issue for online businesses. With the rate of data breaches increasing every year, you want peace of mind that your data will be protected.

WordPress is one of the most secure CMS platforms as long as you keep plugins updated and passwords protected. The platform also offers various security features that you can use to protect your site.

For more details, check our best ways to secure a WordPress website.

8) WordPress Gives Full Ownership and Control

WordPress provides complete control over your website, from the content and design to the functionality. Make any changes you want without considering platform limitations.

Furthermore, there are no limitations on monetizing your site, allowing you to use a number of methods to make money online. You can place ads, become an affiliate, and even sell services or products.

9) WordPress is Free to Use

WordPress is completely free to use and download. It will not cost you anything to use the software. However, you will need to pay for a web hosting provider and a domain name in order to make your website visible online.

Read out: How Much Does WordPress Cost?

10) WordPress is Supported by a Large and Active Community

WordPress is supported by a large and active community of users and developers. This means that there is always help available if you need it.

What Types of Websites You Can Build With WordPress

Many years ago, WordPress was used mainly to create blogs rather than more standard websites. But that hasn’t been the case for a long time. Nowadays, thanks to updates to the core code and WordPress’ massive ecosystem of plugins and themes, you can build any kind of website with WordPress.

With WordPress, you can create:

  • Blogs: WordPress’s roots are in blogging, and it remains an excellent platform for bloggers. You can easily publish and manage blog posts, categorize content, and engage with your audience through comments.
  • Business Websites: WordPress is a popular choice for businesses of all sizes. You can make a professional website that showcases your products or services, show contact information, and even integrate e-commerce functionality.
  • E-commerce Stores: With the help of an eCommerce plugin, you can turn your WordPress site into a fully functional online store. You can sell physical or digital products, manage inventory, and process payments securely.
  • Portfolio Websites: WordPress can be used to create portfolio websites to showcase your work or services. There are many WordPress portfolio themes available that you can use.
  • Membership Sites: You can create membership-based websites using membership plugins, where you offer exclusive content or services to paying members.
  • Community and Forum Sites: With the help of forum plugins, you can add community forums, social networking features, and discussion boards to your website, making it easy to build an online community.
  • News and Magazine Sites: WordPress is an excellent choice for news outlets, magazines, and online publications. It supports features like categories, tags, featured images, and custom post types for organizing and presenting content.
  • Event Websites: Whether you’re hosting conferences, weddings, or other events, WordPress can be used to create event websites. You can display event details, sell tickets, and manage RSVPs.
  • Educational Websites: WordPress can be used to create educational websites, such as online courses, tutorials, and knowledge bases.
  • And pretty much anything else you can dream up.

Who Uses WordPress to Build Their Website

WordPress is used by individuals, large enterprises, and everyone in between! We use WordPress! The site you’re viewing right now is powered by WordPress. WordPress is also used by many more well-known companies.

Here are a few of our favorites:

1) The White House

The White House

The official website of the President of the United States is powered by WordPress. The website provides information about the President, the White House, and the Executive Office of the President.

2) TechCrunch


TechCrunch is a leading technology news and analysis website that relies on WordPress to publish its articles and multimedia content.

3) Sony Music

Sony Music

Sony Music uses WordPress to manage and showcase its artists, music releases, and news updates.

4) TED Blog

TED Blog

The TED organization’s blog, where speakers and ideas worth spreading are featured, is built on WordPress.

5) Microsoft


Microsoft’s official news website uses WordPress to share company news, announcements, and press releases.

For more, check out this list of the most popular brands using WordPress.

What Do You Need to Use WordPress?

To use WordPress, you need:

Web Hosting

WordPress is a self-hosted platform, which means you’ll need a web hosting service to store your website’s files and make them accessible on the internet. There are many hosting providers available that offer WordPress-specific hosting packages. However, we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the best hosting companies in the world and are also officially recommended by WordPress itself.


Bluehost starts from $2.95/mo and offers a free domain, free SSL certificate, 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and more.

Click Here to Get Started With Bluehost Today

Domain Name

A domain name is the web address of your website (for example, pickupwp.com). A domain can be purchased through a domain registrar or as part of a hosting plan.

How Does WordPress Work?

After you install WordPress, you will see an easy-to-use WordPress admin dashboard with various menu options in the sidebar. From here, you can create pages, write blog posts, install plugins and themes, and lots, lots more.

WordPress Admin Dashboard

Here is a brief overview of the things you can do with the WordPress admin panel:


The Posts section is where you can create, edit, and manage your blog posts. You can also create different categories and tags to organize your posts.


The Pages section is where you can create and edit static pages, such as your About page, Contact page, and Privacy Policy page.


The Media section is where you can upload and manage your images, videos, and other media files.


The Comments section is where you can view and moderate comments that have been left on your posts and pages.


The Appearance section is where you can customize the look and feel of your website. You can change your theme, menus, widgets, and more.


The Plugins section is where you can install and manage WordPress plugins. Plugins are extensions that extend the functionality of your website.


The Users section is where you can create and manage user accounts for your website. Plus, you can also assign different roles to users, such as administrator, editor, or author.


The Settings section is where you can configure various settings for your website, such as the general settings, writing settings, and reading settings.


The Tools section contains a variety of tools for managing your website, such as the import/export tool, the site health check tool, and the performance tool.

Final Thoughts

WordPress is not just a website-building platform; it’s a dynamic and versatile CMS software that has transformed the way websites are created and managed. With its user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and a wide collection of themes and plugins, WordPress empowers individuals, businesses, bloggers, and developers to bring their unique visions to life on the web.

We hope this guide helps you learn what WordPress is and how you can use it.

For more, check out these other helpful resources:

Lastly, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on the latest WordPress and blogging-related articles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress Good for Beginners?

Yes, WordPress is a good platform for beginners. It is designed to be easy to use, even for those with no prior experience in web development.

Is It Hard to Learn WordPress?

Generally speaking, WordPress is considered to be a relatively easy platform to learn if you have basic computer skills and are comfortable using a web browser. WordPress is known for its user-friendly interface, and there are many resources available to help you get started, including tutorials, documentation, and support from the WordPress community.

Is WordPress Free?

Yes, WordPress is free and open-source software. You can download and use WordPress for free from the official WordPress.org website. However, you will need to pay for web hosting and a domain name to make your WordPress website accessible on the internet.

What is WordPress vs Website?

WordPress is a content management system that lets you create, manage, and update the content of a website without writing any code. A website, however, is a collection of web pages that have a common domain name and are hosted on a web server.