What is WordPress? a free website builder’s guide

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  • WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a plethora of features that allow users to build a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Visit Insider’s Technical Reference Library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular and free open source content management system (CMS). It allows you to build your own website without needing to learn programming languages ​​like JavaScript, Python or C ++.

What you need to know about WordPress

WordPress logo

WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform.

Rafael Henrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images


WordPress can be used to build a wide variety of websites including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and eCommerce websites thanks to a plethora of features.

As open source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress is not owned by a single company or entity. On the contrary, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a student, Mullenweg used the b2 blogging system (also known as cafelog), but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with the help of Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to grow thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, nowadays it can be used to build all kinds of websites for all kinds of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plugins and themes. In other words, you can pretty much build any type of website with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, eCommerce stores, membership sites, etc.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

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The New Yorker is one of the many popular sites powered by WordPress.

The New Yorker


The software includes many features to help you create a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (via WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name.

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself WordPress VPS hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is the address of your website. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are currently almost 2 billion websites in circulation, but there are some general tips that can help you find and buy the perfect domain name.


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