What is a Content Management System?
Before you can understand what WordPress is, you need to understand what a content management system is.
A website content management system is a piece of software used to support the creation and modification of content using a simple user interface. It usually supports multiple users working together to update the content on a website including text, images, video and code.
The content that is uploaded is stored in a database. The website development team then can then design how this content is displayed to website visitors.
There are two main components of a website’s content management system:
1. The Content Management Application
This is the front-end user interface that allows users (even with limited experience) to update a website’s content.
2. The Content Delivery Application
The content delivery application compiles the information and updates the website.
What is WordPress?
Many people think of WordPress as a simple blogging platform or something that can be used to create a basic website. This is the case for WordPress.com but WordPress.org is a whole different kettle of fish. WordPress.org is a very powerful content management system that is used to create powerful commercial websites with complex designs and interactive features.
WordPress is an open source project which means that hundreds of people all over the world are working to continually improve it. And it’s free to use. There are a core team of developers that run the project development but anyone can contribute patches, suggest features and report bugs.
What Technology does WordPress Use?
WordPress uses PHP as its main programming language and MySQL as its database.
What is a WordPress Theme?
A WordPress theme is a collection of files that work together to produce the front-end design that website visitors see. These files are called template files.
The template files are what a website developer would create or modify to change the way that content is displayed to website visitors.
There are a number of websites that sell “off-the-shelf” templates that can be purchased, installed and customised. If the right template is selected, the development time and cost of a website can be substantially reduced. Templates usually still require some significant customisation which is why you will normally still need to work with a website development company.
What types of Website can WordPress be used for?
WordPress can be used for all types of websites including:
- Brochure Websites
- Interactive Websites
- E-Commerce Websites
For bespoke applications, for example when a business is taking its processes online, or for complex e-commerce websites WordPress may not be the most appropriate platform.
There are a wide range of Plugins for WordPress available that can help you easily add features and customise the platform.
What are WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are pieces of software that can be uploaded to extend the functionality of WordPress websites. There are a huge number of plugins available for free or you can pay for premium plugins.
Plugins can be used for a wide range of tasks from setting up an e-commerce shop to adding custom contact forms or integrating Google Analytics.
It’s all about re-using what’s already available rather than reinventing the wheel and starting from scratch. This approach results in faster development times and lower development costs.
Who uses WordPress?
All sizes of companies use WordPress as their website content management system including:
This website is also built on WordPress and is the preferred content management system for many of our web design and development projects.
Is WordPress the right content management system for me?
It all depends on what you are looking to achieve but if your website requirements aren’t too far off the beaten track, WordPress could well be a good choice for you.
WordPress is one of the content management systems that we have experience developing for our clients so if you have any questions about whether WordPress is going to be the right choice for you, comment below and we’ll be happy to offer some feedback.