WordPress is the most popular content management system on the planet. With over 22% of websites run on this platform, we thought we would look at the history of it, how it transformed from a simple blogging system into its current form, how its community was born, and the ecosystem around WordPress.
The platform is changing how websites from all around the world work, with more power and performance than traditional websites or most other CMS systems. Because of the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) ability to change parts of your site, more and more people are becoming bloggers, webmasters, and internet marketers than ever before.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system, or CMS for short, that helps bloggers and webmasters edit content on a regular basis without the need to use a traditional HTML editor software for example Dreamweaver of Frontpage. If you don’t even know what are those, consider yourself lucky :).
WordPress itself is an open source software licensed under GPLv2 which means it’s free to use and free to modify. This package can be found on WordPress.org. Be careful with those domain extensions as Automattic, a company founded by the creator of WP, Matt Mullenweg runs WordPress.com which is a free, hosted version of the platform that lives on Automattic’s servers and they offer a couple of paid extras, for example you can use your own domain name, but you have to fork out a couple of bucks for this option. There are a few other options to get a free, hosted WordPress site other than Automattic’s WordPress.com service, however that is the most popular choice.
WordPress.org is the self-hosted version, that you can run on your own servers (if you have any) or purchase a hosting package from one of the numerous web hosting companies for example Kinsta, WPEngine, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, BlueHost and a litany of other third party hosts. There are monthly costs to consider plus you’ll have to pay for your own domain name which can range from $3 to around $60 based on what domain extension you’ll choose: .com’s are the cheapest, while exotic TLDs like “.io” are usually more expensive.
The benefit of a self-hosted blog is that webmasters have access to the code behind their site, as well as the roughly 32,000 free plugins and 2,500 themes that are listed on the official repository (WordPress.org) – and even more from commercial sources.
These are all GPL licensed, just like WP itself, which means site owners can use them on their sites free of charge. We will discuss this more in-depth in the community section as well as the premium plugins available for WordPress users.
Understanding This Guide
We understand that the history of WordPress is evolving at a rapid pace. That is why Kinsta is dedicated to updating this guide as changes happen in the world of WordPress.
Furthermore, this is not only a guide of statistics. This is a guide to understanding what WordPress is, and how the history of this dynamic community can affect your business. This guide will provide you with information about the major building blocks and players, so you can understand how every aspect of WordPress works