WordPress began its life in 2003 as a blogging tool similar to websites like blogger.com (now Google-owned “Blogspot.com”) or LiveJournal.com, and served as a way for people to get their thoughts and opinions online using their own websites. Since then it has evolved into a highly customisable Content Management System (CMS) and is in use by an alleged 15% of all websites today. Theoretically, it’s possible to make almost any kind of website with WordPress running operations behind the scenes.
These are a few of the major benefits of using WordPress:
• It is well established and backed up by a very active support forum.
• It is free to use and because it is open source it is under constant development.
• It takes care of more advanced site features like security, RSS feeds, SEO and image optimization, with little or no additional customization required.
There are two ways you can use WordPress for your own website. Firstly, you can visit WordPress.com and sign up for an account and use their servers. Secondly, you can install it on your own web hosting package. This isn’t anywhere near as scary as it sounds, and throughout this post we will cover all the necessary steps for creating your own installation of WordPress, followed by your own fully functioning website.
WordPress is built using the PHP web programming language and relies upon a MySQL database to provide content. It’s not essential to understand either of these two disciplines to use WordPress although the manual installation process somewhat touches on both. Most people who run WordPress as their website CMS have no knowledge of either.
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