What is WordPress Explained for Beginners
In simplest terms, it is software (an application or program) that allows anyone to create a website or blog. It is free and anyone can install it on their server from which they plan to deliver their website.
WordPress is often marketed as a platform to build a website without any need for programming. I am not a programmer. I code in HTML and CSS, but PHP (the server-side scripting language on which content management systems such as WordPress rely) is not within my area of expertise. And yet, I am able to use WordPress to create websites.
How easy is it really? Well, that depends on the user. If the user is computer and Internet savvy, if s/he is no stranger to uploading or downloading files, manipulating images, formatting text, linking, etc, then using WordPress is not difficult. But if he or she uses computers only sporadically, if operations on files are not very familiar to them, if the Internet is still somewhat intimidating, then there will be a learning curve before such a user can comfortably use WordPress. The third category of users are those who have come out of graphic design background, learned to translate their graphics work into HTML and CSS and therefore have a greater ability to tweak and adjust the code to create unique WordPress websites without building them from scratch. I find myself in the third category.
How can a non-programmer build a website in WordPress? There are a great many talented WordPress developers who create very compelling and functionally specific WordPress themes. Such themes can be acquired for free or for a small fee. Once installed, a WordPress theme can be customized to adjust its look to the unique need and expectation of the website’s owner.
Which is better, getting a free or a commercial theme? That really depends on the purpose of the website one is creating. For a personal website, a free theme would do great. And there are many very nice free options out there. But if one is planning a large website with extensive functionality, then paying a small fee for a theme is very much worth it. With a commercial theme usually comes good technical support and theme updates, which is an important factor to consider if one is building a website in a platform that undergoes continuous development and change. Plus there are many commercial themes that have been built with a specific industry in mind and therefore come with functionality most desired on a website featuring a given service or product.