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Web Design

WordPress CMS

At its core, WordPress is the simplest, most popular way to create your own website. In fact, WordPress powers over 32% of all the websites on the Internet which means that almost one in three websites that you visit is probably delivered using WordPress.

On a slightly more technical level, WordPress is an open-source Content Management System (CMS) licensed under GPLv2, which means that anyone can use or modify the WordPress software for free. A CMS is basically a tool that makes it easy to manage many key aspects of your website – like adding or editing text content – without needing to know anything about web coding.

The end result is that WordPress makes building a website accessible to anyone – even people who aren’t web developers. WordPress theme updates are generally carried out behind the scenes and require virtually no technical expertise although you should be aware of 'child-themes'.

When you build a WordPress website you will need to choose a theme. Often you will want to change some aspects of the theme, for example, make the text a different colour or larger, etc. When the theme is updated you may well lose your changes as the site reverts back to the original 'parent theme'.

The answer is a 'child theme' which is a derivative of the original 'parent theme'. When the parent is updated you don't lose your changes as the child theme takes precedence. The result is a site with the latest WordPress version and security features yet still looking the way you want it to look.

We can quickly create a child-theme for you as part of our CMS Starter Package.

Wordpress essentially comes in two flavours.

  1. We use WordPress.org, often called 'self-hosted WordPress', which is the free, open-source WordPress software that we have installed on our web servers to allow you to create a website that is totally 100% your own.
  2. The alternative is to use WordPress.com which is a paid service that is powered by the WordPress.org software. It’s easy to use but you lose some of the flexibility of the self-hosted WordPress.

Many years ago, WordPress was primarily a tool to create a blog (online diary) rather than a more traditional website. This hasn’t been the case for a long time though. Nowadays, thanks to changes to the core code, as well as WordPress’ massive system of plugins and themes, you can create virtually any type of website with WordPress.

With WordPress, you can create:

  • Business websites
  • Church websites
  • Hobby websites
  • eCommerce stores
  • Blogs
  • Portfolios
  • Resumes
  • Forums
  • Social networks
  • Membership sites

… and pretty much anything else you can dream up.

Website Design Links

Learn Web Design & Development with SitePoint tutorials, courses and books.

Jakob Nielson
Jakob Nielsen is a Danish web usability consultant. He writes a fortnightly newsletter, Alertbox, on web design matters and has published several books on the subject of web design.

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