A couple of weeks ago I wrote about WordPress (WP) and its history. The WP road has been exciting and full of great leaps towards this software becoming a fully-functional content management system. Today, hardcore bloggers can utilize WordPress just as much as a small business owner who needs to create their very first website.
So, how exactly does WordPress make itself so versatile? How is WP lightweight enough to allow a first-time website owner to jump right in while allowing for the website giants to flex their muscles with the greatest of ease? WP is able to do this because of how it is setup to operate. The creators of WordPress divided the functionality into three main elements: content, design, and enhanced functionality.
The nerdy people like me call the content portion of WordPress its core. The WP core is the heart of your WP-based website. Core allows you to add, edit, and remove posts, pages, and media files (i.e., pictures). Core also gives you the ability to make basic settings changes, such as who can and cannot comment on your posts. Core keeps all of your content stored away in its/your database (usually) safely tucked away from the other two elements of a WP website. This separation allows you to easily switch your design and functionality without destroying your already established website.
The second part of WordPress is its design. Better known as themes, the design element allows you to style your website without affecting the actual content. The advantage of this is that you can switch between website themes with whatever frequency you prefer. The pages and posts stay the same, but are styled differently depending on what theme you use.
Themes are a powerful part of WordPress because they allow you to customize the look of your website and easily create your own identity for your site. You can easily find an uber-professional theme for your lawyer’s office or use a laid back, “California dreaming” theme for your surfboard shop. There are thousands of WP themes available to suit your needs. Also, there are both free and paid themes available for you to use with your website.
The final part of WordPress is its enhanced functionality, or plugins. Plugins are valuable because they allow you to take your website to the next level by allowing for any customized functionality you prefer while also allowing the WordPress developers to keep the core lightweight. With the use of plugins, WordPress’ core does not have to be everything for everyone. The core stays smaller and the website owners simply pick and choose the extra features they want their sites to have.
Like themes, there are thousands of plugins available. There are plugins that allow you to backup your website. There are plugins that allow you to create an e-commerce site for you to sell your items. There are plugins so you can include contact forms, image galleries, social media sharing buttons, or website statistics. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.
With so many themes and plugins available, you can easily create a website that speaks directly to your audience and speaks to your individual identity. The only real limitation is your willingness to dig into using WordPress and your imagination.