Released on May 27th, 2003, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL installed on a web server, which either is part of an Internet hosting service or is a network host itself.
WordPress was used by more than 26.4% of the top 10 million websites as of April 2016 and is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.
Below are 12 things you should know about WordPress, whether you want to get started as a developer or blogger, or are just curious about what WordPress can do.
1. WordPress is THE Most Popular Content Management System (CMS) in the World
More websites are powered by WordPress than any other CMS in the world. In fact, WordPress powers 4.5% of the ENTIRE internet.
Somewhere between 50 and 60% of websites that use a CMS are built on WordPress. There are 17 blog posts published on WordPress sites every second of every day.
2. There are Some Really High Profile Brands Using WordPress
So many sites you’d recognize use WordPress. CNN’s blogs, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, MTV News, Facebook (for their Newsroom), Harvard Business Review, and NASA, among lots of others.
If WordPress is powerful enough for these sites, then it’s powerful enough for almost any site you need to build!
3. WordPress is Not Just for Blogging
WordPress got its start as a blogging platform, but somewhere along the way, developers realized you could do so much more with it. Now, WordPress is behind everything from e-commerce sites to communities to online courses.
Whether you want to create a basic website for a local business or a huge online store selling thousands of products, it can be done with WordPress. And, of course, it’s still great for blogging!
4. Plugins Let You Add a TON of Functions to WordPress Without Coding
WordPress lets you extend what it can do through the use of plugins. There are both free and paid plugins out there that can do virtually anything you might want to without the need to write code from scratch.
Right now, there are over 45,000 free plugins in the official WordPress directory. That doesn’t include all the premium plugins that can add even more functionality to your sites.
Plus, if you know PHP (the language WordPress is built on) you can further customize any plugin you want to do exactly what you need it to do. Or, build your own plugin from scratch.
5. WordPress Skills are Useful Even if You Don’t Want to Be a Developer
Developers aren’t the only tech pros out there who need WordPress skills. Entrepreneurs can seriously benefit from knowing WordPress, because it’s such a great tool for setting up an online business (including creating online stores, landing pages, and more). Knowing how to set up WordPress, customize a theme, and install plugins can save you tons of money when you’re just getting started.
6. WordPress Can be Used for Intranet Sites, Too
There are thousands of plugins out there that can extend WordPress’s functionality, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that some of those plugins are perfect for back-end functionality that companies need.
Things like customer relationship management software, Issue tracking, and even all-in-one intranetsare possible with WordPress. Self-hosting these kinds of apps without having to pay a service provider can save you money each year, especially if you can manage all those plugins yourself.
7. You Can Use it For Membership Sites
It’s easy to set up a members-only site with WordPress plugins. There are dozens of members-only site plugins available, some free and some paid.
You can use these membership plugins to create site with premium content, gated online communities, and more. Use them to create paid or free membership sites.
8. WordPress is Totally Free
WordPress is totally free and open source. You never have to pay a dime for WordPress, and you can make any changes you want to the site’s code. You can use WordPress for whatever kind of site you want, and as many sites as you want, without purchasing additional licenses. There are also tens of thousands of free themes and plugins out there, all of which you can use and customize to your heart’s content.
There are also plenty of premium themes and plugins out there.
9. There are So Many Jobs You Can Get with WordPress Development Skills
If you want to work as an employee, you can find jobs working with WordPress at creative agencies or companies who run their sites on WordPress. WordPress skills can help you get a job as a developer or designer, or in marketing.
10. WordPress is Great for Freelancers
In addition to working in agency or corporate jobs, you can freelance as a WordPress specialist. Whether you want to offer basic services like site setup and theme customization, or go all in with fully customized sites with all sorts of back-end programming, there are so many opportunities.
WordPress skills are also super valuable for bloggers, marketing consultants, search engine optimization (SEO) consultants, and anyone else who works with sites hosted on WordPress.
11. You Can Get Started with WordPress in No Time
Three months will give you enough skills to get started as a freelancer. You can start with things like customizing themes and setting up new WordPress sites in even less time than that, and then learn how to do even more over time.
12. WordPress Sites are Easy to Manage
WordPress sites are easy to manage, both in terms of maintenance and from a client’s perspective of managing the content on the site. Because WordPress has been around for so long (it was first released in 2003), there is a huge community online and extensive documentation available. Pretty much any question or issue you may have run into has probably been experienced (and hopefully solved) by someone else already