WordPress is a very popular free content management software (CMS) that is installed on a web server and provides an easy to use backend admin interface to enable you to quickly build a website and manage it’s content. Installation on a web server is easy and requires filling up a couple of configuration forms. It can be installed on both Windows and Linux web servers that have a PHP server and a MySQL/MariaDB server running on them.
WordPress is open source and licensed under GPL (GNU General Public License). This ensures that this software will always remain free to use. Also, if you are a web developer, you are allowed to modify the source codes to suit your specific purposes.
WordPress was initially written by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. It was launched in 2003 with the primary objective to be used by bloggers for building a blogging website. Subsequently, a community of web developers got involved in it’s further development. Since, then it has undergone numerous enhancements and has grown to become a full-fledged content management system for building any type of personal or business website. It provides a huge library of free and third-party themes and plugins that can be easily integrated with the core WordPress software and help add different functionalities to a website.
WordPress is meant for people who have a basic knowledge of how websites are built and installed, but are not fluent in HTML & CSS and in writing codes for building the website, or are not too conversant with building certain parts of a website such as writing security layer to protect from attacks, search engine optimization, handling forms-to-email, etc. If you are a shop owner or a small business owner and not from the field of Information Technology, you may find it a bit daunting to use WordPress to build your website. You may perhaps be better off to either get a custom-built website or buy a website builder, as it does require some technical understanding to install WordPress, configure it to your benefits, determine which plugins are good to install and which ones are not, do the necessary tweaking to optimize speed and performance of your website, etc.
You do not need to go anywhere to install WordPress. Just buy a Linux hosting plan along with cPanel from your choice hosting company. You will get a one-click installer button in the cPanel to install it for building your website.
However, if you do need to install it in your own computer where you have XAMPP setup, you can go to https://wordpress.org/download/ to download the WordPress CMS.
Your hosting plan must provide the following minimum configuration:
You can simplify matters by buying an exclusive WordPress Hosting plan.
Due to the popularity of WordPress, many hosting companies provide WordPress Hosting as an exclusive plan. This resides on a web server that is specially configured and optimized to host WordPress CMS based websites only.
Such a plan normally comes pre-installed with WordPress core CMS, a theme, and most required plugins such as plugins for caching, search engine optimization & security. It is also setup for automatic updates/upgrades. Some hosting companies even go a step further and provide WordPress specific troubleshooting support, should you run into issues.
This type of plan is good for beginners.
When purchasing a WordPress Hosting service, you may come across some hosting companies selling Managed WordPress Hosting. Do not get carried away by this term. Check their features list and ask them to what extent they will provide support. You must specifically ask the following questions:
Also ask them what are the exclusions to their service.
Other standard checks that you must do before zeroing down on a hosting service, are:
To get an idea of the kind of features that a WordPress Hosting plan should include and the associated costs, please check our cloud powered WordPress Hosting plan. For further assistance in choosing the right hosting plan, you can write to me at email@example.com. I will be glad to help you in making the right choice based on the size of your website, the amount of media files it includes, and the amount of traffic you expect.
Having read this far, the advantages of WordPress would be clear to you by now. Hence, I will only mention a few drawbacks of building your website using WordPress.
WordPress is an open source software and therefore it’s code is exposed even to the hackers. Hence, security is a major concern with WordPress websites. A WordPress website is more likely to get hacked as compared to a custom website built by an experienced developer. Your website becomes further vulnerable if you have installed a plugin that was built by an inexperienced developer.
If you need additional functionality for which a WordPress plugin is not available, it will become quite tricky and daunting to integrate your self-developed web programs with WordPress. Further, if you have chosen an exclusive WordPress hosting plan, you will not have direct access to the server to add your own codes and associated database tables.
Being a very generic type of CMS, WordPress sites carry lot of overheads. Further if you install too many plugins, your site can become very sluggish and any level of caching or optimization will not help.
In conclusion, I would like to mention that building a website with WordPress is a good economical option if your website has content and features that are fairly standard in nature - meaning that the features are commonly used in most websites. The core CMS along with few popular plugins would help meet your requirements.
However, if you are looking for a business website and want an expert to take care of all the technicalities of providing you a fast and secure website along with specific features you require, it is advisable to reach out to an experienced website developer. Please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for such a requirement.
Rajeev Kumar is the primary author of How2Lab. He is a B.Tech. from IIT Kanpur with several years of experience in IT education and Software development. He has taught a wide spectrum of people including fresh young talents, students of premier engineering colleges & management institutes, and IT professionals.
Rajeev has founded Computer Solutions & Web Services Worldwide. He has hands-on experience of building variety of websites and business applications, that include - SaaS based erp & e-commerce systems, and cloud deployed operations management software for health-care, manufacturing and other industries.