What is WordPress and How Does it Work?

If you’re a business owner and have heard about WordPress, chances are it has already helped your organization create or plan to create its website. This blog post has been specifically written to give a better understanding of what WordPress is and how it works; or whether to move onto this platform from another one altogether.

This post will only address the basics and will avoid getting too technical as I understand that you probably aren’t looking into becoming a WordPress web developer for a living. So let’s get going…

What Is WordPress and When Was It Created?

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS), used for website creation and management. With its user-friendly interface, this CMS enables individuals and businesses alike to create websites without needing extensive coding knowledge.

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little initially created WordPress as a blogging platform. Their project began as a fork of an earlier blogging software called b2/cafelog; on May 27, 2003, their first public version, known as WordPress 0.7 was made available for public consumption.

Since its creation, WordPress has evolved into an advanced CMS used by millions of websites worldwide. It has proven highly popular due to its flexibility, scalability, and rich ecosystem of themes, plugins and resources available to its users – including blogs, e-commerce stores, portfolio websites and business websites among others.

WordPress is built upon PHP programming language and uses MySQL database storage for content. Its modular architecture enables developers to easily create custom themes and plugins to extend its functionality, while an active community continuously contributes to improving this software platform.

How Does WordPress Work?

WordPress is a tool designed to make creating and managing a website simple without needing to know complicated computer coding language. Think of it like having your very own website-building kit that makes creating one incredibly straightforward!

WordPress gives your website an essential framework, much like its skeleton. This foundation takes care of the technical side, freeing you to focus on content production instead. Furthermore, this foundation serves to store text, images and videos related to your site while organizing everything so it looks good across devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones.

Once your foundation is in place, you can add your personal flair. Choose one of several different designs known as “themes.” Think of these themes like outfits for your website that complement its purpose or suit your personal aesthetic; the theme determines everything from colors to fonts and layout.

Now is the time to add content to your website! Create different pages such as your homepage, about page and blog page – then write articles, add pictures and videos, allow people to leave comments on them if desired, and add articles, blog posts and even allow people to leave reviews!

But if you want your website to do something extra special, plugins are here. They act like special tools or apps you can add to your site for extra features; such as adding contact forms for easy message sending or helping sell products online. There are thousands of available plugins so it should not be hard finding something to meet your specific needs.

One of the great aspects of WordPress is that it’s constantly improving. Both its creators and the wider WordPress community strive to make the platform better with each release, listening to feedback and issuing updates as necessary to fix any problems or enhance your site even further.


Launching a WordPress website requires several essential items. Here’s a list of what’s needed:

  • Domain Name: Your domain name is the web address for your website (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com). When choosing and registering one with a registrar – such as GoDaddy, Namecheap or Bluehost – there must be some considerations made when purchasing it. Here are my recommendations when purchasing domain names.


  • Web Hosting: Web hosting is where your website’s files are stored and made accessible on the internet, and for WordPress websites specifically, I highly recommend one or more of the hosting providers listed here as recommended hosts.

  • WordPress Software: WordPress is free and open-source software that you can download directly from wordpress.org. Most hosting providers also offer one-click installations of WordPress to simplify the setup process.
  • WordPress Theme: a theme defines the visual identity and layout of your website. Choose a free one from the official WordPress directory or purchase premium options from marketplaces like ThemeForest – whatever best suits the style and purpose of your site!


  • Content: Before setting up your website, prepare all of the content that will go onto it – this could include text, images, videos and any other form of media you intend to include on it. Having this material ready makes populating it simpler once set up is complete.


  • Customization: Depending on your requirements, additional customization may be necessary. This could involve designing custom graphics or changing the theme’s appearance – tools such as Adobe Photoshop and GIMP may come in handy here for graphic editing purposes.


  • Plugins: Plugins add extra functionality to your website, depending on your requirements. Yoast SEO or Wordfence might be suitable SEO and security plugins respectively; simply look in the WordPress plugin directory or third-party sources for solutions.


  • Backup Solution: Protecting the data on your website is of utmost importance, whether it’s using WordPress backup plugins such as UpdraftPlus or trusting in your hosting provider’s backup system.


  • SEO and Analytics: To optimize your website for search engines and track its performance, try installing an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO and setting up Google Analytics as a means of tracking its traffic.

  • Plan Your Launch: Before releasing your website to the world, prepare an announcement plan. This may involve sharing it on social media platforms like Facebook or reaching out to contacts in your network as well as any marketing strategies you’ve devised.

Keep this as a starting point; depending on the goals and needs of your website, additional elements or steps may need to be considered. Need help getting started? Book a complimentary web strategy session.


WordPress themes and plugins serve distinct functions; each serves its own distinct purpose.

WordPress Themes

WordPress themes provide control of the overall look, layout and design of your website. They determine how it’s presented to visitors including elements like header, footer, sidebars fonts colors page templates as well as page templates. In essence, they handle the visual aspects and user experience of your website by controlling how content is presented while providing styling for various elements.

Themes are comprised of template files written in PHP, HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript that work together to produce the front-end output of your website. When activated, themes replace your default appearance allowing you to make custom design and structure decisions for your page.

WordPress Plugin

 WordPress plugins enhance the functionality of your WordPress website beyond what the core software provides. They consist of packages of code that you install and activate to add specific features or extend capabilities of your website – adding new functionalities, changing existing features, or connecting with third-party services such as integration services.

Plugins can be used to create contact forms, implement e-commerce functionality, optimize SEO, add social media sharing buttons, create custom post types and much more. They may modify the admin dashboard, provide extra widgets or shortcodes or enhance security measures – the list goes on!

Plugins are typically written in PHP and interact with WordPress core, database, and other plugins as well as include JavaScript, CSS or any necessary files for functionality.

The difference between themes and plugins lies in their main function; themes tend to focus more on aesthetic aspects like layout and appearance while plugins add or modify existing functionality or existing features. While themes handle front-end design duties, plugins extend back-end capabilities of your WordPress website; frequently both types work in tandem for maximum effectiveness in creating visually engaging websites that function perfectly well too.


Yes, I definitely think WordPress is certainly an excellent choice for building company websites and I even provided some statistics to back up my statement about this matter:

WordPress has grown into the most-used content management system globally, powering over 40% of websites online (Source: W3Techs). Its wide use reflects people’s trust in using WordPress as their website-building platform.

  • WordPress Has an Active Community: WordPress boasts an expansive and engaging user community with more than 64 million websites using it worldwide. Thanks to this huge audience, there is plenty of support, tutorials, and resources available when help or guidance are required.


  • Flexible and Scalable: WordPress’ flexibility enables it to meet the needs of businesses of any size, from small startups to enterprise operations. No matter what stage your company finds itself at in growth, WordPress provides the scalability necessary for your website to adapt as your business expands.


  • Customizability: WordPress gives you access to thousands of free and premium themes, giving you complete control of the look and feel of your website. Furthermore, over 58,000 plugins allow for additional functionality without extensive coding work being required.
  • SEO-Friendly: WordPress is designed with SEO in mind, offering clean code with semantic markup, customizable permalinks and seamless integration with SEO plugins to help your website rank higher in search engine results and drive organic traffic.


  • Mobile-Responsive Website: Nowadays, having a responsive website is essential in today’s mobile-centric society. WordPress offers several mobile-responsive themes that ensure your website automatically adjusts to various devices – such as phones and tablets – without losing its beauty.


  • Security Measures: WordPress takes security very seriously and employs a team that works round-the-clock to address vulnerabilities and release security patches, in addition to offering several plugins designed to further safeguard websites.


  • E-Commerce Capabilities: For those planning to sell products or services online, WordPress offers powerful e-commerce solutions such as WooCommerce which is used by 28% of all online stores and offers extensive features and integrations, making it the go-to choice for e-commerce websites.


  • Multilingual Support: WordPress supports multilingual websites, making it possible to publish content in various languages to reach an international audience. There are plugins such as WPML and Polylang available that make translation and language management a snap.


  • Cost-Effective: WordPress itself is free, while many themes and plugins can be obtained at no charge – making it an appealing solution for small and mid-sized businesses with budget restrictions.

These statistics highlight the growing popularity and versatility of WordPress as an enterprise website development platform. With its comprehensive set of tools and features for professional online presence management across industries, WordPress makes an excellent platform for building company sites.

What Can I Expect With Owning a Self-Hosted WordPress Website?

Owning a self-hosted WordPress website requires regular maintenance in order to maintain the optimal performance, security, and functionality of your site. Here are some tasks associated with self-hosting:

  • Updates: Regular updates of WordPress, themes and plugins are crucial in order to maintain compatibility and avoid vulnerabilities on your website. Frequently released updates may include bug fixes, security patches or feature enhancements that should keep your site at peak performance. It’s essential that websites remain up-to-date so as to guarantee compatibility and protect against vulnerabilities.


  • Backups: Establishing a reliable backup system is of utmost importance for any website owner. Backing up regularly ensures you always have an up-to-date copy of all of the content and data on your site in case any unexpected events, like server malfunction, hacker attempts or accidental data loss occur.


  • Security: WordPress websites can be vulnerable to hacking attempts or malware infections, so taking measures like strong passwords, limited login attempts and using reliable security plugins is highly recommended to protect them. Furthermore, regularly monitoring logs and performing security scans should also be undertaken for optimal website protection.


  • Performance Optimization: Optimizing website performance helps create an enhanced user experience and boost search engine rankings, including tasks like optimizing images, caching pages, minifying CSS/JS scripts, and managing database optimization.


  • Content Management: Regular updates to your website’s content ensure it remains engaging and relevant for visitors, such as by creating blog posts, updating existing articles, managing comments, or making sure all links and media work correctly.


  • Website Monitoring: Regular monitoring of your website’s uptime and performance is vitally important, using tools or services to keep an eye on it when your site goes down, slows loading speeds or encounters other issues. Notifications should also be available if any unexpected incidents arise such as slow download times.


  • Broken Links and Site Errors: Regularly check for broken links within your website and make necessary fixes, while also taking note of and correcting any site errors such as 404 (page not found) pages to ensure a seamless user experience.


  • Database Maintenance: WordPress relies on its database for content storage and organization, so regularly optimizing and cleaning it can help increase website speed and efficiency.


  • User Management: If your website allows user registrations or has multiple contributors, regularly review user accounts and permissions, making sure inactive or unwanted accounts are deactivated or removed from use.


  • Accessibility and Compatibility: Make regular checks of your website to ensure its accessibility and compatibility across browsers, devices and screen sizes. Make adjustments as necessary so your content remains usable by all visitors.

Maintenance tasks help ensure your website remains secure, performs efficiently and offers a positive user experience. Allocating time regularly for these activities is vital in keeping a self-hosted WordPress website operating seamlessly.

Business owners lead hectic lives. If the technical side of your website is becoming too much for you to manage, we offer WordPress maintenance plans to save both time and money – click here to find out more.