Learning WordPress: What is WordPress?

Lesson 1: What is WordPress?

What is WordPress?

Please Note: The links found throughout this tutorial are not affiliate links. In other words, GCF Global Learning is not affiliated with WordPress or any of the websites mentioned/linked in each lesson, nor do we receive any monetary compensation for referencing them.

WordPress is a powerful platform used to build and publish websites. Before systems like WordPress (which we'll refer to as WP), people often had to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars hiring someone to create a website for them. Many of us aren’t computer programmers or developers—but we’re still interested in making our own site!

WP allows you to build one that’s easy to get up-and-running. So whether you want to blog about your experiences, sell your product or service, or just experiment with web design, learning about this platform can be a great place to start.

You probably visit many WP sites every day without even realizing it; that’s because over 40% of websites have been built using this software. Today, WP is used to make corporate sites, online stores, community sites—you name it! Some popular pages built with this system include Tech Crunch, The New Yorker, and BBC America

Compared to its competitors like Wix and SquareSpace, many believe that WP gives you a more robust set of tools. But it can quickly become overwhelming! Learning how to use the more complex features requires time and patience, so you can decide how far you want to dive in.

Luckily there are endless resources out there, including blogs and videos, which can help you find the answers you’re looking for along the way. Here are some of WP's other advantages:

  • Rather than spending weeks or even months in development, you can launch your site fairly quickly.
  • You don’t need to know any code. You’re able to start working on your website right away without knowing HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.
  • You can utilize pre-designed templates, so you don’t have to spend tons of time on the look and layout. 
  • Your website will be scalable. This means that it can become popular without the worry that it will someday crash due to traffic, or the number of people visiting your site.

In the next lesson, we’ll describe how different groups of people use this platform for their projects. And by the end of this tutorial, you’ll learn the basics of developing your first WP site.

(If you want to see how to create a WordPress website step-by-step, be sure to check out the last lesson on "Bonus Resources." It includes an hour-long screencast from YouTube, along with additional site recommendations you might find useful).