WordPress Updates

WordPress mention · November 15, 2018

Website Builder Showdown: Squarespace vs. WordPress

The quality of your website can make or break your online presence. A decade ago, this meant hiring a developer to make your site to look and feel professional. But now, building a website can take minutes instead of months, even if you have zero coding knowledge. All you have...read more
WordPress mention · August 27, 2018

The 10 Best Website Builders

Most small businesses don't have the budget to spend thousands of dollars on a developer to create a website for them. At $61-$80/hour (and often much more), the costs are downright prohibitive. That's where website builders come in: These tools give individuals and small businesses the...read more
WordPress mention · June 7, 2018

How to Secure Your WordPress Website for Free

Almost one in every three websites you visit is powered by WordPress. WordPress is generally a secure platform, but if anyone is able to exploit its weaknesses, a third of the internet might be in trouble. Not to mention those websites' users. As the founder of a web design agency...read more
WordPress update · February 19, 2018

Updates to Our WordPress Integration: Kick off Zaps When New Users Are Added

Keeping your readers engaged is one of hardest parts of maintaining your own WordPress site. Luckily, Zapier's WordPress integration was just updated, so it's easier to keep in touch with your WordPress users. Now Zapier can automatically add your new WordPress users to your CRM or email marketing...read more
WordPress mention · December 11, 2017

How a Startup with a Strict Budget Automates their Nurture Emails

In the world of startups, everyone works a lot. The founder puts in 70+ hours a week, the head of marketing is the marketing team, and everyone handles sales. When you work in that environment, you have to be fast, efficient, and unflappable. It's a right of passage. Or...read more
WordPress mention · November 6, 2017

How the Palm Beach Tech Association Automates Social Media Marketing

Are you a nonprofit interested in automating your work? Zapier offers a 15% discount for nonprofits! Just send a copy of your 501(c)(3) or similar documentation to contact@zapier.com to get your discount! Starting a business can be a lonely journey. To connect self-starters with resources and...read more
WordPress mention · August 23, 2017

How to Back Up Everything From All Your Apps and Devices

You know you should back up your files. But it's a chore that's easy to ignore until you accidentally delete that Facebook album—right after deleting those same pictures from your phone. Accidents happen. Even your most-trusted gadgets and apps could go haywire and lose your data. Or...read more
WordPress mention · June 7, 2017

The 16 Best Free CRM Apps

Ever gotten on a call with someone, only to mispronounce their name or forget which company they work for? Perhaps you needed to email the finance team at a supplier, but can't remember who to contact? That's why you need a CRM or customer relationship manager. Like a...read more
WordPress mention · April 17, 2017

Build a Writing and Editing Workflow with Google Docs and WordPress

Publishing online is so easy, you can jot your thoughts down and share them with the world in minutes. Constantly publishing a well-written and widely-read blog, however, takes far more work—much of the same work that goes into producing in-depth newspaper and magazine articles. It's tempting to just...read more
Matthew Guay
Written by Matthew GuayLast updated June 6, 2018

It started in June 2001 as a simple, open-source blogging engine known as b2/cafelog. A spark of an idea, b2/cafelog gave you the code to build your own blog, or build something better since its code was open-source. You could take the code and turn it into anything you wanted—and that's exactly what Matt Mullenweg did in 2003. He forked it—or made a copy with his own tweaks—and turned it into what we today know as WordPress.

WordPress is everywhere. It's the content management system that powers over 30%, including everything from personal blogs on WordPress.com to parts of the core infrastructure at the New York Times, Reuters, and other large organizations.

Staying true to its origins, WordPress is still 100% free to use. You can download the open-source version and run it on your own server, or tweak it to do anything you'd like. Or, you can use the hosted version at WordPress.com to start a free blog in a couple clicks or pay for advanced features. Either way, you'll get the same great power to make a blog or site that looks like you want.

WordPress is built around blogging. It's great for running any type of websites—but when you first open the WordPress admin page where you add content to your site, you'll notice its blogging roots. In WordPress.com, you'll get a simple screen to write posts without distractions; in self-hosted WordPress or in WordPress.com's traditional editor, you'll get a place to write posts in rich text or HTML with options to add tags, categories, images, and more. It's designed to be an easy way to publish content frequently.

You can use those same features to publish stand-alone pages and keep your website's landing page up-to-date. With plugins, you can take WordPress even further, using its editor as a way to build forms, eCommerce stores, and more. That's its second best benefit. Besides making it easy to publish content, it's so customizable, you can use WordPress to build almost anything you want. Odds are, you visit sites each day that you'd never guess were powered by WordPress, and yet they are, powering stores and directories and news sites and more.

One of the more important things about your site is how it looks, and WordPress makes it easy to customize that as well. You can install free and paid themes that'll make your site look just like you want, and can tweak those themes to make your copy of the theme unique. Or, you can hand-code your theme to give you the most freedom over your site. Themes can even include extra features, as how the O2 theme turns WordPress into a social network-like blog for internal communications.

With a tool as versatile as WordPress, it's impossible to point to one feature and say this is the reason to use it. Instead, the reason to use it is its versatility. You can use WordPress to make anything you want—even an entirely new blogging system if you want to fork WordPress all over again—or can stick with the basics for an easy way to publish content online.

Originally published April 7, 2015; updated June 6, 2018 with new WordPress.com pricing, screenshots, and features

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WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. Nearly 20% of the top 10 million websites and over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call "home".

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