Do you want to start a blog and don’t know where to start?
Are you excited to start your own personal website but have a fear of learning all the ins and outs?
It is a normal thing to go through these things when you are taking a risk to get started on something new, and this article will help you get rid of this inner voice telling you that it is too hard or it is too complicated. Let us start by clearing out a few terms that you might need to know, starting with CMS.
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System or CMS for short is a software that allows you to have all your content in one place. From images to blog articles and all the authors that will be involved in your website. It is a place where you can publish, edit, delete and manage your digital content.
What to expect out of a typical CMS in 2024
Modern standard CMS should include all the features that will help you in managing your content in a well-organized manner. Some of those features might include:
- The ability to add, edit or delete content
- Categorizing your content into different ideas
- Managing multiple users, their roles, and capabilities
- A robust security system
- Well-optimized backend to make sure your website remains optimized for speed
- Analytics and Reporting
These are just a few things to talk about when it comes to all the features of a CMS, and some systems can provide more or less features than others based on your requirements, for example, if you have an eCommerce store, you might expect options like adding products, importing products, managing your orders and inventory.
On the other hand, if you need a simple blog, a more blog post-oriented CMS is what you might be looking for.
What are some examples of a good CMS?
There are many content management systems out there that are free to use and are feature-rich, but some of them stand out the most and dominate the web. The best systems would be:
This list is in no particular order as to which one is better than the other as each one serves its own purpose, but we will be discussing WordPress in depth throughout this article.
What is WordPress?
As mentioned earlier, a CMS is a tool used to manage content, and in a nutshell, WordPress does just that, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg as multiple things are involved when you want to get started with WordPress.
Mostly, it is used for blogging and is used by more than 40% of the websites that are available on the web right now at the date of writing this article, and those websites include things like:
WordPress Blog – Where people manage their blog posts and share any kind of article content with the internet for any purpose, the sky is the limit.
eCommerce stores – Where people start their online shop and sell all their products online, from managing inventory to making the final sale.
Portfolio websites – Where people can showcase their portfolio regardless of what business they come from, let it be developers, real estate agents, or photographers.
Forums and Membership – Where people can build a community of people interested in the same topic that the website is based on, and even lock some content behind a paywall for subscribers.
Even websites – Where people can run events and manage them in cloud-based calendars for Weddings, Concerts, Community events, and much more.
Anything can be built with WordPress really, it’s just a matter of selecting the right theme which will be discussed in a later part of this article.
Why WordPress and is it suitable for your project?
As mentioned earlier, WordPress is used by more than 40% of the web, which means that it is pretty reliable and flexible to tailor to all the needs of those websites. It is also an open-source software with a GPLv2 license, so anyone can use or modify it to their own needs.
Apart from all that, some very big brands out there rely on WordPress for their blogging needs, and some of those brands include PlayStation Blog, Sony, Time Magazine, Khalij Times, CNN Press Room, and much more.
Is WordPress for you though?
Do you want to build a website but you have no coding experience?
Are you a developer and want to get started immediately but don’t want to worry about building a custom CMS and all the things that come with it?
Do you have a small period of time in a day to maintain your website?
Do you want to skip the hassle of managing your own website and its content and delegate it to someone else?
If you answered yes to any of those questions then you are probably the right candidate to go ahead and get started with WordPress.
Another nice thing about going with WordPress is that it already has a great community backing it up, so you can ask questions online and not worry about people ghosting your threads. Some helpful links on where you can find help for WordPress would be:
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
Are those two different content management systems? Well, no. They both use WordPress as the CMS but they are a bit different when it comes to the business model.
WordPress.org is self-hosted, which means you have to download WordPress, add it to your own hosting, hook it up to your own domain, and get started. This means you have to take care of everything and take things into your own hands. It is also a non-profit organization founded by Automattic.
WordPress.com on the other hand is a profitable business where you don’t have to worry about neither hosting nor a domain since it is a hosted version of WordPress.org. Simply create an account and start your blog immediately. There is a catch thorough, where your domain will look something like this if you go with the free plan mywebsite.wordpress.com. If you can work with that, you are really done and can start blogging right away, and if not then you have the option to pay a small price and add your own domain name.
What’s all this about WordPress themes?
Let’s imagine together, that WordPress is a human body. The behind-the-scenes code that makes the entire thing work is the skeleton, the WordPress back-end interface is the muscles, and whatever theme you activate is how your human body looks like. Bonus, we will also be going over something called plugins which in our human body example serve as different features that your body can do, activate one plugin, you can fly, deactivate another one, you lose your ability to shoot laser.
Let’s talk technical terms and avoid all the metaphors. WordPress themes are basically a combination of files, graphics, and code that will make your website look nice. These themes can be either free, or paid, and based on that you will either get a premium theme or a basic theme that simply makes your blog look nice without all those nice features.
When you install WordPress you will have access to the default theme which is just good enough to get you going, however as you start to learn the capabilities of themes, you will want to get a more advanced one.
What is a WordPress plugin?
The power of this CMS is that it is very flexible, and can be modified the way you like with the use of plugins.
Plugins are basically similar to how themes are done, they can be free or paid, and they are also a combination of files, graphics, and code but they serve a different purpose, as they focus on providing you with functionality rather than design. If you need to add a contact form, there is a plugin for that. If you need to use a drag and drop builder, Elementor is here to save the day. If you need to add a wishlist, just do it with Yith Wishlist.
So how will you use WordPress?
I am really excited to see how you will take all this and use it to build your beautiful WordPress website. If you ever need any help, just contact me and I will be more than happy to consult you with all your digital needs.