What is WordPress?

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

In Layman’s Terms

You keep hearing people talk about WordPress. When they mention it, it’s like everyone knows (or should know) what it is already. Does that sound like you? If you’re not quite sure yet, but want to be “in the know”, read on. Hopefully, you’ll have a decent understanding once you’ve digested our thoughts and/or followed one or more of the links we’ve provided. Please contact us if we can be of service.

Short-ish Answer

WordPress, used by 34.5% of the websites on the web, is a relatively easy way for a person or company or organization to build and maintain a blog or website in a cost-effective manner. The website can grow from a small, simple, few number of posts and pages to a much more complex site with hundreds of posts and pages, containing a variety of content types (articles, pages, photos/galleries, videos, charts and graphs, menus, attachments, buttons, icons, calls to action, etc).

To Explain Further …

A person could create an account with a company like GoDaddy or Domain.com or Namecheap (and “many” others), then select and buy the domain name they want to use for their website (spotonwebsites.com, for example, is the domain name we use for this site). Those domain companies often have hosting packages that include the installation and use of the WordPress system on their servers, and they will sometimes set up WordPress for you as part of their services (sometimes known as “1-click” setup).

WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
What’s the Difference?
(see below)

Depending on the domain/hosting company, you could then directly log in to your WordPress site and begin adding a blog post and web page(s) using their core theme. You would enter your content in an environment that looks somewhat similar to the way you would create a Word document page.

Once you click the “publish” button, your content would show up on your website as a blog article or web page. It would probably look very simple, using the basic, core theme provided with WordPress.

That all sounds pretty simplistic, and it is, in many respects … until you get in the weeds and want to do more. However, we have found that one’s success using WordPress depends on a few factors:


  • your familiarity with other software products like Word, Outlook and PowerPoint, for example, and how they work
  • your degree of “fear” or “hesitating” about trying things out on the computer and experimenting with different options
  • how much you are prone to research for answers about how to do things you’d like to do; how open you are to learning by using search engines to find those answers: reading articles or watching videos which show step-by-step instructions; and how you can relate what you find to what you are trying to accomplish
  • your technical proclivity (is turning the computer on and checking email about as far as you ever go?)

Time and Patience

A consideration that often comes up is the timeliness of a website project versus the other duties and tasks that one has responsibility for. There is a learning curve in utilizing WordPress for anything more than a few simple posts and pages. The same goes for using website builders like Wix or GoDaddy’s Website Builder or SquareSpace on ConstantContact Website Builder. Going beyond the included basics/core will most likely require spending some time and effort, and maybe a little money, to move up to a more sophisticated site.

If you have the time and patience, WordPress can definitely be a great resource when creating your personal or business website. 

Interested in More?

WordPress is way bigger than what has been noted above. Check out the links below to get more details, if interested.

One thing to note: WordPress has been, and is, developed by many, many individuals from all over the world (Open Source). There is “core WordPress” which is kind of like a basic or standard car model. Then, there are various add-on options that interested parties develop. Some are free, while many can be bought for reasonable prices.

The two main add-on types are Themes and Plugins, which really increase the possibilities for what can be done with a site. They affect the look and feel and functionality, and more.

As you get more into using WordPress, the world of options open up tremendously, thanks to the ability of programmers of many types to develop resources to do virtually anything on a website.

WordPress Core

WordPress.org versus WordPress.com

  • WordPress.org – self-hosted; uses WordPress software; use your domain name; use hosting company; you are responsible for all aspects of using WordPress
  • WordPress.com – your website is hosted on the WordPress.com servers; can still use your own domain name with paid plans or use a sub-domain with free plans; you don’t have total control over all aspects of WordPress

WordPress Themes

  • a WordPress theme controls the look and feel of a website: the colors, layout, and options that control how to make changes on the site; there are hundreds or thousands of themes available by a multitude of WordPress developers; there are free and very costly themes (https://www.wpbeginner.com/glossary/theme/)

WordPress Plugins

  • there are around 50,000 free and paid plugins available to increase the functionality of a WordPress website; here is an article that may help clarify plugins if you’re still a little fuzzy on what they are and how they are used (https://winningwp.com/what-are-wordpress-plugins/)

Contact Information

SpotOn WebSites
PO Box 805
Madison, TN 37116