When you think about blogging, WordPress easily comes to mind, released on May 27, 2003, by its founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, it has grown to be a household name among bloggers. It is a publishing platform designed to run on multiple Operating Systems such as Android and Windows. While this may be a familiar tool for bloggers a newbie may not quite understand the dynamics behind it, so how exactly does WordPress work?
How does WordPress work?
WordPress is a Content Management System developed in PHP. PHP is a scripting language primarily used for building web based software.
Web based software runs on a web server. You access it through your web browser like Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer.
WordPress also uses a database system known as MySQL. All information regarding your blog – like your login details, posts, comments, options, all are saved in the database.
When you open a WordPress website in your browser, a request is sent to the webserver. The webserver runs the PHP script from the WordPress software. The PHP script then composes the webpage, collecting information from the database such as the post content, comments etc. The composed page is sent back to your browser and the browser displays it.
When you click on a link or a button on the page, the same process happens again and you get to see the next page.
One advantage of WordPress is that you can extend the features using WordPress plugins and themes. WordPress plugins also are PHP scripts created by the community of developers to add extra features to the core WordPress system. When you ‘install’ a plugin, the core system will make calls to the plugin that intern, allows the plugin to modify the default behaviour.
What is blogging?
Before going into how WordPress works, let us understand what blogging is. It is essentially the process of designing and creating a website to give information on a select number of topics, or in some cases just one specific area say technology or sports, so in essence a blogger is the person who maintains the said blog and updates it with new information. The blogger could use his blog to chronicle activities in his daily life which would make the blog more like a diary, blogs could also offer links to other sites and are therefore an invaluable way for organizations, institutions or companies to keep people posted.
Setting up your WordPress
WordPress makes all of the above possible. It is an open source content management system: it is a combined effort from thousands of developers all across the world who continuously contribute to its development. WordPress may be installed in two ways, on a web server as a network host itself on a service like WordPress.com or running the actual software package on your computer. Both cases however translate to being able to publish content online for a very large global audience. Therefore to get started on WordPress and begin publishing you have to go through a number of pretty easy steps. Once installation is complete you need to set up your profile, administrator details – your username, password; this is basically making the account yours to begin with and will also include your contact information. To make your content reach as big an audience as possible you should integrate social media sites like Facebook, Twitter into your WordPress.
Next comes the customization process, you want a blog or website that you would like to look at so it should express who you are while being attractive to people who visit your site. WordPress has a theme engine with thousands of options to choose from so you’re spoilt for choice. Once this is done however you can adjust a few bits you feel you’re not comfortable with. This may require some level of know how but there is sufficient information on how to really build your own theme. In addition to these are plugins, they are handy tools that serve to extend the working and functionalities of your particular website and these are therefore custom made to suit the nature of a website. For instance client portals display specific information only to those who are logged in. With plugins, you can turn your website from a simple blog to a powerful ecommerce site.
Another really cool feature about blogs, case in point being WordPress is the option of making your website interactive so those who have visited it can leave comments, suggestions. This goes a long way in improving your site to be in line with your client’s needs. This interactive feature is a great way to keep in touch with those visiting your site.
As a free software, WordPress has continued to be a major player in the blogging world which is slowly becoming one of the fastest and super-efficient ways of ensuring online content is viewed by a great number of people and in a short time. Add this to the growing social media platform, blogging is now easier than ever. The setup as explained is a relatively simple process to complete and you don’t even need to be near a computer, with the mobile app variations you can blog on the go from anywhere you are. With the simplicity, blogging is no longer restricted to those with knowledge in informatics or other related fields, anyone with access to the internet and with a passion to share info is ready to blog.
So if you are interested in blogging as a hobby or you hope to turn it into something profitable WordPress is a great place to start.