WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that was first released on May 27, 2003. It was created by Matt Mullenweg, an American developer, and Mike Little, an English developer, as a fork of b2/cafelog. Since then, it has evolved to become one of the most popular CMS platforms in the world, used by over 42.8% of the top 10 million websites as of October 2021. WordPress is written in hypertext preprocessor (PHP) language and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database with supported HTTPS.
WordPress offers a powerful set of features that make it an ideal choice for websites of all kinds. Originally created as a blog-publishing system, it has evolved to support other web content types, including mailing lists, internet forums, media galleries, membership sites, learning management systems (LMS), and online stores.
WordPress has a web template system using a template processor. Its architecture is a front controller, routing all requests for non-static URIs to a single PHP file that parses the URI and identifies the target page. This allows support for more human-readable permalinks.
One of the strengths of WordPress is its plugin architecture and a template system, referred to as “Themes.” Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website without altering the core code or site content. WordPress users may install and switch among many different themes. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present. Themes may be directly installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool in the dashboard, or theme folders may be copied directly into the themes directory. WordPress themes are generally classified into two categories: free and premium.
WordPress’ plugin architecture allows users to extend or depreciate the features and functionality of a website or blog. As of December 2021, WordPress.org has 59,756 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. Plugins also represent a development strategy that can transform WordPress into all sorts of software systems and applications, limited only by the imagination and creativity of programmers.
WordPress also features integrated link management, a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure, the ability to assign multiple categories to posts, and support for tagging of posts. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in posts (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article.
Web developers who wish to develop plugins need to learn WordPress’ hook system, which consists of over 2,000 hooks (as of Version 5.7 in 2021) divided into two categories: action hooks and filter hooks.
The WordPress Accessibility Team has worked to improve the accessibility for core WordPress as well as support a clear identification of accessible themes. The WordPress Accessibility Team provides continuing educational support about web accessibility and inclusive design. The WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards state that “All new or updated code released in WordPress must conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at level AA.”
WordPress can be installed on a web server, either as part of an Internet hosting service like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org to serve as a network host in its own right. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.
In conclusion, WordPress is a powerful and versatile open-source content management system that has evolved over the years to become one of the most popular platforms in the world. It offers a wide range of features and functionality that make it an ideal choice for websites of all kinds. Its plugin architecture and theme system allow users to customize.
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