Advice from a Pro: WordPress Basics

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of WordPress For Dummies, 8th Edition by eWebscapes founder and WordPress pioneer, Lisa Sabin-Wilson. This is the second in a series of excerpts from this book, which we like to call “Advice from a Pro.” In this installment, the reader will learn more about the technology behind WordPress. WordPress is an open-source software that currently powers 30% of the internet and is the software of choice used by eWebscapes to build dynamic small business websites

A lot happens behind the scenes to make your WordPress blog or website function. The beauty of it is that you don’t have to worry about what’s happening on the back end to manage and maintain a WordPress site — unless you really want to. In this chapter, I delve a little bit into the technology behind the WordPress platform, including a brief look at PHP and MySQL, two software components required to run WordPress.

This chapter also covers some of the various technologies that help you on your way to running a successful website, such as comments and RSS feeds, as well as information about combatting spam.

Publishing content is an evolutionary process, and blogs have evolved beyond personal diaries and journals. Undoubtedly, a blog is a fabulous tool for publishing your personal diary of thoughts and ideas, but blogs also serve as excellent tools for business, editorial journalism, news, and entertainment. Sometimes, you find a stand-alone blog that is the sum total of the website; at other times, you find a full website that contains a blog but has other offerings as well (products for sale, memberships, newsletters, forums, and so on). Here are some ways that people use blogs and websites powered by WordPress:

  • Personal

  • Business

  • Media/journalism

  • Citizen journalism

  • Professional

Key takeaways:

  • While extensive and specialized technology is used to support the power of WordPress, you don’t need to be able to understand or write code to benefit from the platform.

  • WordPress gives you all you need to manage comments, RSS fees, and eliminate spam.

  • Blogs come in various shapes and sizes, but all serve as marketing channels.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that WordPress provides you with everything you need to create your own business website and publish your own content without having to know programming languages.


Purchase WordPress for Dummies, 8th Edition at a bookstore near you or online at Amazon.

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