What Is WordPress?
WordPress is a system of Web pages and a database, which you can use to create a website, blog, or app.
WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to help people with their everyday typing and writing. It has been enhanced since then to be the largest self-hosted blogging and site tool in the world. It is used for millions of sites.
WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system. You can make a full Web site and even a Web app by using the thousands of plugins, widgets, and themes that are available (some of which are not free).
If you like to make more work for yourself, you can install Wordpress yourself on a local computer or on a Web server machine. But I don't suggest your own installation unless you have a lot of time and some experience with servers.
There are several other alternatives to making your own Web server installation of Wordpress:
- Make a website at a hosting service which provides Wordpress as part of their hosting features.
- Make a website at WordPress.com, which is free for basic sites. They also have several paid plans which allow a custom URL, more layout customization, and an ad-free site.
Getting Started with WordPress.com
- Click on the "Get Started" button on the main page at WordPress.com.
- You can make your class site as a pretend site of any kind. Or you can get started on what could eventually be a real site later. In any case, decide what kind of site you want, and what its topic/purpose will be.
- Fill in the field for "What would you like to name your site?". For my example site, I will type in "Aardvark Care and Feeding".
- Fill in the field for "What will your site be about?". For my example site, I will type in "Raising and caring for aardvarks".
- Check/select one or more checkboxes in the "What's the primary goal you have for your site?". For my example site, I will check "Offer education, training, or mentoring".
- For the question "How comfortable are you with creating a website?" I will click on "3" because I am not a Wordpress expert but I do understand how to make websites.
- I will now click on "Continue".
- In the section "Let's give your site an address" I will type in "aardvarks".
- If you want a normal-looking address for you site, select one of the paid alternatives. I am going to click "Select" for the Free site even though the address is rather long.
- On the "Pick a plan that's right for you" page, I will click "Start with free ->", which is at the bottom of the page.
- If you have not previously created a site at WordPress.com, it will now ask you for your e-mail address, a username, and a password. If you have previously made a site at WordPress.com, it will ask you to log in. Note: You may make multiple sites with the same username, meaning with the same account, at WordPress.com.
- For the email address, I will put in "email@example.com".
- I will accept the default username.
- I will create a password.
- When the site is set up by the wordpress.com system, a confirmation email will be sent to my email address. I will open that email and confirm my email address.
- When my email address is confirmed, I will go back to the wordpress.com page and click "Continue".
- The wordpress administrator page will display.
- You can put the URL https://aardvarks452118963.wordpress.com in your browser's address bar and see my new site!