WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.
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The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.
WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 22.0% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.
It was first released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. As of February 19, 2014, version 3.8 had been downloaded more than 20 million times. The license under which WordPress software is released is the GPLv2 (or later) from the Free Software Foundation.
WordPress has a web template system using a template processor.
WordPress users may install and switch between Themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure of the site. Themes may be installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool or Theme folders may be uploaded via FTP. The PHP, HTML & CSS code found in Themes can be added or edited for providing advanced features. Thousands of WordPress Themes exist, some free, and some premium (paid for) templates. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom Themes if they have the knowledge and skill to do so.
One very popular feature of WordPress is its plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the core installation. WordPress has a database of over 30,000 Plugins, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhancers, to client portals used to display private information to logged in users, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars.
Multi-user and multi-blogging
Prior to WordPress 3.0, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog…
As of the release of WordPress 3.0, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.
Native applications exist for WebOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. These applications, designed by Automattic, allow a limited set of options, which include adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.
WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in articles (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 article.
b2/cafelog, more commonly known as simply b2 or cafelog, was the precursor to WordPress. b2/cafelog was estimated to have been employed on approximately 2,000 blogs as of May 2003. It was written in PHP for use with MySQL by Michel Valdrighi, who is now a contributing developer to WordPress. Although WordPress is the official successor, another project, b2evolution, is also in active development.
WordPress first appeared in 2003 as a joint effort between Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little to create a fork of b2.[ Christine Selleck Tremoulet, a friend of Mullenweg, suggested the name WordPress.
In 2004 the licensing terms for the competing Movable Type package were changed by Six Apart and many of its most influential users migrated to WordPress. By October 2009 the 2009 Open Source content management system Market Share Report reached the conclusion that WordPress enjoyed the greatest brand strength of any open-source content-management systems.