What is WordPress?
WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope by focusing on web standards and user experience we can create a tool different from anything else out there.
WordPress is publishing software with a focus on ease of use, speed and a great user experience. WordPress is blessed with an active community, which is the heart of open source software.
WordPress is a powerful personal publishing platform, and it comes with a great set of features designed to make your experience as a publisher on the Internet as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible. We are proud to offer you a freely distributed, standards-compliant, fast, light and free personal publishing platform, with sensible default settings and features, and an extremely customizable core.
License and Platform
License : WordPress is licensed under the GPL.
Platform : PHP (5.2.4 or newer) and MySQL (5.0.2 or newer) are required.
Managing and Administering
WordPress is designed to be installed on your own web server, or shared hosting account, which gives you complete control over the weblog. Unlike third-party hosted services, you can be sure you have the ability to access and modify everything related to your weblog, in case you need to. This also means that you can install WordPress on your desktop or home computer, or even on an Intranet.
You can choose to have the tree of wordpress related files, which form the back-end of your publicly displayed weblog, be in the same directory as the weblog or in a different directory. For example, if you want your weblog at http://example.com (public_html - the public "root" of your webserver or hosting account) and you want to store the wordpress related files and directory tree in http://example.com/wordpress (public_html/wordpress), you can!
WordPress allows you to define your time as an offset from Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), so that all the time-related elements stored in the database are stored as GMT values, which is a universal standard. Among other things, this helps you display the correct time on your weblog, even if your host server is located in a different time zone.
WordPress uses user-levels to control user-access to different features, so you can restrict the ability of individual users to create or modify content in your weblog, by changing their user-level.
Each user on your weblog can define a profile, with details such as their email address, instant messaging aliases etc, if they want to. Users can also control the way in which their details are displayed on the weblog.
Easy installation and upgrade
WordPress'' famous 5 minute install can''t be beaten for simplicity and ease of use. Upgrading your weblog to the latest version of WordPress is easy, too, and it should take less time than the installation!
Dynamic page generation
No rebuilding of all your pages each time you update your weblog, or any aspect of it. All pages are generated using the database and the templates each time a page from your weblog is requested by a viewer. This means that updating your weblog, or its design is as fast as possible, and required server storage space usage is minimal.
Internationalization and Localization
You can now create a weblog that is localized to your choice, and delivered in a language of your choice. The gettext method is used to translate and localize WordPress to the fullest extent.
Publicizing Your Work
The RSS 1.0 (aka RDF), RSS 2.0 and ATOM specifications are fully supported by WordPress, and what''s more, just about any page on your weblog has an associated feed that your readers can subscribe to - there''s a feed for the latest posts, for categories, comments, well, like we said earlier, for anything you want. The more options your readers have to keep track of different sections of your weblog, the easier it is for you to spread the word around the world. WordPress also fully supports RSS 2.0 with enclosures, so adding mp3 files (such as podcasts) to your RSS feeds is a snap.
The URLs for all the pages in your weblog can be made to conform to a standard, cruft-free system, and all the links are structured, sensible, and understandable to human and machines, and that includes search engines. Clean URLs are essential for search engine optimization and an improved user experience.
In an increasingly connected world, WordPress comes ready for PingBack and TrackBack, two very useful ways of connecting to other weblogs, and to enable them to do the same.
Customizing the Design
Template Driven Design
WordPress uses templates to generate the pages dynamically. You can control the presentation of content by editing the templates using the Template Editor tool and the Template Tags
Template and File Editor
Every installation of WordPress comes with a file editor you can use to edit your templates and other WordPress related files, right in your browser without having to worry about downloading and uploading the files in order to edit them.
Template tags make it easier to design the content and information displayed on your weblog. You don''t need to be a PHP whiz to design your weblog.
You can skin your weblog using readily available themes, or styles. You can also create and share your own themes.
Plugins extend the core functionality of your weblog. A large number of user-developed plugins are already available and can be used to do virtually anything you want to, with your blog.
So you want to share something with some people, but not everyone? Easy, protect the article in question with a password.
If you are using clean PermaLinks on your website, you can define the link to an individual post by using a post-slug.
Post to the future
You can write a post today and have it appear on the weblog at a future date, automatically.
Multi paged posts
If your post is too long, cut it up into pages, so your readers don''t have to scroll to the end of the world.
You can upload pictures or files, and link to them or display them in your articles. You have the option of creating thumbnails of pictures when you upload them.
Organize your posts into categories, and sub-categories, and sub-sub categories...
WordPress is smart enough to convert character smileys, like ":)" into the graphical image counterparts.
Save your unfinished articles, improve them later, publish when you''re done.
Before you press the "Publish" button, you can look at the preview for the article you just wrote to check if everything is the way you want it. In fact, you can do that at any time, since the preview is "live".
You don''t have to use a browser to update your weblog, you can use any desktop blogging tool that supports the MetaWeblog or Blogger API.
Blog by email
You can send your posts as an email and have them appear on the weblog.
Add the "Press It!" bookmarklet provided by WordPress to your browser and you have a shortcut to create an article with a link to the page currently displayed on your browser!
If you don''t like a bookmarklet, use our friendly browser sidebar, which can be used in a similar fashion.
Think of WordPress as something that makes your words smoother, and your pages more appealing. WordPress ships with text-formatting plugins that clean up your content and add typographic goodness to your articles.
Archives and Search
After you''ve been blogging for an extended period of time, what matters is how well your posts are organized, and for that, WordPress provides you with several ready made options to display the archives of your blog, containing all the old posts. You can choose from yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, category-wise or author-wise archives, and easily link to the archive pages from the main page (or any other page) of your blog, using a template tag to generate the links to these archive pages. Since WordPress generates pages dynamically, all these archive pages come at no additional space-cost to your server.
WordPress has a functional built-in search tool, which allows visitors to your blog to search for terms they are interested in, and the search-hilite plugin that ships with WordPress can highlight their search terms, so it is even easier for them to find what they were searching for. In addition to this, the plugin also does the same for someone who arrives at your blog by clicking at a search result in a search engine, such as google. All in all, searching is fun, with WordPress.
Discussion and Comments
WP is not the YMCA, but it does help build communities around weblogs, through the use of comments, trackbacks and pingbacks, helping you keep in touch with the audience and fostering friendship
Allowed html tags
Not everyone is evil, but keep those who are in check by limiting which html tags are kosher on your weblog. The default html tags allowed by WordPress are a sane choice to let people use html in their comments, without compromising the safety of your data or server.
For the control freak in all of us, WordPress provides an array of moderation options. You can moderate all comments before they appear on the blog, comments with specific words in them, comments posted from specific IP addresses and comments containing more than some specified number of links. All these moderation options keep spammers and vandals in check.
WordPress can keep you in the loop by sending you an email each time there is a new comment or a comment awaiting moderation.
Creating and Managing a Blogroll
The blogroll is where you link to the blogs you read frequently - a friendly way of acknowledging the good blogs out there. WordPress'' built-in Links Manager allows you to add and manage links effortlessly
The effortlessness begins with a neat bookmarklet that you can add to the bookmarks or favourites in your browser. Adding a link to an interesting blog or website is as simple as clicking on the bookmark or favourite when you visit the blog or website the next time!
The links in your blogroll can be categorized and neatly organized
If you already have a list o'' links as an OPML file, you can import it to your WordPress blog.
Did we say you can also export an OPML file with your list o'' links?
As with everything else, you get some neat template tags that enable you to display your blogroll the way you like - in alphabetical order, ranking order, the order in which they were updated - you get the idea