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What is WordPress?

WordPress is the world’s best content management system (CMS). The New York Times and Mashable¬†use it. So do lots of other Fortune 500 companies. So do websites about cats.

A content management system is the technology platform on top of which you build your website. Behind the scenes, it makes it easy for you to create content (words, images, menus, video etc.), edit content, and manage it under one roof.

Content is really the most important part of your website, and it’s what makes the internet so great. The beauty of WordPress lies in its approach to content: it makes creating, editing, and managing it super easy.

It doesn’t matter if you want a site for your e-commerce business, or your real estate listings, or your small business, or your design portfolio, or blog, wiki, social network, or awesome private Twitter clone that’s actually better than Twitter.

What matters most is that you can create words and art and business and life online easily and quickly.

Oh yeah, also WordPress is free. No licenses. No hidden fees. No kidding!

The second greatest thing about WordPress is its extensibility. That means Matt Mullenweg and the team at WordPress considered the future growth of the platform and made sure that it was powerful and flexible enough to change with the times. They also made sure that everyone in the WordPress community could contribute to code and design ideas.

Two features that demonstrate this extensibility are Plugins and Widgets.

Plugins are like apps – they are little programs that people and companies write to make your website better. You can install them with the click of a button.

Examples of plugins include contact forms, PayPal integration, Google Analytics integration, search engine optimization (Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin is, arguably, the single greatest all-purpose SEO tool on the web in my humble opinion), spam filters, SalesForce.com integration, database backups, popup ads, social media sharing tools, Constant Contact form integration, Campaign Monitor integration…

There are over 19,000 plugins to choose from.

Widgets are another example of extensibility. Widgets are little interactive web parts that you can drag and drop into your website, that further enhance its functionality. Whereas plugins generally work in the backend of your site, widgets can be seen plainly on your homepage in a sidebar, or header, or footer, or wherever you want them. They can be an events calendar, or a tag cloud, or a list of your blog categories, or an ad banner, or a contact form. You name it!

As you can see, extensibility means your website will never become dated. You can always upgrade and update it and improve it as new technologies become available.

Whereas most proprietary systems out there are costly and entrenching, WordPress is free and flexible.

That’s why we love it, and why it’s the most popular content management system on the planet! (Check out the stats in this awesome WordPress infographic.)

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