WordPress is a powerful blog (short for web log) publishing system and
content management system that is simple to set up and use. You can set
up and manage ‘your entire blog from any web browser. You don’t need to
be a web programmer or have a degree in information technology to start
using it All you need to know is how to log in, type your content, and
click a button so the world can read your masterpiece.
So why should you use WordPress for your blog or—as many people have
done—as the framework for your entire website? The answer is simple: It
is easy to use, expandable. and affordable, and it offers a great community
of support. Consider the following personal example.
Recently, our local chapter of a national organization recognized it was
time to update its website. The content was fairly static. We would update
it once or twice a month to announce the next meeting. Furthermore, our
webmaster was the only one who could make changes to the content and
he was available for limited hours each week. Taking a cue from another
chapter in our region, we looked at wordPress. It allows for more dynamic content allowing any of the chapter board members to contribute and
manage the content. Dynamic content leads to frequent readers, and hav
ing frequent readers (it is hoped) leads to more chapter members
WordPress worked for our neighbor, and it worked for us. Within a couple
of months of our conversion to WordPress. our website was a thriving
community with comments and conversations. As we had hoped, memberships also rose. The website was no longer an afterthought: it was at the
core of how we communicated with our members.
Options for Using WordPress
WordPress comes in three basic modes: WordPress.com, WordPress.org,
and WordPress MU (multiuser). Each one is described in this section so
that you can decide which is right for you.
WordPress.com is what’s known as a “hosted” solution, meaning a lot of
the heavy lifting of installing and configuring the software has been taken
care of for you. The benefits of this solution are that it is free and it
doesn’t take long to start using. You don’t need to worry about paying for
hosting, running a web server, or downloading software updates. You just
create an account, name your blog, and start creating content. The draw
back isthat WordPress .com is not always as flexible as some people like.
For example. you cannot install themes and plug-ins, run ads, or edit the
database. To start using WordPress.com, visit its site at
NOTE: Although wordPress.com is a free service, it is financially
supported by optional paid upgrades. VIP services, and Google
The second way to use WordPress is to download and install the software
yourself from wordPress.org. This task requires a little more technical
savvy (and money). The advantage is that you have more control over the
appearance and functionality of the way your site is run The additional
flexibility, though, creates additional complexity, Don’t worry’; installing
your own WordPress is not all that daunting,
With this option, you need to pay
for web hosting, so you can shop around for the service that best fits your
needs. You need to ensure your hosting provider has PHP’ version 4.3 or
greater (the progr2mming language WordPress is built on) and MySQL
version 4.1.2 or greater (the database behind WordPress).
The final way to run WordPress is to use WordPress MU (multiuser). It is
the same software that runs WordPress,com, but it’s meant for large organizations such as schools, networks, or companies that want to run dozens
of blogs under one central administration. If you want more information on
WordPress MU, you can find it at http//.mu.wordpress.org.