WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress was used by more than 23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015.
It was first released on May 27, 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little.
WordPress is currently the fastest growing CMS software. Initially, WordPress was largely associated with blogs as its main functionality was to allow easy blog experience. Yet, over time, its developers expanded its functionality to allow the creation of more complicated websites and grew it into a content management system rather than a blogging tool. WordPress is considered the easiest to use CMS thanks to a very friendly interface. It also has an amazing number of plugins which allow extension of its functionality in various possible ways.
Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website and they can be installed without altering the content or health of the site. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present and every theme should be designed using WordPress standards with structured PHP, valid HTML and CSS.
Themes may be directly installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool in the dashboard or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP. The PHP, HTML and CSS code found in themes can be added to or edited for providing advanced features.
WordPress’s plugin architecture allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. WordPress has over 39,078 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization, 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.
WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign 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. WordPress blog posts can be edited in HTML, using the visual editor, or using one of a number of plugins that allow for a variety of customized editing features.