WordPress and Web Hosting: Everything You Need to Know

Wordpress & webhostingReleased in 2003 by founders Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg, WordPress is one of the most popular website content management platforms in the world today. What most people understand is that WordPress is used as a free way to blog and source articles or other digital static and interactive multimedia materials. In more technical terms, WordPress is an ever-changing Content Management System (CMS).

Web hosting companies now offer WordPress hosting account plans. These are plans intended for website owners who want to take advantage of the benefits and convenience that can be provided by WordPress. The Web servers included in these WordPress hosting plans usually run on Cpanel, since this comes bundled with Fantastico and other applications developed to quickly and easily install WordPress instances in any directory of the Web server. Some Web hosting companies offer these dedicated and shared Cpanel hosting plans with free Google Adwords credits among other incentives, so keep an eye for these freebies.

What exactly is the WordPress CMS?

WordPress uses a template processor to allow users to manage their account content via a Web Template System. This allows users to set up themes in the website by using the Dashboard Administration tool. With this, a user can change or switch the way his or her site looks and how it functions without actually changing the value of the information contained in the website.

Another advantage that WordPress has is the wide array of plugins made available as free or paid plugins by individual PHP programmers and groups of developers. As of this writing, there are more than 18000 WordPress plugins that vary in terms of integrated functionalities that can be implemented into a website running on WordPress. Famous plugin functions include widgeting and SEO or Search Engine Optimization features. SEO in simple terms is a process that can be implemented to improve the chances of a website to be found by users of widely used Internet search engines after keying in a relevant word, phrase or even a statement.

Another advantage of using WordPress is widgets. One basic function that a widget may offer a user is to drag and drop sidebar content in his or her WordPress website. Widgets also provide functions in the user’s site, including a slideshow of photographs, administration of surveys, video streaming support and the like.

Probably the most complex but most popular features of WordPress are its multi-blogging and multi-user functionalities. With the release of WordPress 3.0, multiple blogs can co-exist in a single installation with one administrator. In other words, owners of a website can host a community of bloggers, control user-generated content and moderate users on a dedicated dashboard.

With Android phones, iPhones and Blackberries becoming increasingly popular, it’s been made possible to users of advanced mobility gadgets to access and enjoy the functionality of WordPress. Other general features a user of WordPress could most likely need to take note of include:

  • Integrated Link Management System – This makes it convenient for users to re-direct other users of their website to a related site;
  • Keyword Tagging – This is a feature where administrators can enter associated keywords or keyphrases to a post, via the WordPress Admin Panel;
  • SEO-Friendly Permalinks – Simply put, a permalink is a URL that directs a user to a specific post under certain websites. Internet search engines use these URLs in determining the relevance of the content of posts related to a user’s search terms. This means having SEO-friendly permalinks optimizes the posts of a WordPress site for search engines;
  • Template Formatting and Styling of WordPress Themes – Graphics designers and Web developers can use a wide variety of digital photo editing and image development applications to customize the overall look and feel of a WordPress theme. PHP programmers can also integrate custom functionalities in the WordPress theme, either directly implemented into the WordPress theme, or via a custom WordPress plugin; and
  • Automatic Pingback and Trackback Feature – This notifies administrators when the content of their WordPress sites have been syndicated on other websites and if links pointing to their posts have been posted in other websites.

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