WordPress is the most popular free content management system, used by many people for everything from blogging and information sites to e-commerce. While it's not particularly well suited for e-commerce it is an excellent platform for a blog, news, or information site. Many web hosts have "one click install" features where you can install WordPress with a single click. This is a great option for someone who knows nothing about HTML code, but wants to get a site up fast.
WordPress comes with a number of pre-designed themes. Picking and installing one is as simple as choosing the theme and clicking "activate". Your website or company name will automatically be inserted into the header of your blog in the vast majority of themes, and any theme can be edited and customized assuming you're familiar with HTML and CSS code. While editing WordPress code is more challenging than the simple code you'd have with a static site, it's often easier to implement cool bells and whistles with free plugins.
Check out our free WordPress theme, to get you started with WordPress as quickly as possible.
Free WordPress plugins allow you to make your blog even better. There are plugins to filter spam comments so you don't have to, to speed up your site, to automatically redirect pages if you change the structure of your URLs, and much more. They're very easy to install, with just a single click. Here are a few plugins you should strongly consider using:
You can find thousands more great WordPress plugins here.
If you choose a host with a one click install for WordPress you really don't have to do anything other than click the install button and follow the directions in the welcome email. If your host doesn't have an automatic installation option WordPress can seem like a challenge for a beginner to install. It's not as hard as it looks though, and we'll guide you through it with our WordPress Installation Tutorial.
Regardless of how you install WordPress, you'll want to go in and change at least one setting once it's up and running:
It's better for users and for search engine optimization for your URLs to include your post names rather than something like ?=123. In order to change the way your URLs appear, when you enter the admin section of your blog click on "Settings", choose "Permalinks", select "Custom Structure", and type /%postname%/ in the box. Then click "save changes", and you've optimized your URLs.
Security is also a real issue with WordPress, as hackers create automated programs to search and exploit WP vulnerabilities. But there's a lot you can do to stop them, and if you follow the steps in our WordPress Security section, you'll probably never get hacked.
For more on maximizing your Wordpress site: