What is WordPress?

by Daniel Pham

What is WordPress? This article will give you a first look at WordPress.

Want to start your own blog?

This is probably a question that many people are interested in when they want to start writing and sharing something online.

Today there are many social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter (X), Instagram,… that allow you to share your articles, videos, and images. But there is one point: you do not own these social networking platforms and your account can be locked at any time.

So now, think about owning your own blog. That might sound a bit complicated at first, but it’s not as difficult as you might think.

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You can do everything you want on your blog from writing articles, posting videos, selling products,… without fear that someone will block your account.

So how do you get started? Continue watching me talk about WordPress.

What is WordPress?

I would like to quote verbatim from the WordPress homepage.

WordPress started in 2003 when Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg created a fork of b2/cafelog. The need for an elegant, well-architected personal publishing system was clear even then. Today, WordPress is built on PHP and MySQL, and licensed under the GPLv2. It is also the platform of choice for over 43% of all sites across the web.

In summary, WordPress is an open source software written in PHP and MySQL. It allows you to create a personal website in just a few simple steps without needing complex programming skills – something most people are not good at, programming.

Of course, you will need a few things to be able to use this WordPress software, including learning how to use it. Imagine it is like learning how to use MS Word or Facebook.

It is a tool available to you, but you also need to learn how to use it.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com

If you type WordPress into Google, you will probably notice that there are two websites: WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

So what are these 2 websites like? Which one is the official WordPress?

Actually, both of those websites are the same company. I will explain to you.


What is WordPress?

WordPress.org is the official website that provides the WordPress source code so you can download it, install it on your server system and use it with full control.

WordPress.org is also a place that provides documentation on how to use it, as well as how to develop themes and plugins for this source code.

Please note this point, with WordPress.org you will need to install everything, including: creating a server, installing hosting, installing WordPress, setting up themes, setting up plugins, DNS pointing,…

Maybe right now, you don’t understand what the above installation steps are, you will learn it later. But you can imagine that WordPress.org is like a Lego set, they provide it to you for free but to get the shape you want, you have to put it together yourself.


What is WordPress?

What is WordPress.com? It is a web service that the company that owns WordPress provides.

If you have ever used Blogspot, this is probably not difficult for you to imagine.

WordPress.com provides website creation services with just a few clicks. You will not have to create a server, install hosting, install WordPress,…

You just need to register an account on WordPress.com, choose the package you want to use (For example, personal package $4/month) and then choose the website template you want (WordPress.com provides a library with many many website templates available) and click create. And that’s it, your website is ready to use.

So, you can imagine how WordPress.com is different from WordPress.org. That is, WordPress.com has it all installed and you just need to use their service. While WordPress.org, you have to do everything yourself, including installing the source code.

Summarizing the basic differences as follows:

Completely freeMonthly usage fee
Have to install it all yourselfJust select the website template you want and click Create
Have 100% control over the websiteStill depends on the company’s services

The common point between these two websites is that they are both WordPress and so you can use them the same way.

Should I choose WordPress.org or WordPress.com?

To answer this question, there will be a few factors that will determine which one you should choose. I will present with the table below.

Choose WordPress.orgChoose WordPress.com
You agree to spend more time working with WordPressIf you want to have a website in just 5-10 minutes
Your needs are relatively complex, for example you need a website that both sells and shares a blog or an online course website…Your needs are simple, for example you just want to write something
You agree to pay for the server and domain nameYou agree to pay monthly fees
You want to customize themes and special features for your website, and you even want to write these functions yourselfYou do not need to customize the theme or complex functions for the website
You care a lot about website SEO on search engines like Google and BingYou don’t care much about website SEO
You intend to make money on the website by signing up for Adsense and other formsYou do not intend to register for advertising or any other form of monetization on the website
You want 100% control over your website, you can move it, copy it, delete it, do all you want.You accept to rely on the services of WordPress.com company

Personally, I always use WordPress.org because I have relatively complex needs.

You might think that if you don’t have programming skills, how can you use WordPress.org? Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you think, you only need to spend a few days or 1-2 weeks to use it easily. And I’m writing a series of articles to guide you on how to do that.


This article only introduces WordPress and can be quite vague for newcomers. But I hope it can open a new door for those of you who want to start your own blog. Like me, I also created the blog devopslite.com from WordPress.

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