WordPress: Frequently asked questions

wordpress frequently asked questionsImage Credit: Diego PH

WordPress is one of the most popular website platforms ever. In fact, approximately 25% of the whole web is built on WordPress.

However, if you are new to the platform, there may be some things need to know in addition to questions you already have. I get it. Time to do your due diligence.

Here are my answers to common WordPress questions.

What exactly is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS).

Your website hosting and domain name are like the physical space and address of a house. A CMS is the framework that builds the shape and framework of your house, on top of which you can install a theme or skin to change its appearance.

Who created WordPress?

Matt Mullenweg and Mike Litte created and released the open source software on May 27 in 2003.

Why should I use WordPress?

There are a few key reasons that make WordPress the most popular CMS platform:

  • WordPress is free
  • It is relatively easy to use, once you have had a little practice
  • There are over 55,000 plugins which can upgrade your site
  • There are thousands of themes which can change the appearance of your site
  • The WordPress community is active, there are almost endless tutorials

What is WordPress good for?

WordPress is particularly good for site owners who want to:

  • Run a blog
  • Create a large web presence of content
  • Operate their websites by themselves
  • Improve their SEO
  • Have a flexible platform which integrates with many plugins and external solutions

Is web hosting needed for WordPress?

Yes and no.

If you want to have a free WordPress site, you can register at WordPress free for a yourname.wordpress.com website.

If you want to use your own domain name then you will need your own hosting.

You can pay WordPress directly for their own hosting at WordPress.com ($4-$25 a month) or purchase hosting from an external provider like SiteGround for about $60 a year.

What are some good WordPress Plugins?

As a minimum, I recommend you implement an anti-spam plugin such as Akismet and a security plugin like WordFence.

I have written a longer guide on my favourite WordPress plugins here.

How scalable is WordPress?

WordPress is used by some of the world’s biggest brands such as:

  • The New Yorker
  • BBC America
  • Sony
  • Yelp
  • UPS Global
  • Etsy blog

How do I speed up WordPress?

Speeding up WordPress depends on your setup. Usually speed issues are caused by too many plugins, slow themes and poor image compression as diagnosed by tools like Pingdom.

I’ve had good success installing the following plugins:

  • WP Super Cache
  • Smush

How flexible is WordPress?

WordPress offers a high level of flexibility through plugins and theme customisation.

There are over 55,000 plugins in their plugin directory and thousands of unique themes on marketplaces like Envato.

Is WordPress GDPR compliant?

The GDPR requires you  and the suppliers you share information with to be GDPR compliant when you deal with personal data of EU citizens.

It is impossible to make a full legal determination, however WordPress has taken steps to be GDPR compliant where they handle data on your behalf – so this will apply if you have a WordPress hosted website.

If you are hosting your own website, you will be responsible for ensuring your site is GDPR compliant.

How do I install WordPress?

WordPress can be installed easily depending on your hosting service.

For services like GoDaddy or SiteGround, you can install WordPress by using the service Softaculous which will automatically create all the technical changes you need and install the latest WordPress version.

If you would like help setting up a WordPress site, I offer a website building service.

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