All You Ever Wanted to Know About WordPress in 10 Minutes or Less

Here's a quick rundown of my talk at the first WordPress Meetup Jeonju for 2015 (January 24). In this talk, I covered 4 points:
  1. What is WordPress?
  2. How big is WordPress?
  3. Why should you care?
  4. What can you do with it?

What is it?

WordPress is an open-source Content Management System licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 license. This means the software is completely FREE to:
  1. Use commercially
  2. Modify or build upon
  3. Distribute
  4. Place under warranty
So long as you:
  1. Track dates/changes in the source files
  2. Keep all modifications under the same GPLv2 license
  3. Disclose the source code
(See the simplified GPLv2 summary) WordPress was started as a joint software project by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. The two met personally in London in 2005, the same year that Matt formed the company Automattic and WordPress.com went live.

The Difference Between WordPress.com and WordPress.org

The major difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org is that the .com will host your blog for FREE at http://yourname.wordpress.com (and you can't change that address unless you pay for a premium upgrade), and the .org is where you can download your own full version of the software to upload it to your own self-hosted domain (http://www.yourname.net). So, in this way, WordPress.com is the best place for people starting out with the software to learn the ropes, and once you're comfortable with everything, then it's time to move over to downloading your own software from WordPress.org. Here are some more differences in a quick list:
WordPress.com
  1. Hosts your site for FREE at yourname.wordpress.com
  2. Limits your ability to customize colors, code, etc
  3. Has a limited number of plugins and FREE themes
  4. Offers upgrades you can pay for (premium themes, your own domain name, customizations, etc)
WordPress.org
  1. Is the DOWNLOAD location for the WordPress software, themes, and plugins
  2. Requires you own your own domain name and have a hosting provider
  3. The open source software allows FULL customization (depending on how deep you want to go)
  4. You have the ability to find and install your own themes and plugins, or even write your own
Think of it as the difference between renting a house and buying one. WordPress.com is the renter where you can't really change all the wallpaper to exactly how you might like, and you have to call the landlord if something breaks. WordPress.org is the purchased home that provides the full software for you to freely download and do with as you please.

How big is WordPress?

WordPress powers over 60,000,000 websites around the world - 23% of all the world's websites!
http://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/content_management/all/y/
http://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/content_management/all/y/
It powers plenty of famous and popular websites like:
  1. The New York Times blogs
  2. CNN blogs
  3. Forbes blogs
  4. Reuters blogs
  5. The Rolling Stones
  6. Jay-Z
  7. Katy Perry
  8. TechCrunch
  9. The GOP (US Republicans)
  10. Mashable
For a more robust list, see WordPress.com's Notable Users page. And for a FULL list, see WordPress.org's Showcase.

Why should you care?

#1: It's Free
Because of its open-source nature and the GPL2 license, you never have to pay any kind of licensing fees to use or modify the software.
#2: It's Powerful
There are:
Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. - Napoleon Hill
#3: It's Scalable
WordPress.com is the world's largest SINGLE INSTALLATION of WordPress. There are over 500 million users with their own unique database tables that are running on a SINGLE code base. Now that's pretty impressive! In the same way, WordPress can scale to meet any of your website needs - whether you are a blogger writing a daily diary, or a Fortune 500 company that needs individual store sites for each of its +1,000 stores (Best Buy).
#4: It's Growing
In 2014, there were 81 WordCamps (large-scale WordPress conferences) held in over a dozen countries. And 2014 was also the first year that non-English downloads of WordPress surpassed English downloads. This shows the company is growing internationally as well as in the US market. Additionally, the number of monthly unique visitors to WordPress.com is comparable to the number of monthly unique visitors to Facebook - though the company is much smaller.
http://automattic.com/about/
http://automattic.com/about/
#5: It's Comparatively Easy
I've worked with, customized, and programmed:
  1. Static HTML sites
  2. Moodle
  3. Joomla!
And I can say from experience that WordPress has the LEAST complicated administrator backend. Years ago, Joomla! may have been more powerful than WordPress, but with the 5 major releases of WordPress in 2014 and continual development from a fine community of programmers, it is no longer. In fact, after transferring one site (TheJeonjuHub.com) from static HTML to Joomla! in 2011, I ended up transferring it over to WordPress within 2 years to better enable the content creators of the site to work. Joomla! menus and the backend just ended up being more complex than they needed to be. Generally, a full WordPress site can be:
  1. Setup in 5 minutes
  2. Built in 4-5 weeks
If you can Word, then you can WordPress. The Editor interface is virtually the same.
#6: (Not in the PPT) The WordPress Community
The WordPress community is quite large and very supportive, helpful, and friendly. WordPress Meetups are held FREE of charge all over the world to teach and help others build WordPress websites. https://twitter.com/ithemes/status/556929835113938944 WordPress Support Staff call themselves "Happiness Engineers" and make it their job to "deliver happiness" on the user forums:
  1. WordPress.com Forums (WordPress.com hosted sites)
  2. WordPress.org Forums (self-hosted sites)
In fact, a "recommended read" for their Happiness Engineers is Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com.
#7: It's great for Platform Building
If you want to sell anything, you need a platform. WordPress is an amazing platform building tool that makes it easy for anyone to take a simple blog with 30 views per month to over 30,000 views per month (I speak from experience).
KeyToKorean.com site stats
KeyToKorean.com site stats
Main idea:
If you have a story worth telling, then you have a platform worth building.

What can you do with it?

From my own experience, I've built:
  1. Classroom sites
  2. Academy sites
  3. School & organizational sites
  4. Educational sites
  5. Church websites + podcasting
  6. Portfolio websites
  7. And personal blog sites (like this one)
Again:
Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve. - Napoleon Hill
So the real question isn't "What can you do with it?" but rather:

What will you do with it?


Liked my short PPT and talk (article)? Leave me a comment below. Or for our Meetup members, feel free to ask any questions you might have about WordPress or give me suggestions for the next Meetup subject and talk!~

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