What is WordPress?
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) that currently powers 31% of all websites. A CMS is a set of programs or a software application that is used to create and manage digital content. CMS's make it much easier to maintain websites by removing the need to edit core html files and upload them via an ftp program. WordPress comes in two different flavors, hosted at WordPress.com and "self-hosted". When hosting with WordPress.com the end user has limited control over ways they can customize their site since they are on the same platform of millions of other sites. To insure best compatibility and security users have to be limited by what they can use. On the other hand, WordPress is also available in its' open source version as a free platform that can be installed on an individual server giving you control of exactly what goes on your website.
WordPress originally started out as a blogging platform and later evolved into a full fledged CMS. As a blogging platform WordPress featured an easy to use admin area that allowed bloggers to easily create content. As WordPress evolved it retained it's simple interface making it easy for content managers to efficiently maintain their website.
From a development perspective WordPress features themes and plugins which enable developers to create websites a lot faster than if they were starting from scratch. A WordPress theme is the look of the website, while all content goes into a database the look of the data or content is controlled by the theme. There are many free as well as premium themes available from places such as the WordPress theme repository and ThemeForest.
Plugins add extra functionality to a WordPress website. One example is if you need to connect your subscription form from your website to an e-mail marketing platform such as MailChimp this can be done by a plugin. Another example is if you wanted to add a slideshow or gallery to your site their are many third party plugins that would add this functionality to your site.
I work with self hosted WordPress sites and help insure that the site is secure and easy to maintain. In my experience after working on dozens of WordPress Development projects I have found the new sites fall into three basic types, a site built to the clients specs based on a theme of their choice, a site using a template as a "starting" point with some customizations, and a total custom site. I price my site builds based on how much time it takes to complete the work, so the more basic site will be cheaper and the full custom site will take more time and cost more money. I work with all budgets as I help wellness professionals create their web presence.