WordPress is a blogging tool intended for bloggers in all industries. The website provides visitors with access to hundreds of thousands of blogs maintained by professionals, groups and regular internet users. The user can read and comment on blogs or create their own blog to share with an online audience. Each user can maintain multiple blogs with one account. Each blog is available through a centralized dashboard. Individual blogs can include images, text, links and unique templates offered by WordPress. Along with a diverse collection of themes, the user can also pick and choose which features are included on their blog. These include widgets for Flickr, Delicious and Twitter as well as HTML code. WordPress is available in more than 50 languages and provides bloggers with a place to share their experiences, knowledge and opinions.
Before WordPress became as wildly popular as it is today, there was b2 or Cafelog. WordPress emerged in 2003, the work of Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg. The website has grown immensely since it was first launched. WordPress has earned a number of awards throughout the years. In 2010 it was awarded a place in the Hall of Fame CMS category in the Open Source Awards. In 2011, WordPress took the Open Source Web App of the Year Award. The WordPress community currently includes over 390,000 bloggers.
WordPress isn’t the only website that offers users a place to create a blog. It is, however, one of the most popular options available on the web. The application offers just about everything a blogger could want. The user can customize the look of their blog as well as the content. WordPress lets the user choose which widgets their blog needs and gives them total creative control, making the user’s options nearly limitless.
From a blog reader’s standpoint, WordPress is extremely user friendly. Most blogs are well organized and easy to navigate. They include easy archive links that let the reader access previous posts. From the blogger’s standpoint, things get a little more complicated but remain relatively easy considering the many options WordPress makes available. The user can select one of their blogs and use the convenient side bar menu to access each area and tool. The interface is kept low key and contains no annoying obstacles (like banner ads) to slow the user down.
A new user can join the WordPress community by clicking the orange “Sign Up Now” link found in the upper, left hand portion of the homepage. The user is asked to provide their desired blog address as well as a unique username. The user must also enter a password, email address and preferred language. Two columns are available at the bottom of the form to give the user access to both free and upgraded versions of WordPress service. After clicking the grey button that corresponds with the user’s membership preferences, the user can begin creating their WordPress profile.
WordPress offers users two subscription options. The first is a free account which includes access to basic blogging tools. Users can choose to upgrade for $99 per year. The upgraded account includes domain name and mapping capabilities, 5 GBs of storage space, no advertisements, custom design options and VideoPress access. The user can also purchase a custom domain for anywhere from $17 to $24 per year depending on availability.
WordPress is ideal for anyone who wants to get serious about blogging. New and seasoned bloggers can create their own virtual spaces to share ideas, opinions and information while building a following through the site’s enormous community. The user can access a number of blog customization features as well as widgets. Users who would like to manage multiple WordPress blogs can do so by creating one account.