What is WordPress? a free website builder guide

  • WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a host of features that allow users to create a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference Library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular, free, open-source content management system (CMS). It allows you to create your own website without needing to learn programming languages ​​like JavaScript, Python or C++.

What to know about WordPress

WordPress logo

WordPress was originally created as a blogging platform.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images


WordPress can be used to build a wide range of websites including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and e-commerce websites with a host of features.

As licensed open source software GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress is not owned by a single company or entity. On the contrary, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a student, Mullenweg used the b2 blogging system (also known as cafelog), but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with Little’s help. If Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to grow thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, today it can be used to create all sorts of websites for all sorts of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plugins and themes. In other words, you can build just about any type of website with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to build business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, e-commerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include the new yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

Screen_Shot_2021 02 19_at_5_49_52_PM

The New Yorker is one of many popular sites powered by WordPress.

the new yorker


The software includes many features to help you create a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (via WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name.

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself WordPress VPS hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Picking a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are almost 2 billion websites currently in circulation, but there are a few general tips which can help you find and buy the perfect one available.