Frequently Answered Questions:

What Exactly is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, Web-based software program that anyone can use to build and maintain a website or blog. It was originally intended as an easy way to set up a blog. But, thanks to the efforts of a large “open source” community of WordPress programmers working to extend and improve its capabilities, WordPress has become much more than just a tool for bloggers.

Today’s WordPress is really a “content management system” (CMS), which means that it can be used to run full-sized, social media-rich business websites.

What is a theme?

Simply stated, a theme dictates the design and functionality of your website without changing the basic WordPress software. It’s what makes each and every WordPress site unique. It’s clothing to your wordpress install. Or as another put it…A WordPress theme is your superhero clothing. Your WordPress Pages, Posts, Permalinks and other basic structural elements are the arms, torso and legs of your superhero. The theme is the cape, lariat, boots and gloves. There are many sites that provide themes to purchase which we have laid out on our site to help you choose some of the best wordpress themes. There are also companies that do custom wordpress themes for you so your theme is unique to your website.

What is a plugin?

Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. WordPress already comes with some great functionality, but many times you find yourself saying “I need wordpress to do…” and usually that thing you need it to do is available by simply installing a plugin. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite plugins in the plugin section of the site. But you can find the entire wordpress plugin directory by going here and you can find, download, rate, and comment on all the best plugins the WordPress community has to offer.

What is a Widget?

In wordpress there is an Appearance section. In this section you find a Widget area. WordPress comes with widgets already installed for you to include in your themes “widget-ready” areas. They are basically spots in your theme where you can provide small little snippets of rich media. Some of the default ones in wordpress are a search box, recent posts, recent categories, tags, custom menus, and more. Then on top of that there are hundreds of plugins you can get to have more widgets. Typically widgets on put on the sidebar of your site (either on your blog, or even many times your site pages).

What are shortcodes?

Introduced in WordPress 2.5 is the Shortcode API, a simple set of functions for creating macro codes for use in post content. Basically it lets you add simple code to add great functionality right within your posts. For instance, the following shortcode (in the post/page content) might add a photo gallery into the page: [ gallery ] (Without the spaces)

It enables plugin developers to create special kinds of content (e.g. forms, content generators) that users can attach to certain pages by adding the corresponding shortcode into the page text.

Didn’t find your question?

If you didn’t find your general question and answer above, go ahead and submit it in the form below and we’ll try and get it added here. This is more for generic questions about wordpress, installing, editing, etc.  Not for custom specific questions about your site, theme, issues, problems, etc.

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