WordPress CMS – what is it, development history, features
WordPress CMS is a free open source content management system. Written in the PHP programming language, uses the free MySQL database. The WordPress CMS is developed by the WordPress Foundation. As of 2018, 15 years have passed since its release. The first version was released on May 27, 2003.
It can also include informational sites, mailing lists, forums, media galleries and online stores.
As of 2018, WordPress CMS is the most popular engine and is used by over 60 million websites. Among them, about 30 percent (10 million) of the websites are the best. Data as of April 2018.
There is no doubt that WordPress is the most popular content management system. CMS WordPress is also used in other areas such as broadcast display systems (PDS).
To function, CMS WordPress must be installed on a web server. Moreover, it can be hosting on the Internet, or you can install WordPress locally on a personal computer.
Local copies of WordPress are convenient to install for educational purposes or for developing plugins and templates.
Features of the WordPress engine implementation
CMS WordPress is built on a web template system using a template engine. The architecture is based on a front controller that routes all requests for dynamic URIs to a single physical file written in the PHP programming language.
This file parses the URI and identifies the target page. This technical implementation feature allows for human-readable permalinks.
WordPress Templates and Custom Themes
CMS WordPress users are given the opportunity to flexibly use various templates for website design. To design the appearance of the site and determine its intended purpose, it is possible to install and switch between different themes.
An interesting feature of WordPress is that the site engine allows you to change the look and feel of a website without modifying the system’s source code or site content.
A website built on top of a WordPress CMS requires at least one active theme to function. Each template must be designed according to WordPress standards:
- PHP structured code;
- Adherence to HTML (HyperText Markup Language) standards, markup must be validated successfully;
- Adherence to Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) standards;
To change the site template, themes can be installed using the WordPress dashboard, in the “Appearance” section. At the same time, you can choose from the catalog among thousands of free or shareware themes.
Also, you can directly load the template from the archive file. For example, this sets the well-known DIVI theme.
The file types PHP, HTML, CSS belonging to a theme can be directly edited to change the behavior of the template. It is also possible to inherit settings for a “child” theme from the main theme.
Classification of WordPress templates
WordPress templates fall into two main categories, free and paid, with premium features. Most of the free themes are featured in the WordPress theme directory. Premium templates can usually be purchased from developer sites.
Each CMS WordPress user has the opportunity to create and develop their own templates from scratch. To create your own theme, you can use it from free frameworks, for example Underscores or Unyson.
Using a plugin system, the CMS WordPress architecture allows you to extend the functionality of your website. As of March 2017, more than 55 thousand plugins have been developed and available for installation for WordPress.
Each plugin has its own purpose and implements custom features and functions that allow users to tailor their sites to their specific needs.
As with templates, plugins can be downloaded from the WordPress dashboard, from a directory, or installed via FTP file upload. Some paid plugins require downloading from developer sites.
To keep WordPress plugins working, it is often necessary to have an up-to-date version. But not all plugins can update automatically. Therefore, some of them need to be updated manually.
Other WordPress features
The content of WordPress posts and pages can be edited in the built-in HTML editor, or you can use a plugin that will allow you to use additional editing functions for the content of the site pages.
The functionality of WordPress allows you to create and edit site content using third-party, external programs that are connected using a special interface. One such program is MarsEdit from developer Red Sweater.
For mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, applications have been developed to interact with a WordPress-based website. Programs allow you to change the content of the site: adding, deleting and changing posts and pages. It is possible to simulate comments: viewing, deleting, giving answers. An added bonus is the ability to view statistics.