WordPress is an open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by over 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is currently the most popular blogging system being used on the Web,powering over 60 million websites worldwide.
WordPress users may install and switch between themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website or installation without altering the information content or structure of the site. Themes may be installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool or theme folders may be uploaded via FTP. The PHP, HTML & CSS code found in themes can be added or edited for providing advanced features. Thousands of WordPress themes exist, some free, and some premium (paid for) templates.
One very popular feature of WordPress is its rich plugin architecture which allows users and developers to extend its abilities beyond the core installation. WordPress has a database of over 24,000 plugins, each of which offer custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their site to their specific needs. These customizations range from SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhancers to content-displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and navigation bars.
Widgets are small modules that offer users drag-and-drop sidebar content placement through the implementation of plugins’ extended abilities. Some of these Widgets offer customization options such as web forms to fill out, a search form, includes or excludes of data and information such as Categories, Archives and Recent Posts, optional images through slideshows and/or carousels, among other customization features.These small modules are typically displayed within the header (header.php), footer (footer.php) and sidebars (sidebar.php files) of websites, but can also be placed outside of said locations enabling even further customization.
Multi-user and multi-blogging
Prior to WordPress 3.0, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multi-User (WordPress MU, or WPMU) was a fork of WordPress created to allow multiple blogs to exist within one installation but is able to be administered by a centralized maintainer. WordPress MU makes it possible for those with a website to host their own blogging community, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MU adds eight new data tables for each blog.
As of the release of WordPress 3.0, WordPress MU has merged with WordPress.
Native applications exist for WebOS, Android, iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad), Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. These applications, designed by Automattic allow a limited set of options, which include adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.
Other features of note
WordPress also features integrated link management; a search engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign nested, multiple categories to articles; and support for tagging of posts and articles. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in articles (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Trackback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or article.