WordPress is a free and open-source content management system(CMS) written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system, referred to within WordPress as Themes.

WordPress was released on May 27, 2003, by its founders, American developer Matt Mullenweg and English developer Mike Little, as a fork of b2/cafelog. The software is released under the GPLv2 (or later) license.

To function, WordPress has to be installed on web server, either part of an internet hosting service like WordPress.com or a computer running the software package WordPress.org in order to serve as a network host in its own right. A local computer may be used for single-user testing and learning purposes.


Themes

WordPress users may install and switch among different themes. Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a WordPress website without altering the core code or site content. Every WordPress website requires at least one theme to be present. Themes may be directly installed using the WordPress “Appearance” administration tool in the dashboard, or theme folders may be copied directly into the themes directory. WordPress themes are generally classified into two categories: free and premium. Many free themes are listed in the WordPress theme directory (also known as the repository), and premium themes are available for purchase from marketplaces and individual WordPress developers. WordPress users may also create and develop their own custom themes.

Plugins

WordPress’ plugin architecture allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. As of May 2021, WordPress.org has 58,463 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs. However, this does not include the premium plugins that are available (approximately 1,500+), which may not be listed in the WordPress.org repository. These customisations range from search engine optimisation (SEO), to client portal used to display private information to logged-in users, to content management systems, to content displaying features, such as the addition of widgets and mavigation bars. Not all available plugins are always abreast with the upgrades, and as a result, they may not function properly or may not function at all. Most plugins are available through WordPress themselves, either via downloading them and installing the files manually via FTP or through the WordPress dashboard. However, many third parties offer plugins through their own websites, many of which are paid packages.

Web developers who wish to develop plugins need to learn WordPress’ hook system which consists of over 2,000 hooks (as of Version 5.7 in 2021) divided into two categories: action hooks and filter hooks.

Plugins also represent a development strategy that can transform WordPress into all sorts of software systems and applications, limited only by the imagination and creativity of the programmers. These are implemented using custom plugins to create non-website systems, such as headless WordPress applications and Software as a Service(SaaS) products.

Plugins also could be used by hackers targeting the site that use WordPress, as hackers could exploit bugs on WordPress plugins themselves instead of exploiting the bugs on WordPress itself.

Mobile applications

Phone apps for WordPress exist for WebOS, Android, IOS ,Windows Phone and Blackberry. These applications, designed by Automattic, have options such as adding new blog posts and pages, commenting, moderating comments, replying to comments in addition to the ability to view the stats.

Accessibility

The WordPress Accessibility Team has worked to improve the accessibility for core WordPress as well as support a clear identification of accessible themes. The WordPress Accessibility Team provides continuing educational support about web accessibility and inclusive design. The WordPress Accessibility Coding Standards state that “All new or updated code released in WordPress must conform with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at level AA.”

Other features

WordPress also features integrated link management; a searc engine–friendly, clean permalink structure; the ability to assign multiple categories to posts; and support for tagging of posts. Automatic filters are also included, providing standardized formatting and styling of text in posts (for example, converting regular quotes to smart quotes). WordPress also supports the Traceback and Pingback standards for displaying links to other sites that have themselves linked to a post or an article. WordPress posts can be edited in HTML, using the visual editor, or using one of a number of plugins that allow for a variety of customized editing features.

Multi-user and multi-blogging

Prior to version 3, WordPress supported one blog per installation, although multiple concurrent copies may be run from different directories if configured to use separate database tables. WordPress Multisites (previously referred to as 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 websites to host their own blogging communities, as well as control and moderate all the blogs from a single dashboard. WordPress MS adds eight new data tables for each blog.

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