Introduction to WordPress
What is WordPress after all? WordPress is a free and open source blogging and website creation tool. Written in PHP and MySQL, WordPress (WP) is by far the most powerful and easiest content management system (CMS) for bloggers and website owners.
WordPress works by giving you the ability to get online, start a blog or a store and interact with people and customers. It is however not limited to this and read on to find what more you can do with WordPress.
WordPress (self-hosted WordPress) powers over 38% of all websites on the internet (source) and is often confused with WordPress.com which is the free but limited version of the self hosted WordPress.org. See WordPress.org Vs WordPress.com.
Brief History of WordPress:
WordPress is the number one most stable and robust blogging platforms today. The development history of WordPress dates back to 2001. This official successor to the b2/cafelog was first released for public use in 2003.
WordPress was founded by the two co-founders Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. However, WP is today an open source software which means anyone including you and me can use it, edit it, remove features and add more to make it a better and more stable platform.
Matt, the co-founder owns WordPress.com under the umbrella Automattic. This is an easy-to-use version of the self-hosted WordPress, is less flexible and has restrictions based on content ownership etc.
WordPress.com earns money by providing a VIP version of the WordPress.com service which gives a bit more freedom and through advertisement revenues.
Why is WordPress so popular?
The freedom and ease of using WordPress makes it so popular. WordPress is a state-of-the-art publishing platform and enables anyone (from amateurs to professionals, authors to painters, companies to churches and so on) have an online presence, share their minds via their blogs and even earn their livelihood by various means of earning online.
WordPress is such a blog management tool that powers over 17 million (17,402,952 to be exact) blogs, online stores, Fortune 500 company websites. Almost every popular website you have come across is probably built with WordPress. WordPress powers sites like Google, The New York Times, Facebook, Beyonce, CNN, Disney, 9to5mac, The Official Star Wars Blog, Harvard, eBay, Sony and many many more.
The reason why so many people and businesses use it is, WordPress works out-of-the-box, is free to download, use and install and starting a WordPress website can be done in 5 minutes.
ALSO READ: Why is WordPress Free?
A WordPress site doesn’t require a coding knowledge and is suitable for anyone who is not that tech savvy or has a business to dig into rather than messing with the site.
It has a huge arsenal of free WordPress Themes and 48,221+ free plugins to accomplish almost anything on your blog.
You can build almost anything with these resources, from a photography blog to a news site, from a food blog to a fashion blog from a company business website to a non-profitable charity website.
ALSO READ: Why you should use WordPress?
How does WordPress make money?
To avoid any confusions, let me make it clear that WordPress.org (managed under the WordPress Foundation) is a non-profit organization that doesn’t make any money selling WordPress or related products.
The main revenue model for free self hosted version of WordPress is through:
- Donations -from companies and anyone getting profited by using WordPress for their business. This can be you and me also because ideally I make a living online via my blogs powered by WordPress which means I owe my success to WP.
- Indirect Promotions: WordPress, what it is today is by the businesses that target WordPress users to make money. The majority of them are WordPress hosting companies that sell hosting to WordPress users and other WordPress related products like OptinMonster (email marketing tool), Yoast (SEO plugin).
These companies make millions by selling to WP users and in return sponsor WordCamps (events/conferences that promote WordPress usage) and donate to the organisation for further research and development.
The free version of WordPress (WP.com under Automattic Inc.) however makes money by giving users a packaged WP experience. They sell WP with ready-made hosting and other features. This is free for usage by anyone.
Automattic.com has a business model that is funded by ads that run on the free websites that use WP.com and payment to use a custom domain name like http://notjustonline.com than using something like www.notjustonline.wordpress.com.
They also have a VIP version which allows more storage disk space, permission to remove their ads and use your own banners and other services like backups etc. (They still are not as FREE and robust as the self hosted WordPress.org)
How do WordPress developers make money?
Now that you know the business model and income source of WordPress you might ask why do developers spend their time improving on something that is free and non-profit.
Nice ask, I must say!
WordPress developers are those awesome people who believe in making the internet better and providing the general bloggers with something more robust and useful.
They, however, make money indirectly by selling services, working for firms that deals with WordPress products, consultancies and their own plugin or WordPress tools.
For example, here are some awesome companies made by WordPress developers:
- StudioPress: Deals with premium WordPress Themes.
- Chris Lema: Very renowned WordPress developer and contributor.
- Elegant Themes: Another hugely popular WordPress Theme shop where you get almost 87 premium WordPress themes for less than a $1 each.
- WPEngine, a managed WordPress hosting companythat has raised over $40 million dollars.
- Awesome Motive– led by Syed Balkhi is another multi-million dollar company based around WordPress. The company manages WPBeginner, OptinMonster, WPForms, MonsterInsights, and other popular WordPress plugins.
- Sucuri– the popular WordPress security solution in the market.
- iThemes– one of the oldest and well-established WordPress company behind popular plugins like BackupBuddy.
- Gravity Forms– the most well known premium WordPress form plugin.
The above brilliant companies and WP experts are just to name but a few. WordPress has helped many entrepreneurs and bloggers reach their goals, shine their destiny and shape their identity. They are just an example to what is WordPress and how it can help you grow.
What is WordPress used for and how can you make money with WordPress?
Like I said, WordPress is much more than just making money. It can shape your destiny and identity. With a WordPress site, you can grow and reach more people, connect with customers and build a prospering business. With WordPress, you can:
- You can create your own blog and earn money with various blog monetization strategies.
- You can create online store and sell your own products/ affiliate products to make money with woocommerce.
- Create a stock photography site to display and sell your own photos.
- Create an online portfolio and start earning by providing services like content writing, VA, social media marketing etc.
- Expert in something, You can also create your own course and sell it to your students on subscription model.
- Create your own design agency and provide web designing services to small businesses.
- Create a food blog, a fashion and lifestyle blog, a niche site or amazon affiliate blog, the possibilities are endless!
Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do with WordPress!
Now that you have a complete idea of what is WordPress and what is WordPress used for, I am sure you are excited to use WordPress and see it changing your life.