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General

One of the prin­ci­ple ad­van­tages of Word­Press is that you are in con­trol. Un­like re­mote-host­ed scripts such as Blog­ger and Live­Jour­nal, you host Word­Press on your own serv­er. In­stal­la­tion is very sim­ple, as is the con­fig­u­ra­tion. Un­like oth­er soft­ware pro­grams, there are not a mil­lion files to chmod nor are there dozens of tem­plates to edit just to get your site set up and look­ing the way you want.

Also, Blog pages in Word­Press are gen­er­at­ed on the fly when­ev­er a page is re­quest­ed, so you do not have mul­ti­ple archive pages clog­ging up your web space. Wait­ing for pages to re­build is a thing of the past be­cause tem­plate changes are made in scant sec­onds.

Word­Press is built fol­low­ing W3C stan­dards for XHTML and CSS, en­sur­ing that your site is more eas­i­ly ren­dered across stan­dards-com­pli­ant browsers. Oth­er browsers are sup­port­ed with a few hacks; it’s a re­al­i­ty of the web that hacks are nec­es­sary.

Ag­gre­ga­tor sup­port is built-in with a num­ber of stan­dard RSS con­fig­u­ra­tions al­ready done for you, as well as Atom. Fol­low­ing stan­dards makes your Word­Press site eas­i­er to man­age, in­creas­es its longevi­ty for fu­ture In­ter­net tech­nol­o­gy adop­tion, and helps give your site the widest au­di­ence pos­si­ble.

The Loop is PHP code used by Word­Press to dis­play posts. Us­ing The Loop, Word­Press process­es each post to be dis­played on the cur­rent page, and for­mats it ac­cord­ing to how it match­es spec­i­fied cri­te­ria with­in The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post.

When Word­Press doc­u­men­ta­tion says “This tag must be with­in The Loop”, such as for spe­cif­ic Tem­plate Tag or plu­g­ins, the tag will be re­peat­ed for each post. For ex­am­ple, The Loop dis­plays the fol­low­ing in­for­ma­tion by de­fault for each post:

You can dis­play oth­er in­for­ma­tion about each post us­ing the ap­pro­pri­ate Tem­plate Tags or (for ad­vanced users) by ac­cess­ing the vari­able, which is set with the cur­rent post’s in­for­ma­tion while The Loop is run­ning.

The Word­Press Codex has a Glos­sary where you can find de­f­i­n­i­tions of many of the key phras­es as­so­ci­at­ed with Word­Press.

Introduction

No. You should be able to use Word­Press through the user in­ter­face, with­out ever hav­ing to touch PHP.

The only time you would mod­i­fy your Word­Press web­site with PHP would be when in­te­grat­ing some of the plu­g­ins. There are a small num­ber of plu­g­ins that still re­quire man­u­al ed­its to your files. In most cas­es, clear in­struc­tions are usu­al­ly giv­en with­in a text file with the plu­g­in.

Oth­er than that, you would not be chang­ing any of the PHP files.

Word­Press was pri­mar­i­ly in­spired by Noah Grey’s Grey­mat­ter open-source web log and jour­nal soft­ware. It is re­lat­ed to b2, sort of a sec­ond cousin twice re­moved. You can use Word­Press to post your own sto­ries, ideas, rants, re­views, links, and pic­tures of your tooth­less Un­cle Ernie at the wed­ding re­cep­tion, if you choose. In ad­di­tion, you can cus­tomize the look and feel of your site. Nu­mer­ous themes are avail­able and may be mod­i­fied in many dif­fer­ent ways. Through the use of Word­Press Themes, you can quick­ly change the look and style of your site. You can also ex­tend Word­Press’ func­tion­al­i­ty through the use of Plu­g­ins. Plu­g­ins let you cre­ate the web­site or blog that suits your needs. As you can see, its func­tion­al­i­ty ex­ceeds or at least is sim­i­lar to what is avail­able in most blog­ging tools to­day.

Word­Press is open source web soft­ware that you can in­stall on your web serv­er to cre­ate your web­site, blog, com­mu­ni­ty or net­work. Word­Press start­ed out as a tool for blog­ging, but has evolved into a full-fledged Con­tent Man­age­ment Sys­tem (CMS), ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing web­sites, net­works and com­mu­ni­ties.