WordPress is an open source blogging software developed and maintained by the folks at Automattic. Open source blogging software have many advantages. For one, its cost or rather, no cost to users like you and me. Access to the source code is free and unlimited too. This means that we are allowed to customize the software as much as we want. And popular open source software such as WordPress has tons of online support material available, from tips and tricks articles to forums and tutorials.

Over the years, WordPress has evolved from an open source blogging software to being a full content management system (CMS). Ever wondered what’s the CMS distribution is like for the top 100 million websites? Take a look at this chart:

Facts And Figures

Here are some interesting facts and figures about WordPress that you may find fascinating.

  1. WordPress was first introduced to the public on May 27, 2003.
  2. There is more than 72 million WordPress websites in the World. Check out the live data on WordPress.com.
  3. On average, there’s 500,000 bloggers posting 500,000 new posts while receiving 400,000 new comments and 90 million pageviews per day. That’s 6 new posts, 5 comments and 1 million pageviews every second!
  4. As of August, 2011, WordPress accounts for 22% of all new websites created.
  5. There are WordPress blogs in over 120 languages.

Sources: wordpress.org, wordpress.com, wikipedia.org

Why is WordPress So Popular

Personally, I like WordPress because of the simplicity and flexibility that comes with it. Oh, and of course because it’s free too!

You can easily create posts, upload photos and embed videos. Their built-in SEO features and tagging system help optimize your WordPress website for search engines and this eventually helps to pull in traffic.

WordPress Themes

Building a new site is as simple as a click, literally. I suppose the one thing that may take up more of your time is when you are trying to decide which of the hundreds of free and premium themes available to choose from! If you are interested in premium themes, there are quite a few good yet affordable ones around eg Elegant Themes and Woo Themes. WordPress makes it a breeze to change the look and feel of your website with the themes. If you wish to change your theme, it’s simply just another click of the button.

WordPress Plugins

The other wonderful thing about WordPress is the availability of loads of plugins. You may want to check out these frequently downloaded WordPress plugins. All in One SEO Pack(with over 10 million downloads) which automatically optimizes your site for search engines and Akismet (with over 9 million downloads) helps scans your comments for spam.

Because it’s open source and is used by so many people, there are thousands of users creating themes and plugins that are free for WordPress users like you and me!

WordPress.com Vs WordPress.org

You may have noticed that some of the above facts and figures came from WordPress.comand WordPress.org and may be wondering what the differences between them are.

  • WordPress.com is the free hosting platform which uses the WordPress software. The hosting and software management is done by Automattic. You can create a blog for free on WordPress.com.The advantages of using WordPress.com is that you won’t need to download the software and that the hosting is free. Good for beginners. The con though is the non-flexibility ie you are not allowed to upload your own themes or plugins. On top of that, Adsense is also a no-no!
  • WordPress.org is the site where you get to download the WordPress software as well as themes, plugins and search for instructions to install and customize the software.Being a popular software, WordPress is supported by almost all web hosting providers. While a handful may require you to download the software yourself and then upload it manually to their web servers, most hosting providers like Bluehostand HostGator, come with one-click WordPress installers on their control panels, eg SimpleScripts and Fantastico respectively.