A quick guide to WordPress, the free-to-use website builder that powers some of the web’s most popular sites

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WordPress’ easy-to-use format makes it a popular choice for many non-coders.

  • WordPress is a free-to-use content management system (CMS) that can help you build a website with minimal technical knowledge.
  • WordPress has a wealth of features that allow users to make a wide variety of websites for different purposes.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

WordPress is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that’s free to use. It lets you build your own website without needing to learn programming languages like JavaScript, Python, or C++. 

What to know about WordPress

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WordPress was initially created as a blogging platform.

WordPress can be used to create a wide range of websites, including personal blogs, online portfolios, business pages, and e-commerce websites thanks to a wealth of features.

As an open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), WordPress isn’t owned by one company or entity. Rather, hundreds of developers and users work together to constantly improve the software.

WordPress was created as a blogging platform in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. As a college student, Mullenweg used the b2 (also known as cafelog) blogging system, but the original creator stopped updating it. As a result, Mullenweg created his own version of the system with help from Little. While Mullenweg is the face of WordPress, the software continues to develop thanks to its community of contributors.

Who can use WordPress

While WordPress started out as a blogging tool, these days it can be used to make all sorts of websites for all sorts of purposes, thanks to a plethora of plug-ins and themes. In other words, you can pretty much create any type of website you want with WordPress.

WordPress can be used to create business websites, blogs, online resumes, portfolios, e-commerce stores, membership sites, and more.

Some notable examples of WordPress sites include The New Yorker, Microsoft News Center, and The Walt Disney Company.

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The New Yorker is one of many popular sites powered WordPress.

The software includes lots of features to help you build a unique site.

What you need to start using WordPress

For self-hosted WordPress sites (through WordPress.org), you need two key things to get started: web hosting and a domain name. 

For web hosting, there are three common approaches: shared WordPress hosting, do-it-yourself VPS WordPress Hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.

A domain name is your website address. Choosing a unique domain name can be tricky, as there are almost 2 billion websites currently in circulation, but there are some general tips that can help you find and purchase the perfect available one.

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What is Carrd? Everything you need to know about the simple website-building platform

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Carrd can be used for business websites, personal portfolios, product landing pages, and more.

  • Carrd is a site-building platform, like SquareSpace or WordPress, that’s been getting increasingly popular within the past year.
  • Carrd sets itself apart from other sites by specializing in building one-page websites.
  • Nearly all of its features are free to use, and it has many possible uses. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Lately, you may have heard about a new platform called Carrd. Simply put, Carrd is a website-building platform, much like Squarespace or WordPress. The big difference between Carrd and other sites, though, is that Carrd is optimized to create simple, one-page websites, which makes it much easier to use.

People often use Carrd to display their portfolio, or promote a cause that’s important to them. 

What you need to know about Carrd

There are myriad uses for small websites. Carrd suggests a handful of website types, which are helpfully arranged in different layout templates. They include: 

  • Profile – Good for making a personal information page to tell others about yourself, likely to market yourself to employers or collaborators. 
  • Landing – For things like products, services, apps, and the like. Landing pages make it easy to explain what something is, how it works, and where to get it.
  • Forms – Good for businesses interacting with current or potential customers. Forms can do things like collect emails, conduct surveys, etc.
  • Portfolio – Sort of like a profile, but specifically for visual artists, as it’s meant to show off art and graphics.
  • Sectioned – These Carrds are different from the other categories. They’re like a halfway point between a one-page website and a site with multiple pages. They’re still one page, but they’re sectioned off into different categories – perfect for people looking to disseminate information on a topic, especially a complex one.

On top of these uses, many people have been using Carrd for other things. For example, some writers use it to help outline their stories, using the Sectioned format to help them keep track of characters, world-building elements, plot points, and more. 

One popular use of the Sectioned layout is for online activists to raise awareness and spread information about causes, such as the Carrd site for Black Lives Matter. These sites often include donation buttons or links to organizations that help these causes. 

The best part is that most of the site’s features are free to use. There are a few that you can only access by upgrading to a paid version, like the ability to use forms or third-party widgets, but these extras are mostly aimed at business using Carrd as a homebase – most users can get along without these.

The possible uses of Carrd are limited only by the imagination, and the site is very easy to use. If you’re interested in creating a Carrd yourself, and want to find out more, check out our article on how to make a Carrd

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