WordPress Web Hosting
WordPress is a blog publishing system (or a Weblog software) written in PHP and is backed by a MySQL database. It is a top-of-the-line publishing platform emphasizing advanced utility, web standards as well as aesthetics. Now a “blog” or weblog is a word used to describe websites that gather or collate and maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. Blogs can range from a wide variety of topics from politics to more personal subjects. To further enhance the entire feel of a blog, WordPress was introduced with the intent to build an elegant and well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. B2/Cafelog was the precursor of WordPress and was also written in PHP. The latest release of WordPress is version 2.2.1, released on 21 June 2007. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License. WordPress development is led by Ryan Boren and Matt Mullenweg. Mullenweg and Mike Little were co-founders of the project. The contributing developers include Dougal Campbell, Mark Jaquith, Donncha O’Caoimh, Andy Skelton, Michel Valdrighi and Peter Westwood.
The product is quite stable and exhibits high web standards and great user experience. While the publishing software is extremely user-friendly and focuses on speed and advanced features, it also has garnered considerable credibility. This personal publishing platform is fast, user-friendly and is offered free of cost and features sensible default settings and features with an extremely customizable core. Its key features are as follows:
- Generates standards-compliant XML, XHTML, and CSS
- Integrated link management
- Search engine-friendly permalink structure
- Extensible plugin support
- Nested categories and multiple categories for articles
- TrackBack and Pingback features
- Typographic filters for proper formatting and styling of text
- Static Pages
- Ability to feature Multiple Authors
- It also supports Latex
WordPress is thus far at par with much other software of its kind. It endeavors to bring to people the most state-of-the-art blogging technology available today, especially with its trackback and pingback features. Its other enticing features include
- Full Standards Compliance: The WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards of the W3C. This is a vital feature for interoperability with today’s browser.
- No Rebuilding: The modifications made on the templates or any other entries that are added are immediately reflected. Therefore this obviates the need to regenerate static pages.
- WordPress Pages: Pages allow you to manage non-blog content easily, so, for example, you could have a static “About” page that you manage through WordPress.
- WordPress Links: Through the administration interface, the links let you create, maintain and update any number of blogrolls. This again obviates the need for an external blogroll manager.
- WordPress Themes: With WordPress offering a complete theme system, designing is just a breeze. From a simple looking blog to more complicated ones, the multiple themes lets you experiment with varied looks and designs.
- Cross-Blog Communication Tools: WordPress fully supports both the Trackback and Pingback standards.
- Comments: Visitors can leave their comments on individual entries. Moreover, you have the flexibility to enable or disable the comments feature on a per post basis.
- Spam Protection: WordPress comes with very robust tools such as an integrated blacklist and open proxy checker to manage and eliminate comment spam on your blog. If that’s not all; a wide variety of plug-ins can further enhance this functionality.
- Full User Registration: WordPress has a built-in user registration system that can allow people to register and maintain profiles and leave authenticated comments on your blog.
- Password Protected Posts: Individual posts can also be password protected in case you want to hide them from public view. You can also have private posts which are viewable only by their author.
- Easy Installation and Upgrades: The installation and upgrade process is just a breeze and does not require any technical expertise.
- Easy Importing: WordPress currently has importers for Movable Type, Textpattern, Greymatter, Blogger, and b2.
- XML-RPC interface: WordPress currently supports an extended version of the Blogger API, MetaWeblog API, and finally the MovableType API. You can even use clients designed for other platforms like Zempt.
- Workflow: Users can be filtered who only post drafts and not publish on the front page.
- Typographical Niceties: WordPress uses the Texturize engine to intelligently convert plain ASCII into typographically correct XHTML entities. This includes quotes, apostrophes, ellipses, em and en dashes, multiplication symbols, and ampersands.
- Intelligent Text Formatting: This feature intelligently avoids places where you already have breaks and block-level HTML tags. So the users do not have to fret about breaking their codes.
- Multiple Authors: This feature easily allows up to 10 levels of users, with different privileges related to publishing, editing, options, and other users.
- Bookmarklets: Cross-browser bookmarklets makes it easy to publish to your blog or add links to your blogroll with considerable ease and little effort involved.
- Ping Away: WordPress supports pinging Ping-O-Matic, which means maximum exposure for your blog to search engines.
WordPress is essentially an open source project, enabling hundreds to thousands of people working on it. Today, it is one of the largest self-hosted blogging tools in the world and its popularity and favouritism have grown considerably. Besides using it as a blogging software, WordPress has many alternate applications as well. You have the ability to create multiple blogs with multiple installs. Therefore, each needs to be installed separately (i.e. as a separate WordPress installation).
You will also need a separate MySQL database for each blog that is installed. You can use WordPress to post your own stories, ideas, rants, reviews, links, and pictures any many more things that interest you or you want to share.
In addition, you can customize the look and feel of your site. Numerous themes are available and may be modified in many different ways. The basic benefit of this tool is that it can be completely controlled by the user. WordPress is built following W3C standards for XHTML and CSS, ensuring that your site is more easily rendered across standards-compliant browsers. Aggregator support is built-in with a number of standard RSS configurations already done for you, as well as Atom. These essentials make your WordPress website easy to manage, helps you get more traffic and increases site longevity or future Internet technology adoption.
Moreover, one does not necessarily need to know PHP to use WordPress. The main reason behind its growing popularity s that WordPress focuses on keeping the core code as light and fast as possible and provide a rich framework for the huge community. Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything that you can think of. The featured plugins include:
- WordPress.com stats: With the stat system, it is possible to have simple and precise stats without any additional load on the server. Installing this stats plugin is much like installing Akismet, all you need is to put in your API Key and the rest is automatic.
- Sphere Related Content: This plug-in displays an icon link at the end of the blog posts. It is instrumental in finding blog posts and media articles related to the content.
- PodPress: podPress adds tons of features designed to make WordPress the ideal platform for hosting a podcast.
- Get Recent Comments: This plugin shows excerpts of the latest comments and/or trackbacks in your sidebar. You can let the plugin order the comments by the corresponding post, or simply order them by date. The plugin can (optionally) separate the trackbacks/pingbacks from the comments.
- WP-Cache: WP-Cache is an extremely efficient WordPress page caching system to make your site much faster and responsive. It works by caching Worpress pages and storing them in a static file for serving future requests directly from the file rather than loading and compiling the whole PHP code and the building the page from the database.
Before installing WordPress, you need to check that your web hosting provider fulfils the necessary conditions. WordPress server requirements for Version 2.1 include:
- PHP version 5 or greater
- MySQL version 4.0 or greater
- (Optional) Apache mod_rewrite module (for clean URIs known as Permalinks.
The recommended platform for running WordPress is Linux with either the Apache or LiteSpeed web-servers. However, any server that supports PHP and MySQL will also work well. It is also essential that your host allows remote connections. WordPress works best when it’s in a rich hosting environment. There is an astronomical number of hosts out there to choose from and a vast majority meet the WordPress minimum requirements. The most popular hosts that support WordPress are as follows:
- AN Hosting
Given that the software is completely free of cost and loaded with features while being user-friendly, it is in fact priceless. To get started with WordPress, set it up on a web host for the best possible flexibility or get a free blog on WordPress.com.