One of the most popular CMS (content management systems), WordPress has been commanding over 60 percent of market share. Powering more than 19 million websites, this CMS tool has been the go-to resource for all your requirements. Have you ever thought about how does WordPress work? Let us check out the functionality of WordPress for a clear understanding of the CMS tool.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a popular content management system which provides you an option to publish, edit, organize, delete or maintain your content at one single place. It lets you organize your content in whatever form you want to present it to your audience.
In fact, WordPress has two version – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The site with .com extension is available with a built-in functionality out of the box. The WordPress.org, on the other hand, will need you to create the entire website on your own. You need to begin everything right from scratch including installing the plugins and other elements.
Who Manages WordPress?
There is a core development team that manages the tool and its functions. There is a team of experienced individuals and a community of experienced users who supports it. This community also comprises independent programmers and developers.
The core development team focuses on the software updates and work towards improvements of the features available while at the same time addressing the vulnerability of the system. The community helps the development team with suggestions and recommendations on the bug fixes and other requirements.
How does WordPress work?
WordPress runs from two major components – PHP and MySQL. It comes with the following elements that help you creates an HTML page.
- Core files
- Theme files
- Plugin files
The primary schedule of steps involved would be to install the core files from the official website and create a database file to install WordPress. The database is created in MySQL. To make the content visible, you need to install a theme and then add the plugins to provide the desired features and functions.
PHP is the language in which WordPress has its core files. This is what gives the dynamic nature that WordPress is known for. It is the language on the server side and served to the web browser as per the request received. MySQL is a relational database system that works in an open source nature.Related: What is website performance? Tools to measure Website Performance
WordPress essentially comes with three phases –
- The front end that a visitor faces. It can be a website, a blog or a page.
- The Admin area is where you will log in to your site as an Administrator and control your site. This is called the Dashboard.
- WordPress own files stored on a server. These are referred to as WordPress files that comprise of the elements outlined above.
Individual components of WordPress
The essential elements of WordPress are –
This is the back end of your website or blog. This is precisely where you control the functioning of your website. Usually, you get to your dashboard by adding the words /wp-admin to your site URL. It is where you work with your site and decide its appearance, content and other details. You can consider it equivalent to being the green room, and makeup area of a drama theatre where the actual drama is being enacted for you is akin to your site being displayed through the browser.
The Core Files
These are the essential files that would run your WordPress installation. These can be changed dynamically as per your needs.
You will essentially have to download these files when you download WordPress from the official website. Once your site is configured, these keep changing dynamically.
The Theme Files
Working with your themes should not ideally affect the rest of the website in any manner. You can change the theme as and when you want without worrying about the content being messed up.
Plugins are the programs that extend the functionality of your WordPress installation further. These can be considered as the Add-ons that introduce a new level of functionality to your existing website.
WordPress has several plugins in store for almost any of the tasks you want to perform with the site. However, compared to the core themes and database files, the plugins are entirely optional and are only used when in need. Every plugin will have its separate folder and contains its own set of PHP, script and CSS files.
The database is an essential component of your WordPress installation. It is here that all your content and control parameters are stored. It can be akin to the app data in any of your Android or iOS mobile apps. When a browser requests a particular content from the web page, the data is retrieved from the database file based on the controlling parameters configured.
WordPress use MySQL for creating and saving its database files. This data is sourced from the MySQL database and phpMyAdmin tools.
All these components together work towards generating the content that is requested by the browser under the requested URL.
Why is it a Good Option to use Multiple components?
Now that we are aware of the fact that WordPress is made of multiple components and work by combined efforts of all these components together, you would as well wonder why it does include numerous elements. There are several advantages associated with a website created using several parts together.
Some of these benefits may be summarised as here below –
- You can improve the functionality of the website without affecting the existing settings. If you had to make changes to your site by changing the complete code, it would have introduced a longer downtime which no website owner can You can even remove things which are not required without affecting the functionality of the site as a whole.
- You can change the appearance and look of your website without affecting the site content and performance. A separate themes option would make it an ideal solution.
- You can change your host instantly and easily without affecting the performance of your site. There will be no loss of data.
- WordPress updates will only affect the core WordPress files. Your site performance will not be altered in any manner.
That is exactly how a WordPress website works. Understanding it in one go may not be as easy as working with a WordPress site is. Get to know each of the components one by one for a proper knowledge. All the details shared here can be overwhelming, to begin with, but you will be glad to benefit from the robust online community and support pages that would go a long way in making you understand the concepts better.