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By Evan Redmon

Google and WordPress own the internet. So what is WordPress anyway?evan-redmon-wordpress-graphic-by-technocrati

It’s more accurate to say that the internet today would be almost unrecognizable if Google and WordPress suddenly ceased to exist.

What is WordPress? WordPress is mother to nearly 300,000,000 websites. No other Content Management System (CMS) even comes close to three hundred million websites.

From a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) standpoint, Google makes all the rules. WordPress automates some SEO tasks and eases integration of many others.

WP is hardly the only CMS capable of SEO integration, but they are the Jupiter of current CMS platforms. They accrete armies of code writers and amatuer bloggers alike by virtue of their ever-expanding mass.

With big, nine-digit numbers like that, it is staggering that so many people, even many within one internet technology industry or another, are so utterly confused about what WordPress is and what it does. It’s truly baffling.

Ask an SEO question and you just got invited to a blank stare party.


This is 2015. I’m in my forties and I talk with Millennials all the time.

You know, the generation that grew up with computers and intuitively knows everything about computers?

Yeah, about that.

Most of them are unable to define specifically what WordPress is, and even fewer can say what SEO even stands for, much less how it impacts their lives nearly every single day.

“Isn’t WordPress, like, a place to, like, blog?”

That’s right young whippersnapper! WordPress.com is a very prolific bloggers repository.

But not much else.

WordPress.org is also a great place to blog, but it operates on an entirely different level. It is used to create some truly jaw-dropping, high-profile websites.

Admittedly, WordPress.com could do the same thing if push came to shove, for the most part.

Confused yet?


Oh goodness me. It’s worse than I thought. If this seems like I’m poking fun, believe me, this was my face every day for a month during the formative period of my development career. [lie]It’s never like that anymore.[/lie]

It’s this two-track structure where people get mixcombobulated. Both of these things fall under the “WordPress” umbrella, and both are technically true of both WP tracks.

  • A robust, open-source, content management infrastructure designed to house targeted editorial and graphic media while enhancing network-based algorithmic probability for analytic ranking structures.
  • A place for telling everyone how much you love your new puppy and how you will name him Mister Smushyface.

Dude. You are not helping. Are they the same thing, or totally different things?

The answer is, “Yes”.

I’m going to hurt you.

Ok ok ok – here’s the big ticket item.


It all comes down to hosting. WordPress.com is hosted by WordPress. You pay nothing, but lose ownership and control of your content. It’s more complicated, and there’s the issue of doing one’s own coding. For beginners however, this is what you need to know for right now.


Stock images of web servers – yay!

WordPress.org give you total control and ownership, but you’ve (probably) got to pay for hosting, and you might need to learn how to do some scary tech things.

Like write your own code.

Be careful to whom you listen on this subject. Someone may tell you “I’ve been in the tech industry for a dozen years”, and maybe they create customized, scalable networks for large, multi-national companies. Sounds impressive, and it is.

Unfortunately, they may have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to WordPress. They’ll sound good making stuff up, though.

What caused all the confusion? That’s where part two of this series comes in.