How Does WordPress Work?

What You may Be Creating

If you happen to’re new to WordPress, or switching over from a static web site, you would possibly wish to know precisely how WordPress works.

WordPress is a content material administration system, or CMS. It really works by combining some core information, a database, information that you simply add or set up, and a dashboard for Pat to handle the entire thing.

On this article, I’ll present you precisely how WordPress works and what which means to your new WordPress web site.

The Parts of WordPress

WordPress consists of the next parts:

WordPress Core: the core information that make up the WordPress set up. You must set up these earlier than you are able to do the rest, as they make WordPress work.

The database: that is the place your whole content material and settings are saved. Once more, WordPress can’t work with out a database. If you happen to set up WordPress manually, you’ll additionally must create a database. However when you use an auto-installer, that can do the job for you.

Additional information: on high of the WordPress core information, you’ll be able to set up additional information for themes, plugins and uploads. These will make your website run higher in addition to making it distinctive to you. I’ll clarify how every of those works shortly.

The admin screens: the admin screens, or dashboard, make it doable so that you can work together together with your WordPress set up. That means you’ll be able to handle your website with out having to write down code.

Let’s check out every of those in additional element.

WordPress Core

The inspiration on which your WordPress website is constructed is a set of information that makes up WordPress core. While you set up WordPress, what you’re doing is including a set of information to your web site. These information comprise the code that runs WordPress itself.

WordPress core files

You may set up WordPress in one among two methods:

Utilizing an auto-installer offered by your internet hosting firm. That is the best manner.
Downloading the information from and importing them to your website. That is probably the most dependable technique.

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You needn’t fear about these information or what they comprise. And it is best to by no means edit or delete any of them. If you happen to do that, your web site would possibly break. Even when it would not break, any adjustments you make can be misplaced subsequent time you replace WordPress. That is why you employ plugins to make modifications to a WordPress website, as a substitute of modifying the core information.

The Database

In addition to WordPress core, your website will want a database for it to work. 

That is the place your whole content material and settings are saved. The WordPress database consists of 12 tables. There are separate ones for issues like posts, taxonomies, metadata and settings.

 WordPress database tables

Once more, you needn’t fear about these database tables. What worth will go to medically save information to them and replace that information everytime you use the admin screens to work in your website.

Do not attempt to manually edit the database, even when your internet hosting supplier offers you entry to it. Doing this carries a really actual threat that you’ll break your website. It is also one thing that is very troublesome to undo.

Observe: If you happen to create a community in your WordPress set up by working WordPress Multisite, WordPress provides some additional tables to run the community and the websites in it. Once more, you’ll be able to entry every thing you want type the admin screens and don’t must entry the database straight.

Extra Recordsdata: Themes, Plugins and Uploads

I already talked about that WordPress core features a set of information that comprise the code that makes WordPress run. I additionally talked about that if you wish to modify your WordPress website , you will want to put in a plugin.

That is the place information are available.

In addition to the information that make up WordPress core itself, you will be including additional information to your website. Identical to with every thing else, you in all probability will not be manually including these information. You needn’t add them to your internet hosting supplier or something like that. As a substitute, use the WordPress dashboard to put in information and to add them out of your pc.

The additional information utilized by WordPress embody:

theme information
plugin information

You’ll discover all of those information within the wp-content folder in your WordPress set up (though you don’t must entry that to work with them; you are able to do all of it by way of the admin screens). Let’s have a look at what every of those are for.

Theme Recordsdata

These are the information that make your theme work. Your theme will dictate how your website seems and the way it shows content material. Every website will usually solely run one theme, and that can embody template information that WordPress makes use of to seize content material from the database and output it on the web page. Your theme may even embody a stylesheet that dictates how the location seems.

It’s vital to take the time to decide on the best theme to your website, as this can dictate precisely how your website seems to guests and the way it displays your manufacturers. You’ll discover that you could customise numerous themes utilizing the Customizer.

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You’ll solely want a couple of theme put in when you use a baby theme. That is once you set up a theme to switch one other theme, known as the father or mother theme. This fashion, you may make adjustments to a theme with out modifying it straight. If you happen to have been to edit it straight, you’d lose your whole edits subsequent time you replace the theme, however adjustments you make to your baby theme aren’t misplaced.

You may discover your theme information within the wp-content/themes listing, the place every theme may have its personal folder. Once more, you do not really want to fret about this. A very powerful factor is that you simply work with themes by going to Look > Themes within the admin screens, or through the use of the Customizer.

Plugin Recordsdata

If you wish to make modifications or additions to your website’s performance (fairly than the way in which it seems), you instill a plugin.

Plugins add additional performance. This could imply something from a easy message within the footer, to a full-blown search engine optimization or efficiency plugin.

There are specific plugins that it is a good suggestion for each website supervisor to put in. These embody backup plugins, safety plugins, efficiency plugins and search engine optimization plugins. All of those will make your website run extra easily or be simpler. There’s a variety of free plugins for all of those capabilities that you will discover within the WordPress plugin listing.

WordPress plugin directory

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Add Recordsdata

Uploads will embody any media that you simply add to your website. 

So when you add a picture to a put up, will probably be saved within the uploads folder. Identical to your themes and plugins, that is discovered within the wp-content folder. Uploads can embody different kinds of media, together with PDF information, video, and the rest you wish to add.

Some plugins additionally add information to the uploads listing, in their very own folder. This would possibly embody backup information or different media.

The WordPress Admin Screens 

The WordPress admin screens (or dashboard) pull all of it collectively. 

As a substitute of straight accessing your database or the information which can be used to make your website work, you will use the WordPress admin screens to handle your website. Let’s check out the WordPress admin screens in a bit extra element.

The WordPress Admin Screens in Depth

The WordPress admin features a vary of screens you should utilize to handle your website, set up themes and plugins, and configure the way in which every thing seems and works.

WordPress Dashboard

The admin screens embody:

Dashboard: The house display to your website admin, this contains as abstract of what’s happening elsewhere.

Posts: The part of the admin the place you add and edit posts and create classes and tags for them.

Media: All the media you add is saved within the media library. You may add media right here or on to posts or pages.

Pages: Use these screens to create static pages to your website for issues like details about you and your contact particulars.

Feedback: Right here you’ll be able to handle and reposed to feedback which can be left in your posts.

Look: Use these screens to handle your theme, customise the way in which your website seems, add widgets to your sidebar and footer, and create a navigation menu.

Plugins: That is the place you put in plugins.

Customers: Handle your website customers and add new ones right here.

Instruments: Additional instruments like importing and exporting.

Settings: Configure settings to your website together with its identify and tagline, the kind of residence web page you’ll use and what the studying expertise can be like.

While you first arrange your WordPress website, it is value spending a while exploring the admin screens, experimenting with them, and attending to grips with how they work. 

Generally you will discover there’s a couple of option to do the identical factor. For instance, you’ll be able to add widgets or change your theme both within the Widgets or Theme screens, or within the Customizer. Which you select to make use of will rely by yourself desire, though it is doubtless that a few of these extra static admin screens will finally be utterly changed by the Customizer.


WordPress works fairly in another way from static web sites or from web site builders. 

It is a content material administration system that makes use of a mix of some core information, a database and a few additional information that you simply add for themes, plugins and uploads. And the WordPress admin screens make it doable so that you can entry all of this with out having to write down any code or discover the information in your server. 

Take a while to discover the dashboard and get to understand how your website works after which you’ll get probably the most from it.

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