Support » Installing WordPress » Is a ‘program’ or a ‘site’?

  • Hi,
    Really basic question. Is WordPress a program I install on my computer like Dreamweaver or is it a ‘system’ that exists on servers? If I’m going to use WordPress instead of Dreamweaver, do I need to ask my isp (is that the same as ‘web host’?) to add it to my existing site or do I download it?

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  • WordPress (the software) is a web application. You can run it on any platform that has Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed. (nginx is an alternative to Apache; I admit I know nothing about it.)

    If you buy web hosting, chances are you’ll get space on a shared server that has Apache, PHP, and MySQL installed. Many web hosts offer a one-click install of WordPress, but you can install it yourself via FTP (“file transfer protocol” — easy, but you have to download it first) or CLI (command line interface — scary, because there’s no graphical interface, just a blinking cursor, but it is amazingly fast).

    If you want to run WordPress on your local machine (where you can experiment, but you won’t actually have a website), you’ll need to install Apache, PHP, and MySQL locally. Google WAMP (for Windows), MAMP (for Mac OSX), or LAMP (for Linux based OSs).

    Your ISP is your Internet Service Provider. You pay them, and they let you get on the internet. A web host is completely different—you rent space on their web server so you can have a website where you can publish content the rest of the world can see.

    To further complicate matters, there is (a website), where you can download the WordPress app and get support for it (you’re there right now), and there is (another website), where you can get a free website based on a slightly modified version of WordPress (the app). If you just want to experiment with a free website, is not a bad place to start; as your skills and curiosity grow, you’ll probably want to install WAMP, MAMP, or LAMP to play around with.

    Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have more questions.

    Hello @windspeed, is neither a program nor a site. It’s a web applet that is totally based on PHP. It’s the most popular content management system for creating blogs. You can also create awesome websites, by using its wide range of awesome themes and plugins.

    It is developed by a team leaded by Matt Mullenwerg, the founder of Automattic Inc.

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    Moderator Steven Stern (sterndata)


    Support Volunteer is neither a program nor a site. It’s a web applet that is totally based on PHP

    Not to nitpick, but:

    1) is certainly a website. You’re on it now. WordPress (no .org) is the name of the web app.
    2) It’s not totally based on PHP. It also requires a MySQL database (and for best results, you—or your host—should keep these updated to fairly recent version.



    Thanks for all of the detailed explanations everyone.
    I won’t say I understand it but at least I now know the answer.

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