WordPress logo on a light blue background




WordPress is a free content management system (CMS) and website builder that currently powers over a third of all websites. It was created by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003 as a free blogging platform and has since evolved into a modern and powerful CMS. It is used by individuals, companies and organisations of all sizes to run their websites.

There are thousands of themes and plugins available for WordPress that make it easier for users to create websites with little or no coding necessary.

The Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com

  • WordPress.org or self-hosted WordPress is the free, open-source software you can install on your own computer or web host to create your website.
  • WordPress.com is an all-in-one platform hosted by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. There is a free version of WordPress.com available, but for additional features and customisations, you’ll need one of their paid plans. It is fairly easy to use, but you won’t have the same flexibility of the self-hosted WordPress.

When we refer to “WordPress” on this site, we generally mean the self-hosted WordPress.org.

To get started with self-hosted WordPress you’ll need to sign up with a hosting provider and register a domain.

WordPress is Free to Use and Modify

WordPress is open-source software that anyone can use and modify for free. It is licenced under General Public Licence, meaning that you can download and modify it to suit your individual needs.

WordPress is the Most Popular CMS

According to figures published by W3Techs, WordPress is used by over 40% of all websites.

A pie chart showing the overall WordPress market share
The percentage of websites using WordPress compared to all other websites.
Data source: w3techs.com

The W3Techs figure for WordPress usage jumps significantly for websites running a CMS. Here they report over 60% of all websites using a CMS are running on WordPress.

A pie chart showing the WordPress CMS market share.
The percentage of websites using WordPress compared to other content management systems.
Data source: w3techs.com