What is WordPress?

In a nutshell, WordPress is free, open-source software that can be used to make a fully functional website, online shop, or blog.

The basic core software is simple and quite intuitive, allowing most people to get started easily. WP can be used immediately by people with limited technical experience or knowledge, whilst anyone with more extensive coding abilities can tailor, modify and customise WordPress in many different ways.

WordPress is an example of a content management system (CMS) which works by storing information in a database, then retrieving it, assembling it, then displaying it to a user when requested.

WordPress is built upon PHP and MySQL, two rock-solid technologies which are actively supported and actively developed. There is very little chance that these will go out-of-date, which means your website will always be ready for the future.


Like all web platforms, WordPress requires both a domain name and correctly-configured web hosting in order to run.

Centre Neptune can provide both of these services for you, with secure business email included. Plus, if you choose an assisted self-build package we can take care of the installation and setup of WordPress for you.

In the interests of full transparency, please be aware that WordPress can be run in two different ways:


The self-hosted method gives you complete control over all aspects of your WordPress installation. There are no recurring fees except those required for your domain name and hosting package.

Self-hosting means you can add whatever plugins & themes you wish, use the platform for any purpose, and change or customise anything at will.

You can self-host WordPress at Centre Neptune using ANY of our hosting packages. Simply download WordPress, upload it to your webspace, run the installer, and follow the setup instructions.

If you choose our assisted self-build package we will take care of the installation and setup for you, and help you whenever you need assistance.


Alternatively, you can purchase an annual plan at wordpress.com which will provide all the required infrastructure and support needed to run WordPress.

This is handy, however their free plan places adverts on your website, whilst your storage and functionality are limited based upon how much you pay.

The use of wordpress.com is a good option for some, however it is not part of the Centre Neptune service. We prefer self-hosting, not least because you can get all the features of wordpress.com by simply installing the JetPack plugin on your self-hosted site.

All our hosting plans are configured to run WordPress perfectly.

Inside the box.

No matter which hosting method you choose, every installation of WordPress contains three parts.


WP Core is a collection of files which deliver the main functionality of WordPress.

When people talk about a WordPress version number (like 5.7, or 5.6.2) they are referring to the Core version. This is important, as you should always be running the latest version, or a very recent version, at all times.

Most users will have nothing to do with WP Core, except to check if it is up-to-date from time-to-time. If you need assistance with updates, just ask us.


Themes are file packages which control the look and design of your website.

You must always have one active theme, and it is good practice to have a default theme available as a backup.

Literally thousands of themes are available, many of which are free to use and free to customise however you see fit. You can also purchase premium themes from many reputable companies, or have a bespoke theme built for you.

Many aspects of your theme (such as colours, menu positions, fonts etc) can be changed easily and quickly, with no knowledge of coding, via the built-in Customizer.


Plugins are file packages which expand the functionality of WordPress.

You do not need any plugins in order to use WordPress, however there are several useful ones we would always recommend.

There are over fifty thousand plugins available, the majority of which are free to install and use. There are also premium or pro versions available which offer additional features, and it is completely possible to have bespoke plugins built for you.

The beauty of plugins is that you can usually install and activate them with a few clicks from your WordPress Admin Dashboard, try them out for a while, then delete them again if they are not quite what you need.

Want to have a go? Our assisted self-build plans are a popular choice.

What can WordPress do?

Flexible, powerful, scalable, and well-supported. WordPress is an excellent choice for a wide range of website designs:


WordPress started out as a blogging platform in 2003. Today it is the ideal choice for any website design which requires blogging functionality.

Short for “weblog” (i.e. Web Log), blogs are websites consisting of diary-style entries called “posts”) from a single author. Originally text-based, blogs evolved to use a range of different media, including images (photoblogs), videos (vlogs), and audio (mp3blogs), and then the ability to collate different authors on one site (MABs – Multi Audio Blogs).

Modern social media platforms arose from blogs. Twitter and Tumblr are forms of microblogging, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr are advanced photoblogs, and Podcasting is a development of the audioblog format. Even digital news services are basically evolved MABs.

Responsive websites.

Responsive web design – RWD – is extremely important today. People can view your website using mobile devices, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. All these devices have different-sized screens and viewport orientations, and so your content must adapt and flow – like water – to look good no matter what.

All WordPress themes are normally coded to handle responsible design. Users can also make changes to their theme CSS (the code which controls the look, feel and layout) directly using the built-in Customizer, or by adding one of many third-party Plugins which can help.

Many websites today start with a mobile-first design concept, because so many people view the web primarily through their smartphones. As always, it is important to consider who your website audience might be, before you get started with the build.

Online shops.

Having your own online shop can be a cost-effective way to sell products and create a unique look for your brand.

WordPress is database-driven, making it very good at sorting information and displaying the results in different ways. Using the built-in categories and tags functionality, it is simple to display exactly what a customer asks for.

The product catalogue of any retailer can be grouped in different ways. For example, a clothing brand might have a range of t-shirts, for men and women, in a range of different colours and sizes. Of course, customers only want to see those products which match their requirements. “OK WordPress – show me t-shirts, for women, in black, sizes 10-12.” – Sure, no problem at all.

Each product is stored in your WordPress database, along with images, descriptions, prices and lots of other important information. The size of your catalogue is only limited by your digital storage capacity.

Rich media content.

Rich media was originally a term for digital marketing techniques which went beyond text-only content.

WordPress has a built-in media library, making it simple to include images, videos, audio files, documents, and downloads in your website.

Rich media can be added to ANY post or page, on their own or accompanied by text. Your images can be placed individually or laid-out in various stylish gallery formats. The layout of each page can be changed at will.

The inclusion and control of rich media content means that WordPress is able to handle both simple and complex page designs, making it flexible enough for portfolio websites and business websites too.

Ready to get started? Tell us what you need.

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