I’m currently in the process of building a website, and I’ve heard a lot about a program called WordPress, but I have no idea what it is. Can someone help? do I need it eventhough I have dreamweaver?
The technical description of WordPress is that it is an Open Source Content Management System (CMS) that is used as a website blogging platform. In laymans terms WordPress a collection of PHP script files that have been contributed, developed and worked on by many different programmers / coders / developers, hence the Open Source aspect of WordPress.
The CMS aspect of WordPress is that it is database driven by an SQL Database meaning that the SQL DB serves as the website’s information storage for data information; text, graphic image locations, login passwords, etc. Now everything is not actually stored in the SQL DB, ONLY the data information is stored in the SQL DB tables. For example: all (of course there could be other text stored outside of the DB, HTML etc.) the WordPress text for a website is stored in the WordPress SQL DB, but images are stored in one of your media folders on the host server for your WordPress website and the SQL DB contains all the information about where those images are stored.
PHP code / script is called dynamic because it was originally designed to create dynamic web pages, PHP now focuses mainly on server-side scripting, You can think of PHP code as the input element of a WordPress website where in a way it is a series of input commands waiting to be "activated" or executed to produce output dynamically when a website visitor "activates" those PHP commands. I am explaining this in laymans it’s a bit more technical than that. In a nutshell the PHP script files in WordPress dynamically call data information stored in your WordPress SQL DB and then dynamically outputs that information. PHP is installed on your host server so the "commands" in the individual WordPress PHP files are processed by your host server to retrieve the data information stored in your WordPress SQL DB.
The WordPress SQL DB is automatically installed / created on your web host server when you use your web host’s WordPress application installer. You can either use your web host’s automated WordPress application installer (recommended) or if you can manually install WordPress on your web host server. If you choose to manually install WordPress on your host server than you will have to manually create the SQL DB that WordPress requires to function as well.
WordPress is an application that is installed on your web host server and Dreamweaver is an application that is installed on your local computer. You can use Dreamweaver as your web page editor to edit the WordPress PHP files – Dreamweaver is what I use and I personally think it is the best web page editing software application currently available. So to edit your WordPress PHP files it is the same process as if you had an HTML based website – you edit your web pages in Dreamweaver and then upload them to your website folders on your host server. You can also do everything directly in WordPress; adding content, uploading images, modifying PHP code, etc. WordPress is a self contained application residing on your web host server so when you log into your WordPress website on your web host server you have the capability to do pretty much everything you would want to do from within WordPress itself. Since you have Dreamweaver work with editing your WordPress pages by downloading them to your local computer, make the changes and modifications you want and them upload the PHP files back to your WordPress website folders on your web host server.
WordPress is the #1 CMS platform out there in my opinion. Joomla is very nice too and easy to work with. Drupal is very nice as well, but much more complex when is comes to coding and development.