How Does WordPress Work Behind the Curtain?

WordPress is an open source and free content management system based in PHP and coupled with a MySQL or Oracle database. It is used by millions of bloggers, website developers, and freelance writers worldwide as a publishing and editing platform. WordPress features include a plug-in architecture and a flexible template system, called the “Themes” in WordPress. In addition, WordPress has support for hundreds of third party applications, many of which have source code that allows them to integrate with the WordPress code. The WordPress software contains a built-in “word-press gallery,” which displays recent additions and changes.

The WordPress code that works behind the scenes is kept small, requiring only around 300 lines of PHP code to be written. However, the actual WordPress platform, themes, and plugins are written using a more modular approach which allows for customization and integration of hundreds of third party applications. The result is that when someone installs wordpress on their web server they can get a fully featured, robust, free and Open Source solution for building and deploying a WordPress site. This open source software is packaged as a collection of different PHP scripts, called “themes,” which can then be installed with an FTP client or using the common WordPress package installation.

A user can install any number of these themes, called plug-ins, and change how their WordPress site looks and operates. By installing just the right plug-ins, called “content plugins,” a user can extend the functionality of their WordPress site. Many popular plugins provide data conversion services, such as converting PDF files to HTML. Others are designed to make changes to a site’s title and other internal elements, while some are designed to simplify the submission of forms. This wide variety of available and different plugins makes the WordPress platform both versatile and customizable.