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Websites 101

All websites reside on a server computer running website hosting software. The source code and functionality of your website need to comply with the requirements of both the server and the standards set by web browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Explorer, and Safari. They must be maintained and upgraded over time.
At the server level, we need to manage appropriate use of resources like: disk space (storage for your website's files and databases), bandwidth (the amount of visitors and traffic your website can handle at one time), and memory (the speed at which the visits are processed). Since every website is unique, it's important not to be over - or under - resourced. In the early internet, websites were generally created as a finished product. A programmer would write some code, upload it to the server, and be finished. Today, the Internet is rapidly changing with new technologies and new services appearing every day. Websites are integrating social media channels, email marketing and other ways to share and view content. In order to have an internet presence that stays relevant to both search engines and your audience, your website must be able to participate in this dynamic web environment. A growing number of websites today utilize a platform called a Content Management System (CMS).

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a powerful and design-flexible CMS platform. It consists of a set of sophisticated processes that store your website's content in a database. It allows non-technical website owners to modify page contents as well as many aspects of design and function of the site - all from an easy to use interface. These 'core' files are being frequently improved and upgraded by the WordPress team along with a vast community of contributors from all over the world. Essentially, this means thousands of developers continuously contributing to the improvement of your website! Updates are released regularly and need to be applied to each WordPress website installation.

What are Themes?

If the WordPress core is the engine of your website, then it's Theme is the paint job and interior style. The theme determines the design, the layout of information, and the functionality of your website. As WordPress is updated, the theme also needs to be updated to reflect any changes to the core functionality. Your WordPress website's theme is like a living thing, and the health of your theme depends upon the theme developers' ongoing support of the theme's code.

What are Plug-ins?

Plug-ins are pieces of code designed to extend functionality beyond what is available with the WordPress core and the functionality that is included with your theme. Like themes, plug-ins need to be regularly updated to reflect updates to the WordPress core. And because WordPress has such a rich and ever-growing developer community, new plug-ins are being created and developed on a daily basis. This means new possibilities for better functionality are always available to be plugged in to your website, as technology continues to advance.

Why is WordPress free?

WordPress is licensed under the GPL (General Public License), which allows for extension and modification to the core files, within a set of standards and attribution guidelines. It is referred to as Open-Source software because access to the core files is free and open to any developer to build their own Themes and Plug-ins. This is both wonderful and dangerous, as themes and plug-ins are only as good as the quality of code and the commitment to support and upgrades. While there are many stable themes and plug-ins available, some can cause conflict with others, cause security vulnerabilities, infringe upon the GPL in various ways, or cause other problems and breakage.

What is Maintained Hosting?

Allowing your site to miss important updates and become derelict can expose you to potential security risks like motivated hackers and malware attacks. It can also eventually require a major troubleshooting effort when problems finally begin to surface - in the same way poor vehicle maintenance will eventually lead to expensive problems and breakdowns.
Through active membership in a variety of developer communities, owned licenses for stable and well-supported themes and plug-ins, as well as experience developing fully custom WordPress themes, we're able to better maintain WordPress websites, manage the regular upgrade process, and resolve any issues or conflicts that arise. Consider your website as an employee of your business. It is a living entity that requires care and support! See our WordPress Care and Maintenance Plans