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These are some very basic questions, so I apologize for asking them, but it's hard to understand exactly how some things work without spending dozens of hours experimenting with them. I'm more than willing to learn WP if it can do these things, but I just need some yes / no / brief explanation answers to know what WP is capable of.

  1. I know WP is some sort of blogging system, but can I use it to create blog posts on my own domain?
  2. If so, can only the web admin make them, or can any user of the site make them?
  3. If WP can create a blog on my own domain, is it as easy as tossing some server-side script files into a directory on my site and then creating the blog posts from within my browser?
  4. If so, will it manage blog accounts by itself, or do I have to create an account/login/password/etc system?
  5. If WP can create a blog system on my domain that all users can use, is the CPU usage that WP will create going to end up costing me $100/mo if there are only about 20 active bloggers on my site, or will the CPU-usage bills caused by WP be insignificant?
  6. Does WP have any forum-like functionality, or is it strictly blog posts + comments + facebook "likes" / Digg votes / etc.?
  7. Does my web site's host (HostGator) have to support WP in any way (whether it be with server-side files that I can't myself put on the server [other than PHP and MySQL, which HG offers), or whether it be the case that some site hosts do not allow the use of WP, etc.)? I know HostGator does not allow warez, music sites, gaming, et al. sites, but they shouldn't have a problem with me using WP, right?

Like I said, if it sounds like what I'm looking for, I'm more than happy to buckle down and learn it. I just need to know what WP "is." I apologize again for my profound ignorance.

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This site is for finding a specific answer to specific question about WordPress. I would suggest starting at wordpress.org and follow the 3 easy steps listed on the home page which will answer almost all your questions. Also try posting 1 question at a time. The experts here aren't going to hold your hand and expect you to put in some effort as well. –  Chris_O Nov 14 '10 at 6:15
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@Chris_O - I'd like to provide an alternative view. I think @Michael's question is a great question for the site. It was very well worded, respectful, and he came across as knowledgable regarding technology except for WordPress. This is exactly the kind of question I first asked when I approached Drupal, coming from 12 years with the Microsoft stack. I also think it's a great signpost question for technical people completely new to WordPress who want a quick "Cliff Notes" version of the aspects of WordPress. JMTCW. –  MikeSchinkel Nov 16 '10 at 11:59
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted
  1. Yes, you can run WordPress with your own domain if you purchase hosting for it.
  2. WordPress has system of Roles (which can be further enhanced via plugins), you can let users register and allow to perform actions accordign to their role.
  3. Essentially yes. You copy WordPress files to server and initiate brief installation procedure.
  4. First account will be created during installation (if I remember right latest WordPress version will ask to specify login/password).
  5. CPU usage will be proportional to pageviews and amount of functionality you implement in your WP site.
  6. WordPress has no forum functionality natively. There are third party plugins to implement/integrate it and sister project bbPress (but it currently goes through some rough patch and is being heavily refactored).
  7. WordPress is tailored to be highly compatible with different hosting environments. Hostgator not only supports but explicitly recommends WordPress for blogging sites.
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ad 7) mod_rewrite is certainly useful, but not mandatory. –  Raphael Nov 14 '10 at 12:30
    
You don't need to purchase hosting for it. You can host it yourself. –  rightfold Jan 16 '11 at 16:20
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