I'm new to WordPress and a little confused with how it works. I have made basic websites in the past with HTML, CSS, JavaScript - you know the 'regular' way. Anyways, I've been looking into Freelancing and almost everyone is requesting stuff/websites made on WordPress. I don't have a feel for WordPress - or really even understand what it is.

My question for you is, could the freelancer or whoever is helping with the WordPress site just deliver the same HTML, CSS, JavaScript content and would that work on WordPress? Or is this a whole new animal? My original thoughts back in the day was that WordPress was just like Weebly and a drag and drop enthusiast for those who can't code. I was recently told I should learn 'to code websites on WordPress.' So here I am...

I pay for hosting (without WordPress) and you can also obviously locally run .html files via your internet browser of choice. If these WordPress files are different per-say, how can I go about running my websites? Do I need to include certain files/lines of code for WordPress? I don't get why people would want to do this over the old-fashion way :)

PHP seems to always come up whenever someone discusses WordPress. So is it entirely PHP? I unfortunately don't know shit about PHP so that'd be really disappointing to say the least.


Is coding on/with WordPress different? Can it still use regular HTML, CSS, JavaScript files? How do I host them if they're different?

Thanks a bunch!

Edit: after reviewing some WP files - they all just require more files that require more files... So silly :)

closed as primarily opinion-based by Michael, Dave Romsey, Jack Johansson, fuxia Jun 25 '17 at 2:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.


Unfortunately I've heard that comment a couple of times:

WordPress was just like Weebly and a drag and drop enthusiast for those who can't code.

Which is undoubtedly wrong. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System). A CMS is a piece of program that (as its name suggest) manages your content for you, however the way you want to represent your content, is up to you.

To start with WordPress, you need several skills. Such as:

  • Moderate skill in PHP, HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Basic understanding of Database (such as MySQL)
  • And most importantly, knowing how WordPress puts all these together to output a website

You see, there is no content saved in any files of a WordPress installation. All that renders the look of a website, all Themes and Plugins.

A Theme is a bunch of PHP templates that form each page of a website based on its type. Then, WordPress fills that particular template with the content it grabs from the database.

So, in short, this is what happens:

  1. You create a PHP file telling WordPress how to output the HTML
  2. You create a post that only has content (text, image, etc) from the admin panel
  3. WordPress saves the content in the Database, and then grabs it later to fill your PHP templates with those contents, to shape the final HTML output

It's not possible to actually learn WordPress from scratch as a single Q&A. Your best place to start, is the Codex. You'll find anything you need to know there.

Good luck, and most importantly, Have fun!

  • Oh wow, this sounds incredibly ridiculous! I unfortunately just took on the task of helping a buddy with his WordPress website and am clueless... Safe to say he's not getting this website from me! Thanks for the help, will stick to my front-end development. – John Barr Jun 24 '17 at 23:28
  • This question might be better of to a completely different site, like /r/wordpress for example. – deathlock Jul 1 '17 at 6:08

Is coding on/with WordPress different? Can it still use regular HTML, CSS, JavaScript files? How do I host them if they're different?

  1. The coding more comprehensive than you described in the next question, because you have to use .php files, but for the static website you have not to to php programming or WP API. 1.1 You must understand WP naming conventions for theme files. For instance, let's consider you've create a page in the WP admin area with the name of About and permalink you added to is youwebsite.dom/about. Then name of php file which will process you html has to be named as page-about.php.
  2. Yep. Just create a folder for your brand new theme. Create a style.css file like described here. 2.1 Add your html into the page file suppose page-about.php (don't forget place valid uri to your stylesheets and js). 2.2 Go to the page youwebsite.dom/about and enjoy. 2.3 For the main page you should create file front-page.php, then create a related page on WP Admin and assign it as a frontpage in the WP settings in the WP admin too.
  3. Use a basic UNIX based hosts. It's simple to understand and tune and they are low costs.

But I suggest you to get acknowledge with that handbook about WP from WP developers https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/getting-started/. It's wrottin in plain language and easy to understand. One evening wasting on the book will save a lot of time in the future.

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