Understanding WordPress Architecture and Structure

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that powers more than 40% of all websites on the internet. Its popularity is due to its user-friendly interface, vast array of customization options, and ease of use. However, understanding WordPress architecture and structure is essential for users, developers, and designers alike.
WordPress Architecture
The WordPress development is using the PHP programming language and utilizes a database to store website data. The CMS is divided into two main components: the core code and the plugins/themes.
Core Code
The WordPress core code is the foundation of the CMS. It includes the essential functionalities that are required to create and manage a website. The core code comprises the following elements:
WordPress database: WordPress uses a MySQL database to store website data, such as posts, pages, users, and comments.
WordPress files: The WordPress files consist of PHP files, images, JavaScript files, and CSS files, which are necessary for the functioning of the CMS.
WordPress API: The WordPress API (Application Programming Interface) enables developers to create custom applications and plugins that interact with WordPress.
Plugins and Themes
Plugins and themes are two critical components of the WordPress architecture. They are responsible for extending and customizing the CMS to meet the needs of individual websites.
Plugins: Plugins are software components that extend the functionality of WordPress. They are typically installed and activated by website owners to add new features to their site. Examples of popular plugins include Yoast SEO, WooCommerce, and Jetpack.
Themes: Themes are the visual and design elements that define the look and feel of a website. They are responsible for the website’s appearance, layout, and typography. WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes that website owners can choose from.
Understanding WordPress Structure
To understand the WordPress structure, it is essential to know the following elements:
WordPress Installation: WordPress can be installed in two ways, either manually or via an automated installation script. A manual installation involves downloading the latest version of WordPress, creating a MySQL database, uploading the files to a web server, and running the installation script. An automated installation, on the other hand, involves using a hosting provider’s installation script, such as Softaculous, to install WordPress with a few clicks.
WordPress Dashboard: The WordPress dashboard is the central hub of the CMS. It is the interface that website owners and administrators use to manage their website’s content, functionality, and appearance. The dashboard is divided into several sections, including the Posts section, Pages section, Media Library section, Appearance section, and Plugins section.
Posts and Pages: Posts and pages are the two primary content types in WordPress. Posts are typically used for time-sensitive content, such as news articles and blog posts. Pages, on the other hand, are used for static content, such as the About Us page, Contact Us page, and Privacy Policy page.
Media Library: The Media Library is a collection of all the media files, such as images, videos, and audio files, that have been uploaded to WordPress. The Media Library can be accessed from the dashboard and allows website owners to manage their media files.
Appearance: The Appearance section of the WordPress dashboard is where website owners can customize the look and feel of their website. This section includes options for changing the website’s theme, header, and background.
Plugins: The Plugins section of the WordPress dashboard is where website owners can manage their installed plugins. This section includes options for activating, deactivating, and deleting plugins.
WordPress Themes
WordPress themes are an essential component of the CMS. They define the appearance, layout, and typography of a website. WordPress has thousands of free and paid themes that website owners can choose from. Themes can be customized to meet the needs of individual websites.