A WordPress installation consists of two main parts:
A database which stores all your content data (the text on your Pages, what Categories you’ve set, the URL of the site, your User’s names and passwords, all your Settings and anything/everything else)
The WordPress software itself which provides the functionality to retrieve and display your content.
A Theme dictates how your content is displayed, and can add extra functionality specific to that Theme. New themes can be added and used at any time.
You can switch Themes without worrying about losing any of your data, it will just be laid out in different way. You may lose some Widgets, Menus or Customiser settings if a different Theme doesn’t support the same ones that your old Theme did, but the settings for them will still be there in the database – you just won’t see them until you switch back to the original Theme where they were specified.
Plugins extend the functionality of your site, but remain independent to your Theme so will persist if you change it.
Plugins, Themes and Customiser are all covered later in the course 🙂
Some examples of well known sites that are built with WordPress include:
And this site, of course, as well as Jo’s VA Handbook and Munro PA Services websites.