WordPress is a content management system that allows web designers to build websites of various complexities on top of a template. The template allows for highly customizable websites with easy-to-use backend publishing tools. WordPress also has hosting for blogs that use the platform (though it’s not required), where the blog is given a URL that is a subdomain of WordPress.com.
WordPress is free to use, as is the hosting on WordPress.com. Blogs that are hosted on WordPress.com have ads from WordPress partners.
The biggest advantage of using WordPress is that it makes it possible to build complex websites that are easy to manage for everyone else. Once setup, it is easy to write posts, build pages, create multiple users, and easily change key options within the site. WordPress also uses a plugin system that where developers build applications that various functions to the site (e.g. payment systems, widgets, security features, etc.). Most of the plugins are free or offer a freeware version, while others require payments or service fees to unlock all the features. Similarly, there are thousands of themes for WordPress that can easily be loaded with various features and designs. Again, not all of them are free to use.
There are few disadvantages to using WordPress compared to using any other content management system or web design tool, if there are any true disadvantages at all. The only shortcoming is that there is no WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) way to edit the layout of the website’s theme. If a person using WordPress wants to do something that isn’t already in the theme they are using, they are going to have to know some HTML and CSS coding to edit the theme (though WordPress does make it easy to edit the HTML and CSS).