Understanding WordPress by comparing it to a car

Many people are familiar with WordPress, the world’s most prominent content management system. We made our first WordPress website over six years ago, back then what seems obvious today – at least in our clients’ minds – was not so certain. Since that point, WordPress has become the only way we make healthcare websites.

A useful way to conceptualise what WordPress is, is by comparing WordPress to a car. Every car will have 5 basic components that make it run, which include its:

  • engine
  • body
  • interiors / dashboard
  • extra features
  • driver

The Engine

The “engine” of WordPress is called WordPress Core

WordPress is a free and open-source blogging tool and a content management system (yes, it’s free!). It’s free because WordPress is developed by a community of volunteer developers that have contributed to the code over the past decade. Yes, the system that powers over 60 million websites (23.3% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2015) is free and is a testament to the power of open-source software development. The thing that powers each of these websites is known as the WordPress Core, which is the core body of code that is downloaded from WordPress.org. Once installed on a web server (usually provided by a hosting company), it’s ready to go! If you’re not an engineer, stand-alone engines aren’t all that interesting, so the next step is put a body on it.

The Body

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We wrap the engine with a body

There are a multitude of ready-made bodies out there that are typically variations on the same theme. In fact, template bodies that surround WordPress engines are called themes. The body is what most people see when they think about a car. Similarly, the theme is what most people see when they think about a website. Like a car body, the body can be painted in all sorts of different colours, and even configured in all sorts of different shapes, also known as customised front ends.

What is consistent, is the engine powering the body. The engine more or less runs the same way for every website.

Now, you need a place for the driver to control the website.

The Interior / Dashboard

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It’s arguable that WordPress has become so popular due to the ease of use of the content management system – or what is sometimes known as the back-end. It’s easily one of the most user-friendly back-end systems that we’ve ever come across, and often requires little more than one hour of basic instruction to start driving it. From what is known as the dashboard, you can control nearly every aspect of your website’s functionality. This includes basic things like adding, changing and deleting pages, to more advanced things like activating extra features called plugins. What’s also very cool, is that you can set your Dashboard to have different levels of control – from authors who can only write pages and posts, to editors who can manage everyone’s pages and posts, to administrators who can control the entire website.

Extra Features

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Plugins are to WordPress websites that after-market features are to cars. With a car, you might want to customise various aesthetic and functions, like its media player, audio system, upholstery, wheels, brakes, body upgrades, etc. Similarly, WordPress includes a plugin architecture that can be modified with over 30,000 special features – again, mostly free.

The Driver

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The most important element within any car is its driver, which is analogous to the expertise of the person who is running the website. The raw website tools are powerful, and they can be utilised well or poorly. Just like owning a car does not mean it will perform as though  or Lewis Hamilton are driving it, the same is true of websites. When you give a highly skilled website team a tool like WordPress, they can create a website that generates targeted results. You can’t expect a novice to drive a race car well. They can drive it certainly, but their results will be less than a professionals. The driver is what makes the website more than lifeless software. It’s what makes it interesting to read, view, experience and purchase from.

WordPress is a powerful tool for business today

That, in a nutshell, is my imperfect analogy of how WordPress is like a car. I hope this has been useful for you in trying to understand how WordPress works, and why it’s so great. To finish off, I’ll include some WordPress statistics that should, without a doubt, illustrate the power of this amazing tool:

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Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Fractional CMO

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

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LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

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Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK