WordPress is a popular content management system (how WordPress works) that runs a major portions of the internet’s websites. It is well-known for its usability, flexibility, and extension. Let’s look at how wordpress works, covering its key components and procedures.

WordPress Architecture

WordPress works on a server-client approach, with a central database that contains all of the website’s content and settings. Here’s a breakdown of its main components:

WordPress Core:

This is the system’s heart, in charge of administering the CMS’s essential functions. It includes the fundamental PHP and MySQL codebases. WordPress provides a user-friendly interface for website managers, making it simple to generate, amend, and manage content.


Themes are in charge of your website’s visual design and layout. They are a collection of templates, stylesheets, and graphics that define the appearance of your site. You can choose from thousands of free and premium themes, or you can develop a custom theme to meet your exact requirements.


Plugins extend the capabilities of your WordPress site. They function similarly to minor software apps that may be installed and activated to augment the main functions. Thousands of plugins are available for a variety of reasons, including SEO optimization, e-commerce, contact forms, and more.


WordPress stores all of your content, settings, and user information in a MySQL database. A new post or page is created and saved in the database. When a visitor requests a page, WordPress dynamically retrieves and assembles the relevant material from the database.

WordPress allows you to create and manage user accounts with various roles, such as administrators, editors, authors, and subscribers. Because each job has distinct permissions and capabilities, it is simple to cooperate on content development and administration.

The Template Hierarchy In Detail(how wordpress works)

While the template hierarchy is easier to understand as a diagram, the following sections describe the order in which template files are called by WordPress for a number of query types.

how wordpress works

Home Page display

By default, WordPress sets your site’s home page to display your latest blog posts. This page is called the blog posts index. You can also set your blog posts to display on a separate static page. The template file home.php is used to render the blog posts index, whether it is being used as the front page or on separate static page. If home.php does not exist, WordPress will use index.php.


If front-page.php exists, it will override the home.php template.

Front Page display

The front-page.php template file is used to render your site’s front page, whether the front page displays the blog posts index (mentioned above) or a static page. The front page template takes precedence over the blog posts index (home.php) template. If the front-page.php file does not exist, WordPress will either use the home.php or page.php files depending on the setup in Settings → Reading. If neither of those files exist, it will use the index.php file.

  • front-page.php – Used for both “your latest posts” or “a static page” as set in the front page displays section of Settings → Reading.
  • home.php – If WordPress cannot find front-page.php and “your latest posts” is set in the front page displays section, it will look for home.php. Additionally, WordPress will look for this file when the posts page is set in the front page displays section.
  • page.php – When “front page” is set in the front page displays section.
  • index.php – When “your latest posts” is set in the front page displays section but home.php does not exist or when front page is set but page.php does not exist.
  • As you can see, there are a lot of rules to what path WordPress takes.

Using the chart above is the best way to determine what WordPress will display.

DODX4691 970X250 5

Privacy Policy Page display

  • The privacy-policy.php template file is used to render your site’s Privacy Policy page. The Privacy Policy page template takes precedence over the static page (page.php) template. If the privacy-policy.php file does not exist, WordPress will either use the page.php or singular.php files depending on the available templates. If neither of those files exist, it will use the index.php file.
  • privacy-policy.php – Used for the Privacy Policy page set in the Change your Privacy Policy page section of Settings → Privacy.
  • custom template file – The page template assigned to the page. See get_page_templates().
  • page-{slug}.php – If the page slug is privacy, WordPress will look to use page-privacy.php.
  • page-{id}.php – If the page ID is 6, WordPress will look to use page-6.php.
  • page.php
  • singular.php
  • index.php

Single Post

The single post template file is used to render a single post. WordPress uses the following path:

  • single-{post-type}-{slug}.php – (Since 4.4) First, WordPress looks for a template for the specific post. For example, if post type is product and the post slug is dmc-12, WordPress would look for single-product-dmc-12.php.
  • single-{post-type}.php – If the post type is product, WordPress would look for single-product.php.
  • single.php – WordPress then falls back to single.php.
  • singular.php – Then it falls back to singular.php.
  • index.php – Finally, as mentioned above, WordPress ultimately falls back to index.php.

Single Page

The template file used to render a static page (page post-type). Note that unlike other post-types, page is special to WordPress and uses the following path:

  • custom template file – The page template assigned to the page. See get_page_templates().
  • page-{slug}.php – If the page slug is recent-news, WordPress will look to use page-recent-news.php.
  • page-{id}.php – If the page ID is 6, WordPress will look to use page-6.php.
  • page.php
  • singular.php
  • index.php


Rendering category archive index pages uses the following path in WordPress:

  • category-{slug}.php – If the category’s slug is news, WordPress will look for category-news.php.
  • category-{id}.php – If the category’s ID is 6, WordPress will look for category-6.php.
  • category.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php


To display a tag archive index page, WordPress uses the following path:

  • tag-{slug}.php – If the tag’s slug is sometag, WordPress will look for tag-sometag.php.
  • tag-{id}.php – If the tag’s ID is 6, WordPress will look for tag-6.php.
  • tag.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php

Custom Taxonomies

Custom taxonomies use a slightly different template file path:

  • taxonomy-{taxonomy}-{term}.php – If the taxonomy is sometax, and taxonomy’s term is someterm, WordPress will look for taxonomy-sometax-someterm.php. In the case of post formats, the taxonomy is ‘post_format’ and the terms are ‘post-format-{format}. i.e. taxonomy-post_format-post-format-link.php for the link post format.
  • taxonomy-{taxonomy}.php – If the taxonomy were sometax, WordPress would look for taxonomy-sometax.php.
  • taxonomy.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php

Custom Post Types

Custom Post Types use the following path to render the appropriate archive index page.

  • archive-{post_type}.php – If the post type is product, WordPress will look for archive-product.php.
  • archive.php
  • index.php
  • (For rendering a single post type template, refer to the single post display section above.)

Author display

Based on the above examples, rendering author archive index pages is fairly explanatory:

  • author-{nicename}.php – If the author’s nice name is matt, WordPress will look for author-matt.php.
  • author-{id}.php – If the author’s ID were 6, WordPress will look for author-6.php.
  • author.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php


Date-based archive index pages are rendered as you would expect:

  • date.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php

Search Result

Search results follow the same pattern as other template types:

  • search.php
  • index.php

404 (Not Found)

Likewise, 404 template files are called in this order:

  • 404.php
  • index.php


Rendering an attachment page (attachment post-type) uses the following path:

  • {MIME-type}.php – can be any MIME type (For example: image.php, video.php, pdf.php). For text/plain, the following path is used (in order):
  • text-plain.php
  • plain.php
  • text.php
  • attachment.php
  • single-attachment-{slug}.php – For example, if the attachment slug is holiday, WordPress would look for single-attachment-holiday.php.
  • single-attachment.php
  • single.php
  • singular.php
  • index.php

Know more Please visit The Template File Hierarchy – Visual Overview

Step-by-Step Instructions for Using WordPress

Let’s have a look at how a typical WordPress request is handled:

User Request:

When a visitor enters the URL of your website into their browser, a request is made to the web server hosting it.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Using WordPress

The web server, which is typically running software such as Apache or Nginx, receives the request and talks with the PHP processor.

PHP Processor:

PHP is the scripting language upon which WordPress is based. It handles the request, which includes interpreting the URL and deciding what material to display.

WordPress Core:

WordPress core takes over and pulls data from the MySQL database, such as posts, pages, and settings.

Themes and Plugins:

WordPress loads the selected theme and activates any necessary plugins. These elements are in charge of the visual presentation as well as the additional capabilities.

WordPress creates the final web page by combining material from the database, theme templates, and plugins. After that, the rendered page is returned to the web server.

Web Server Response:

The created web page is sent to the visitor’s browser by the web server.

User Interaction:

The visitor can engage with the website by clicking links, submitting forms, and so on, which causes new requests to be sent and follows a similar procedure.

WordPress’s capacity to dynamically produce pages from its database, as well as its modular structure via themes and plugins, making it an exceptionally versatile platform for websites of many kinds, from blogs and commercial sites to e-commerce businesses and online communities.

WordPress manages content, controls design, and enhances capabilities by integrating core functionality, themes, and plugins. It’s a dynamic and user-friendly CMS that makes constructing and maintaining websites easier, making it a popular choice for individuals and businesses all over the world.

This is conclusion of Step-by-Step Instructions for Using WordPress( how wordpress works ).

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