Today I met with a non-technical person who just started to use WordPress. I used a metaphor to explain to her what WordPress is and I felt that it is pretty good and I’m going to share here.
Imagine all the domain names out there are real estate land. The website we are building for the domain name is going to be the house on the land. You can build it from scratch by write HTML manually but just like if you build a house starting with cutting down some trees for wood, it will be very slow and ugly. WordPress is like a mobile house that is already built, you just need to tow it onto the land.
After the house is in place, you need to pick an existing overall look and feel of the house. This is picking the themes of the site. Unlike the style of the house, the theme can be changed pretty easily from one to another. Just like you can paint one side of the house in a different color, you can tweak specific things by customize the theme, but requires some coding skill.
The house comes with a kitchen. By kitchen I mean the blog functionality. Using that you can create dishes (blogs) and share with the world. However, if you want more rooms (static pages), you can create them. Again, you can create manually by write html of the page but a better way to do it is use some visual editor, like just order the carpet, curtain, furnitures and put them in the room.
Tools like visual editor or other ones that helps you create blogs, or help you SEO (make your house easy to find in a crowed city) are called plugins.
Got a better analogy? Leave a comment below.