WordPress is a CMS. The whole idea being to manage content and make websites editable without having to wrangle code. Any theme can handle Posts and Pages, but what about those “smaller” areas. Little chunks of text placed around a design like a small “about” section, or the copy in the footer of a website. A lot of times this text is hard-baked right into the theme, which isn’t a very friendly way to do things, as it can’t be updated by average Joe user.
Technically, your work is protected under copyright “the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that it is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device.”  Registration of your copyrighted work is not required , but you should include a copyright notice on all published works .
WordPress is a CMS out of the box, but sites that are really deep in page templates and hierarchies can benefit from some help on the back end for managing them all. This roundup of plugins do just that.
Note: link removed 2013/04/21 —
There are many ways to navigate a WordPress-powered site. There are archive links, category links, page links, internal post links, single post links, admin comment links, tag links, and many other types of navigational links. When it comes to navigating sequentially through your site’s chronological archive pages, category archives, and other types of archive pages, WordPress provides several useful template tags designed to dynamically link the pages together. Likewise, for single permalink post-views, WordPress provides a set of template tags that connects the pages together in chronologically sequential fashion.
This looks promising. Runs MySQL Fulltext search, as well as integration with Google Custom Search Engine.
On the search results page you can refine your search by specifying whether to search posts, pages, and comments. You can also sort the results by relevance, date, or alphabet. The Advanced Search link leads to a form where you can specify author, categories, tags, and date range.
I haven’t tested it yet though, so I can’t officially vouche for it, but I’m really looking forward to playing with it. Built in WordPress search has sucked too hard for too long.
WordPress has the ability to easily password protect the content of any Post or Page. Right over by that big juicy blue “Publish” button, there is an option for Visibility. Click edit, and you have the option to make it password-protected and set a password.
Smashing Magazine with a characteristically nice set of tricks for WordPress, this time revolving around hooks. You can attach your own functions to hooks in that funny file functions.php that everyone is raving about. Neat ideas including entering default text directly into the TinyMCE Editor, and putting entire Post contents into a PHP variable.
Remember though that functions.php is theme-specific, so in my opinion should be used for things that are specific to a given theme, while content and admin things should be left to plugins.
Since WordPress 2.8, we can target specific types of page views with CSS using the new
body_class() tag. Designed for use within the
body_class() outputs various class attributes according to the current type of page view. This makes it easy to apply page-specific styling such as current-page navigation highlighting and other nifty CSS tricks.
We’re happy to announce that Digging into WordPress is now featured at Ozh’ Planet WordPress! Planet WordPress is an incredible WordPress resource, bringing together some of the Web’s finest WordPress contributors, plugin developers, and theme designers. The Planet WordPress feed currently features nearly 50 hand-selected WordPress bloggers and aggregates their syndicated content every two hours. As proclaimed at the site, Planet WordPress is “The Epicenter of Everything WordPress” — definitely a great way to stay current with the wonderful world of WordPress.
By default, all your Posts and Pages save revisions of themselves as you are writing them and editing them. This can really save your butt if you accidentally change or delete something you shouldn’t have and have no other copy. This is a quick overview of how to use this powerful feature of WordPress.
Update: (404 link removed 2014/10/22)
The whole notion of plugins is that they provide special niche functionality that not every site would need. But that is just theoretical, as most new features that have ever been added to the WordPress core began life as a plugin. If the plugin was useful to enough people, it was built in.