WordPress began in 2003 as a simple blogging system. A platform for people who wanted an online publishing system. Over the years it has developed into a full blown content management system providing a lot of bells and whistles for anyone who wants to do more than just share content.
WordPress is also known as an Open Source project. This means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it, improving or developing new features.
When you install WordPress it comes with a variety of options to make your site look like a traditional website with an added blogging platform. You no longer need programming knowledge to have a well built and good looking website. The ability to use WordPress out-of-the-box without touching any code at all has truly made the world of web development accessible to anyone who wants a web presence.
If you want to have a more customized look you can tweak a theme with knowledge of CSS and HTML. The amount of knowledge you have determines how much customization you can do.
With WordPress comes plugins that allow you to customize your site further. You can read my short post about plugins here.