February 29, 2020
World Wide Web or WWW is continuously evolving since its inception. Simply because of the awesome tools created by many developers throughout the world.
WordPress is one of those tools that is packed with everything you need to create a modern one website. Whether you want to create a blog, business website, web shop, member website or forum, WordPress can do it for you.
To start looking into the WordPress Development itself, we first need to understand what it is and how it can be helpful for your next web project.
So, keep reading this article as I’m going to make it a one-stop-shop for everyone, who is unfamiliar with this Content Management System.
As its name suggests, “Content Management System” aka CMS is a tool that helps us manage the content. In our case, it allows us to create, modify, delete or publish some content on a website.
There are several CMS’s available for website owners like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. This brings us to our next question, that is, “Why should I use WordPress”?
Having an out-of-the-box CMS like WordPress for a website helps us tweak any aspect of it without diving into the nitty-gritty details of how source code works.
I’ll try to give a complete overview of WordPress in the next section.
WordPress has long been considered as the number one choice for people who are not familiar with the technical details of how websites are created.
It is an open-source and free software which means you can use it however you like without spending a penny.
To increase its usability and ease of use, thousands of professional web developers throughout the world contributed their time and experience. Now its user interface is so simple that a beginner can design a website in a matter of few hours.
It is based on popular high-level programming language PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor). In a true sense, WordPress is one of the biggest reasons behind the massive success of PHP language in the field of website development.
WordPress is the most used CMS platform that requires little or no coding knowledge. According to some official reports, it is noted that WordPress is powering almost 35% of the web. That’s why I would highly recommend that you should give it a try.
At first, most people got confused when they see two different websites with the same name while searching “WordPress” on Google.
Basically, WordPress.org is the actual website from where you can download the WordPress CMS for free. On the other hand, WordPress.com is a project of the same people who developed WordPress but on this website they provide paid services like hosting, domain and one-click installation of WordPress.
On WordPress.org, you will get a complete step by step guide on how to use, customize or even add new functionality in WordPress.
According to my experience, WordPress.com is not suitable for most of us because here you will only get limited features that are white-listed by the company. So, if you want to have complete control over what you can do with WordPress CMS then simply download its code from WordPress.org and self-host it on a server.
Understanding the source code of WordPress requires some basic know-how of different computer languages that are used in web development.
Similarly, having a grip on PHP programming language and MySQL database management system will make you a bit more comfortable to add new features or fix existing ones.
Now spend some time to Read WordPress documentation because they have nicely described every concept in a step by step manner.
In this section, I’ll be installing WordPress in my local development environment but the same process can be implemented on a live server also.
First of all Download the latest version from the official WordPress website. You will get a compressed .zip file that you need to upload and then extract on your server.
Step 1. Open the main “index.php” file in a web browser from WordPress code you just extracted.
Step 2. Select the language of your website and press “Continue”.
Step 3. Now WordPress will inform you that it needs your database details to proceed with the installation process.
Step 4. As we don’t have any database yet, so let’s create one.
Step 5. Now fill the database connection details in WordPress setup.
WordPress will quickly confirm whether it can talk with the database server or not. Now click “Run the installation”.
Step 6. Now WordPress will ask you to enter your website name and login credentials of an administrator. Provide the requested details and press “Install WordPress” button.
Step 7. If everything went well, a fresh copy of WordPress CMS will be installed on your server.
Step 8. You can access the admin dashboard by logging into your newly created website.
WordPress has a modular structure that provides the flexibility to install themes and plugins.
Basically, themes allow us to design the look and feel of our website while plugins can be used to extend the core functionality of WordPress. A combination of both these concepts will help us create a completely customized application according to our needs.
For example:- There are different themes and plugins available on the official WordPress website that can be used to create an eCommerce website, company blog, question and answer forum or even a complete social media platform.
This kind of flexibility provided by WordPress makes it stand out from the rest of the online content management systems.
The process of installing or Activating a WordPress theme is very simple and straightforward. I’ve written some instructions below. Simply follow them in a step by step manner.
Step 1. Go to “Appearance” and then “Themes” from the left side menu.
Step 2. At this point, you will see a list of all themes that are currently installed on your website. As we are going to install a new one. Just click “Add New” button.
Step 3. Now perform a search to find a theme that is freely available on the official WordPress website.
Step 4. Click the “Install” button to start the installation process of a theme.
Step 5. It’s time to activate it.
Step 6. Visit the front-end section of our website to see the new theme in action.
The process of installing or activating a plugin is absolutely the same as that of a theme. But this time you just need to visit “Add New” page of “Plugins” menu.
A point to be noted is that sometime a plugin might ask you to provide some information to start its working. This information can be an email address or some other data that might be used for configuration purposes.
In this section, I’ll share some plugins with you that can boost the performance of your website.
Here’s the list of plugins that you must install and activate on your website:
Cache is a small memory that is closer to your CPU than a traditional RAM. It temporarily stores frequently used apps in its storage space and hence allows us to access things faster. Same is the case in WordPress websites. A cache plugin stores dynamically generated content in a static HTML file to allow faster retrieval.
You might check WordPress official plugins directory to find a suitable cache plugin for your website.
As its name suggests, Accelerated Mobile Pages help your website open quickly in a mobile device. It is a content publishing format that is created by the tech giant Google to compete with Facebook’s Instant Articles feature.
Multimedia content like images and videos takes more space than their counterpart text. But without an image, our web page might look dull and unattractive. To solve this issue, many WordPress developers have created plugins to compress, optimize and even lazy load images which help us boost the speed of a website.
Security is an important aspect of every website. What if after spending many years to develop and rank a website it suddenly got hacked? All of the efforts and time spent on it will simply go in vain.
So, WordPress is packed with a lot of security plugins that are used to fix possible security flaws and vulnerabilities. It also provides built-in support to prevent a hacker or any other unintentional user actions that may destroy our data.
Regular backup of a website is also another way to protect our data from being destroyed. It even helps big companies to perform an audit on their past data to detect any discrepancies.
Backup is simply a copy of your code and database at a particular time. In case something bad happened, you don’t have to worry because you can always replace the live version of a website with its backup.
Many people try to post spam comments on your website. Mostly they contain links that are harmful for your website’s reputation. Some people even use the comment section of websites to get do-follow backlinks. In turn, it transfers the link juice of your web page to their website.
To fix this issue, WordPress has some highly optimized spam filter plugins that can automate the spam filtering process for us.
Search Engine Optimization plays an important role when it comes to ranking a website on specific keywords. It helps us reach more people by receiving organic traffic from search engines.
Yoast SEO plugin is the best one to optimize a website for search engines. It has a user-friendly interface that is equally beneficial for both beginner and professional search engine optimizers
Social media websites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are full of people that have different interests. It is a powerful growth tactic to place social share button on a web page so that a visitor might share it with their connections if they found the content helpful.
There are several free and paid social media link sharing plugins available that can be used according to your specific requirements.
A lot of the time we don’t get what we want from free themes and plugins, so we look at other possibilities. One of the alternatives is to purchase a WordPress theme or plugin because mostly they have a better code base and are packed with a lot more features.
There are a lot of educational resources like videos and articles that are available online for people who are interested in getting one step further by learning advanced concepts of WordPress Theme/Plugin Development.
As a beginner, you may search YouTube for free video tutorials or maybe a paid course from Udemy do the job.
With the evolution of WordPress, it also brings new job opportunities for IT/CS students. WordPress developers can earn a handsome amount of money by selling a premium theme or plugin. You may need to search for your local market and get projects related to WordPress.
Another great option is to build a profile on freelancing websites like Upwork or Fiverr and start selling your services right from your home.
According to indeed.com , an average WordPress can earn at least $60,877 every year.
It is great to have WordPress listed among your professional skillsets. As new businesses are appearing with each passing day, so most of them need a unique web presence to stand out from their competitors.
The WordPress development market is booming like never before. So, there is a lot of scope for WordPress developers in the near future.
Click here if you are looking for one to make Wordpress development for you!
Login or create an account to comment