WordPress Development 101
WordPress powers 35% of the internet. WordPress has played a huge role in website creation since 2003. You can use WordPress for anything, including your business website, a small blog, a job board, a forum for your favorite hobby. It has always been a popular choice for many website developers. At the end of this article, there is an infographic to help you easily visualize WordPress Development and the tools that are involved.
How WordPress Works
WordPress is the go-to CMS (content management system) for many. WordPress is easy to customize thanks to the themes and plugins available. The ability to troubleshoot and add a few unique features can also be done through the core code.
The core code may sound intimidating especially if you’re a beginner. But if you’re familiar with how codes work, the ability to access, edit and back up before and after you make any changes on it are just some of the reasons why WordPress remains the number one choice for beginners and experts alike.
The core code essentially contains everything and anything about how your website will work. Think of it as your car’s engine. You will need to have an understanding of how code works in order to customize it. If you’re not familiar with any language, it’s best to leave it to the experts. WordPress’s core houses .htaccess, wp-config.php, and functions.php.
These files give you the ability to turn auto-updates on or off, provide you access to your permalink structure and add certain functionality to name a few. They are often edited so learning about how the core code works will open up a set of new options for you.
Another great thing about WordPress is the vast number of themes available for its users. There are free themes that are great for casual bloggers who are only starting. They are usually easy to install and offer the option to customize.
The theme determines how you want your website to look like. It usually includes a color scheme, font, page layout, and overall style for your site. Although there are plenty of themes to choose from, website developers usually go for paid ones for a more professional look. These paid themes frequently offer more customization and support from the developers.
Along with themes, WordPress also offers a vast array of Plugins to choose from. You can use plugins to do anything from improving SEO to create an e-commerce store. And just like themes, WordPress offers free and premium plugins. These plugins can be installed to add more features into your site, backup your existing plugins, improve your SEO, monitor your website’s traffic better, and more.
Searching for a plugin to go with your existing theme is easy thanks to hundreds of third-party developers. These plugins are easy to use and usually compatible with any theme you have installed. With thousands of plugins to choose from, adding a feature or functionality to your site will be stress-free.
All you have to do to add a plugin into your WordPress site is to go to the Plugin section and click download. When you press download the plugin will automatically add itself to your site and should work seamlessly if it was well developed.
What is WordPress Development?
WordPress may have thousands of themes and plugins already available to install but this CMS also gives you the freedom to develop your own. It may be beginner-friendly but it’s also great for programming experts. Developing your own plugins, themes, and customizing functionality will help your site stand out.
WordPress Theme Development
You can develop a parent theme and a child theme on WordPress. A parent theme essentially contains all the key functionality and design while a child theme allows you to modify and test additional codes you’ve added without disturbing the parent theme. Working on the child theme is a great way to practice your skill at theme development.
WordPress Plugin Development
Developing your own plugin to add a unique function to your site is easier than you think. There are guides available on the internet to help you create your own. Although, familiarity with CSS, PHP, and HTML will certainly give you leverage. We recommend creating your own plugin to enhance your website’s functionality instead of editing the core code.
When developing your own plugin, it’s important to remember that they operate mainly by hooks. The two types are actions and filters. Actions add functionality to your plugin. It takes the info it receives, does the action you want then exits. On the other hand, a filter takes the information, changes it then returns it to the hook to be used again.
REST API Development
REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer while API means Application Programming Interface. The REST API gives the WordPress developers direct access to data that’s available publicly. This also creates REST endpoints that represent pages, posts, and other data types.
These applications will then work with JSON to send and receive data via these endpoints. The data it receives and sends will help modify and create content on your website.
What does all this mean? How important is REST API for WordPress developers? The REST API is responsible for connecting WordPress to third-party websites and applications. This ensures that the interface and systems understand each other.
WordPress Core Development
Before making any changes to the core code, you’ll need to back up everything using an FTP client. While the core code is meant to be modified, it can also introduce holes in the security, incompatibility, and more bugs.
Programming Tools for WordPress Development
Some languages are easier to learn than others. The same can also be said for programming languages. WordPress is built on PHP but you can utilize several languages when tinkering with your own website.
HTML for WordPress Development
HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It isn’t necessarily a programming language because it only works with images and text. The HTML is responsible for formatting text (making it bold, italicize, strikethrough, underline, etc), and allows you to make changes in the sidebar text widget. Adding links and images can also be done using HTML.
CSS for WordPress
CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets. This language might just be the most important to learn when working with web design. We have talked about how HTML is responsible for the font style, color, etc., but editing the HTML to each and every text you want to look a certain way is a tedious job. This is where CSS comes in handy.
CSS lets you control how an HTML code will be displayed without making any changes to HTML itself. You can even customize your existing theme using CSS code.
PHP for WordPress
PHP might be considered a dead language but you’ll find that it’s still very much necessary to learn when developing a site in WordPress. It is a server-side language which means that when a visitor goes to your website, they will only see the processed code when it reaches their computer.
Everything is processed by your web server before sending any data to the visitor. You can say that PHP is the complete opposite of HTML; which is a client-side language. With HTML, the code is always sent and received as is by the visitor. PHP helps website developers to autogenerate files for your website.
LESS/SASS for WordPress
LESS and SASS are CSS preprocessors. What does this mean? It means it helps developers do more in less amount of time and effort. With SASS and LESS, a developer can integrate a multitude of features that can’t be done using CSS. Features such as basic math operators, variables, mixins, nesting, etc.
Coffeescript for WordPress
XML for WordPress
XML is used for storing and transferring information. One of its greatest features is it’s readable by both humans and machines. Importing and exporting plugins are also easy thanks to XML. But the ability to migrate your entire WordPress content might be its biggest attribute. All the information will be saved in an XML file which you can easily import and upload later on.
JSON for WordPress
5 Benefits of Hiring a WordPress Developer
Aside from creating an interactive design, your website also needs to be functional and user-friendly. It takes experience and expertise to get the best site for your company. Hiring a WordPress developer is the best and sure way to achieve that.
WordPress developers have the necessary experience to build an effective website. They know the ins and outs of it, so you won’t be left with a site that only looks great but doesn’t work.
A good developer also knows how to use different languages such as PHP, CSS, MySQL, HTML to create a better experience for the users. And if you run into an error or bug, a knowledgeable WordPress Developer will be able to fix it right away.
2. Holistic Solution
What is a holistic solution? This means thinking about the bigger picture; Understanding that every moving part of the machinery is connected to another. Achieving a holistic solution for a problem can be difficult especially if you’re not familiar with WordPress.
When you hire a WordPress Developer you get someone that can help you to create the website that you desire. Your WordPress Developer can help you to improve the functionality of your website and can prevent and foresee any problems you may have in the future.
3. Time Effective
A good WordPress developer knows how to deliver great results in a shorter amount of time versus someone who just started working with WordPress. They have created efficient processes throughout their careers., This means that you will get the result that you need in a sensible time frame. Delays in projects cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars for companies every time. As the saying goes, time is more precious than gold.
4. Search Engine Optimization
Another great reason to hire a WordPress developer is their knowledge of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO can be the life or death of your website. Failing to rank on search engines may result in your website not getting any traffic.
WordPress developers understand how to improve the technical SEO of your website. They can help guide you in creating a more optimized website. This is when you’ll find that unique content is equally as important as having a developer that understands the significance of it.
5. High-Quality Results
A working website should not only look great but should also have the relevant plugins, interactive and secure. These are just some of the makings of a great site. A high-quality website should be original, easy to navigate, and provide the user with a great experience.
A WordPress developer who has a keen eye for detail will not only just deliver what you’re looking for but will also make sure that you get the best quality.
WordPress can appear both approachable and overwhelming at the same time. With the option to customize every aspect of your site, it can be easy to get lost in the maze that is WordPress. With so many options to tinker with, WordPress can bring any idea to life. Hiring a developer that’s knowledgeable with every aspect could take that pressure off your shoulders.
Your company website needs a WordPress developer, contact Idea Maker today.
WordPress Development 101 Infographic