Here I’m again to write my first post in 2015. Last year I’ve wrote less and this year I have plans to write much more, telling about my experience with web development. I have plans to start screencasting too, but this is just plans :D
I decided to start this year writing about Wordpress. Last year I thought Wordpress helped me and my company to develop websites faster with a bunch of nice features, making a better job and with less time I spent before.
So, today I’m starting a series about using Wordpress to create websites. First I’m going to write about why you should use Wordpress to develop your next website and after how you can do that, which plugins you can use and how to use them, one by one.
Wordpress is a handful CMS and you can create what you need with it. It’s not only a CMS, but THE CMS. I have experience with Joomla, Drupal and Bolt too but I think Wordpress is easier to start with and you can build some MVP’s with it too, decreasing the time you need to put a project online. If you have an idea and need to put it online fast, go with Wordpress. It can solve your problem in a very short space of time.
I agree that some Wordpress’s parts are developed in a very old PHP way (PHP 4 to 5.2), but that works! Listen! I’m not telling you Wordpress is the best PHP tool you have. For each project you have you must check what is the best technology to be used. For me, to make websites between 1 and 30 pages (or a little more), I think Wordpress is the best option.
Wordpress has some problems that all projects have, not only in the PHP world. But I’m here today to tell you why Wordpress is important to me and to my company, and why we’ve used it for years with success and mainly HOW we did that!
I think the big advantage of Wordpress is the community. Wordpress is used by 10% or more of the hole web (I really do not remember). In other words, Wordpress has a lot o developers behind it, working every day to improve security and making it better and better.
Furthermore with Wordpress you always will have options. If you want some plugin to customize some post, for example, you can use 1, 2, 3 or more plugins. You can try them and choose the better for you. I remember when I was trying to customize the WP login page with my customer’s logo, and I found 8 good plugins to do that. I choose one and made the adjusts I needed. After that I only have to use the adapted plugin to another customer, because this job was done before :-)
The Administration Panel
Wordpress has an amazing Admin Panel. This is a fact. It’s responsive, beautiful, elegant and works like a charm. Telling about customers, around 80% do not need a administration panel like Wordpress. It has much more than you need and you can do much more than you think. Another advantage of the WP Admin Panel is you always will have similar interface and functionality, and it’s easier do show your customer how his Admin Panel will work.
You have a lot of plugins that works just for Admin Panel, to make it better and more customizable. You can customize menus, post types, columns and data, even text and images too (like crop for example). You have a lot of things ready to go and this can save your life and make you money, with a very good product in hands.
Give you free time
Using Wordpress to develop websites can save you time. You can have more time to do what you want, and you know you’ve made a very good job. Remember: “Time is money” :-)
Because Wordpress plugins you can reuse just what you need. Wordpress alone won’t make a very good website (only blog) and won’t make your customer happy, really. If you want to do an amazing job you have to search for plugins. Every time you think some feature there are 2 or more Wordpress plugins doing the job, every time! And I will give you what plugins I’ve used and how to use them on the next posts.
Generally the websites have some common features, so when you find a plugin to do some feature you can use it again and again, and every time you’ll need less time to finish the job, because Wordpress is doing it for you. Here I strongly encourage you to contribute with the plugins you use. Maybe you can find a bug and fix it in your project, but is better to submit to the author’s plugin and help the community. Remember, you are using a open source project, so you can help others like you too.
The final point here is: Wordpress is easy. You can install it and start to code as fast you think. You can create a website using the layout you want, with the components you want, with everything you want. But pay attention, because Wordpress is easy you have to think before write. Because Wordpress is easy to learn you can find developers starting to develop the wrong way and with bad practices.
Before start with Wordpress you have to learn PHP. To make Wordpress your friend you have to be good with PHP and you have to know how things work, what force you to read the documentation and ask you every time if that is the best option to do that you’re doing.
Some people think wrong when working with Wordpress. You can use WP with composer for example, using a Zend Framework library, or the Laravel ORM, or some API, or what you need. I’ll cover that on the next posts too. Remember, everything is PHP, so enjoy the language!
Next posts I’ll write about how you can create amazing websites with Wordpress and what plugins you can use to make your life easier. Be in touch!