As a web developer / designer you would have heard about WordPress a lot of time whether you work in an agency or work as a freelancer. So here we are to give you a comprehensive introduction to WordPress and its uses. So to start with let’s discuss what WordPress is. WordPress is a open source CMS (Content Management System) initially made for people for easily write content and publish blogs without need to coding. WordPress provides an easy no code interface to users so that any information can be added to blog in an interactive way. But as WordPress evolved it has now more than a CMS and a lot of designers/developers use WordPress to make full fledge websites. Some of the most popular websites which are based on WordPress as Sony Music, PlayStation Blog, TechCrunch, Time Magazine, CNN Press Room etc.

 

Some History about WordPress

WordPress was initially released on 27th May 2003 under GPLV2 license. Current version of WordPress is 6.0 which was released on 24th May 2022 with new Gutenberg writing improvements, new toolset for design etc. Now WordPress is also planning to take Webp image format as default so that all the WordPress based websites are fast on any browser

So WordPress is based on PHP with its own functions and hooks which helps developers to develop themes and plugins easily and this is one of the main reason of popularity of this platform, as a huge developer pool creates all plugins and themes which are free and paid which helps user to easily make websites and add different functionalities to it.

WordPress Themes

WordPress Themes are like website templates which you can install in WordPress and it changes the look and feel of the website. There are multiple hooks and actions using which you can easily make WordPress themes which can be installed. The best part of WordPress is that when you want to make a change to the look of the website, the user can just change the theme instead of changing all the parts manually and theme automatically adapts to all pages.

WordPress Plugins

Second best feature of WordPress is plugins, so plugins are plug and play functionalities in WordPress which can be easily installed and all these functionalities are ready to use just by doing some settings. For example – If a user need a contact form in their website they can use eg. Contact form 7 plugin and easily add contact form functionality with email setup in the website and it will be up and running within 10 minutes even if the user does not have any prior experience in WordPress. Some of the most popular plugins in WordPress are Contact form 7, Slider Revolution, Akismet, Jetpack, Classic Editor Etc.

 

Advantages of WordPress

Below are some more features about WordPress which makes it a great fit for your next project

  1. Easy to use – WordPress is very easy to use, just install WordPress, choose and theme and there you go, you can start Making the website.
  2. Developer Friendly – For Developers it very easily since there is an official documentation and a good developer community out there to help you with your next project.
  3. Security – WordPress has all the security features built in.
  4. Easy Migration – Migration of WordPress is very easy from one server to another, since it’s based on MYSQL so with WordPress installation a MySQL database is automatically created which can be easily exported and migrated to different server.
  5. Multi User / Roles – WordPress natively provides different user roles such as contributor, administrator etc. with different permission levels so that multiple users can use the dashboard easily with different level of permissions.
  6. File structure – WordPress file structure is easy to understand and it keeps all the themes, plugins and uploads in a separate directory so that the main WordPress files are separate and need not to be touched while editing or making a functionality for the website.
  7. Plugins – Plugins make WordPress much easier by providing almost any functionality with no requirement of coding skills.

Disadvantages of WordPress

But since we have already told you a lot of advantages about WordPress, it’s not that it does not have any disadvantages. Below let’s discuss some of the issues which you might face while making your website on WordPress.

  1. Since WordPress has Plugins and themes which can be developed by anyone, there is always a need to double check before installing any new theme and plugin.
  2. Since PHP versions keep updating, sometime your website might break if some plugin or theme developer has not updated the functions used in their themes or plugins.
  3. Now as well all know that Google is considering website speed also as an SEO component, here is somewhere WordPress lacks a little bit. By default websites which are not using properly optimized themes might case issues here. You need to optimize website speed by reducing image sizes, enable caching and use a good CDN in order to improve your page speed.

How to start making a website in WordPress

  1. Install WordPress – For Installing WordPress sometimes, the hosting companies provides easy direct installation option in the cPanel or anyone can just download WordPress from official website and upload to server, a MySQL database is required to be created for WordPress to work.
  2. Choose Theme – Once WordPress is installed, choose the theme from free theme or paid themes which suits your design and install it in your dashboard.
  3. Choose Plugins – Choose plugins as per the functionalities required in the website.
  4. Install SSL on domain – Installing SSL is done through hosting panel, but once it is done, if the website is showing mixed content warning, you can use plugins such as “Really simple SSL” to resolve all mixed content errors.
  5. Once the website is up and running, please make sure to update WordPress, themes and Plugins whenever a new update comes for any of these.