Twenty years before website development was a hectic process. To create a simple website one has to learn programming languages like PHP, Java, HTML, CSS and databases. A person with all these knowledge only will be able to develop a website. Also the time for development is huge. It is not easy to extend the functionality or add new page or content to the website.
CMS stands for Content Management System. It is a software application used to create, edit, delete content on the website. Here content can be web pages, images or videos, etc.
With the development of CMS now the website creation is a matter of few clicks. With the CMS system the development cost also reduced a lot. There are so many open source CMS like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Shopify, Pretashop, etc. Of all the CMS systems wordpress is the king. Over 40% of the websites over the internet were developed using wordpress.
What technologies are used in WordPress ?
PHP ( Hypertext Preprocessor) is the server side scripting language. It is open source, flexible and very easy to use or learn. PHP code is embedded in HTML and executed on the server. So the visitor a website which is made using PHP will be able to see only the output of the HTML code.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to set the layout, colors and font of the web page. These make the presentation or styling process separate from the content and coding. It becomes easier to maintain or update the look and feel of the website. You can easily change all headings color or font ny updating the .css file. The CSS styling can be applied inline( within the code ), internal ( within the HTML file in the head section ) or external ( writing in external CSS file and importing them in HTML file).
Apart from these other languages like RUBY, Python or C# are used in the development of plugins. The technologies like AJAX, XML or JSON are used to exchange data between wordpress website and other services.
Other technologies that are used in the development of themes and plugins are Angular JS, Vue JS, Bootstrap and React JS.
What is needed for WordPress installation?
It is necessary to know WordPress PHP Server requirements. WordPress PHP Server requirements are the minimum environmental settings to produce a well working website. These are the recommendations when running wordpress.
- Web Server : Apache or nginx with mod-rewrite module
- Disk Space: at least 1 GB
- PHP : Version 8.0 or higher. If server uses lower version of PHP website runs slower.
- Database: MySQL 5.0.5 or higher ( or MariaDB 10.1 or higher )
- RAM ( Random Access Memory ) : At least 512 MB
- CPU ( Central Processing Unit ): at least 1.0 GHz (speed)
- Support for HTTPS
How to install WordPress?
WordPress is generally installed in the home directory i.e., public_html folder in hosting space. If the website is yourdomainname.com then installation directory has to be left empty.
Managed WordPress Hosts
Many hosting providers come with pre-installed wordpress. These are called managed wordpress hosts. There is no question of installing wordpress. We jump directly to the wordpress admin dashboard. But this comes with a cost. The hosting providers charge extra monthly for installing and updating wordpress.
Installing WordPress through CPanel
Another way is to install wordpress through CPanel. Almost all hosting providers has this auto installers option. With a click of a button wordpress is installed in required directory. While installing it takes the path or folder name of installation, database name, username and password. These details are added automatically to wordpress configuration file. After that a new admin user with username and password is created. These details are to be noted down. Using this we can log into admin dashboard to make customization to the website. Some of the common auto installers used by hosting companies are as follows:
Installing WordPress Manually
WordPress can also be installed manually. It has to be downloaded from www.wordpress.org. It has to be unzipped and uploaded to public_html folder through FTP client connection. After that a database has to be created from cpanel. A database user with all privileges is created with username and password and assigned to previously created database. This database name, username, password has to be updated in wordpress configuration file i.e wp_config.php. Then the installation has to be done through the browser by giving the domain name. The first screen asks you to select the language you want your website in.
Features of WordPress
- WordPress is user-friendly. Anyone without technical knowledge can create a website. They can easily publish or edit content of the website.
- It is easy to install and update. WordPress can be easily installed and updated with few clicks.
- WordPress supports more than 70 languages. So you can develop your website in any of these languages. Your website need not be in English. We can also make a multilingual wordpress website. A multilingual wordpress website serves the same content in multiple languages It can automatically redirect users to a language based on their region or users can select their preferred language using a link.
- WordPress is open-source and flexible. Since it is open source anyone can use the wordpress code and add new code to it. With the help of themes and plugins you can easily add new features and functionalities.
- WordPress offers user management. It can have multiple users. By default it supports five types of user roles. They are administrator, editor, author, contributor and subscriber. Each role has certain level of access. Except the administrator no one can change core functionality of the website. New roles can also be created .
- WordPress makes your website SEO friendly. This makes the website easily rank in google. So WordPress is best for SEO.
Common Jargons Used in WordPress Website Development
You get admin dashboard after logging into wordpress with admin username and password. From this you can add, edit or delete content for your website. You can add new users and customize the website.
Theme gives you the look and feel for the website. Website development in wordpress starts with theme selection and installation. There are number of free and paid themes. You can customize a theme by creating a child theme.
Plugin is a piece of software that adds extra features or functionality to the wordpress. The plugin need to be installed and activated for using. For eg. plugin to take backup of your website. There are more than 60,000 free plugins in wordpress plugin repository.
These are the pages you can create for your website. For example Home page, About Us page, Contact page, etc. These pages can be added to the menu of the website.
Posts are the articles that you can create on your website. Generally a blog section displays all the articles. They are displayed in the reverse chronological order.
Blocks are pieces of HTML code which displays elements like a textbox, button, list or image on the webpage. If the same element is used multiple times in a website we can create reusable blocks. Advantage of using reusable blocks is easy maintenance. If you want to change color or font of that block you can edit at one time. The change is reflected wherever the block is used.
Disadvantages of using WordPress
- If we want to add additional features or functionality lot of plugins has to be installed. Adding lot of plugins makes a website slow.
- We need to update theme and plugins frequently. If they are not updated glitches and errors can happen. Your website can crash or experience a broken link.
- Website Vulnerability. It is likely that the website gets spammed if there is a blog section with comments or through contact us page.
- Page speed is crucial to website. If the user experience a slow website he may likely leave it and there is loss of business. Not only plugins, large images and unreliable hosting makes a website slow.
By reading the above article we come to know the pros and cons of using wordpress for website development. Many feel that the pros outweigh the cons for using wordpress. So wordpress has become the best option to develop websites for small business.