For those who want to get into the world of web development, WordPress is one of the best choices.
This open-source CMS platform allows you to create stunning websites without learning complicated coding languages.
Since it powers nearly half of the entire Internet, the sheer value of its market share makes it a lucrative and in-demand choice for web developers and business owners alike.
However, that doesn’t mean you can create a WordPress site and expect it to be flawless. WordPress development involves more than just selecting the right themes and plugins; it requires careful planning and execution to create a well-functioning website.
Whether you want to extend your website’s functionality or become a developer yourself, these four tips will help you create beautiful WordPress sites.
Familiarize Yourself with Coding Basics
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to create and manage websites without writing code. However, if you want to customize your site beyond the basic theme, you’ll need to understand some coding fundamentals. You can make the most out of WordPress by learning the basics of the following languages:
- HTML: HTML is the foundation of all websites, as it is used to create and structure the content. It stands for HyperText Markup Language and is composed of tags, elements, and attributes that help give websites their structure and style. HTML tells your browser how to display and navigate content on the web page.
- CSS: CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) controls the appearance of content on a web page. It helps you define colors, fonts, sizes, backgrounds, images, and more. To create a customized user interface (UI), CSS is an absolute must.
To start with WordPress development, you don’t need to be an expert at all of these (or any of them). However, it is best to understand the basics of each language to get the most out of your WordPress site.
Choose the Right Hosting Plan
Web hosting is a service that stores and provides access to websites. It allows individuals and businesses to make their websites accessible over the internet. Web hosting stores all the files, images, videos, and other content that make up a website and makes it available to anyone who visits the site.
When you purchase web hosting, you get access to a web server with powerful hardware and software that allows you to store, manage, and access your website’s data. When it comes to WordPress hosting, the key is choosing the right plan for your needs. There are a few options you have to choose from:
- Shared Hosting: The most cost-effective option and it’s perfect for beginners. Shared hosting lets you share a web server with other websites. While this can lead to slower speeds, if your site isn’t very large or doesn’t receive much traffic then shared hosting should be enough for your needs.
- VPS Hosting: If your site is growing or you need more control over the hosting environment, VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting might be a better option. VPS hosting allows you to rent a virtualized section of a web server and gives you complete access to that segment, meaning you can install software and manage files as if it were your own dedicated server.
- Dedicated Hosting: Dedicated hosting is the most powerful option, as you get an entire server dedicated to your website. This is ideal if you have a large site that receives a lot of traffic and requires maximum performance and reliability.
When deciding which type of web hosting is best for you, consider your budget, the size and complexity of your site, and the amount of traffic it receives. If you have a large site with a lot of traffic, then dedicated hosting might be the way to go. For smaller sites or those just starting out, shared hosting is often a great choice.
Prioritize Mobile-friendly Design
Nowadays, almost everyone accesses the web from their mobile devices, and Google primarily reads the mobile version of your site to determine where it ranks in search engine results. If you want your WordPress site to rank well and be accessible to your visitors, then you need to make sure that it’s optimized for mobile devices.
To make sure your WordPress site is mobile-friendly, start by using a responsive theme or template. These are designed to automatically adjust the layout of your site based on the size of the user’s screen. This will ensure that your content looks great no matter what device it is viewed on.
You can also use plugins and other tools to further customize the mobile experience for users. For example, you could add a plugin that optimizes images for mobile devices, or one that adds a “click to call” button.
Make Site Updates in Testing Environments
When you update your WordPress site, it’s important to do it in a test environment first. This will allow you to make sure that everything works correctly before pushing the updates live on your website. Testing environments also give you a safe space to experiment and try out new features without worrying about crashing your live site. If something does go wrong, you can easily revert back to the previous version without any issues.
Use a Caching Plugin
If your WordPress website contains a considerable amount of content, or if you receive high volumes of traffic, then caching plugins are indispensable. They create static versions of your pages to make sure that they load quickly for visitors, thereby improving the performance and speed of your site.
Caching plugins also reduce the strain on your server, as they don’t have to generate new versions of your pages each time a visitor requests them. This can help improve page load times and make your site more efficient. Some popular caching plugins include W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
WordPress is the most ubiquitous content management system on the web today. Compared to other website-building solutions, it has a lot of advantages, including its flexibility, affordability, and ease of use. By following the four tips in this guide, you can create a well-functioning WordPress site that is optimized for performance, security, and mobile devices.