How WordPress and Programming works

WordPress Programming and Scripting

WordPress is a free PHP application that makes it simpler to make your own website.

Most people thought it would put developers out of business, but it’s actually helped developers help eachother make nicer websites with more functionality.

The main purpose of WordPress is to make it so that the parts of a website are well-organized and pretty.

WordPress does a decent job of allowing programmers to make ‘one-size-fits-all’ bits and pieces for your site and still making a typical Luddite able to edit the site on their own as long as they aren’t too picky about the end result.

WordPress does not allow you to skip learning how to code if you want your site to be perfect.

The part of the WordPress application that people spend the most time on is where you edit the individual pages. These pages look a bit like Microsoft Word and are called WYSIWYG, pronounced ‘Wizziwig’. It stands for ‘What you see is what you get’ which is somewhat deceptive in the sense that you can have elements like sign-up forms that look like they should work but the code is completely wrong. This is because WYSIWYG editors are always interpreters of what you have in mind and they add code in the ‘best’ way it can represent it. In other words, the program isn’t a mind reader so you’ll have troubles when you’re laying out your page if you really care how many pixels apart you want each line of text or how many pixels you want to leave as empty space from your images.

The next element to understand in WordPress that inspired this article is how all the themes and plugins you install are somewhere between when you get a home theater made of components from different brands.

It’s possible that your TV calls a function ‘Menu’ and your amplifier calls the same thing ‘Settings’, or worse you try to raise the volume on the remote and it changes the channel on the TV.

Much like the saying of having too many cooks in the kitchen, the great downside of WordPress is when you try to add too many scripts with their different ‘What if’ functions.

Worse yet is the fact that everyone needs to make a living, and commerce shouldn’t need to apologize for how it uses money to entice talented programmers away from their free gigs.

On par with that factor is how commerce also limits the amount of compatibility that they can justify developing.

I’ve seen a number of web developers who make very good end results with inspiring designs and only develop in WordPress, but fundamentally it has one big disadvantage compared to a site designed in straight code by an expert.

That disadvantage is how a WordPress site will always necessarily include more code than the site will require.

By that, I mean that a WordPress site has to create code to prepare for any conceivable page; anticipating coding errors like unfinished tables or dividers that leaves room for your audience’s browsers to interpret and possibly mess up.

This situation is a little bit like building a steel reinforced concrete house to withstand earthquakes and hurricanes even though the house is in the Great Prairies of North America where there are no hurricanes or earthquakes.

WordPress sites will never load as quickly as a well-coded custom site

Now, you might be thinking that a custom coded site will be too costly for your humble website.

Making a custom coded website is not that time consuming or complicated.

Another big myth about WordPress sites is how certain looks have to be done in WordPress or else they’ll just look cheap.

This is absolutely untrue, and the most obvious proof is the code that makes WordPress work.

WordPress is fundamentally the same types of code as regular sites: HTML, CSS, possibly Javascript, and PHP.

If you imagine all the words in the English language, and then think about how there are some sayings like, ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ which use English words but together have a slightly different meaning than they literally would mean, you can understand how WordPress and regular websites can gain extra commands by adding what are called libraries. Examples of this are JSON and AJAX.

The fact that both WordPress and regular sites use the same languages hopefully establish the fact that a well-coded site can’t be inferior.

In closing, I hope that you understand what WordPress is even though you might not be able to explain it to someone, but just the fact that no one who develops your site in WordPress could reasonably be expected to know every bit of code in your WordPress site makes me say that WordPress if you have extremely sensitive data in your site, it is not the best choice, but it is for anyone else.

Before I shoot myself in the foot completely though, if you already have a WordPress site, we’d be happy to fix or run your site and you have nothing to fear!

I look forward to your call!

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