In terms of blogging applications, WordPress is one of the most establish platforms available both in terms of those that are self-hosting it using their own web hosting accounts and other that are using the hosted service; together these platforms host millions of websites and blogs that are using WordPress at their core. The core of WordPress is based on PHP code, whilst the database is a MySQL-based structure; both of these technologies are transferrable between Windows and Linux, therefore meaning that you can host your website on many of the whUK cPanel Web Hosting plans offered by Webhosting UK. Using WordPress as the backbone of your website can provide you with the following benefits:
- A web-based administration interface means that you can add and modify content on your website with just a few clicks and all changes being applied immediately, as opposed to standard static HTML websites with which you have to upload files once they have been modified on your local computer
- As a scalable application, you can be sure that your website can be used by thousands of visitors at the same time when using WordPress as the base for your website without facing any stability issues
- WordPress is an open source application, which in-turn means that you won’t have to spend a penny on using the application commercially; as you have full access to the source code of the application.
Developing a Theme
For any website it is important to develop a design that suits the purpose of the website or matches your business’s logo and colour scheme. With WordPress you are unable to modify the core pages that serve the content to your visitors, but it is very easy to create a custom design in the form of a template/theme that can then be applied to your WordPress-based website fairly easily.
Developing a theme is a fairly simple process if you are use to creating websites using HTML and CSS because effectively those are the only two languages that you need to know for this purpose; although you will need to insert PHP code at certain stages, this will only be in the form of small lines of code that provide the hook to display your content.
Once you have created a theme that falls in line with the specification provided as part of the official WordPress documentation, you can then upload your new theme to your web space under the ‘wp-content/themes’ folder. Once that has been done, navigate to the administration page for your WordPress installation and locate the ‘Themes’ option under the ‘Appearance’ menu tab; your new theme should then be there available for you to test with your website and apply if you feel comfortable with the look that you have achieved.
Expanding with Plugins
Incorporating additional functionality into a website is one of the best methods that can be used to attract new visitors. When using a third-party application as the basis of your website, you may think that it’s going to be harder to improve the features that you offer your visitors because you won’t have an in-depth knowledge of the coding of the application like you would if you had developed your website individually from the start; however, when using a popular application such as WordPress, there if often a large repository of third-party plugins that you can incorporate into your WordPress website to extend your usage of the application.
Creating a plugin for WordPress can be done in a similar way to themes; the application provides an API with hooks that you can use to attach your plugin to the application as well as retrieve information from the database to populate the plugin with content. However, for plugin development it is going to be important for you to have an in-depth knowledge of PHP code so that you are able to create the relevant code that can tap into the core of the WordPress application; if you are going to be developing a front-end for your plugin then knowledge of HTML and CSS will be a necessity.
Installing a plugin with WordPress is done in the same way that you install a theme, although you will need to upload plugins to the ‘wp-content/plugins’ folders instead. You will then need to select ‘Plugins’ from the left-hand menu where you can then manage all the plugins that you have installed; in order for the functionality to a plugin to impact on your website, you will need to ensure that it has been activated.
Webhosting.uk.com’s 24×7 support team is available to provide assistance with the WordPress application at all stages, including with the installation of themes and plugins. We can also install WordPress for you if you feel that you lack the skills necessary to carry out a professional installation of the software.