There is a reason why most developers are enamored by WordPress and perhaps it is why you are a WordPress developer yourself. WordPress is one of the best, most comprehensive and highly intuitive content management systems in the world.
Its compatibility is unmatched, having more templates and themes than virtually any other CMS and supporting a wide range of CSS and HTML code. In addition, with WordPress, you can version a site and restore it in case the front end gets mangled in some way. You can also have a variety of plugins and a lot of room to customize your site without interfering with the code.
You have support for shortcodes and the use of widgets as well as a large community of experts that can help you navigate through any challenges you may face when developing with WordPress.
Knowing how to work your advantage
Since you already have these and more advantages as a WordPress web developer, it would be a shame if you were not making full use of them. So we reached out to some expert DBAs to give us tips on how developers can work with WordPress effectively.
Create your own plugins
While there are plenty of plugins available in WordPress you should be able to create some of your own. Creating your own plugins will allow you to extend the core software WordPress is built on, so that you have optimal use of the installation and the software.
Some of the things you should keep in mind when creating these plugins include:
If your plug-in doesn’t exist yet, give it a unique name that describes its function for easy identification.
Each plug-in is usually located within its own PHP folder within the WordPress installation. So create this folder and then create a file with the name of your plug-in in it. You can split it into multiple files as well if you like, to create complex functionality.
This gives a quick description of the plug-in and possibly shows updates and maintenance logs. It is useful to other developers.
Dedicated home page
This is necessary only if you plan to share your plug-in. The homepage will be a place where people can download it, report issues and announce updates about it.
Create your own custom database tables
This is an important skill if you have large amounts of data that is quite different from the standard model. Creating your own tables allows you to have control over the field types and limits and makes your data clearer. It also helps avoid using two database tables for your data and ensures that data is separated from other aspects of WordPress. Complex queries and exporting data are also made easier.
All you have to do is create a new table in the WordPress database, give it a name, add the columns you need, then import your comma-separated values (CSV) file from Excel and you’re done!
Enqueue scripts and styles
Adding scripts and style is important as far as altering how the site looks and enhancing its function. As such, how you add them is important.
Scripts and styles should always be enqueued and never hard-coded. Enqueueing is CMS-friendly way of adding scriptsand styles to WordPress which will then handle linking them to your header and footer. Make sure to do them one at a time to avoid redundancy.
In case you change your mind about those assets you enqueued, WordPress has functions that allow you to dequeue and deregister them.
Add featured images
These are also referred to as post thumbnails and are quite popular in WordPress themes. In case you have a theme that doesn’t support featured images, you can add it yourself with a little knowledge of CSS.
Enable features image support in your theme’s function PHP file using a code. This will enable the option but your image may not be displayed within your theme automatically. So what you do is edit your template to add the code used to enable features image support where you want the image displayed.
If you want to make your plugins and website faster, then you need to know how to cache. You don’t need to write your own code, you simply need to optimize what is already available in WordPress.
There are four kinds of caching:
- Page caching – This allows each page to be stored as HTML files in local storage and matches those of the user each time they visit your website.
- Database caching – Having the same non-altering query repeated on each page and for each visitor trying to access the databases can be exasperating. Caching databases saves the results of these queries and refreshes them if an altering query is made.
- Object caching – Plugins are allowed to store data from expensive queries in memory by an internal API within WordPress.
- Opcode caching – This allows storage of a compiled code thereby speeding up the process of making requests considerably.
Avoid using query post
I know that query post commands are among the most useful in WordPress and are a favorite of a lot of developers. While it is great for retrieving and filtering posts and pages in all sorts of ways it is advisable not to use it in command for various reasons.
Query post is overly simplistic and as such problematic in modifying the main query of a page, to replace it with a new one. It re-runs SQL queries in an inefficient loop and sometimes fails especially if there are post paginations.
Instead, you should use WP Query when working with a multiple number of loops. It determines the query needed on each page and pulls relevant posts. It also saves a lot of information regarding its request which helps in optimizing and troubleshooting pages. In addition, you can run complex queries in your databases simply, safely and efficiently.
Having these skills will put you ahead of the pack as a WordPress developer and possibly make you some more money. All the best!