Points to be Kept in Mind While using WordPress CMS
WordPress is a free as well as an open-source content management system (CMS). It is highly based on PHP and MySql.
It can be used after installing it on a server, more specifically a web server. A web server can either be a part of the network host or the Internet hosting service.
Today, more than millions of websites operate using WordPress. The CMS has attracted many non-coders to make their own websites. It is the most popular and easiest blogging system in use on the web.
But, no matter how easy the WordPress, people, most of the times, forget to consider below points before developing their websites. Let us have a look:
Few Points that will Help you to Use WordPress in a More Effective Manner
A. Do not Forget to use Debugger while Writing Code
Debugging is an important in-built tool of WordPress. It helps in finding out PHP errors and related warnings and notices. When the system throws warnings, these are generally ignored, but it is important to heed them otherwise they can create problems later on.
It is recommended to use the Debugging while your website is in Development mode and it is better to switch it off, when you are moving your project to the Production mode.
Here is how you must enable it using the wp-config.php file. The file is located in the root directory of your WordPress folder.
B. Use the Process of Enqueuing to Add Scripts and Styles
Enqueuing is the most preferable method to add scripts and styles to our WordPress website. It helps in preventing the plug-in conflicts and loads the script as per the requirement. Generally, developers tend to use wp_head hook to add scripts, out of which most of the scripts are already present and thus, it creates duplicate script with different versions. Enqueuing prevents such problems.
Example below demonstrates how Enqueuing of scripts and styles is done using wp_enqueue_script and wp_enqueue_style respectively.
C. Always use a Parent Theme
Most of the people create a child theme to distinguish the web pages, but that ultimately results in the loss of previous work, which gets overwritten by the new one. If you wish to include a child theme, then place its style-sheet in the sub-directory of the child theme's folder. It is good to use the following content, while you are creating a child theme style-sheet.
D. Instead of Modifying Core Files, use Plugins
Modifying the WordPress core files is not at all a good practice, as a WordPress upgrade will make you lose all your core changes. Instead, use functions from plugins that will help you perform specific functions without making you fall into huge complexities.
Additionally, a new technique called filters has become more prevalent in handling such situations. The filters will let you achieve different output results, but with the same code. You can do this by wrapping your different logics using if condition, for example. It will prevent your code from generating any fatal error.
E. Keep your Code Dynamic
Hardcoding values tend to make the work less complicated and easily done, but it may prove to be extremely tough and way more cumbersome, while migrating your code to the production environment as your site will suddenly stop working till the time you do not resolve your hardcoded values.
Even at the time of debugging the code and resolving the generated errors will also be a huge obstacle for you to rectify.
F. Index Your Site only when it is Fully-Developed and in Running Mode
Indexing a site is a good habit, but only when your site is in full working mode. If your site is still in development and you have a testing site as well, where you test your each new release, then indexing can create a huge problem. For example, you have your own site running and you also have a testing site that runs the same content. When Google will index your site, it will find two sites with the same content causing your site to become a victim of content violation.
If you wish to prevent indexing, then edit your .htaccess file with the following line:
Header set X-Robots-Tag "noindex, nofollow"
G. Make Sure your Plugin is Active
In most of the cases, plugin remains active, but in case you happen to change the path or file name of the plugin, then there must be some conditions to check if your web page can still use the plugin or not.
Check out the two examples in the below images:
The first example, checks the plugin on the basis of its path, while the second one initially makes a check for the existence of the plugin directory.
H. Load Only Required Resources
The amount of resources added to a single web page affects its loading page. More resources means more time required for loading, so, it is recommended to use only those plugins that will help to run the specific web page, This will also help in enhancing the overall user's experience. WordPress provides a function named wp_dequeue_script($handle) and wp_dequeue_style($handle), which will respectively prevent the loading of unwanted scripts and style sheets as mentioned in the below example.
If you find it too hectic to do, then there is a tool provided by WordPress named as Plugin Organizer that can help you to stop some files from getting loaded based on the certain criteria.
I. Make a Customized Admin Account
It is recommended to create one's own customized Admin Account that varies according to the different users' roles. Create your own front end Admin section using the following code:
J. Use GetText Filter to Change Some Specific Texts
Using GetText Filter is a cleaner and more professional manner to update the relative information as per the user's action.
Check out the below example to see how it can be used:
K. Never use Default Permalinks
A Permalink is a term given to a permanent static hyperlink that redirects to a particular web page or an entry in a blog. Though WordPress has its default permalinks, it is recommended to not use them as they are not SEO friendly URLs, and can, possibly, create performance issues if used in a live site.
It is better to change those links with relevant keywords before linking your web pages with each other.