Introduction to WordPress 2015

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Initial questions:

  • What are tutorial resources?
  • What are new tolls, next level?
  • What should we recommend for the future?
  • How to transition to WordPress from an existing site?

Why use WordPress?

  1. Easier learning curve
  2. Wide ranging community
  3. Admin screen is intuitive for user back end
  4. Makers of Wordpress try to avoid site breaking when upgrades happen
    • Plugins are exceptions and should be selected with caution
    • Plugins code quality not hold to same standard
  5. Wordpress has automatic security updates

Disadvantage

  • WordPress does a lot of basic things very easily but complex customization gets exponentially more difficult
  • Custom code is expensive, you have to maintain it
  • From the developer end, we have to plan for site maintenance in the form of service contracts, this creates staffing problems
  • There are $99 WordPress developer resources in Eastern Europe and India where wages are lower. How do we know the ethics of that Business?

Hosting

  • WordPress.com
    • Blog
    • Not for a website
  • Wordpress.org
    • Can be installed on your own server and customized
  1. First Path - (Blue Host, HostGator)
    • Low cost budget hosting, $10/month
    • Blue Host has good customer support, security, not sure about privacy
    • One click install
  2. Second Path - Managed Hosting (UpEngine, Media Temple, Page.ly
    • $29/month
    • Updates site for you
    • Both public facing and private
    • Staging versions to best functionality and updates
    • Better security
    • If you get hacked, they guarantee to fix it
    • The hosting plan will depend on the traffic on your site

How To

Tutorial resources

  • wordpress.org forums
  • google "fastest way to do ____."

Themes

Themes control what it looks like, how things are displayed

  1. Use one of the existing themes from wordpress.org
    • Some themes you can customize
  2. Theme forest and others
    • Don't get them from google! You will get malware
    • Studio Press
Theme Framework
Pieces you can put together in your own way Control the design and layout
  • i.e. Divi theme is a good example. Parent has functionality and child theme can lay on top.
  • i.e. avada works well

Use the "customizer" on WordPress back end to see your options for changing theme. Preview not only accurate. When adding functionality think about the goals of your site and how that content will be maintained.

Custom Theme

  • Can be totally customized
  1. Simple option
    • implementation of exiting themes/plugins to give you what you need.
    • Low cost option
  2. Work with a team for design and development
    • More time consuming


Plugins

  • Plugins are functionality
  • They do not update automatically
  • They have a life span
    • They constant care and maintenance (TLC)
  • They might break your site
  • There is overlap
  • Look for plugins at wordpress.org

Which one to pick?

  • See reviews
  • Stars are only meaningful with lots of reviews
  • Ask:
    • What is the reason this person made the plugin?
    • When is the last time it was updated?
    • How often that person is coming back to improve and fix bugs (find out this info under "more details")
      • See the change log of things added and fixed

Often you will see a free version and a paid version with more features. This is a good sign because free versions will surely work. Another good sign is if the developer uses that plugin themselves.

Backups

  1. Managed backups. 1-click restore
  2. Goldstandard is vaultpress
  3. Backup buddy