Tools to DIY a WordPress website that works
Let’s start by explaining what we’re talking about when we say WordPress. WordPress is a platform originally developed by the good folks over at WordPress.com as an open-source Content Management System (CMS), which was made available – and still is available for download – at WordPress.org. WordPress.com now offers competitive hosting and limited support for its platform on WordPress.com, while the WordPress platform can be deployed on any server independently of WordPress.com. Think of it as if Squarespace opened up its program to every developer in the world and you could just download and upload the Squarespace editing system and access to all the plugins on any server you wish.
There are benefits and drawbacks to this open-source mode of operation. The benefits being with a fully explorable file structure anyone with knowledge of PHP and HTML could learn and develop for the WordPress platform. This means that overall as of 2019 the total hours worked to develop the WordPress platform has gone over 100 combined years. Which is crazy. The drawbacks of the open-source nature of the software are – in line with the benefit – that anybody can learn how it works and develop for it – even those with nefarious intentions.
But why am I telling you this in an article about building a WordPress website? I think it’s incredibly important to understand that an open-source platform like WordPress means that choosing hosting, proper security and support are key components when you’re building your WordPress site.
- Always ensure your site has an SSL
- ensure your site is backed-up every 24 hours
- Ensure your site is updated at least once every month
- Perform a full database and site backup before you run your updates
- Only run updates that are reported to be safe by the author
- Choose to host that’s dedicated to the WordPress platform like Flywheel or WPengine or even WordPress.com
- Avoid cheap hosting as there is usually hidden bandwidth and traffic restrictions
- Ensure your site has a proper cache system as WordPress can be a robust system
- Keep your theme updated
- Don’t install new plug-ins without doing some research on how/if they will work correctly with current plug-ins.
- Always use premium plug-ins, if it’s critical to the function of the site
- Keep WordPress itself updated, this is critical for security
It’s for reasons like the above our team saw value in developing our own WordPress Management Solutions Packages. If you’re interested in seeing what that looks like, click here.
The tools we use!