You'll always remember the first website you build.
It's a rite of passage for developers, after all! But in order to make it a happy memory instead of a frustrating one, you need to choose the right platform for building a website painlessly.
In this guest post, Brenda Berg advocates for WordPress being the one you choose. Why use WordPress? As she'll explain, it's robust and flexible, yet easy to learn.
Take it away, Brenda!
Since you’ll want your first website to be as high-quality as possible, there are many aspects of design and function to consider. To make this process as smooth as possible, it's important that you choose the right platform for your needs.
Now, you may have heard of WordPress — typically described as a world-renowned blogging platform where people can set up their own blogs and websites with minimal effort.
Your first thought might be, But I'm not setting up a blog! I want to code a website. Great! While blogging made it famous, WordPress offers a lot more than meets the eye. WordPress hosts over 74.6 million websites around the world, which roughly equates to around 22% of the entire public internet.
So, why use WordPress? Let’s dive in and see why WordPress could be the best platform for you to code and design your first website.
What Do You Need From Your Coding Platform?
Before you jump into coding a site, you'll first want to think about everything that you’re looking for. Create a list of requirements to check off when you’re searching for that perfect platform.
As a coder ready to embark on the journey of creating your first-ever website, here are some aspects to consider:
- Design – You want to provide your users with the best user experience you possibly can, ensuring that your website looks professional and has all the features and options they need to navigate it seamlessly.
- Speed – In today’s modern, fast-paced world, it’s essential that your website loads quickly — ideally within 2 seconds or less. This means you need a framework that’s fast and won’t keep your users waiting.
- Responsiveness – Nowadays, users could be coming to your website from a variety of devices, whether that’s a desktop computer, a mobile smartphone, or a tablet device. You need to ensure that your website works effortlessly on all these devices for the best user experience.
- Flexibility – At the end of the day, you’re the coder for your website, so you want to have complete control over what you’re producing. You don’t want to be limited by features or restrictions that some platforms will put into place.
You might have other requirements that are important to you as well, but vetting potential platforms for these four is crucial to prevent headaches as you try to build your website.
“WordPress is a godsend for many coders, simply because it addresses every single point we mentioned above as standard,” – Michelle Jennings, web developer and founder of Paper Fellows.
Those who are looking to start a freelancing career in website development should start at WordPress for numerous reasons. Clients make a wide variety of requests, and WordPress provides solutions for all of them.
In addition to using the tools of the WordPress framework itself, you can use your knowledge of CSS (WordPress’s operating language) to have full flexibility when it comes to producing your final product in line with your client’s requirements.
Although WordPress isn't the platform to build a website 100% from scratch, that's more relevant for advanced coders. Building a website from scratch isn't that feasible for beginners, and it's a frustrating method to choose for your first website!
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Why Use WordPress: Other Factors
In addition to fulfilling the four criteria above, there are several reasons why WordPress should be a first-time coder's framework of choice.
Ease of Learning
If you’re not already familiar with the HTML and CCS markup languages, don’t worry. Whether you have coding experience already or not, HTML and CSS are renowned for being two of the easiest languages to learn. And in WordPress, no matter what task you’re trying to complete — whether it’s setting up an online store, changing the basic design of your website, or even adding in features like maps, payment systems, and pop-up boxes — it can be as simple as finding the right plugin.
Vast Amount of Resources
Since WordPress is so widely used, there's a ton of information and resources out there to make your life easy. If you're struggling with a certain task, there are how-to guides and videos that can assist you with just about anything you need.
Many WordPress developers also create plugins and themes available for you to download and edit as you please. There is an absolute wealth of these resources online, allowing you to search and download a plugin to carry out pretty much any task you can think of, or find the theme that perfectly matches the design you envision.
Ability to Code Your Own Plugins and Themes
While we’re on the subject of plugins and themes, let’s explore what this really means for you as a coding developer. While you certainly can and should download plugins and themes created by others, you're not limited to what other developers have made. In many cases, you can actually code your own plugin or theme to achieve a required function!
The entire WordPress software is open-source, meaning you can edit it however you please, and easily create whatever you need from scratch. For this, you’ll have to learn PHP language. It’s specific but easy to learn. For example, you can use guides like PHP Tutorial for Beginners and W3schools. With a little knowledge of PHP, you can create anything you can think of, from simple designs to magnificent websites that would stun any client.
This is a great tool if none of the themes and plugins are working for exactly what you need. If you’re looking for a specific feature or design, you can create these plugins and themes from scratch, allowing you to create a basically infinite number of functions to your website.
However, if time is of the essence, you can easily download existing content from a variety of websites and resource databases and then edit every single detail until you’re happy with the final product.
Unrestricted Content Creation
While the design and functionality of your website will be one of your top priorities, it’s important to remember that many clients will be looking for the full package, which means you’ll need to think about creating the written and visual content (text, photos, and videos) for the site.
You could potentially hire someone to do this, or dedicate some time to learn how to do it on your own. For instance, use blogs which provide guides on writing, like State Of Writing.
Spell checks and editing can easily be done by using tools like Grammarly or hiring someone from a site like Big Assignments. If you outsource writing, just don’t forget to check their work for plagiarism.
Now Over to You!
So, why use WordPress? My question is, why not use WordPress! As you can see, there are so many reasons why a first-time website coder, such as yourself, should seriously consider using WordPress as the framework for their first website.
With fully customizable options, a vast wealth of resources to use, and complete control over your project, it’s safe to say there’s no reason to use any other platform.
About the author
Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. Expert and highly familiar with a wide variety of security, engineering, networking, and operating system software. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com.