7 do’s and don’ts for every WordPress Developer
Working in the IT world is a highly demanding job which is, however, paid extremely well. Especially sought after are the WordPress developers. The reason for this is that WordPress is one of the easiest and the most widespread content management systems (CMS) around the web. According to w3tech’s article: “WordPress is used by 57.1% of all the websites whose content management system we know, which amounts to 18.9% of all websites.” Since it is relatively easy to use, many people have started dabbling with it. This is why you need to set yourself apart from all the laymen, if you want to become a successful WordPress developer. You can do this by following some simple do’s and don’ts of the profession.
DO NOT load your own copy of jQuery
Many novice WordPress users tend to do this. Why do they do this is beyond me, but what they do here is threaten the whole project. The jQuery that comes with the CMS when you install it is there for a reason. That one is always up to date with all the latest trends and all the plug-ins, java scripts and all the other things that are required for normal website function.
Advice: Just do not do this.
DO enqueue your scrip
Loading external files is something that you will have to do often when you are building a site, because you will be creating themes and plug-ins and you will, potentially, have to customize some of these. However, if you decide to call up a JS library twice, there is a possibility that the website will break.
Instead, it is possible to just use a simple function that is called the wp_enqueue_script. This function will enable you to register and load scripts and libraries and it will make sure that each of these is loaded only once. This will save you great trouble, because it will make sure that the website does not break due to this.
DO NOT put too much 3rd party scripts and services
Utilizing 3rd party services and incorporating them into the website is something that many developers tend to do. They think that they will be able to draw users from social networks easily, if they enable them to login directly from these networks. However, this can bring your website to a standstill and cause slow loading times, because these services take time to load, especially if there are too many of them stacked together.
Advice: If you feel that you can capitalize on a user base from one social network, then include a service only from that one. Do not stack them together and use them sparingly and according to your needs.
DO cache everything
Cashing things ‘on-the-go’ is something that is much recommended. Knowing the transients API (Application Programming Interface) will enable you to store plug-in ‘options’ for certain amount of time. For example, if you have an ‘option’ that has to be updated every half an hour, or so, then you can set it to be cached for half an hour, which will enable it not to get loaded all the time, thus saving you precious resources that can be used elsewhere.
DO NOT expect to fulfill your needs with shared hosting
Shared hosting is a hosting solution that you should rely on. If your client has put you in charge of choosing a hosting solution (clients usually ask the developers to do this), do not fall prey to the ‘awesome possibilities’ that you are being offered by the shared hosting options. With little to no security and no resource management (it is usually done according to the “I got to them first” rule), chances are that your website will be rather slow.
Advice: Go for more expensive, but far more reliable, options, like VPS, dedicated or cloud hosting options. This is especially important if you plan that your website will grow in popularity.
DO get an idea about SEO
SEO is one of the most important aspects of increasing visits and building the popularity of the website. You won’t get anywhere without a good SEO plan, because you need your website to be ranked high for the keywords that you operate with. While you do not have to have some extensive knowledge about it, SEO can provide useful information as to what plug-ins and scripts to use in order for Google to like your website better.
DO NOT put ‘admin’ as username
This is the most common novice mistake that people make. While it seems obvious that you should not do this, many beginner web developers do this, again, for unknown reasons. The problem with this is that there are many bots on the web that are looking for such usernames and then try to exploit this. One other mistake is that developers leave ‘password’ as password. This can cause even more trouble.
Advice: Do change the password immediately, once you start to build the website. Building a strong password and giving usernames that are different from ‘admin’ will greatly increase the security of the website.
So, if you plan on becoming a successful WordPress developer, these are the things that you have to pay attention to. Knowing these do’s and don’ts will set you apart from all the laymen developers out there and will help you land better paid and higher profile jobs.