By July 31, 2019

Why First-Time Programmers Should Use WordPress for Their First Website

Creating your first website is an exciting and overwhelming experience at the same time. Exciting, because you are about to use your developing skills to create your own website. Overwhelming, because it can be tough to determine where to begin. That’s where WordPress can help! 

WordPress is not just a blogging platform. It is the most popular content management system (CMS) that’s highly customizable, offering a low setup and maintenance cost. Hence, everyone from entrepreneurs and digital marketing professionals to mega-brands like Mashable, Mozilla, and Coca Cola use WordPress. 

The download counter at WordPress.org will tell you how popular this CMS is. In fact, WordPress, or WP, runs over 30% of the internet and enjoys a whopping 60% share in the CMS market.

Though WP started off as a blogging tool, today, it’s the most robust CMS and website-building platform a developer can have. The platform allows you to create full-blown websites using a large variety of plugins and themes together with your coding skills. The CMS is powerful and easy-to-learn and allows you to set up a clean and responsive website fairly quickly.

Regardless of the coding language you are comfortable with, using WordPress for your first website will allow you to create a responsive, reliable, and secure site that serves your purpose well. Dive in to learn why WP is the best platform for programmers, both beginners and experts.

WordPress Takes You Closer to the Major Coding Languages

When working in WP you can modify your site, the core behavior, and the admin panels using any of the web coding languages shared further in this post. 

WordPress core was created using PHP and SQL. Its front-end presentation uses a combination of declarative and programming languages, namely HTML and CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX. Having a basic knowledge of these languages will help you work with WordPress to develop your website and write code for the desired plugins and themes.

HTML 

HTML is a declarative web “markup” language. Having knowledge of semantically valid HTML will ensure that your pages look the same in every browser.

CSS

CSS makes HTML look good. From the font color and text to the background color, CSS and Media Queries help you style your pages and define how each page behaves on different screen sizes.

PHP 

PHP makes WordPress run on the web server. In other words, it is used to build your webpages and put them together. As a WP user you will not need to write code, but having a basic understanding of PHP will help you modify themes and create your own plugins. You will use PHP features, such as variables, arrays, functions, conditionals, and comparison operators, when working on WordPress. Hence, a fair understanding of the PHP functions will work in your favor.

JavaScript and JQuery

JavaScript and jQuery help you program the behavior of your HTML pages, making them more responsive and user-friendly and ensuring rich client-side interactivity. For instance, if you want a text to appear after the user clicks on a specific button, you can use JavaScript. JQuery is a popular JS library that allows you to chain multiple functions, making sure your code is clean. Having said that, JavaScript is not the main language of WordPress. Hence, it’s OK even if you do not know much about this programming language

MySQL Database

MySQL database stores the content of each of your WordPress site pages. WP offers a set of PHP functions that safely interact with this database.

AJAX

AJAX enables you to send or receive data without fully reloading a webpage. So, if you want to change the content of the page, you do not need to reload the entire page. WordPress uses AJAX in its admin control panel. For instance, when you write blog posts, AJAX is used to autosave your drafts without your noticing it.

WP Themes Are a Perfect Fit for Programmers

wordpress themes
Source: https://wordpress.com/themes/filter/responsive-layout

Most coders and programmers need a basic (but responsive!) website with sound functionality, uncluttered design, and a good user experience. WordPress enables you to combine themes, plugins, and custom code to create a unique site based on your requirements. 

Themes define the layout and style of a WordPress site, ensuring consistency in layout for the webpages and posts. WP offers responsive themes that are clean, easy to work with, and loaded with several useful backend features. There are thousands of free themes available in the official WordPress Theme Directory. You can also purchase themes on popular sites like Theme Forest, StudioPress, and WooThemes.

Further, you can create a responsive WordPress theme using HTML5, CSS3, specific PHP functions, and responsive design principles. 

WP Offers Loads of Plugins for Coders

After selecting a theme for your website, you will have to equip yourself with suitable plugins to start blogging and sharing your code with others. WordPress offers free and premium plugins that allow you to carry out virtually any modification depending on your needs. 

For instance, as your site grows in popularity, your audience may be interested in a few coding tutorials or ebooks. You can use WP plugins for this purpose. The official WordPress directory currently has more than 50 thousand plugins

Moreover, if you know PHP like the back of your hand, you can customize any plugin you want or build your own plugin from scratch. 

wordpress for programmers
Source: https://wordpress.org/plugins/syntax-highlighter/ 

The Syntax Highlighter for WordPress is one of the most important tools for coders. It allows you to add code to your site without the need for formating, ensuring that the source code is available to the viewers. This plugin supports code highlighting for (X)HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, C, C++, Ruby, and Python, among others.

WordPress Is Secure

Since it is the most popular CMS, WordPress tends to be of immense interest to hackers. However, WP was developed with the user’s security in mind

The WordPress staff constantly updates the CMS and the plugins. Of course, as a programmer, you need to exercise caution like moving your WordPresss site from HTTP to HTTPS and downloading plugins from the most trusted sources (preferably while you are logged in to WordPress). 

Moreover, you will find several forums extending online advice, tutorials, and support in this matter. WordPress security plugins like Sucuri, iThemes, WordFence, and All In One WP Security and Firewall can help protect your site against common threats such as brute force attacks and malware.

Over to You! 

WordPress is one of the most popular CMSs across the globe, since it offers excellent design, speed, responsiveness, and flexibility. It is easy-to-learn and open-source. Hence, you can effortlessly edit it as per your preferences, create plugins and themes from scratch, and add an infinite number of functions to your website. 

Even creating a demo website on WordPress can be valuable for your developer experience and portfolio. So, go ahead and use WordPress for your maiden website! I am sure you will enjoy the process.

About the author

Pratik Dholakiya

Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of The 20 Media, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. He regularly speaks at various conferences about SEO, Content Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Digital PR. Pratik has spoken at the 80th Annual Conference of the Florida Public Relations Association, Accounting and Finance Show, Singapore, NextBigWhat’s UnPluggd, IIT-Bombay, SMX Israel, SEMrush Meetup, MICA, IIT-Roorkee, and other major events. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few.