WordPress is said to run more than a quarter of all websites — and for good reason. It has a loyal user base and scores of dedicated developers who bring better features to the system year round. WordPress is a fantastic CMS that powers a big chunk of websites out there, which all have different features. As a result, it has a pretty robust architecture that can feel a bit too complex to run a simple blog.
Note About WordPress
It’s time to get our hands dirty and start setting up our actual website from within WordPress. First, I want to mention a couple of things about how WordPress works.
I’m sure you’ll notice that many people say they dislike WordPress for various reasons, such as bad security, a theme not working or their website becoming very slow.
In reality, WordPress is a great system — just like many other systems, no matter how small or large the website. The problems you hear about, like poor security, pages grinding to a halt or a bad user interfaces on the front end, are almost exclusively due to poorly coded plugins and themes.
As a result, the theme and plugins you choose matter a lot. You know how some people have really slow computers and complain about them all day? Then you take a look and see that they’ve installed every single piece of shady software available? The situation is kind of like that.
Coming across a theme or a plugin with malicious intent is pretty rare. More often than not, the problems one creates are caused by sloppiness or insufficient knowledge of coding standards.
What this all boils down to is this: Look for a theme and plugins with good reviews, a sizable user base and an active development team. This will negate or minimize any negative impact on your website.
Choosing A Theme And Plugins
Choosing a theme is, in many ways, the most difficult task of all. Plugins are usually more specific: You install one to perform a single task. While themes “simply” add the visuals for the front page, testing them can be more complex.
A theme has parts you might not think of testing, such as the 404 page, the search page, the archive and so on. In addition, some themes boast a lot of features, like support for WooCommerce, bbPress and so on.
Code quality affects the speed of your website, which, along with the design, affects your users directly.
Depending on what type of website you have (a personal blog, a store, a forum, etc.), you will also need some plugins. These work in conjunction with your theme and WordPress’ back end to provide specific functionality. Let’s go over a few common setups.