What is WordPress Web Design?
WordPress is a free and open source web design platform based on PHP and MySQL database to offer the current content management system. Basically WordPress web design platform is the single most popular website management system in the world. The platform supports over 75 million websites or 30% of all business websites.
Because this is open source software, it is designed for anyone to use as a web design platform. It is continually being improved by hundreds, if not thousands of volunteers, who want to make this web design and blog platform better and better.
Released under general public licence, in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mark Little as a fork from the previous b2/cafelog platform, WordPress is enjoying 15 years of existence in 2018, as it launches WordPress version 5.0 on December 6th.
WordPress the web design platform
Basically, if you install an iteration of the WordPress web design platform on your hosting you will have a complete website template system with a built-in word processor. The year 2018 sees the classic editor replaced with the Gutenerg editor. The new editor makes it visually easier for people to drag and drop blocks to create pages. Because the platform is free and open source it costs you nothing to buy. And you can also get free hosting, if you allow advertisements to appear on your website. You only start paying when you look for custom hosting or to get rid of the advertisements or to have plug-ins added to the website.
WordPress Web Design Themes
There are thousands of WordPress web design themes that have been created for the WordPress web design platform. Many of these design teams are free, but many more are available for a small price. We would recommend that you always pay for your theme and pay for ongoing support to ensure that your design theme continues to work smoothly. Any developer who sells a theme on an annual licence, is agreeing to continually update that theme. In essence you can change the design theme on your website without replacing any core code. And you can keep the same content on the website. You may have to tidy it up if you re-design using a new theme. But again the WordPress web design platform allows you to edit or customise the appearance in real time with relative ease. The built in customiser allows you edit aspects of the page layout in real time.
There are currently over 50,000 plug-ins available in the WordPress Repository for WordPress specific plug-ins. These plugins allow you create more functionality or add widgets or optimise the website or speed up the website or add advance custom fields. Once again many of these plug-ins are free to use, but again we would recommend that you pay for your plug-ins. This is in order to ensure that the developer continues to support the plug-in and update it. This will ensure that it works smoothly with new updated versions of the WordPress platform and other plug-ins that happen to be installed. The WordPress platform and many of the plugins are continually being updated to improve the platform or add additional security. A new update to the platform may add functionality, improve performance or enhance security.
WordPress Website Platform Security
Ironically every iteration of WordPress that you use is simply a copy of WordPress, so it is the single most popular multi-site platform in the world. For this reason and the fact that so many people are familiar with WordPress, it means that a lot of hackers would like to hack WordPress core. Vulnerabilities have been found recently in 2017, 2016 and 2015 but also in 2007 2008. In 2017 a vulnerability was found that allowed any registered user of a website modify any post or page, within that website, if the website was running WordPress 4.7 or older. Once the security vulnerability was identified WordPress developers created a high priority patch to version 4.7.2 to address this problem.
New vulnerabilities may well be found either in the core code or in very popular plug-in such as Yoast, but as soon as they are discovered a team of people immediately step in to create a security patch and issue an update. It is critical that platform updates are done to avoid hacking and also to apply updates to any plug-ins being used on your website.
And obviously if you have plug-ins or themes on your website that are not being used it will be in your interests to delete them in their entirety. Deactivate unused plug-ins or themes, as leaving them on your website is just creating a bloat, that you do not need. And it also can create security vulnerabilities, so do remove themes and plug-ins that are no longer in use. Sign up to a WordPress Website Support Plan with a reputable web design agency, to ensure that your website is kept secure and working well. Top Tips on WordPress Security.
WordPress Web Developers
Whilst WordPress foundation owns the trademark to WordPress, many specialist WordPress developers make money by developing and/or selling plug-ins or design themes. Matt Mullenweg himself went on to create a company called Automatic in 2005, but it relinquished any claim to the WordPress trademark in 2010. This company makes money by selling advertising on any free WordPress site that it hosts. You can also pay for hosting with Automatic in order to hide the advertisements. They also sell design themes. For a Glossary of words or terms used in WordPress see either the official WordPress Glossary or WP Glossary.net by Anders Noren
WordPress Website Design Costs
As mentioned earlier the WordPress web design platform is free and open source, so you can use this platform to create your own website you can even get free hosting. But realistically, if you’re looking to build a website you will need somebody who has experience and can use these tools to create exactly what you want for your business. So you will need to invest in order to get the use of that same wealth of experience and pay for the time required for these experienced developers to build your website.
Experienced WordPress website developers typically charge based on the depth of this wealth of experience as this is what will add real value for your business. When you see a WordPress design agency that has produced 100+ websites, then you know you have found somebody with the right experience. To make sure that they are currently producing good quality websites have a look at their portfolio and contact two or three of their recent clients to find out if they were happy with the experience and the return on their investment.
Note: Any kid over the age of 12 could have a little experience with WordPress, but it does not make them competent website developers. Look out for qualifications like WP Elevation to find people who understand how to use WordPress well.
Using WordPress – as an end user client or website owner
When WordPress was nothing more than a blogging tool it had a very simple interface that was easy to use and very intuitive. Nowadays WordPress is so much more than just a blogging tool and it comes with so many more options in terms of plug-ins and themes and functionality. Its core is still simple to use and we would recommend that you have your developers customise your dashboard or view, so that your users only see the bits that they need to see, to do what they need to do. Once this dashboard is reduced in complexity, WordPress all of a sudden looks much more simple to use and is much more intuitive. There is any amount of support on the WordPress.org website and videos on YouTube and WordPress.tv, in countess blogs or online learning platforms. You can meet other WordPress users at is and Wordcamps or WordPress Meetups. What is a Wordcamp? See here for more.
The Future is WordPress
As of today it would appear that most developers have voted for WordPress which is why there are almost 60,000 plug-ins currently available for the platform. Obviously, WordPress is going to be the ‘go to’ platform for the foreseeable future for any small or medium business. It’s worth noting that many enterprise websites are also using WordPress so companies like BBC and the New Yorker and MTV also use WordPress.
CMS Content Management Systems
What is a Content Management System? CMS Content Management Systems – there are loads of them. Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, Squarespace, Weebly, Wix and so many more. Many are not open Source, they are proprietary. That means if you invest time in a proprietary system, you are locked inside their platform. You may have limited functionality. Or you may want to use plugins that do not work with a proprietary system. Which is the best CMS Content Management System for you?
WordPress 5.0 released December 6th 2018
The WordPress platform version 5.0 released on December 6th 2018. It was very much expected and ran a bit late, squeezing to 2018, but just about. It came with 15 significant updates and included the new Gutenberg editor. WordPress website owners do not have to update to version 5.0 immediately. Many people will click the update options and hope that all the various plugins will work well together. The date of the release just before the Christmas holidays will probably mean that a lot of people will have to work during the holiday period.