WordPress is only getting more flexible as a platform. The introduction of WordPress 5 with its new features makes the CMS platform not only friendlier to the average user but also more accessible to developers. It leverages modularity and enables the realization of new concepts using WordPress as a core.
In fact, developers have been having a lot of fun with WordPress lately. Headless WordPress implementation is on the rise. You are free to use frameworks like React for front-end purposes, all while utilizing WordPress as a mature CMS platform for content delivery and management.
If you are excited about what the future holds, you are not alone. WordPress is still the most popular CMS platform today. These next several tips and tricks will help you leverage WordPress and supercharge your development projects even further.
There’s a Plugin for That
The first development tip to remember is, well, to not develop everything on your own. As a mature platform, WordPress has thousands of plugins and themes already out there. It also benefits from having a large community of developers behind it.
You don’t have to develop everything from scratch. If you need forms on your WordPress site, for instance, using existing plugins like Ninja Forms is the way to go. You don’t just save on your development time and resources either.
Utilizing existing plugins and themes means reducing the time and energy you need to spend on future maintenance work. As long as you stick to plugins that receive regular maintenance updates and security patches, you can redirect resources towards developing other elements of the site.
Manage Your Development Project
Knowing how to manage your WordPress development project like a pro leads to many benefits. For starters, you can keep the project in budget and on the right track at all times. You can also divide the project into smaller tasks, and then assign them to other developers if needed.
A team of developers doesn’t have to be difficult to manage. You can use top tools like Kanbanize to organize tasks as cards and assign them accordingly. Kanbanize also lets you share files and communicate directly on the Kanban board, so project management becomes easier.
At the same time, use Agile approaches to streamline the development process. Having a quick daily stand up meeting is helps the team stay on track, improves productivity and collaboration. After all, sync-ups can be done by taking a glance at your Kanbanize board.
Keep It Modular
As silly as this may sound, not all developers understand the benefit of WordPress modularity. In fact, you can still find websites that are built by editing the core WordPress files directly. Cringy? Definitely. Eliminating the modularity of WordPress only makes maintenance incredibly difficult.
Keeping the WordPress site modular is a must. Instead of editing a theme, for instance, you can create a child theme specifically for the site. Rather than editing plugins, use loops added to functions.php to alter the way content is delivered.
By aiming for maximum modularity, you are saving yourself from any future problems. You can update WordPress as well as all plugins and themes without breaking the site. There is nothing you cannot achieve with a custom plugin, command, or another module.
Follow Best Practices
WordPress represses error warnings by nature. When you try to write to the WordPress database directly, for example, WordPress actually produces a warning and adds it to your log. When it goes unchecked, a single error log can quickly turn into thousands once the site is live.
Fortunately, WordPress has an extensive array of resources to help you eliminate this type of mistake. All you need to do is follow the WordPress best practices to make sure that the new plugins or routines you add to the site are coded properly.
Having a QA engineer check your code isn’t a bad idea too. With good project management in place, you have the option to streamline testing and code-checking as you develop modules for WordPress. By the time you are done with the project, testing is also completed.
Don’t Forget Performance
Last but certainly not least, make sure you also check performance as you complete your WordPress development project. Performance is an important aspect of a website or an app. Even search engines now measure site performance as a critical metric for user experience.
Performance optimization in WordPress involves eliminating unnecessary lines of codes, caching static elements, and making sure that parts of the site get loaded based on their importance to user experience. You want all modules to speed things up rather than slow things down.
You will inevitably come across codes that stop the rest of the site from loading. These are the codes you want to refine and improve in order to achieve maximum performance.
Keep these tips in mind and every WordPress development project you handle will produce superb results. The tips covered in this article also help simplify even the most complex project using tools to help you.