WordPress, PHP, You Name It

Before starting to read the readings about WordPress, I was excited about the upcoming final assignment. I have some experience using WordPress in journalism classes at Wake Forest where I did my undergrad, but I haven’t used it to make something of personal significance. Moreover, it’s comforting to know that we’re not building everything from the ground up, but working off of templates that have been created. I think this will help with making the site more dynamic in nature and focusing on using code to customize the site to fit the subject matter. Not to mention, it takes some of the pressure off of having to think about both the big picture of a site and on a granular level with the functionality. WordPress will make it manageable to be able to do both.

Something that stuck out to me when completing the reading (that are now due the following week), that I think is important is: “Good themes improve engagement with your website’s content in addition to being beautiful.” At the end of the day, while we’re making this website for ourselves, we have to continuously keep the user in mind and ensure that they have a pleasant user experience. Otherwise, no one will want to visit our site. With that being said, in order to do this, I will have to work on both the front and backend of the site to be able to deliver a good site.

It was very helpful to go through each of the readings. It broke down, step by step, what we will have to do, including the taxonomy and naming of the folders. The guides, in particular the Child Themes guide, will be very helpful as we start creating our WordPress sites.

Other important information I noted:

  • WordPress debugging tool
  • Plugin: controls the behaviors of the feature
    • made up of PHP, CSS and JavaScript
    • builds additional functionality to what WordPress themes can already do
  • Theme: controls the presentation of the content
  • Development environment: develop the WordPress environment locally on your server (why we downloaded MAMP) and supplement this with a text editor like sublime or atom.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the PHP Codecademy lessons. It made sense. I didn’t feel as lost when I was writing out the code because I already understood variables, strings, functions, etc. I hope to be able to work more in PHP and continue developing those skills because it makes more sense.

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