Did you know that WordPress now powers 75 million websites around the world? This is astonishing when you consider that this number represents nearly 20% of the entire internet. Compared to other popular CMS platforms, WordPress is a giant holding 60% of the market for content management systems; and others that are in second place aren’t even close to 10% of the total marketshare. WordPress today is more than a blogging platform. In fact, if you are not a blogger, it doesn’t matter. WordPress has become an entire platform onto which you can build just about any website. WordPress is supported by one of the largest open-source communities of developers contributing bits and pieces to the maintenance and growth of WordPress. WordPress is supported with a large library of themes and plugins which allow you or any developer to customize the look and feel as well as the functionality of your website.
WordPress Themes & Child Themes
I haven’t seen a WordPress theme yet that we could make work right out of the box. While there is much to choose from within the WordPress Theme Directory, it is always highly recommended to immediately establish a child theme for the selected master theme. The minimum requirement for creation of a child theme is the creation of a CSS file (there is much on the internet that explains how to create this minimum CSS file). This CSS file can even be relatively empty as you get started. By creating this child theme however and selecting it as the active theme, all of your customization settings will be registered in the name of your child theme. Of course, development of your theme to match your branding requirements grows from here. I guarantee you that you will be loading up this custom CSS file in no time. I bet too that you will absolutely need to customize the header and footer components at a minimum, and this is achieved by copying these header and footer files from the master theme into the child theme folder. Your customization of these files will not be over-written by future upgrades of the master theme.
Common Issues with WordPress Heading Tags
Many of the WordPress themes are holding over some bad SEO practices established at least a decade ago. Many WordPress themes incorporate multiple H1 tags in the page layout. The most frustrating and poorly conceived use of an H1 tag is the placement of this tag around the logo. This issue is prevalent in the WordPress community and you will likely need to observe the HTML structure of your theme and provide customization of this markup through your child theme. Look a little further and you are going to find an abundant use of H2 and H3 tags in your widget markup. This markup follows poor semantic practices and I often modify these headings to H2 tags through a custom functions.php file in the child theme. If you consider that your site should follow a mobile-first design philosophy, then consider that each of the widgets in the sidebar are essentially secondary portions of the page, each supporting the subject of the primary heading, the H1 tag.
WordPress Plugins & Short Codes
With many websites, it becomes necessary to accomplish something special or unique to your business. Given time, you will want to extend the capabilities of your web front end and this is accomplished with the creation of a custom WordPress plugin. At KoolWebDezign, we build custom plugins all the time. If you need to display custom data sources to your customers, this will be done through a plugin. If you want to send data to a host business server or to do anything special, you will accomplish this through a plugin. Custom WordPress plugins are essentially an extension of the existing programming classes and/or functions. WordPress shortcodes are the magical piece that allows your content editors to invoke these functions as the page is rendered and delivered to your web-based customers.
WordPress Consulting Services and Support
While WordPress makes website development “FREE” and “EASY”, you will not want to do this alone! We are here to help you at KoolWebDezign and we have abundant experience with the WordPress development platform. We are specialists too with common supporting services like domain registration, hosting server configuration, email set-up, custom database support, Woo-Commerce development, and more. Do you have advanced application goals that include regular file transfer and deployment of advanced APIs for getting remote data sources? Once you get your data, do you need help cleaning and transforming that data so that it can be consumed by your business needs? We are more than web developers here at KoolWebDezign. We move data! Please Contact Us today and let us know how we might be of service to you.