WordPress is a very popular and efficient method to get a site up and running fast. Like Drupal and Joomla, it is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that is written in PHP and coupled with a MySQL or MariaDB database.
A lot of individuals use web tutorials to learn the ins and outs of full-stack development, web design, HTML5 and PHP basics, agile methodologies, relevant frameworks, DevOps, and basically any other skill-set associated with web development. Of course, learning WordPress through dedicated tutorials and installing it is often the natural step after this for most. Some beginners use this knowledge to create their own website (often self-hosted) or a WordPress blog, some build e-commerce websites, while others join full-time web development teams.
While a blogger may not have much concern about the nitty-gritty of using the WordPress dashboard or consulting the WordPress Codex, there are a few mistakes that developers in charge of being a WordPress admin (i.e. those having wp-admin privileges) frequently make when attempting to create a WordPress website. This is the kind of stuff that WordPress tutorials won’t really cover.
When creating a plugin, try using a naming convention that intercepts code conflict in case of other plugins having the same name. Therefore, a lot of developers prefix their function names and variables with something distinctive and affiliated with the plugin itself. It also simplifies finding things when a lot of plugins have been enabled.
Some developers, on the other hand, prefer using PHP namespaces to encapsulate items and solve the main two problems applications and authors of libraries face when creating reusable code elements like functions or classes:
WordPress has a suite of regularly updated libraries and repositories that can be used as themes, widgets, and plugins (bbPress, BuddyPress, WooCommerce are popular ones). It’s better to use this existing core functionality. Some programmers add files to the asset directories of their WordPress plugins, themes, and widgets that already exist in the WordPress core files (e.g., Color Picker, jQuery).
Utilize what WordPress has to offer because the open-source libraries and repositories are regularly updated by the WordPress core team. Therefore, there is less repetitive work to do and the project is much easier to maintain. By having the latest version of WordPress, you have access to more features (may it be themes, plugins, or WordPress core itself) and a safer site in case of vulnerability found in the old code release.
One of the most common mistakes found is, some developers place all the libraries being used for the premium theme, including the custom code, into a single file usually named theme.js, custom.js, or main.js. This can be very harmful for the following reasons:
There is nothing wrong with wanting to create a customer WordPress theme. However, one should never edit a WordPress theme or plugin directly, unless, you are directly contributing to the code of that package and are involved with its development. All direct changes would be lost if an automatic update is performed. This forces you to edit the files all over again.
Therefore, using filters and actions as well as creating a Child theme are the most efficient ways to alter a theme since you can modify the existing functionality without editing the plugin or the parent theme itself. Furthermore, if you’re offering a free plugin and would, later on, create a premium version that would depend on the parent plugin, then you should develop the free version in such a way that it would be easy to extend and add premium extensions to.
WordPress users should always write code in a manner that allows easy customization by anyone later on.
The WP_DEBUG constant is set to ‘false’ by default, in order to avoid printing any warnings, notices, and PHP errors. In a live environment, this is a recommended choice. It keeps private scripts and paths hidden from the public view, which is great for security reasons. However, during the development stage, having it set to ‘true’. By doing so, it will notify the developers of any error in their code. Even if the errors don’t affect the functionality, it will often force developers to write better code and help them develop better coding habits. This also ensures that the theme or plugin developed doesn’t generate PHP errors in any WordPress installation.
This error is something even veteran developers make, especially when in a rush. Thus maintaining WordPress coding standards, while keeping an eye on PHP best practices, is of the utmost importance especially when WordPress security, potential spam or multisite applications are being worked with.
So whenever you hire a remote WordPress developer, it’s important to test their knowledge on some of the more common mistakes WordPress developers make. Companies often prefer hiring service providers like Gaper who can provide the best of the best so as to avoid running into such problems later.