Developing Websites with Best Practices is Vital with WordPress
Building a website with custom functionality is a complex task that requires careful planning, execution, and adherence to best practices. These best practices are not just arbitrary rules set by the industry; they are guidelines that have been proven to enhance the efficiency, maintainability, and overall quality of a website. Experienced developers understand the importance of these practices, as they know that even their own code can become incomprehensible over time if it doesn't adhere to these standards.
Build Functional Websites Following Best Practices
One of the key aspects of building a website is its functionality. This refers to what your website can do and how it works, encompassing everything from the actions a user can perform to dynamic content and interactivity. Providing the right functionality is crucial to the success of a website, and it should be an integral part of the planning phase. However, simply adding functionality is not enough; it needs to be implemented correctly, following best practices.
For instance, consider a scenario where a developer places all functional code in the theme of a WordPress site. While this might seem like a convenient approach at first, it goes against WordPress's best practices for development, which guide developers to put this code into plugins. This practice is recommended for several reasons.
Don't Put Functional Code In a WordPress Theme
Firstly, placing functional code in the theme can lead to issues when the theme is updated or changed. Any custom functionality added to the theme would be lost, potentially breaking the website. On the other hand, using plugins for functional code ensures that the functionality remains intact regardless of theme updates or changes.
We can’t solve your problem if you don’t tell us about it!
We give free consultations.
WordPress Plugins Is Where to Code
Secondly, using plugins for functional code enhances the modularity and maintainability of the website. Each plugin can be developed, tested, and updated independently, making it easier to manage the website's functionality. It also allows for better code organization, as each plugin can focus on a specific functionality, making the code easier to understand and modify.
Lastly, using plugins for functional code aligns with the philosophy of separation of concerns, a fundamental principle in software engineering. According to this principle, a software system should be divided into distinct sections, each handling a specific aspect of the system's functionality. In the context of WordPress, themes should handle the presentation of the website, while plugins should handle its functionality.
Top Ten WordPress Coding Best Practices:
- Use WordPress Site/Home URLs: Always use WordPress functions to get site/home URLs instead of hardcoding them. This ensures that your code will work on any installation.
- Use Nonces for Data Validation: Nonces are used in WordPress to protect against certain types of attacks, such as CSRF attacks. Always use nonces when processing form data.
- Escape Data: Always escape data before outputting it to the browser to prevent XSS attacks.
- Use Proper File Permissions: Incorrect file permissions can lead to security vulnerabilities. Make sure to set proper file permissions as recommended by WordPress.
- Use Actions and Filters: Actions and filters allow you to modify the default behavior of WordPress without modifying core files. Use them whenever possible.
- Avoid Direct Database Queries: Instead of directly querying the database, use WordPress's built-in functions and classes.
- Internationalize Your Code: If you're developing a plugin or theme that will be used by people from different countries, make sure to internationalize your code so it can be easily translated.
- Clean Up After Your Plugin: When your plugin is uninstalled, it should clean up after itself and remove any data it added to the database.
- Test Your Code: Always test your code thoroughly to ensure it works as expected and doesn't introduce any bugs or conflicts.
In conclusion, following best practices when building a website with custom functionality is not just about writing good code; it's about creating a website that is efficient, maintainable, secure, and user-friendly. Whether you're working with WordPress or any other platform, adhering to these practices will help you build a successful website that stands the test of time.