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Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

Whether you’re just getting you business started and you are still learning how to improve your online presence or you have had a site for a while and you just aren’t happy with it, you may have heard of WordPress and might be wondering what WordPress is. Simply put WordPress is a publishing platform used for building websites and blogs. It allows for a highly customizable user interface. WordPress powers millions of websites worldwide, and many big brands use WordPress: CNN, PlayStation, New York Times Blogs, People Magazine, and even Ford- they all use WordPress! A pretty impressive list of users, if it’s good enough for the big boys, it’s good enough for your site. Still not convinced?!?

Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Build Your Website On WordPress

 

Reason 1: WordPress is not going anywhere

As an open-source CMS (Content Management System) it has taken the world by storm – as of August 2011, “14.7% of the top million websites in the world” are powered by WordPress. WordPress is often praised by web designers, web developers, and users alike for its ease-of-use. This is part of the reason it has become so popular, and why its growth just keeps on accelerating. I love stats, so here are a few more good ones: two years ago, WordPress was used by approximately 8.5% of the top million websites in the world, so to jump from 8.5% to 14.7% in one year alone speaks volumes for how popular WordPress is becoming, and how much people love this platform!

 

Reason 2: WordPress is no longer just for blogging.

A long time ago, when someone said WordPress, everyone automatically thought of blogging. While it is still the best solution to use for blogging, it has come a long way and has become a very comprehensive Content Management Suite used to power many different types of websites, including business sites, job boards, sites featuring classified ads, etc.

 

Reason 2: WordPress is cost-effective… it’s free!

It would cost a lot of money to have a custom CMS developed that could do the same thing that WordPress does; so why not save money with WordPress? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, with WordPress being freely available and customizable. Like WordPress, the plugins are generally free as well. These plugins are usually not only free but open source as well. This means that like WordPress, you can edit them if you need to.

 

Reason 3: WordPress is Flexible

A great thing about WordPress is, as I mentioned above, that it’s completely open-source – which means that the source code used to run WordPress is available to the general public. This means that anyone on the planet can modify the code if necessary and customize WordPress even further to be what they need. Often, this isn’t necessary, but it also means that any plugins and themes (templates) created for the platform are also open source! Imagine a world-wide community working together to add more features and functionality to WordPress – you’re not limited to only being able to use specific employees or developers to produce customizations, which means it’s a powerful CMS system ready to do what you need it to, it’s flexible and easy to customize.

 

Reason 4: WordPress is SEO friendly

Search engines such as Google love WordPress because it uses well-written code. If you’re looking to get a head start with Search Engine Optimization, WordPress is the way to go for your website and/or blog. While I am on the topic, adding fresh relevant content to your website is easy with WordPress which is highly recommended as part of your online marketing strategy since it tells search engines that your site is alive and well, thereby increasing your website’s rank and your chances of being found via organic searches.

 

Reason 6: WordPress Has Cheap Premium themes

Themes are what provide WordPress with its design, it’s what connects the CMS to the end-user. WordPress is very flexible and adaptable. While there are some pretty good free themes, I have found that for $70 bucks the good premium themes are simply worth every penny. Most need almost no customization!

 

Reason 7: WordPress Makes it easy to find a solution.

Plugins are basically add-ons that can be easily installed in the WordPress dashboard area to add features that are not part of the core code. If you need a specific feature or features that are not built-in, there are literally thousands of plugins available to enhance WordPress’ functionality. In almost every case so there is likely a solution already developed for anything you need – the possibilities are literally limitless!

 

Reason 8: WordPress is supported by a worldwide community.

Because WordPress is open-source, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who are working to help make it better. You will find WordPress has a very actively supported worldwide community of WordPress developers, and users! WordPress is updated regularly, with new functionality, bug fixes, and security fixes. Also, because there is such a large community surrounding WordPress, any developer can work on a WordPress-based site to update it, make changes, etc., so you will never be held ransom by any one designer or developer. YOU own your website!

 

Reason 9: WordPress is easy to use!

This is maybe my favorite thing about WordPress. You don’t have to be a technical genius to learn how to use WordPress. I always tell my clients: if you know how to use Microsoft Word, (and let’s be honest who doesn’t?) YOU WILL be able to easily update the content on your WordPress site. You don’t have to be a web designer to update your content. That’s the magic of WordPress! Beyond editing content, WordPress offers a backend administrator interface that’s visually easy to navigate and very effective. Everything is organized in a logical manner, so it’s easy to find what you are looking for, whether it is adding/editing a page, Adding/editing a post or article, uploading images, managing users, etc. WordPress is the best Content Management System to use to build your website!

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/David_P_Mon/1320866

 

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Upgrade WordPress – Should You Click the Button?

Upgrade WordPress – Should You Click the Button?

Many people with a WordPress website wonder what to do when they see the notice in the WordPress admin prompting them to upgrade to the latest version.

 

Upgrading WordPress yourself can be as simple as clicking a button, but things can go wrong. Many people take it for granted that all WordPress websites should use the latest version. There is some risk involved, so it’s worth considering why it’s worth bothering – and what you can do to minimize the risks.

 

The latest major release of WordPress was version 3.3, released in December 2011. As well as the new features for WordPress developers, there are loads of improvements to benefit the average blogger or website owner:

 

  • My favorite new feature is the hover menus in the WordPress admin navigation, which gives you single-click access to any screen. It sounds simple, but it’s a big improvement that rather than having to click – for example – pages, than wait for the page to load, THEN clicking ‘Add New’, NOW you can hover over pages and immediately click ‘Add New’ in the flyout menu. As a WordPress designer, this has already saved me a huge amount of time and it will help you too.
  • It’s easier than ever before to upload images and other media via the single upload button in the WordPress toolbar. The drag and drop media uploader allows you to drag and drop files directly from your computer into the WordPress admin, rather than having to browse to the file’s location.
  • Whenever you add a new feature, a pointer tip appears to provide useful information on how to use the feature.
  • Touch support has been improved for those using iPads or other tablets to manage their WordPress website.
  • Version control has been improved for larger companies with multiple users editing the same pages and posts – the improved co-editing support locks posts who are being edited by someone else.
  • And more.

 

Website security is constantly evolving. Hackers are constantly working to discover and exploit loopholes, and WordPress developers are continuously working to close them. The latest version will usually have a number of important security fixes to protect your website. The responsible thing to do is to update to the latest version and protect your WordPress website.

 

Upgrading WordPress should be as easy as clicking a button, but things aren’t always that simple. Things can sometimes go wrong – for example, the new version might not be compatible with your website theme or some of the plugins. The worst-case scenario is that upgrading WordPress could actually break your website.

 

Problems are most likely to occur if:

 

  • Your website is particularly complex or has a lot of plugins installed
  • You haven’t updated for a whole and are running a particularly old version of WordPress, your website theme or any of the plugins

 

If any of this applies to your website then it might be worth getting a professional WordPress designer to upgrade WordPress for you. This is less likely to be necessary for simpler sites.

 

Upgrading WordPress will affect all files and folders included in the main installation, including all the core files that run WordPress and the plugins that come pre-packaged with it. If you have made any customizations to these files then your changes will be lost.

 

It’s not best practice to modify the core WordPress installation anyway, so if you have done this then I suggest that you find an alternative way to achieve what you’re trying to do. If you don’t know how then any good WordPress designer can help you with this.

 

Follow the instructions in the WordPress Codex to upgrade WordPress with minimal risk. This includes instructions on backing up your WordPress website before upgrading, so you have something to roll back to if anything goes wrong.

 

I would add a further precaution to make things extra-safe. As well as backing up your site, create a separate test site – this is basically a duplicate of your live site that you can test any changes on (i.e. upgrading WordPress) before applying the same changes to the live site. Although backing up is a good backup option (excuse the pun), restoring your WordPress site to a backed-up version is a hassle so it’s best not to let things go wrong in the first place. Upgrading WordPress on a test site first is the way to do this – as with any other major changes you make to your site at any point.

 

I’d also recommend checking that each of your plugins is compatible with the new version. You can do this by finding the plugin in the WordPress Plugin Directory and checking the compatibility box in the right-hand column.

 

Another tip is to wait a week or so until after a new version is released before applying the upgrade to your website. This gives the WordPress plugin developers and theme designers a chance to test their work with the new version and to release a new version if needed, which you can upgrade to at the same time. Don’t leave it too long, though, as running on an old version of WordPress is too much of a security risk.

 

If you update WordPress and the worst does happen then there are some things you can do:

 

    • If you backed up your site then you can roll back to the previous version. If you didn’t, don’t panic! Your WordPress web host is likely to have made regular backups of your site. Although there may be a charge for this service, they should be able to roll the site back to a previous version before you made the upgrade. This will get your website working again, but you will still need to work out how to upgrade to the latest version without breaking it again.
    • You can try to identify the problem yourself by deactivating all the plugins and reactivating them one by one. If the problem re-occurs after activating a particular plugin then try deleting it and replacing it with something else.
  • If you can’t get to the bottom of the problem then you could ask a WordPress designer to get everything working properly again.

 

You may ask whether it’s worth the hassle, and I would say yes. Any upgrade carries a risk, but this is more than outweighed by the benefits.

 

Most WordPress designers offer a WordPress upgrade service and can do it for you, including full testing to make sure everything still works properly – this may be worth considering for complex sites with lots of plugins or custom features.

 

And if you do it yourself, follow the tips above in most cases, your upgrade will be successful.

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Katie_Keith/1370851

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Basics Of PHP

Practical Uses of PHP

It almost goes without saying that you will want your business website to be compelling, interactive, and secure. All of these characteristics will make your website more effective at bringing in and keeping customers. But how to go about it in a way that is stable, cost-effective, and easy to manage? One popular solution is to use the server-side scripting language PHP to help you solve those problems.

 

What is PHP?

Created in 1995, PHP originally stood for “Personal Home Page”, however it is now generally understood to mean “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”. It was originally designed to create dynamic or more interactive web pages. It is a widely-used, open-source, general-purpose scripting language. PHP is a “high-level” language, meaning that it’s generally more human-friendly (and easier to learn) than other programming languages such as C, ASP or ASP.net.

 

PHP was originally designed for use in Web site development but rapidly grew to become a much more robust language. PHP’s primary use is as an “embedded” scripting language, which means that the actual PHP code is embedded in HTML code. When used in this way, PHP enables your web server to process web pages before they’re displayed in the user’s web browser.

 

Benefits of PHP

 

PHP is popular because it can be embedded directly into HTML coding.

PHP can be used on all major operating systems and is supported on most web servers.

PHP’s main focus is development for the web, so it has a quick development time and can solve scenarios much quicker than some of the other web design languages.

The latest version of PHP is a very stable and mature language used for web programming much like Java and Microsoft C#.

It is open source so it is free!

Database: It is very easy to write simple scripts which allow your Web site to interact with a database.

Cross-Platform: Both the PHP engine and the PHP code can be used on almost any platform, making it extremely versatile.

Development Tools: You only need a text editor to work on PHP; you do not need any development environment or compilers.

 

What can you do with PHP?

PHP generally runs on a web server, taking PHP code as its input and creating Web pages as output, however you can also use it for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. PHP is an extremely versatile language which enables you to create high-end, stable Web sites with plenty of bells and whistles. Here are just a few of the things you can do with PHP:

 

Make HTML Web Forms

Store Information in Databases

Remember Web site visitors (cookies and sessions)

Work with Arrays

Work with Files (File Management and downloads)

Parsing and Generating XML (also useful for large quantities of products on e-commerce)

Check which browser your visitor is using

 

How does PHP Work?

As its name (“PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor”) suggests, PHP derives its power by “preprocessing” hypertext on the server side. This generally means that when the PHP script (saved as a .php file) runs on your web server, it performs the programmed actions, and returns HTML code that will then be sent back to your customer’s web browser. The PHP script itself is not included in the HTML that is sent to the browser, so the PHP code is invisible and secure to the user.

 

For example, let’s consider the following simple PHP statement. (This example is merely to show the basic syntax of PHP in action. Any detailed discussion of PHP code is beyond the scope of this article.)

 

In this statement,

 

is the PHP opening tag,is the closing tag, and echo is a PHP instruction that tells PHP to output the text that follows it as plain HTML code. The PHP software processes the PHP statement and outputs the following:This is a regular HTML statement that is delivered to the user’s browser. The PHP statement itself is not delivered to the browser, so the user never sees any PHP statements.

 

Using PHP to Improve Your Website.

 

PHP has many capabilities features designed specifically for use in Web sites, including the following:

 

1. Securing Your Website.

PHP can be used to secure your website (or certain areas of your website) so that your customer must enter a valid username and password. This can be used to reward preferred customers and to build an exclusive “membership” component of your business.

 

2. Working with Web Forms.

PHP can display an HTML form and process the information that the user types in. This can be an excellent way to learn more about your customers by asking them to provide profile information, and to collect information about their specific interests.

 

3. Communicate with Your Databases.

PHP is particularly adept at interacting with your databases, and storing information from the user or retrieving information that is displayed to the user. PHP handles connecting to the database and communicating with it, so it’s not necessary to know all of the technical details for connecting to or exchanging messages with the database. You tell PHP the name of the database and where it is, and PHP handles the details. All major databases are currently supported by PHP.

 

4. Customer Loyalty Functions.

You can also use PHP to create a number of different functionalities on your website that will further help you to build customer loyalty, including interactive polls, a guestbook, and a message board.

 

The popularity of PHP continues to grow rapidly because it has many advantages over other technical solutions. PHP is fast (because it’s embedded in the HTML code, the time to process and load a Web page is relatively short), PHP is free (it is open-source software), and PHP is versatile (is runs on a wide variety of operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and most Unix variants).

 

Perhaps most importantly, PHP is a very well-established language. There are many user-run Internet communities that make very large amounts of information (and scripts) available. With so much experience behind it, using PHP for certain dynamic features can be a cost-effective and low-hassle way of increasing the stability of your website.

 

Jeremy Gislason is a leading expert on membership sites, marketing and online business. For more Business Strategies, Membership Site Software and Information visit MemberSpeed.com

 

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jeremy_A_Gislason/137896