Today, I have achieved a personal milestone of sorts, after being long overdue for several years, I’m finally launching my redesigned website and marking the start of my full-time freelance work. Had I launched this site a month earlier, it would definitely not have been made on the WordPress platform.
If it weren’t for a project proposal for a client, this WordPress this site would not have been here now. I explored, tinkered, customized, tuned and (broke and resurrected a few times) several WordPress installations but after that, boy did I learn a lot! Let me tell you, this publishing platform is amazing – its mature, has tons of plugins and most importantly from a developers perspective, its highly customizable (if you are already familiar with PHP/Jquery/CSS/HTML 5 that is). Adding functionality and expanding its features are all done through plugins. For security reasons though, I will not be publicly naming what plugins I used.
Although not all plugins are guaranteed to work with one another, some managed to play well with the other plugins after a few PHP/CSS/JS and template tweaks along the way.
This journey to WordPress enlightenment wasn’t without its perils of course, I encountered some style issues when I was doing cross browser testing in IE6 & IE7 but managed to get them to work. A plugin was misbehaving by inserting a form field that was way too long for IE to handle causing the layout to break and my sidebar to drop below the content – so after I fixed the plugin to make sure it inserted the form tags correctly, no more layout breaks with the ancient browsers.
Jquery based plugins sometimes do not cooperate well with other Jquery based plugins – in some cases installing one Jquery plugin caused some of my existing effects to break. But I managed to put these issues to rest with proper plugin configuration and a few code fixes with the enqueued styles and scripts: combining some styles with the main style.css and also combining some of the plugin js files with theme’s script.js. One script issue was fixed when I had it ignored by the minification plugin.
With regards to SEO plugins, I chose the one that most people seem to use. Its configuration and setup was a breeze and easy to figure out. The security plugin installation was another smooth process, so now I have a brute force attack deterrent, security scan, and an SQL injection mitigation feature thrown in.
In general, I think I made myself a pretty spiffy, efficient, secure and SEO friendly WordPress site. Moving forward, I am more excited than ever to make more feature rich, robust and much better looking websites for my clients especially now that I have found a working formula of plugin combinations to use with my upcoming projects.