The world of WordPress is changing faster and faster each day. WordPress is no longer a one-time install set-it-and-forget-it operation. As more websites all over the world adopt WordPress a whole suite of external tools have emerged to support the WordPress ecosystem. This year, your work will be to navigate this sea of tools and options and features without getting lost and frustrated. Read on to find out how you can keep your operation on course this year:
These tips are tailor made for WordPress users of every variety. No matter what stage of the WordPress journey you find yourself, you’re sure to get a good ROI on any of the following steps.
There’s now a WordPress Meetup in virtually every major city. This means there are likely to be WordPress experts near you who can help you in a variety of ways. Looking to learn more about WordPress in general? Looking for a developer? You’re bound to find all the help you need at your local meetup. If you don’t have one, you could go ahead and start one.
WordPress plugins sell themselves well. Not just because they’re easy, but because they’re cheap—usually free. Just install one to add extra functionality to your site. But sometimes it’s too easy. And one can easily go overboard installing a plugin for everything when—in some cases—you could code a solution from scratch following a tutorial yourself or hiring a developer.
Of course, there are some plugins you can’t afford to do without. Keep the plugins you absolutely need to keep your site running and chuck the rest. Likewise, carefully investigate new plugins before installing them.
Do you blanch at the words “version control”? You shouldn’t. Whether you’re a novice at coding or a master developer, version control skills are becoming more necessary and making many peoples lives easier. If you work with any kind of code, small snippets or large apps, getting your files under version control can save you a great many headaches.
There are a few different version control programs out there but Git is the most popular thanks to free resources like GitHub, a free-to-use hub for managing and distributing version controlled projects.
Recently, GitHub introduced a feature that lets you run specialized “Actions” on your code repository, including a tool that can deploy WordPress sites. This means you can have a local copy of WordPress on your computer and more easily deploy it to a production environment. This reduces friction by merging development, version control, and deployment into a single pipeline. For years this type of deployment was a sort of holy grail for the everyday WordPress user, but it’s getting easier all the time.
If you’re interested in learning Git, check out the full Git guide from InMotion Hosting. All InMotion Hosting plans come with Git pre-installed, so you should start learning how you can use it to manage your website with more confidence. You won’t regret it.
The whole world may be wired these days, but some of the most important work is done offline. More and more bloggers and web creatives are doing writing in local offline editors like MarsEdit, Emacs, Atom, Scrivener (and many more) and syncing their writing with WordPress later. Let’s face it, in the heat of composition, the web browser can be a distraction. And distraction is the ultimate enemy of creative work. The browser makes it too easy to start Googling or watching YouTube videos.
If you think your writing could benefit from an offline editor, you need to learn what is quickly becoming the lingua franca of writing for the web: Markdown. This simple syntax is easy to learn and is built for easy conversion to HTML which can then be pasted into WordPress. But why take an extra step? The Gutenberg editor accepts Markdown directly—just copy and paste and publish.
The advantage that comes with tools like MarsEdit and Emacs is that you can actually hook them up to WordPress directly. No need to copy and paste.
If you don’t have a local version of your WordPress site you need to stop what you’re doing and put this at the top of your todo list. As the mentioned in the section on WordPress deployment, having a local version of your site is critical for experimentation and education. The amount you’ll learn about WordPress increases exponentially when you start tinkering locally. And since you’ll be introducing version control into your project, you’ll be able to experiment without destroying your site.
It’s easy to forget that your host may be a valuable resource for WordPress questions that may come up from time to time. Most hosting companies are WordPress experts because they have to be; almost everyone uses WordPress. InMotion Hosting’s WordPress Hosting package comes pre-configured with the most important optimizations for a fast, secure WordPress experience, and help is always available if you have any questions.