Once you get your feet wet with WordPress, you start to feel like an expert at web page design. This is not by accident: WordPress happens to be the most user-friendly content management system on the planet.
But what happens once you’ve moved past the basics of setting up your website and you want to explore more advanced options? Here are different things you can do when you’re ready to take off your training wheels and actually put WordPress through its paces:
Learn the Language
For those who truly want to get under the hood and tinker around with the WordPress engine, you might want to look into learning the programming language that goes into the platform.
When a page is built, it is basically a shell that is then filled (or populated) with the information from your database files. If you really want to work at configuring this on your own, you will need to learn a programming language called PHP. This language works in conjunction with standard HTML programming language to create your pages.
You should also look at learning Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), the language that is used to manipulate the text on your pages including font, color, and size. There are numerous tutorials (both paid and free) out on the web that will help you with this.
Become a Developer
Once you’ve learned the different programming languages that control WordPress, you can consider becoming a developer of your own layouts and themes. This takes quite a bit of programming know-how. But once you learn how to do this, you are no longer tied to those add-ons and pre-designed plugins (which everyone else is using). The only way to have a truly original web design is to come up with your own stuff.
Check In with the Experts
One of the best ways to learn about a platform like WordPress is to join forums for the tech support gurus who help keep it running. There are numerous other forums for WordPress users that will help you talk with those experts. There are also forums for users who are working with WordPress every single day. In this way, you can get expert information for your tweaks and tricks that you probably won’t find in a standard tutorial.
Troubleshooting Your Own Problems
Everything eventually breaks down – nothing is going to work 100% correctly every single time. The same is true for WordPress. While it’s easy to use, errors sometimes pop up that that will give you trouble.
A common cause of website slowdowns and troubles can be found with plugins. Plugins simplify some website functions, but occasionally they have troublesome little bugs or they conflict with each other. Learn how to disable your plugins and then test them out one at a time as a means of figuring out what is actually causing your site to have issues.
If you created your WP website for business purposes, you can now take the next step and begin putting your SEO options into place. There are numerous plugins and tutorials out on the market that can help you track your keywords and also give you an idea of how to make sure that your website is getting properly ranked by Google.
Now that you’ve created your website, it’s important to secure it. You will want to take the extra, advanced steps to install security plugins that can help protect your work. Part of this is finding a plugin that allows you to blacklist IP addresses that are attempting to hack your site and either shut it down or install malware on it.
Changing your WP-Config File
WordPress is great to customize with just a few clicks of a button. But if you really want to make some major changes that the average user doesn’t attempt, then you are going to have to directly edit your wp-config file. There are lots of things that this can be used for, but it specifically helps out with multisite configurations that you want to perform.
Now that you’ve created your website, it’s time to take off the training wheels and do some really advanced work with your site. Some of this kind of work is still open to the average user, while other steps require a good working knowledge of coding. But all of this will help give you an even more responsive website that will do what you need it to do.