WordPress Development : Best Practices in 2015

Creating a website for a strong web presence has become must by all businesses, irrespective of their customer base and product line. The competition is getting fierce and to survive it, aggressive online marketing is required. For consumers, these days the companies which get out of sight also get out of mind quite soon. Constant visibility along with a great service and products are required to hold grip over the market. The websites that the companies build to showcase their services and products must be attractive, easy to operate and search engine friendly.

There is a plethora of templates to choose from inside WordPress and plug-ins to add functionalities to the websites. The code written using WordPress is W3C compliant and is SEO friendly, thereby fulfilling every requirement of a perfect website. Customization of modules, and themes, etc. are provided by WordPress so that the websites are developed using WordPress are unique in their own right. All these incredible features are made possible by the semantic coding and the almost 30000 plugins that are available for use.

  • Development   of websites and blogs by WordPress has many advantages, including SEO friendliness, W3C compliance and feature rich website.
  • However, to use the WordPress to your full advantage, you must make sure that you follow all the best practice while developing your website in WordPress.
  • These best practices have been formulated to make the process of WordPress development effective and easy.

A few tips on the best practices recommended for WordPress Development

We all are aware that best practices are very important in the development process. Here are some of the tips for best practices that you can follow while developing on WordPress.

The WordPress Coding Standards

It is advisable to follow the WordPress coding standard due to several reasons. When you write the code using the same standard as everyone else, the code becomes easy to read and you will end up writing codes which are readable, more organized and structured and hence easier for others to read as well. Such codes are also easier to maintain. You may find some difficulty in changing your coding style at first, but once you are through, you will end up writing code which is cleaner. There are four coding standards used in WordPress which are CSS coding standards, HTML coding standards, PHP coding standard and Java Script coding standard. Using all these standards, you will be less prone to making coding mistakes. You can go through the coding standard handbook for following the standards.

Avoiding Function Name Collisions

This is yet another best practice that is recommended. Developers have often made such mistakes which lead to the function name collisions. Due attention must be given to the names of the functions and it must be ensured that function name collisions are avoided. It can be achieved by checking the name of the functions of the plug-ins that are installed. There are several ways of avoiding such conflicts which are

  1. Prefixing the functions with a pre-defined word which resembles the name of the plug-in.
  2. The functions can be wrapped inside a class and a singleton pattern be used to avoid such occurrence.

Using these techniques, you can successfully avoid function name collisions and fatal errors that arise due to them.

Code Comments

Comment the codes, especially the functions as it will help you maintain the code when others also contribute to your code and make it complex. Make sure that whenever you create a variable or a function, you comment it. It may seem unnecessary, but when the code grows due to the contribution of others, this step will help you a lot in maintaining the code. To comment the code easily, you can use PHPDoc Sintax. As WordPress is a CMS with collaborative efforts, following this best practice will not only help you but also others who see your code. You do not only need to use commenting in PHP codes, but HTML and CSS as well. In CSS, the comments can be used to split the codes in different sections.

Security Tips

Security is of paramount importance and you must be careful about security features when using WordPress. For avoiding any kind XSS vulnerabilities, two things that need to be done is to sanitize the data which are given as input and also sanitize the output data. You can use the function sanitize_text_field () which check the data and sanitize it. Another way to ensure security is by preventing any direct access to the files. Most of the hosts give the permission to directly access the file. The PHP errors that arise upon such requests are tools for the attackers. You must write code for prevention of running of any script if the access is not through WordPress.

The next security tip that you must keep in mind is to remove all warnings and notices. Errors, notices and warning help attackers in breaching the security and hence all such things must be removed. Make sure that you code the plug-in in debug mode as it helps to catch the function which is deprecated. You can turn on the debug mode by editing the WP config code to true. To save your website from cross-site request forgeries, you must use nonce value. It is nothing but a number used once. You can use Nonce on a link, form or any other place in the code.

Final Word

There are reasons why WordPress still rules the roost when it comes to content management systems for website development. Development of the corporate websites or blogging websites is best done with WordPress and there are obvious reasons for it. A vast array of templates and plugins that WordPress provides is matchless and help in easy development of websites. When all these features are coupled with the best practice, the end-product is simply awesome. Your website will be free from common flaws and better in all respects. The advantages of WordPress can be best used when you are aware of the best practices followed in WordPress development.