WordPress: The Appleton Way
An Inside Look at How Appleton Uses WordPress
One of the most popular content management systems in use today is WordPress. Being an open-source project backed by a large community of dedicated developers has made WordPress one of the fastest-growing content management systems in the market, powering nearly 40% of all websites on the internet.
WordPress, a content management system made up of themes and plugins, has a simplistic architecture that makes website creation flexible and seamless. Generally, a single theme is utilized while there potentially could be dozens of plugins in use to increase the functionality of the website.
A plugin is just a collection of template files and static assets that provide isolated functionality to a website. Plugins are widely reused across many websites because they provide general functionality that can be styled to match the branding of the website. Plugins come in all functionalities and sizes including contact forms, event calendars, image carousels, and many more.
To better understand the WordPress architecture, you can think of WordPress as your favorite car. The core WordPress architecture acts as the engine while the theme would act as the body of the car. This would include the vehicle’s shape, color and interior. In this scenario, plugins would act as accessories to the vehicle such as navigation, interior lighting, or even a turbo.
Having a plugin-driven architecture has significantly increased the popularity of WordPress by making it much more flexible than comparable content management systems.
But with great power comes great responsibility.
Reduce Your Risk of Malware
Because WordPress is open-source and widely used across the world in almost all industries, it has become a prime target for malicious actors. Upgrades and patches are released by theme creators and plugin authors to eliminate potential exploitations by hackers, but many websites often do not keep up-to-date and malicious actors can exploit vulnerabilities within the WordPress codebase, or the many plugins being used. This can result in a slow website experience, a broken website, or even a compromised database which may include customer data.
Where your website is hosted is also a factor. A plugin can have potentially thousands of files alongside your WordPress theme. If you have dozens of plugins and do not perform routine maintenance of your website, the server where your website is hosted can become bogged down and result in reduced performance affecting your customer experience. It is important to minimize your dependency on plugins to ensure they help reduce server usage. This can also help increase page speeds which have obvious benefits to your customers.
There are many pros to using WordPress as your content management system, but caution must be exercised to minimize the potential of harmful malware.
The Appleton Way
The Appleton team has been using WordPress and has evolved alongside the improvements of the WordPress architecture over the years. Appleton has adopted an application-driven approach to website development. This approach allows us to build highly complex themes and plugins while maintaining consistency across each codebase.
Using a proprietary build process, we can leverage all the benefits of WordPress while minimizing the potential pitfalls.
With the adoption of modern development tools, the dependency on plugins has been significantly reduced. Legacy websites that utilized a dozen or so third-party vendor plugins can be rebuilt without any third-party plugins. This is a significant leap forward because there is no third-party code on our websites. Having third-party plugins can be a potential risk to your website because updating to the latest version can cause conflicts with other plugins or even the web server itself resulting in a broken website.
In the web development community, WordPress is often overlooked because of the vast number of other technologies and content management systems in the market. With the rise in popularity of Node.js, Python and other programming languages over the years, the CMS market has been highly competitive. Even with the introduction of more mainstream technologies and development tools, WordPress still has a firm grasp at the top of the CMS market.
Appleton has successfully merged modern web development techniques with WordPress to build highly modular websites that are easily scalable and optimized for best practices. While the WordPress architecture is evolving, Appleton will be continuously improving its website architecture and build process to ensure quality and consistency is maintained throughout all our projects. Appleton is an award-winning, full-service advertising agency that specializes in Orlando web design services. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to deliver powerful, responsive websites that are specifically designed to be seen first in search engines. Reach your target customers in the right places and establish highly qualified leads with a dynamic and accessible website. Your web design and development goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or firstname.lastname@example.org.