This article is part of a series on WordPress
Web Development Questions
What is web development?
Web development may also refer to building and working on websites by installing and configuring pre-built libraries and software packages such as WordPress.
What are the types of web development?
BACK END DEVELOPMENT
Back end web development refers to development work pertaining to the underlying software behind a website. A back end developer works on the server, application and database. Using an online shop as an example, the back end would be the software that keeps track of individual products, stock, orders, payment gateways etc.
FRONT END DEVELOPMENT
FULL STACK DEVELOPMENT
Full stack development combines front and back end development skills. Full stack developers have knowledge and skills in both back and front end development.
What is custom website development?
Custom web development usually refers to the development of websites that fulfill unique requirements, namely those that go beyond the features, performance, and security limitations of pre-built solutions such as WordPress.
Read our full article on What is WordPress? for a deep dive into this topic.
What is a content management system (CMS)?
A content management system, usually referred to as a CMS, is software which allows administrators or editors to create or update content such as text, images, or data.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is free and open-source CMS software for the web. It is the world’s most popular website software, with an estimated 40% of all websites running WordPress, which amounts to almost half a billion websites in total.
In addition to its core CMS functionality, WordPress allows for the installation of pre-built themes and plugins which can greatly extend the look, feel, and functionality of WordPress.
What is WordPress development?
WordPress development may refer to the relatively basic tasks of installing and configuring WordPress itself, WordPress themes, and WordPress plugins. At the more advanced end of the skill set of WordPress development, it may refer to writing custom functions, overriding theme styles with CSS, or even building custom WordPress themes and plugins.
What are the benefits of WordPress?
WordPress is free, easy to install, and runs on most web servers. Because the code is open-source, it can be easily modified or extended by developers.
The benefit to end-clients is that they can have a good-looking, easy-to-use website with a wide range of features for a fraction of the cost of a custom website built from scratch.
What are the drawbacks of WordPress?
Because WordPress and WordPress themes and plugins are pre-built solutions they invariably have a large number of functions and options that are not needed in the final website.
This bloat can make for an unsatisfactory experience for admins, and can cause a website to run slower, especially at scale where a large number of posts or users put strain on the processor or database server.
Adding additional features beyond what is available in WordPress themes and plugins can be costly because customisation requires writing code that works around existing functionality, rather than working with existing functionality.
In cases where very high security is required, WordPress is not advised due to the fact that it is software that is well-known to hackers.
What kinds of websites can be built with WordPress?
In theory there’s no limit to what can be built using WordPress, however the limitations in performance and security restrict its recommended applications.
WordPress is certainly highly recommended for simple blogs, brochure websites, and portfolio type websites.
Fairly capable small e-commerce and listing / directory type websites can also be built using WordPress and third-party custom themes and plugins.
What is the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?
WordPress.org is a website which provides the free WordPress software. WordPress.com is a hosting company which uses the WordPress software.
Does WordPress have a specific look and feel?
There is a misconception that WordPress has an identifiable look and feel. This is most likely due to the fact that several pre-designed themes have predominated. In fact WordPress can have any design applied to it.
What are WordPress themes?
WordPress themes are pre-built installable addons which usually dictate the front end structure and look of a WordPress website. Many themes also add a wide range of additional functionality to WordPress, such as themes which turn a WordPress site into a directory / listing site.
What are WordPress plugins?
WordPress plugins are pre-built installable addons which add extra functionality to WordPress. A vast number of plugins exist, many of them free or freemium, the largest repository of which is on WordPress.org/plugins.
The most popular and powerful of these is perhaps WooCommerce, a plugin which turns a WordPress site into an ecommerce website.
What is the difference between a post and a page?
Like most other CMS systems, WordPress allows the creation of posts and pages. Posts and pages are populated with content which is displayed on the front end of the website.
Pages are typically used for static information which doesn’t change very often, such as the Home page, About page, Contact page etc. Pages might be described as “cornerstone” or “pillar” type content.
Posts are typically used for content published on a regular basis, such as news or informational articles. Posts are often displayed in chronological order and / or in categories.