Web Development using Wordpress CMS – Template Development and Customizations
Wordpress is one of the most popular CMS used for millions of blogs, infact over 810 million of them as per latest reports in 2023. This accounts for 43.2% of all websites in the world. Wordpress is ideally suited for creating a Blog but can also be used for even fairly large websites as well as e-commerce websites that have an inventory of a few thousand products. In fact there are lots of webstores running on WooCommerce that have over 50,000 products.
The look and the feel of a Wordpress based site can be changed via "themes". We can create a Wordpress theme so that it can have the look and feel of our current static website. For example below is the screenshot of a wordpress theme created as per the look and feel of this website.
The Wordpress Theme Structure
A Wordpress template usually consists of the following parts - the header, the content, sidebar and the footer. All these parts are assembled by the file index.php (in the theme folder). If the theme contains two sidebars then both the sidebars will be loaded. For example the current look and feel of this website has been converted into a Wordpress theme. Wordpress themes can also be made responsive. For example the wordpress theme created with the same look and feel as this website is also responsive, just as the website. A brief mention of the various customisations possible in wordpress are described below.
The Title Display Customization
The title can be made to display only the name of the post and not Name of the post | Website Name The display of the the title at the top of the the content in each page or post can also be turned off by commenting the line <?php the_title( '<h1 class="entry-title">', '</h1>' ); ?> from content-page.php of your theme
Turning off Comments
You can turn off comments on all your blog posts by unchecking "Allow people to post comments on new articles" under Settings >> Discussion In case you want to turn off comments from static pages or "pages, you'll have to remove or comment the code snippet "<?php comments_template(); ?>" from the page.php of your theme.
Creating a Static Front Page
You can choose a static page to be displayed as your front page. This can done from Settings >> Reading Settings and
then under Front Page Displays check A Static Page.
You can have a top menu as well as menus on the side bar. Menu items can be added and ordered from the dashboard, after logging
in as administrator. You will only be able to create a menu on the top if it is supported by your theme.
Wordpress Widgets and How to Customize the Meta Widget
You can choose which widgets should be displayed in the sidebar from Appearance >> Widgets. You can also create a custom menu to be displayed on the sidebar.
You can also customise the Meta widget by modifying code in default-widgets.php which is present in /wp-includes/
Adding and Editing Content
For easy editing of content (pages and posts) there is a WYSIWYG editor present in the default installation. You can upgrade the editor by means of an extension.
Features of Wordpress Content Management Systems (CMS):
- Runs on Apache web server with PHP and My SQL. Current version is Wordpress 6.3.1 which has been released during August 2023.
- Ideal for development of Blogs with upto thousands of pages or websites with a small number of pages.
- Facility to add or edit content via a simple browser based interface.
- Menu Items can be ordered as per requirement.
- After installing and activating an extension, a Wordpress site can have Search Engine Friendly URL's. Page names as well as titles can be customised.
- Look and Feel of your site is fully customisable via "Themes".
- Generates very clean code. Hence pages are generated relatively fast.
- Customised page titles can be used for each page so as to be appropriate to the content contained in that page.
- Customised page descriptions as well as keywords can also be used if required by you by installing an SEO extension.