Few technological developments suit the internet quite as well as WordPress. The origins of this hugely popular web design tool can be traced back to a blogging utility called B2/cafelog, which predated the Noughties obsession with blogs. It started out as a WYSIWYG website editor, extending the internet’s democratic outlook to people who couldn’t code to save their lives. And the recent transition to the Gutenberg block editor has been rather controversial, perfectly encapsulating how the internet polarises opinions.
It’s impossible to dispute that WordPress has been a runaway success. The world’s most popular content management system (CMS) is believed to underpin over a quarter of all websites currently online. And while proprietary platforms like UK2.NET’s WordPress Hosting are ideal for beginners seeking combined web design and hosting tools, WordPress offers a world of choice and complexity. This is ideally suited to web design agencies who can quickly and cost-effectively modify existing templates to suit client briefs.
WordPress websites rely heavily on plugins, since the streamlined core framework has been minimised to provide basic functionality but little else. Additional services and features are devolved to standalone code segments, bolted onto the WordPress framework wherever they’re needed. There are over 55,000 plugins available to download and install, covering everything from website security and ecommerce functionality to parallax scrolling and automated real-time data backups.
Because WordPress is open source, its architecture and coding may be edited and modified by anyone without needing permission. That extends to those all-important plugins, too. And while many plugins are developed by specialist companies, amateurs can devise their own solutions. It’s possible to distribute these for free or charge a modest fee per download, depending on whether your priorities involve philanthropy or profit. Bear in mind that it’s unwise to rely heavily on amateur plugins – support might suddenly cease, or the plugins may be withdrawn. This matters because new malware variants are constantly being unleashed against WordPress sites.
Das ist Gutenberg
Creating a WordPress website has become even easier following the introduction of a new block-based building tool called Gutenberg. Named after the inventor of the mechanical printing press, Gutenberg represents a dramatic change in WordPress site architecture after 15 years of modifying existing templates. The default editor in version 5.0 of WordPress, Gutenberg is the interface through which new and existing websites are designed and revised.
Gutenberg was intended to create a fully customisable interface, though its introduction wasn’t without controversy. Traditionalists objected to the deployment of blocks for different page elements – paragraphs, audio clips, buttons, etc. However, the benefit of this modular approach is that each code segment can be endlessly repositioned and edited without the loss of any stability. Coding elements such as widgets, meta fields, and shortcodes were abolished at a stroke, and there’s no longer any need for tables containing third-party plugins or HTML.
The host with the most
WordPress websites are designed to be fast-loading, with a variety of acceleration plugins and caching tools helping to minimise display times. This is crucial in terms of search engine optimisation, ensuring sites quickly rise up the Google and Bing rankings. Another factor which affects page loading times is the calibre of hosting platform, and UK2 offers three tiers of dedicated WordPress website hosting. These range from blog-focused Starter packages to Pro accounts, offering 20GB of server disk space and enough bandwidth to receive 100,000 site visits per month. Every UK2 WordPress hosting package additionally encompasses universal services like full backups and automatic malware removal.