Lessons I recently learned about WordPress Databases, premium themes and Plugins

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Free WordPress themes are good for blogging and personal use but they have very limited functionality. If you are looking for a business site then it is worth going premium for the extra features.

There are so many good plugins for premium WordPress themes but there are also many plugins that are just after your money. If you want to really customize with a plugin you may have to be prepared to pay extra to release the additional functionality.This could be worth it depending on the extra features, however…

If you find yourself considering payment for a plugin have a good look around first, most functionality can be done for free if you look hard enough (except themes – be prepared to pay for what you get)

WordPress websites are database driven, this can make them slow and bulky. It is important to always consider how a plugin will impact the page load time. Manage your plugins carefully, delete unused ones as you go and manage your plugin collection.

WordPress has excellent image processing algorithms, the image up-loader is easy to use and images are always responsive. Plugins can be used to decrease the image loading time further.

Like plugins you must manage your image collection, use the media link to bulk upload new images and bulk delete unused images. Stay on top of your image collection and SEO as you go.

PHPMyAdmin is a useful tool for exporting and importing database data as well as analyzing the core database structure of a WordPress website.

Learning to utilize the WordPress database will involve code but it will be worth it when you are able to manipulate it’s content. I saw a 20 minute video recently of a guy exporting the whole database so he could edit it in Excel, if he learnt a few SQL commands he could have done the work in 2 minutes.

Learning how to manipulate the WordPress database is a key prerequisite in learning to develop your own themes and plugins.

Don’t become code lazy. I recently implemented a Twitter feed on WordPress. I installed a plugin, set up an API key and connected the Twitter site to the website. Then I realized I could have just put a snippet of HTML in a widget and saved a lot of complexity.  Learn to love the visual editor but remember to code.

Robert Morel is a Software Developer and Freelance WordPress Developer at Amarria and a blogger for B.I.S.S. Research. Contact me at robert.morel@bissresearch.com