Websites Using WordPress

The Basics:
WordPress is written in the PHP5 with CSS coding language. PHP5 is translated to standard HTML coding language by the web hosting server, and the source document when you look at the page appears like a standard HTML webpage. The web hosting server does not translate PHP5 to HTML5, it translates into a compatible HTML4. You will need a Linux Apache web hosting server that supports PHP5 and databases (some offer both Linux and Windows hosting, you will need Linux).
To create “special effects,” hundreds of easily available (usually free) plug-ins are easily added to the WordPress site. However, some of these plug-ins may not be translatable to HTML5. [Note: HTML coding is standardized by W3.org. While I-devices use a special browser that conforms to some of the proposed HTML5 coding standards, HTML5 is currently under development and subject to change. Accordingly, the only webbrowsers capable of displaying the HTML5 coding changes are the I-devices. The Standard IE9, Safari5, Google, Chrome, and Opera are not “HTML5 compatible.]

Pages and Posts

WordPress displays pages and/or posts. Pages are just that, sheets of information. You can allow readers to post comments, or you can turn that option off. There is also a “posts” page which displays only posts in date order. Posts are bits of information usually displayed in truncated form if the post is very long. The posts can be categorized, and when the category is selected from the menu, only posts in that category are displayed. If you select a single post, the entire post will display in its own “page”

Editing and Updating

A WordPress site is traditionally a “blog” where the author posts comments, and the viewers can post their own comments to what the author or other viewers have written. However, those are options and the site can made to appear to be a standard HTML website without those options.

The Design

The framework is a little standard with the same header and footer on each page (options), and 1 or 2 side columns of menus (options) and a main column of information.

The beauty of WordPress is that the site can be edited by a user with minimal to no HTML programming knowledge and requires no additional software purchase. The editing is done in your on-line WordPress dashboard. The dashboard will allow you to edit in either the “visual” (WYSIWYG) tab or the HTML tab (which will also give basic HTML coding prompts). The example on the right shows entering using the “visual” tab which is more like a standard MS Word document. The lower example is the HTML tab where the entry id done in HTML coding.

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Regardless which tab you use for editing, you can switch back and forth to see the code or visual as you do entry.
Other advantages of WordPress are: Menus are automatically created as the site is updated. The site automatically has a search engine that searches the site not the web.

Page Design

The basic structure of a WordPress site is the basic WordPress program. On top of this is layered a visual/graphic theme. “Themes” are customizable and can be easily changed for another without altering the content. Non-graphic content of the site is located in a database file and WordPress displays the contents of the database in the theme. The pages and posts may reference photos, videos, and plug-ins located in the webhost file, or on other sites like Vimeo and YouTube.

“Themes” are offered through many on-line sites for various fees, and many are available for free. Be especially wary of the “free” themes. They can have virus and malware embedded in the theme, either intentionally, or through a third party hacking the site distributing the free themes. There is also software for creation of custom themes.

Search Engine Optimization

Google and other web search engines have no problems with WordPress. It is recommended that permalink be customized into smartlinks. As all pages use the same header and footer, Google does give you a search engine warning that you have duplicate meta-descriptions and page titles (which are programmed in the header). This in no way hurts search engine optimization or ranking. There are other search engine friendly things that can be done with page and file names, picture names, etc.

Selecting Themes

Note the top elements, a header and a menu bar. They can appear in either sequence and attached or separate. A footer (not pictured) can be similarly styled. The body can have no, one, or two additional columns. The elements can be a solid color, translucent, or transparent giving a floating appearance to the elements.

Theme Preview Samples

When previewing themes, demo sheet shows the header style, columns and widths, fonts and colors, post formats, heading sizes and styles. But that really may not give the full look to be expected with the theme. The next page show the demo sheet and the page as actually used with the theme.
Samples of demo themes in operation can be seen at wpDemo.DigMedPre.com and wpPageDemo.DigMedPre.com.

The demo sheet for the theme is on the left and on the right is an actual page using the theme.