In Praise of WordPress: An REQ Intern's Perspective
Finding the balance between quality and speed can be a difficult task, especially in a field like web design where deadlines are constantly looming. Although the more time you spend on something the better it will look, I have found that WordPress is a great tool to have up your sleeve when you need to create a good site fast.
WordPress is a user-friendly system, enabling people to create a site without much knowledge of programming languages like CSS, PHP, or HTML: Rather than digging through lines of code to find exactly the tag that's wrong, you can click a button and fix it right away. The tools offered in WordPress allow you to make just a few small changes to a main interface to get your own unique-looking website in a fraction of the time it would take to build one from the ground up.
For someone who is just getting started in the field - such as an intern like myself who wants to make a great impression - this is a fantastic system to get you started. You can learn complicated concepts by just looking at and editing code that's already written. Instead of toiling for a week, a beginner can achieve the professional look they want in a day.
Here are three of my favorite WordPress plugins:
- EWWW-Image-Optimizer - This popular plugin helps with the all-around speed of a site, especially if the site has a lot of images.
- WP-Optimize - Another way to increase the speed and health of a site, this one-click option will clean up your site and delete any unnecessary post revisions, comments/spam, and wasted space on database tables.
- Visual Composer - Looking for an easy way to build elegant and interesting sites? Visual Composer can help! Although it's not free, it's sometimes included in themes you can purchase.
In addition to its ease of access and ability to teach, WordPress is a free resource open to all users. It has become such a popular tool that many reputable companies use it, such as eBay and The New York Times. In fact, many jobs in the web design field now list WordPress aptitude as a desired skill; working in WordPress on your own, and helping others with their WordPress sites, is a great way to bolster your portfolio and show potential employers your skills.
Ultimately WordPress will help you learn all the basics of web development, open the door to increasing your skill sets, and allow your design process to become more efficient and effective. Now those are some themes I can get excited about!