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  • I am trying to figure out WordPress…

    Can somebody describe how a page is rendered in wordpress app? For example, when a user clicks on homepage, which scripts are executed?

    I do not see the advantage of using child themes… apart from, of course, when a new version arrives, and an existing app has to be updated with additional features, such as security updates etc.
    I do not see how functions.php script inside a child theme can enhance some app… What kind of additional functionality… or flexibility functions.php offeres? Some nice example would be great.

    Furtheremore, what does one get when one buys a theme? Are we talking here only about CSS files (because images you either have to edit with Photoshop or make a new ones). If I decide to spend money on a theme, I would like to know (1) what I am buying, (2) is the theme worth of money, and (3) what is all the hype about thems ie which additionl functionality would it give to an app?

    Comming back to the first question… I find it hard to get the big picture of how to develop WP app/site… If some experienced WP person could give me an overview about the whole lifecycle of developing a WP app, I would be endlessly grateful. What are the steps in the development lifecycle process? I am not talking about setting a host, installing db… I am talking about the moment when I unzip wordpress.x.y file inside the htdocs folder until the moment when I say to an end-user “dear end-user, the site is alive. You can start using it.”.
    How long does the process in normal case lasts? Which parts/steps in the process are most time-consuming. On which steps I have to pay most attention to? Of course, the goal is to make a professional app, which implies buying a theme. The question arrises automatically – which percentage of time does the theme customization requires? Is it all about editing and/or creating new image files?

    Regards!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • I’ll try and break down a few ideas here for you…

    I do not see the advantage of using child themes… apart from, of course, when a new version arrives

    That’s exactly the point. Making changes in a child theme mean that any modifications that you’ve made won’t be deleted. Any time that you modify an existing theme you will loose all of those modifications the next time that the authro releases an update. Think about it this way – if you’re charging a clint to do custom work, and the next update wipes all of that out, what are they going to think? Who are the going to blame? Who are they going to expect to re-do all of the work that was lost? (hint: the anser to all of those is you)

    Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to use a chld theme if you create your own custom one-off themes for clients, so child themes aren’t needed 100% of the time.

    I do not see how functions.php script inside a child theme can enhance some app

    It lets you add in more scripts, change some filters, and do pretty much anything extra that you need to add in that the existing theme doesn’t do. Anything that you want to add to the theme is added through the functions.php file.

    Furtheremore, what does one get when one buys a theme?

    This can vary from vendor to bendor and theme to theme. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just plain painfull. We can’t tell you what your experience will be like, what you’ll get, how easy it will all be, etc, because we don’t have any access to themes on commercial sites unless we go and buy them ourselves. Commercial products aren’t supported on these forums, so that should give you an indication of what the community here woudl suggest – and that’s using one of the free and supported themes available on this site.

    If some experienced WP person could give me an overview about the whole lifecycle of developing a WP app, I would be endlessly grateful.

    That’s a bit harder – and will vary depending on what needs to be done and how much customisation will be needed. Every site is different.

    I am not talking about setting a host, installing db… I am talking about the moment when I unzip wordpress.x.y file inside the htdocs folder until the moment when I say to an end-user “dear end-user, the site is alive. You can start using it.”.

    Wow… That’s just WAY to huge to go into here. You’re asking for a full on development manual, and that is just… (again) huge.

    The basics are:

    1. Install the test site
    2. Install any base theme that you want to sart wtih
    3. Add any plugins that you know you need
    4. Start your customisation
    5. Get client approval
    6. (if you’re getting paid for this) Get final payment
    7. Move the site to the clients final server

    Apart from that, every site is different. Yes there are some things that you’ll do on most, but it’s not going to help by listing 5,000 poitns of what to do as you will only use a few of them for the first few times and after that you’ll know enough to not need a list like that any more anyway.

    How long does the process in normal case lasts?

    Somewhere between a couple of hours, and my personal best so far was around 7 months for one rather complicated site. I’ve also worked on a bigger (non-WordPress) system before that took around 2 years to do, and needed someone on full time for maintenance after that. I know that doesn’t answer your question, but that’s because there’s no way that anyone can answer it.

    Of course, the goal is to make a professional app, which implies buying a theme.

    Wrong! We create a lot of professional sites here, and I convinced them to stopbuying themes years ago. Just because you buy a theme it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be any better than any free theme.

    The one thing that you need to remember is that it’s up to you to figure out what needs to be done for each site, and the only way to do that is practice and experience. The first few site or two will be a mess and take a lot longer then you think as you start learning. The next few will be better and you’ll start to see your own process flow. After that you’ll be seeing what you need to do, know more about how you’re going to do it, and be able to be more realistic about time frames, costs, etc. That’s the same way that everyone else has done it, and it is well worth going through as it will be you working from what you know for real rather then relying on someone else who’s experience may be completely different from yours.

    Hi catacaustic!

    Thank you for your feedback.
    At first my impression about WP was this – (1) I can download WP, (2) select a theme I like, and (3) using GUI and NO coding customize the site the way I want it to look.
    Now however, I have impression that it takes a lot of coding in order to make a WP site. Can you tell me something about this?

    And I am little bit tired of all the theory. I want to set something up, that somebody can use. Therefore, I would appreciate if you could recommend a quality material and tutorials which tackle practical part of making a WP site. Please no more theory. What are high-quality tutorials that will give me hands-on experience on how to use child themes, how to customize functions.php, how to adapt a theme. I need to focus now on sthg practical and not theoretical.

    Regards,

    Moderator Andrew Nevins

    (@anevins)

    WCLDN 2018 Contributor | Volunteer support

    Now however, I have impression that it takes a lot of coding in order to make a WP site.

    The black box that we can’t help you with is “customize the site the way I want it to look”. We can’t say how much work that’ll be, it sounds like a never ending time estimate. Not that we can give time estimates anyway. What specifically do you need help with?

    And I am little bit tired of all the theory. I want to set something up, that somebody can use.

    So, go and do it!

    Really, that’s the best advice that anyone can give you. When you do things you’ll see what you know and what you need ot figure out for yourself. All the theory or tutorials in the world won’t help you until you get some real practical experience doing the things that you’re asking about.

    You will make mistakes. You will get things wrong. You will put things in the wrong places. That’s all part of learning – and you need to start doing that for yourself.

    WordPress is one of the easiest CMS around.

    The fact of life is if you want custom design, you have to weigh the time you put into doing it yourself vs the quality of your output + the returns.

    There’s no software or artificial intelligence that can tailor a custom solution for you to achieve your specific goals. You need human effort there.

    I appreciate all your answers, especailly the catacaustic’s one.
    I agree with you and also believe that the key in getting something done is in starting it.
    I would just like to understand the extnet of it, the extent of developing a high quality WP site. Also, what I am trying avoid is, investing time and money into something that (1) nobody’s going to use, and (2) something that will not be finished. Quite honestly, I find it very discouraging when after investing a lot of time and effort, I can’t bring something online.

    The goal is to make a site for fitness trainer.
    After reviewing all kinds of CMS, I found WP to be something that fits my goals. So I downloaded XAMPP, set up environment, downloaded WP, and created a test app. (btw, which hosting and domain name services do you suggest?)
    Then I heard about themes. I found out that this one could fit my goals:
    http://vamtam.com/?theme=fitness
    That is why I asked – what do I get when I buy a theme.
    My assumption was that the frontend should look more or less the same as the bought theme. But then on this page (http://themeforest.net/item/fitness-sport-gym-responsive-theme/8860972?ref=vamtam) in the showcase section, I found the following site (http://jenheward.com/) which looks completely diferently from the theme. Therefore, it seems to me that the mentioned theme did not bring too much, because the showcase site looks completely differently.

    How we come to the necessary skills – my assumption is that it’s necessary to know (1) how WP functions, and how to adapt a theme using child theme concept, (2) PHP knowledge, (3) Photoshop knowledge.
    Am I missing here anything?
    Reegarding the first point, I would ask for a recommendations regarding the tutorials, because those ones I googled are just small chunks of a whole development process. And I can’t see the big picture… I can’t grasp how to adapt a theme… what is the core of it?

    As mentioned before, I still have impression that a lot of PHP coding is necessary to make a site as the one I mentioned before… and a lot of Photoshop skills… Right?

    Another what I would like to know is – does it pay off to buy a theme. I know you will say sthg such as – that is relative… there are good and bad themes… But the question is also – what do I get with the theme? There are different licenses as well – “standard” and “extended”. Although I read what it says about them on ThemeForest site, I still can’t see the difference. Can you explain that as well?

    You know what would be extremely helpfull – to get a fast motion time lapse of building an APP, same as fast motion time laps of building a house. Please skim through this video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc5nLrI5raM) Here everybody can see the core – (1) how the whole process goes, (2) which things have to be build first, which have to be build after some other things, (3) estimate required effort – if I see this, than I can definitely say – ok “this isn’s so complex as I thought. I thought it’s like building a highest building on planet. I can do it myself. I just need to focus on this and this”. Or I can say “ok, this is more complex than I thought. It’s better either to pay somebody to do it, or maybe it’s better I forget the whole thing.”.
    Same thing I would like to know is – how the process of developing WP app goes, and what is the extent of it.

    Those are few thoughts and few ideas I had on my mind, and I had to share them.

    what I am trying avoid is, investing time and money into something that (1) nobody’s going to use, and (2) something that will not be finished.

    The first point is up to your clients and how well they market the site. Unless you’re in charge of their SEO campaign, then getting people ot use the site is not your primary ocncern. You should be worried about how they use the site.

    For 2, that’s again your responsibiity. If you take on a project it’s up to you to finish it. Again this can depend on your client and how far they go along with the process (and how long they pay their bills…).

    That is why I asked – what do I get when I buy a theme.

    Again, we can’t tell you because no ne here sells themes (on this site at least). What you get should be detailed in the description, and if it’s not there assume that you don’t get it.

    As for how they look and getting them “right”, that’s up to the vendor or author to sort out with you. We can’t support commercial themes here, and part of the money that you’ve paid for the theme is for support, so use it!

    my assumption is that it’s necessary to know (1) how WP functions, and how to adapt a theme using child theme concept, (2) PHP knowledge, (3) Photoshop knowledge.

    To set up a site, you don’t need any of these. To modify and customise you will need most of these though.

    How much you can customise a site comes down to your expierience with PHP and WordPress. That’s one of the many reasons that I’ve said before “just start doing something”. Without actually getting your hands dirty you’ll never learn.

    You know what would be extremely helpfull – to get a fast motion time lapse of building an APP, same as fast motion time laps of building a house.

    Is that house a single, double, triple storey? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Pool? Does it have a deck? What is the roof? Is it on a sloped block or level gound? Etc, etc, etc… Without all of the details, you cannot tell someone how to build it. Even though the house next door will share some common points, they will be very different when it comes down to putting them both together

    Developing a website is the same. There is never one standard way to do everything, and that’s why there are no ‘start-to-finish_ tutorials. Every site is different because they all need different things. Agian, that’s where experience comes into it, and that’s why you need to start doing things.

    The wya to do it is to break things down into small parts. Don’t worry about the “big picture” right from the start. Work on each small piece at a time, and get that working. When that’s done, move onto the next bit. Keep going like that and you’ll get it finished. Really, that’s all there is to it. You will get stuck, and that’s when you go looking for help in the actual part that you’re stuck on.

    Another what I would like to know is – does it pay off to buy a theme.

    For me, no. that’s because I’m at a point where I’m faster creating my own themes then trying to modify someone else’s work. For others that aren’t at that point yet, definately yes. That’s all that can be said about that.

    As far as licenes go, you need to ask the vendors (sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) as they are the ones that control the licenses, not us. Anything to do with commercial themes and plugins are controlled and supported by author/vendors. That’s always going to be who to ask those questions to.

    btw, which hosting and domain name services do you suggest?)

    There are no “recommended” hosting services. There are some suggesteions here, but these are no endorsed or recommended so you should do your own research as to what company you host with.

    I’ll try to share my experiences as per your original query. I’m a WordPress consultant and have been doing this professionally for years so I hope it helps.

    Here’s how the process looks like:

    1) You first note/document your requirements as detailed as possible.
    2) You come with a mock of the various layouts (they could be done just using a pencil + paper at least).
    3) Now that you have the layout, you may want to delve into photoshop and create the design in photoshop. OR you may want to look for a theme that already has similar layouts and can be customized (not feasible, here’s why:)
    4) Two themes that look exactly the same at the frontend can be so radically different in their functionality, features and performance etc. that it can be very easy to get tricked into buying the one that’s cheaper. Later you know that it’s poor SEO, features, settings/options, customizability and performance. That’s why a pro will recommend a premium theme that is more like a framework that comes with great SEO, features + options/settings built in and allows extensive customization regardless of the design that you want to implement on it.
    5) Now comes the part of slicing the PSD and then implementing it into a WP theme. You need an excellent grasp on photoshop slicing. You will need to know the coding best practices (above and beyond the knowledge of how to code) in PHP, CSS, javascript, HTML5, “semantic SEO” (as against the most abused “SEO”).
    6) You will also need indepth knowledge about implementing the bells and whistles features like newsletter integration, contact form setup, social media integration blah blah.
    7) On the WordPress part you’ll need in-depth knowledge about “template hierarchy”, the WP_Query (google search, WP codex is your best friend here).
    8) Finally once you have made sure that the design has been implemented, you’ll need cross browser testing etc.
    9) Finally configure it for launch: webmaster tools, analytics.

    I can’t go into the depth of each and I can’t say that I’ve mentioned everything.

    Of course it’s too easy to learn up the technical part and deliver a site as compared to understanding user-behaviour, concepts like conversion rates, landing page experience, call to action.

    Learning is a never-ending process. Like I said, a software can’t build you a site that boosts “your” business. They are more on the lines on “do it the same for all”. And a typical investment into hiring someone “professional and reasonable” can start from anywhere from [moderated]. But you can get someone for [moderated] who will present you something that looks and feels right but is botched up nonetheless on the coding/performance/flexibility front and then you’ll go to hire someone on the [moderated] anyways. People learn better from mistakes, not from hardsell or opinion 😉

    [Moderator note: Please don’t discuss prices here]

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