WordPress is one the leading content management software that powers roughly 22% of top 10 million websites. WordPress was founded by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. Latest release 3.8 downloaded more than 20 million times speaks much about the popularity of the WordPress.
There are enough WordPress tutorials available on the net and you may wonder why one more. To answer that, we recap our experience in setting up the site - www.codetab.org.
Some time back, we decided to move our tutorials to WordPress hosted on OpenShift cloud platform. Till that time, our articles were hosted on various platforms like Blogger, Google Sites. Majority of the pages were in HTML, each with its own stylesheet. While moving them to WordPress, we had to struggle a bit as we could not find any good documentation or tutorial that talks about importing static HTML pages to WordPress and also, ways to manage the multiple stylesheets, even though many people had asked about these tricky areas. Through trial and error, we did manage to migrate our tutorials into WordPress, but process was tedious.
Once we perfected the technique to bulk move the static pages and handle multiple stylesheets, we thought why not put all that experience into a nice tutorial for the benefit of others. Once started, we expanded the scope to include other less documented areas like WordPress Backup, Restore, cloning. Finally, to make it an all-in-one tutorial on WordPress, we also included some essentials such as performance optimization, search engine optimization, etc. CodeTab WordPress Tutorial covers the essential topics to create, maintain and troubleshoot a High Performance WordPress site.
WordPress vs Drupal
To compose our tutorials, we use Publican, DocBook publisher toolkit by RedHat Fedora. Branding feature that comes with Publican allows us to format the pages with distinct look and feel. Before zeroing on WordPress, we did try the other leading and equally good CMS Drupal. We could export HTML pages produced by Publican to Drupal, but the output was far from satisfactory. Drupal does modify many tags and styles upon export, and it is unable to retain the originality of pages. After extensive tries, we finally dismissed it.
Then we tried WordPress. We were able to bulk upload the pages through a Plugin and happy to see that WordPress was not modifying the page when they are exported. Battle was half won, but applying the distinctive styles was altogether another matter. It took us a lot of effort to overcome this thorny issue as custom DocBook stylesheets applied to our pages was cascading into menu, header and footer bars of WordPress and make the theme go for a toss. Finally, through some simple CSS tweaks to our pages and stylesheets, we were able to overcome that and in the process, we learned a great deal about WordPress.
Looking for a demo! Well, this site itself is the demo for this tutorial. This site, codetab.org, uses all the features, plugins, and themes covered in the WordPress Tutorial. We have not gone into any extreme optimization like CDN, etc., yet codetab.org performances well in page speed, which is above the acceptable levels. In search results, majority of our pages are listed within top 20 and over the time as traffic grows, we are sure that they improve their rankings further.
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Now you may say, all that is fine but tell me how much Time and Money I have to shell out to own a good WordPress site. Here is the tab.
Yes, it is true. So far we have spent just under four dollars. CodeTab is hosted on RedHat OpenShift cloud platform in its free plan and even under the free plan, we have enough headroom to grow at least for the next couple of years.
Coming to the other aspect, time, it took us roughly two weeks to overcome initial hurdles like bulk import of HTML pages, style issues, child themes, etc. Over the last six months, occasionally we have worked on areas like backup, version upgrade, SEO, and cache, etc. However, the good news is, you do not need to spend so much effort as we have put all that know-how in our WordPress Tutorial. Max you may have to spend a week to go through it.
Only thing left out in the WordPress Tutorial is; contents creation. All we can say is, it is up to you as content creation takes some effort depending on what one wish to write and publish.
In the next chapter, we see how to install WordPress on RedHat OpenShift Cloud.