WordPress. What’s it like?

I’ve been using WordPress for a while now, and it’s OK. The admin interface can take a little to get used to, especially when plugins throw menus all over the place, but the online help is very good. The main issues recently were with configuring an email sendmail system so that WordPress could send emails. Upgrading can also be a bit of a pain too, The main issue at the moment is building a dynamic web app. The option to edit WordPress PHP is a no, on the grounds of updates of WordPress source overwrite changes. Creation of a WordPress plugin is also an option, but was not chosen as I want client rendering, not server rendering in the app, to keep the server loading low. I see WordPress as a convenience, not a perfection. So the decision was taken to use client side JavaScript rendering, and have one single PHP script (in the WordPress root folder) which supplies JSON from extra tables created in the WordPress database. An eventual plugin for WordPress may be possible to install this script, and a few JavaScript files to bootstrap the client engine, but not at this time.

This way of working also means the code can be WordPress transparent, and be used for other site types, and an easier one script conversion for node.js for example. With an install base of over 70 million, and an easy templating CMS, WordPress is a good, but pragmatic choice for this site so far. The other main decisions then all related to the client JavaScript stack. I decided to go for riot as the templating engine as it is lightweight and keeps things modular. Some say ReactJS is good, and it does look it, but I found riot.js which looks just as good, is smaller as an include (Have you seen the page source of a WordPress page?) and has client side rendering easily. And then looking at either underscore.js or lodash.js (I picked underscore), for a basic utility. The next up is the AJAX layer. While WordPress does include jQuery, for independence from WordPress tie ins, this ruled out the OK backbone.js and also a fully custom layer allows me to experiment with bandwidth reduction using data compression as a research opportunity. So I have laid out a collections architecture for myself.

Connecting riot.js to this custom layer should be effectively easy. The only other issue was then a matter of style sheet processing to enhance consistency of style. The excellent less.js was chosen for this. Even though client side rendering was also chosen, which is sub optimal (cached, but uses time, but also allows the possibility and later opportunity of meta manipulation of say colour values as sets, for CSS design compression), but does have freedom from tie in to a particular back end solution (a single PHP script at present). So that becomes the stack in its entire form minus the application. Well I can’t wright everything at once, and the end user experience means the application form must be finalized last, as possibility only remains so this side of implementation. For the record I also consider the collections layer a research opportunity. I’ve seen a good few technologies fail to be anything but good demos, and some which should have remained demos but had good funding. Ye old time to market, and sell a better one later for double the sales. Why not buy one quality one later?

Author: Jacko

Technical. Well is mass information conservation the reason for dark energy via uncertain geometry and photon exchange? Is dark matter conservation of acceleration with a gradient field heavy graviton? Does the KODEK work yet?