How the Backend of your WordPress site works

You probably know that websites have frontends (what the public sees) and backends (the technology that creates and serves them).

In this post, we will recommend articles from our sister site, Mobile Atom Code, that look at the coding languages, databases, and servers of WordPress. Peruse them at your leisure to see how they make the backend of WordPress work.

The Coding Languages of WordPress

The coding languages that make WordPress work are:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • Javascript
  • SQL

Put simply, HTML provides your site’s meaning and structure. CSS provides its aesthetics. Interactivity and functionality are provided by PHP and Javascript. These are the frontend languages used in WordPress. SQL is the language that allows your visitors to interact with your site’s database(s). These languages control what is seen in the browser.

The five articles linked below provide overviews and resources for additional information.

The Servers of WordPress

The servers that make WordPress work are:

  • Apache
  • NGINX

According to TechTerms, “A server is a computer that provides data to other computers. It may serve data to systems on a local area network (LAN) or a wide area network (WAN) over the Internet. Many types of servers exist, including web servers, mail servers, and file servers. Each type runs software specific to the purpose of the server.”

The vast majority of WordPress sites use Apache and, to a lesser degree, NGINX servers. The two articles linked below provide overviews and resources for additional information.

The Databases of WordPress

The databases that make WordPress Work are:

  • MySQL
  • MariaDB

According to Oracle, “A database is an organized collection of structured information, or data, typically stored electronically in a computer system. A database is usually controlled by a database management system (DBMS). Together, the data and the DBMS, along with the applications that are associated with them, are referred to as a database system, often shortened to just database.

Data within the most common types of databases in operation today is typically modeled in rows and columns in a series of tables to make processing and data querying efficient. The data can then be easily accessed, managed, modified, updated, controlled, and organized. Most databases use structured query language (SQL) for writing and querying data.”

MYSQL is the database used by the majority of WordPress sites. The two articles linked below provide overviews and resources for additional information.

Wrapping Up

Explore the articles above at your leisure to see how the coding languages, servers, and databases of WordPress work together to make your site function and provide the best experience for its users.

Reuben Walker

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Reuben is Ringmaster of Mobile Atom Media and its division Mobile Atom Code. In addition to his content specialties, he is also a full-stack developer.

An ABJ graduate of the University of Georgia and MA graduate of Georgia State University he lives in Orlando, FL with his wife and English labrador. He received his full-stack certification from the University of Central Florida.

For great curated and original content on entrepreneurship, content, design, and code follow him on the social media platform of your choice via the icons in this site’s footer. Or join the 42,318+ followers of his Flipboard Magazines.

Battle of the WordPress Platforms. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org vs Rainmaker

Hakkeyoi (はっけよい)!

Let the CMS Battle Royale begin

Do you ever feel like being in business is a fight for your life? We both know the marketplace is an arena for competition. And to win this battle you need to be at the top of your game. Having better marketing than your opponents is essential to success.

A well thought out, and strategic marketing plan gives you an advantage and makes you the favorite to win. This content strategy is the game plan you need to stick to to bring home the prize.

Your website and blog are two of your most precious business assets. In fact, with a well-designed integration, they are the most valuable marketing asset you own.  And they should be the home and heart of your content marketing efforts. They are where you execute most of your content marketing strategy.

In my opinion, you should only trust them with WordPress.

This substantial post (2500 words) will compare the WordPress.com, WordPress.org and Rainmaker WordPress platforms. Read on to see which is just right for your business or personal blog. If you don’t have time now, bookmark it and read it later. And I would recommend doing so on your desktop, laptop or tablet. This decision is crucial for your business.

Let’s start with a quick point about WordPress as a site and blogging platform.

As I said in a previous post about WordPress:

It is the best CMS (Content Management System) for small business.

More than 25 percent of the world’s websites are built and run on WordPress. And that percentage is increasing every day. WordPress itself says, “over 409 million people view more than 15.8 billion pages each month” on the platform. Matt Mullenweg started it in 2003.

It is open-source software. That means the software is free, and it is a database driven platform. A worldwide network of developers, designers, and companies like Mobile Atom Media support WordPress. Many of these dedicated souls are continually building website themes for WordPress. And even more developers build “plugins” to add functionality to it.

WordCamps occur yearly in cities across the globe. They are where bloggers, developers, and designers can learn even more about it. WordPress.tv has hundreds of videos covering almost every aspect of it. The site, codex.wordpress.org, has everything there is possible to know about it.

There are several versions of a WordPress website or blog. They include WordPress.org sites, WordPress.com sites, and customized versions of WordPress. The Rainmaker platform is one of the later.

I have clients on all three platforms and which one is best for you will depend on your unique business needs. This post aims to help you make that decision.

No matter which platform you use, it is best to have a professional assist you with setting it up. Theme selection, plugin selection, widget choice and placement, typography, search optimization, hosting, speed, security and your site’s aesthetics are all things that can benefit from the attention of a pro. Hint, this is what we do at Mobile Atom Media. 😉

So what are the differences in the three platforms?

WordPress.com – the Makushita (幕下) division of WordPress CMSs

To paraphrase from my previous post:

Matt Mullenweg’s company, Automattic, hosts WordPress.com sites. The hosting is free. … Your web address (also known as your URL) would be your website domain.wordpress.com. There are around two hundred themes to choose from, but you can’t customize them for free.

You will only have the functionality Automattic provides. And you cannot add any plugins developed by third-party developers. It also has a limited amount of storage capacity for your content. And if Automattic wants to, they can run ads of their choosing on your site.

You can pay Automattic for extra functionality. Showing your website domain.com rather than your website domain.wordpress.com is an example. You can pay to have a customizable theme, extra storage space, email support, and as of August 2017 third-party plugins and themes.

At this point, it is going to cost you what a basic WordPress.org site would. But, you will not have the complete control of a WordPress.org self-hosted site.

The advantage is that you do not have to maintain the site by updating the operating software and themes. If you are a small service-oriented business, a WordPress.com site can work well for you.

If you only want a personal blog, it is perfect for you. It can also work well for small service oriented businesses.

WordPress.org – the Jūryō (十両) division of WordPress CMSs

Again, to paraphrase my previous post:

A WordPress.org site uses the free WordPress software that the site owner downloads, sets up and pays a service to host. You have complete control over it. Choose from thousands of customizable themes and plugins to get the exact look and functionality you want.

You select your hosting service and can integrate it with your email provider. You will have to maintain the site by updating the operating software, theme, and plugins. It is the content marketing home you own. It is your house and can be as big as you want it to be.

WordPress.org is what most businesses use, including ones in the Fortune 100.

Rainmaker – the Makuuchi (幕内) division of WordPress CMSs

Rainmaker is a WordPress platform that lets you:

get more power from WordPress with less hassle. Build powerful content-driven websites, start a sophisticated membership program, sell digital goods the smarter way, and much more. Even better, never waste valuable time with plugins, complicated code, hosting, maintenance, or upgrades.

With these descriptions in mind, let’s jump into the details and differences. If you need to, select the screenshots to see a larger version in a new browser tab. We will be looking at WordPress dashboards as well as page and post editors.

Continue reading “Battle of the WordPress Platforms. WordPress.com vs WordPress.org vs Rainmaker”

It’s closing time. Use landing pages to ask for the sale.

Well planned and executed landing pages turn your email, social media, and blog content into sales.

It’s Closing Time

Let’s start learning how to use landing pages to ask for the sale.

As we saw in my earlier post, copywriting is essential to any business’s marketing success. It becomes a high art form on landing pages.

Landing pages are ones where you want the viewer to take a single, particular action after viewing them. They drive the second A in your AIDA sales process. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. These actions could be to sign up for an email list, download a piece of content marketing, enter your online store or most importantly, purchase your product(s). They are where you want to focus viewers’ attention on your vital message.

Visually, a landing page should be simple, clean and easy to understand. If you are driving people to your landing page from paid advertising versus organic search, you want to tie the look and message of the landing page directly to that of the ad. Or vice-versa. Like any page on your site, but even more importantly, it must load quickly. If you have moved someone near closing, you don’t want to lose out because of poor website performance.

It is worth the time, effort and cost to do A/B testing with your landing page. Have two versions and see which one converts best. Over the course of time change your headlines, visuals and the designs of your call to action button. You want to continuously test these elements and repeatedly optimize your landing page. Your landing pages are where you get income from your viewers so invest in making the pages perfect.

Only essential information should be on your page. It must be relevant to the message you are communicating and the action you want the viewer to take. Most landing pages consist of the following elements:

  • an image or visual
  • an attention-grabbing headline/title
  • sub-headings
  • body copy and content
  • the close and call to action (CTA)

Here is an example:  Continue reading “It’s closing time. Use landing pages to ask for the sale.”

Why your small business should use WordPress and nothing less

Your website/blog is your most valuable online asset. It should be on WordPress.

WordPress is the best CMS for small business

More than 40 percent of the world’s websites are built and run on WordPress. And that percentage is increasing every day. WordPress itself says, “over 429 million people view more than 22 billion pages each month” on the platform. It was started by Matt Mullenweg in 2003.

The platform is an open-source software CMS (content management system). That means the software is free, and it is a database-driven platform. A worldwide network of developers, designers, and companies like Mobile Atom Media support WordPress. Many of these dedicated souls are continually building website themes for WordPress. And thousands of developers create “plugins” to add functionality to it. WordCamps are held yearly in cities across the globe so bloggers; developers and designers can learn even more about it. WordPress.tv has hundreds of videos covering almost every aspect of it. The site, codex.wordpress.org, has everything there is possible to know about it.

You should use WordPress for your website for many reasons, but these are the best reasons:

  • It is free.
  • It is supported.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is easy to edit.
  • It works.

If you are smart enough to invest in a blog, WordPress is the only platform you should use. Your blog houses the heart of your content marketing. It is an asset that will always be there for you. Your blog is where you establish authority and trust. Consequently, it is your most valuable online asset. It should be a WordPress blog.

WordPress.org vs. WordPress.com

There are two versions of a WordPress website or blog, WordPress.org sites and WordPress.com sites. You can even add a WordPress.org blog to your existing site built on another platform. So what are the differences?

A WordPress.org site uses the free WordPress software that the site owner downloads, sets up, and pays a service to host. You have complete control over it and can choose from thousands of customizable themes and thousands of plugins to get the exact look and functionality you want. You select your hosting service and can integrate it with your email provider. You will have to maintain the site by updating the operating software, theme, and plugins. It is the content marketing home you own. It is your house and can be as big as you want it to be.

WordPress.org is what most businesses use, including ones in the Fortune 100. It is the option I recommend.

Matt Mullenweg’s company, Automattic, hosts WordPress.com sites. The hosting is free. However, there are drawbacks to this. Your web address (also known as your URL) would be your website domain.wordpress.com. There are fewer than two hundred themes to choose from, and you can’t customize them. You only have the functionality Automattic provides and cannot add any plugins developed by third-party developers. It has a limited amount of storage capacity for your content. And if they want to they can run ads of their choosing on your site. This a content marketing home you rent. And it is more like a condo or apartment than a house.

You can pay Automattic for additional functionality like showing your website domain.com rather than your website domain.wordpress.com and to prevent third party ads. You can also pay to have a customizable theme, extra storage space, email support, etc.. At this point, it is going to cost you what a basic WordPress.org site would. But you will not have the complete control of a WordPress.org self-hosted site.

The advantage is that you do not have to maintain the site by updating the operating software and themes. If you are a small service-oriented business, a WordPress.com site can work well for you.

Hosting Options

Continue reading “Why your small business should use WordPress and nothing less”

How to make sure your blog posts are seen and read

If your site is your online salesperson, its posts are the subtle tools of its trade.

Let’s start learning how to write a blog post and how to get the most out of them for your small business.

Posts are Most of Your Content Marketing

If your blog is the heart of your content marketing world, your blog posts are its lifeblood. They are what will move visitors from being prospects to becoming customers. They are what you will share with social media to draw people to your site so you can convert them into customers. And they are what you will promote in your email marketing to current customers in order to deepen loyalty and gain a larger share of their wallets.

Blog posts are the most important form of your marketing media.

Blog posts will be where you establish thought leadership in your industry. They will demonstrate your expertise and authority. They will create trust and get people to like you and your business. They will build your brand and your business. They will draw relevant traffic to your site, the types of visitors that will buy your products. Your posts will show your value up front. They will qualify your leads. Paradoxically they will generate leads best if you don’t try to generate leads. If your site is your online salesperson, its posts are the subtle tools of its trade.

Posts are also an excellent resource for your sales and customer service teams. They can share posts in their email conversations with clients and prospects. They can even be used to educate new employees and win over vendors. They can help you gain access to capital. Blog posts are the most. So, let’s look at how to write a blog post.

What to put in your posts

Continue reading “How to make sure your blog posts are seen and read”

Power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox

There are many marketing mediums requiring strategic and creative tools in order to be used successfully. 

Marketing Essentials

The power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox

Most businesses are small businesses. And yours is probably no different. Unfairly or not you, have to compete with larger and better-funded opponents. Content Marketing is a weapon that your David can use against their Goliath. But to do it right, you have to have the right tools. This post lists many that can help you attract visitors to your website and convert them into customers.

There is an ever-growing myriad of digital marketing mediums and platforms. And they require many marketing tools in order to be used successfully. These include strategic and creative tools. In this post, I want to share some useful lists of mostly free ones that I’ve come across. I will also note which tools I use in the various categories to create effective content marketing.

Before I get into the lists, let’s look at the dominant player in content production tools, Adobe. For your in-house design and marketing efforts, Adobe’s Creative Cloud products are a no-brainer. Programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator allow you to create project proposals and marketing pieces that as are as professional as any on earth. This service is a paid cloud-based toolbox that is an incredible value in my opinion. The price is around $50 a month and up. You get every creative program Adobe makes and always have the most up to date version.

See all the Adobe Creative Cloud programs here
. They allow you to create print advertising, websites, eBooks, videos, podcasts, animations, mobile apps, and more. So if you are creating your content marketing pieces, I recommend using what I do, Adobe Creative Cloud.

However, the lists below include free and nearly free marketing tools that let you do some of the same things designers do with Adobe’s professional-grade products. You must have a strategic plan in place before begin creating any marketing content, and a few of these lists describe tools for developing one.

So whether you want to create some of your content marketing in-house, are a freelance designer, or just want to understand what your agency or content strategy partner is talking about when it comes to production – here is some useful knowledge to absorb.

Read through the post first and then go back to check out the lists and other links. Bookmark this page to reference later. It is extensive, and you may want to peruse it at your leisure.

Continue reading “Power tools you need in your content marketing toolbox”