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  1. #1
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    BigBird's Avatar
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    Info Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    ...And it was easier than I thought. (">

    Don’t know if any of you remember the site I created for my mate's garage business a couple of years ago. It was created using WordPress. Well earlier this year I needed to add a few items into the right sidebar widget, but it wouldn’t let me. A google or two later I found that others had experienced a similar problem.
    The advice was to deactivate the widget and then reactivate it. Problem is it wouldn’t let me do that either. I suppose I could have removed it completely from the widget folder (don’t know how the WordPress interface would have reacted) but then it would have to be reconfigured and the content added all over again. I did another google search to see if Drupal was more reliable. Would have been another learning curve but now I was pissed off with WordPress and determined not to rely on it any more. Well it seems Drupal isn’t much better. Some people were experiencing similar problems with Drupal.

    Decided it was not a good idea to rely on a CMS like WordPress or Drupal any more. Apart from widgets that sometimes stop responding for no apparent reason you have the problem of sometimes needing to update them when you update the main CMS interface. Then the new version of the widget may have issues with the new version of the CMS or create a conflict with another widget that you are using so then you end up experimenting with similar widgets that may or may not do the same job. Creating the initial website may be relatively easy but could become a right pain to sort out somewhere down the line when something goes wrong.

    Looked at a couple of WYSIWYG drag and drop editors but each had different limitations which put me off. Then decided to load up CoffeeCup html editor which is a free program. This had the added benefit of not having to install ripped off software and feel like a guilty criminal every time I loaded it up...LoL as if.

    Fired it up and clicked on File - New from theme/layout - Default layouts. From the list I selected 'Three column Fixed 2'. Then clicked on: View - Split screen preview(F12). From that point I never looked back. Found it as easy as learning WordPress but much more rewarding. Click anywhere in the preview window and it highlights the corresponding code in the editing window above. The preview window also shows in real time every change I made to the code in the editing window. At that point I knew that this was the way to go. I found that watching in real time how my edits were changing the page was a great way to learn html code. Any html tag or code I didn’t understand was easily explained by a quick search on the w3schools.com website. Things were slowly happening in the way I wanted them and I was hooked and enjoying the learning experience. I was stuck for a couple of hours on one or two things but by now nothing was going to put me off because I was getting results.

    One important thing I found was to name all files with the 'php' extension rather than using 'html'. I used some freely available php code for a contact form and named the file with the 'php' extension but couldn't call it into my 'contact.html' page. Renaming the 'contact.html' page to ‘contact.php' solved the problem. A .php file does not need to contain any php code. It can contain just simple html code, so just name all the files with the php extension from the very start regardless of whether you intend to use any php code. The exception is a CSS file which needs the CSS extension.

    Didn’t take long to find out that it was easy to create a CSS file, I called it ‘mystyle.css’, and move the page formatting code from the index.php file into the CSS file. Then I could just link to that from any/all php pages using the simple line of code shown below. I could then clean up/reduce the amount of code in my php files.

    ---------------------------
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="mystyle.css">
    ---------------------------

    I could now modify the style of all my pages by simply making changes to the one CSS file. I already knew what CSS files were for but didn’t realise it would be this easy to implement. You could even create more than one CSS file if you wanted a different formatting or layout for one or more of your pages. You could also change the whole site formatting and layout with a CSS file you created in advance. Not by editing every page to link a to a the new CSS file but by simply changing the name of the new CSS file to the name of the original (after renaming the original CSS file to something like ‘mystyle_old.css’ obviously – just in case you want to switch back at any time).

    The header, left sidebar, right sidebar and footer contents are also contained in separate files which are then 'included' into the main page using:

    ---------------------------
    </div>
    <div id="navigation">
    <?php include 'side_left.php';?>
    </div>
    ---------------------------

    </div> defines a separate section on the page and "navigation" is just a name for that particular section which in this case will contain the side menu. I created the menu using simple html in a file I called 'side_left.php'.
    The ‘navigation’ section is positioned using a simple line of code which is contained in the CSS file:

    ---------------------------
    #navigation { float: left; margin-left: -960px; width: 200px; }
    ---------------------------

    And the menu which I created in the ‘side_left.php file is placed inside that section using the ‘php include’ command. It really is much easier than I thought it would be.

    I included the navigation section on all pages because I want the menu visible on the left of all my pages. For the right sidebar however I wanted different content for different pages.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but in my experience WordPress is restricted to having the same content in the sidebar widget regardless of which page is being displayed. Now without that restriction I could easily have different content in the right sidebar of different pages. In my WordPress site I had to place the images for the 'Service', 'Repair', 'MOT', etc. pages below the body text which made the page longer, which required scrolling to view them, but now I could have the different images for different pages displayed in the right sidebar thus reducing the page height.
    I could also create other php files with different content and name them something like 'special_offer01.php', 'special_offer02.php', ‘autotrader_award2005.php’ ‘opening_times.php’ etc. and include any one or more of them in the right sidebar area (or anywhere else for that matter) of various pages.

    Had good reviews about the design of the original WordPress site so for now I wanted to create the new site to look something similar to it. I have achieved that and more because I wasn’t confined by the restrictions imposed by using WordPress. I would seriously recommend to anyone wanting to build a website to consider using something like CoffeeCup and learn to code it themselves.

    The one massive improvement is the page load speed. WordPress pages were taking a couple of seconds to load, even if they had already been visited before. At the time I put it down to the hosting company, but, still using the same hosting account, the new pages load almost instantly so the problem was WordPress. I’m not surprised. The same or very similar site I created with WordPress was just over 50MB. The new site is 8MB. That’s a huge difference and is probably down to the interface and widgets and also the thousands of lines of redundant code which WordPress contains. When creating the original WordPress site I still had to manipulate some code to get it to work properly and that can be a nightmare because there is so much code to look through to find the part you need to change. The pages I created using coffeecup are easy to edit because they are clean, don’t contain unnecessary code, and I created them myself with my own comments for future guidance.

    If you plan on creating a web page and are put off learning some html, and possibly some php, then I hope I have inspired you to have a go rather than confuse you and put you off.
    I was initially put off by the thought of learning html and php but if you use [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] as the editor with one of the built in layouts as a starting point, and the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] website as your reference for any html tag you don’t understand, then I don’t think you will go far wrong. Also remember to comment your code so when you come back to it later you will understand what you did before.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] is the site created using CoffeeCup html editor. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    8 Thanks given to BigBird

    Ashley (14th November 2015), bonus2010 (28th February 2016), leerolo007 (6th July 2017), mc.dodd (14th November 2015), Mobileman (25th February 2016), Over Carl (25th February 2016), piggzy (14th November 2015), prezzy (14th November 2015) 


  2. #2
    DF Moderator mc.dodd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    great post, very infomative and hopefully will be of use to others.
    a small niggle for me is that your menu font is all wrong and it needs centering. Stick to a SanSerif bold font and it will give you a better look.

    ..and drop Comic Sans from your contact page!
    PS3: mcd_dodd


    Thanks to mc.dodd

    BigBird (14th November 2015) 


  3. #3
    DF PwNagE prezzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Good post m8, a lot of people say to just use wordpress but the time it takes and the results make it shit imo tried many times to get it to bend to what I wanted before ditching it.

    Thanks to prezzy

    BigBird (14th November 2015) 


  4. #4
    DF Moderator piggzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Well done. You will also have a secure site as opposed to a Wordpress site than can be hacked by your average 12 year old, and happens constantly.

    Thanks to piggzy

    BigBird (14th November 2015) 


  5. #5
    DF PwNagE Mobileman's Avatar
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    Default Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Thread bump I need to redo my site and also create one for my friends roofing firm so off to try this, wish me luck lol

    Edit just checked my existing site in Wordpress and was due sorts of updates and fix loads of plugins and can't work out how to change some of the existing crap as someone else did the site so off to learn

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Mobileman; 25th February 2016 at 12:40 AM.

    Thanks to Mobileman

    BigBird (25th February 2016) 


  6. #6
    DF Jedi consoles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    wordpress sites can be very powerful for SEO with the right tweaks better results than your standard html5/php sites

    Thanks to consoles

    Mobileman (26th February 2016) 


  7. #7
    DF VIP Member
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Quote Originally Posted by consoles View Post
    wordpress sites can be very powerful for SEO with the right tweaks better results than your standard html5/php sites
    What's the point of optimising your site for higher search rankings if potential visitors only see a mashed up page or a 404 error simply because you updated or added a plugin. Also the pages can take much longer to load which can be frustrating. Between two and four seconds for a page load may not seem long but when compared to the almost instant page loads with html/php then its a big difference. With Wordpress it felt like I was browsing the site using an early Amstrad 286 PC from over 20 years ago.

    Plenty of people use Wordpress without any problems but I found the learning curve between wordpress and html to be so similar that for me the risk of further problems with Wordpress just couldn't justify me using it any more. For me the page loading speed alone justifies using html/php over Wordpress. (">

    I can only speak from my own experience and what I have read of other peoples experience. There are plenty of php SEO tools and scripts out there for sites created using html5/php. (">

    Thanks to BigBird

    bonus2010 (28th February 2016) 


  8. #8
    DF Moderator piggzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Funny this resurfaced in the last few days after my comments above. My server which hosts a number of various sites in varying formats was hacked to fuck about 5/6 days ago by the Egypt/Palestine pro ISIS movement or whatever it was ?!?!?!?

    They hacked everysingle Wordpress site on my server. (I ALWAYS STRONGLY ADVISE ALL CLIENTS TO NOT TOUCH WORDPRESS.. but some insist.)

    All Joomla, DNN, HTML5 . NET sites were unhacked.

    I fucking hate wordpress (and the Egyptian/Palestine pro ISIS cunts that hacked my server.



    Will try find a screen shot of one of the hacked sites. The quality of the page they put up reminded me of Borat.

  9. #9
    DF Moderator piggzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Didnt take a screen shot but it was a bunch of cunts called Alarg53

  10. #10
    DF Jedi reverend's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Were the Wordpress instances and all plugins up to date?

    I run my Wordpress site from home and it sits behind a Sophos UTM web application firewall which (for now) blocks those sorts of attacks.

  11. #11
    DF Jedi AspectUK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    I installed Wordpress on my VPS on Sunday night, I'm building an app with PhoneGap that will use the posts from a Wordpress site as it's latest news feed.
    It was on a domain of mine that I don't really use in a folder named after my local TT League /burytt. I'm doing this as a freebie so want to keep costs as minimal as possible.
    It was a clean install through Plesk, no themes no nothing except a single Plugin installed called JSON API.

    So considering it was a clean install in a folder that nobody would really be able to guess the name of that is not linked to anywhere else on the web with only this JSON API plugin installed .. how is it that one of the 4 posts I added as demo content the very next day had 2 spam comments within hours of me creating it?

    How could that happen?
    Google couldn't have spidered it, it would have no idea it was there?

    The only thing I can think is that Wordpress must sell/pass on to these spammers a list of all the Wordpress installs in order for them to do this.

    Any ideas?

    I've since installed Wordfence and this is telling me that that no security problems were detected but that a number of crawlers have found it (not Google):

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    2/24/2016 9:48:45 PM (1 day 3 hours ago) IP: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] [[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]] Hostname: 38.87.45.212
    Browser: Chrome version 39.0 running on Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/39.0.2171.99 Safari/537.36




    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    2/24/2016 7:50:25 AM (1 day 17 hours ago) IP: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] [[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]] Hostname: 176-8-90-115-lvv.broadband.kyivstar.net
    Browser: Firefox version 0.0 running on Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/17.0


    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    2/24/2016 6:08:35 AM (1 day 19 hours ago) IP: [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] [[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]] Hostname: 23-95-197-177-host.colocrossing.com
    Browser: Chrome version 39.0 running on Linux
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/39.0.2171.99 Safari/537.36

    Last edited by AspectUK; 26th February 2016 at 02:37 AM.

  12. #12
    DF Moderator piggzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    Quote Originally Posted by reverend View Post
    Were the Wordpress instances and all plugins up to date?

    I run my Wordpress site from home and it sits behind a Sophos UTM web application firewall which (for now) blocks those sorts of attacks.
    It would appear so. Although the trouble with wordpress is often the customer thinking they know what they are doing and fucking something up.

  13. #13
    DF PiMP tric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why/How I ditched WordPress in Favour of learning HTML....

    I can't recommend BulletProof Security enough for securing Wordpress. I've not had a single site hacked since using it (circa 50 sites).
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

    2 Thanks given to tric

    piggzy (26th February 2016), reverend (26th February 2016) 


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