Are you new to blogging? Have you been blogging for some time and wish to improve its look, performance, and visibility? You don’t have to learn any programming skills when you’re just starting out your blog. Good writing skills and knowledge of what you’re talking about should already be enough to maintain a blog.
However, if you want to do some advanced blogging, knowing some programming languages would definitely help. This is especially true if you’re running a technical blog. Some programming languages you can start learning are HTML, CSS, and PHP. In this post, we will be delving more on WordPress PHP and its importance to blogging.
What is PHP?
First off, what is PHP? To put it simply, PHP is a server-side scripting or programming language used on several websites. If you’re using WordPress for your blogging needs, knowing how to use PHP would be a life-saver. You can use it to solve many issues that you commonly encounter in WordPress. Plus, you can create your own plugin or theme using PHP.
As the name implies, client-side languages perform on the client system. The clients are essentially the viewers or readers of your website. Hence, the client system is the device that they are using to view your website. On the other hand, server-side languages perform all its work on the server, which hosts your website.
Websites use PHP to be able to connect to the database and to obtain data. PHP allows them to retrieve items from the database and make an output as HTML for the viewers to see. A wide range of PHP tags and functions make this possible for your website. PHP serves as the connection between your website and the database of WordPress.
Why You Should Add PHP Code to your WordPress Blog
WordPress is one of the most-used blogging websites that use PHP. Hence, if you’re using WordPress for your blogs, it would be immensely beneficial that you learn how to use PHP and add it to your blog. You can change the child theme of your page or make custom page templates in order to add PHP functions.
On the other hand, you can also add specific PHP codes or functions to just a single post or page by using WordPress code widget plugins. To do this, you will have to add PHP to a specific WordPress page via the Insert PHP Code Snippet plugin. It is important to note that majority of the core WordPress software is scripted in PHP. This includes your plugins as well as your themes. Therefore, it would be extremely useful for WordPress users to know how to use PHP in their blogs.
Another thing to consider when using PHP is your WordPress host. There are several web hosts that you can choose for your website. However, not every single one of them offers the latest versions of PHP. Make sure that your WordPress host supports at least PHP 7. If your web host supports PHP 7.4 – the latest supported version – you would see a big difference in the performance of your blog.
Hence, it is important to find a web host that offers a great platform for bloggers and supports the latest PHP version. Getting a web host that can support this guarantees a better overall blogging experience. You can take a look at WP Super Host – it’s a great option for bloggers in search of a web host.
How to Add PHP Code to WordPress Using a Plugin
Now that you know the importance of using PHP on your blogs, the next step is to add it to WordPress. Before anything else, you should make sure that you already have the Insert PHP Code Snippet plugin installed and activated. Here are the next steps on how to activate a plugin in WordPress:
- Open your WordPress dashboard. Click on “XYZ PHP Code” and it will lead you to the PHP Code Snippets page.
- From there, click on “Add New PHP Code Snippet.” Then, input your desired PHP function and its corresponding tracking name.
- After you’ve entered all the information required, click on “Create.”
- A confirmation message should appear if the process is a success. The newly added function/s will be visible on the screen.
- If you’re not sure if your desired function is active, you can go to the “Action” section to check. You will find the active and inactive code snippets in that section. A green pause symbol indicates an active code snippet while a green checkmark means that the code snippet is now inactive.
- If you want to add the PHP code to an individual WordPress page, you can use the snippet shortcode of the function instead. Paste it in the desired location to enable the function.
Why You Should Keep Your PHP Version Up to Date
As mentioned above, you also have to make sure that your PHP version is updated. PHP can be likened to an operating system of your smartphone and your laptop. It is also regularly updated and improved so it can provide users better performance. Keeping your PHP up to date will give you two main benefits:
- Faster performance: The latest version of PHP is much more efficient than previous versions. This will make your website run faster, which will increase its performance.
- Better security: Similar to WordPress, PHP is also sustained by its community. Due to its popularity, PHP is also a constant target of hackers. Fortunately, the latest version of PHP is improved with security features to keep your site secure.
Consequently, these benefits affect your blog in more ways than one. Because your WordPress blog is now faster, you’re now also likely to tank higher in search engines compared to users using old PHP. In addition, because your website loads faster thanks to PHP, your visitors are likely to stay and proceed with your site. Sites that take too long to load usually make visitors leave.
Clearly, bloggers who know PHP reaps a lot of its benefits. As you dive deep into the many uses and functions of PHP, you’ll see the drastic difference in adding PHP to your website. If you haven’t tried using PHP yet, now is the right time to learn and apply this skill to improve your blog on a whole new level.