The main difference between websites built by high school students or starting freelancers and established web developers is the quality of the end product. We have listed some of the features incorporated in the majority of the WordPress websites that are not quoted separately.
In short there is no shortcut or secret recipe of creating a killer website. An ideal website is actually developed keeping in mind relevancy and usefulness of the content and also a good user experience. Judging the quality of any website is purely subjective. Some people may really like your new design while others would still appreciate the older one. Let’s not get into that and stick to the standards.
There are many other, more technical factors to be considered when creating a website. These are standards, which any website especially a business website must follow to ensure its online success.
PHP Quality Guidelines
There are several PHP conventions available and each framework or platform defines its own subconvention. Since PHP is developed by Zend, the coding standards used in Zend Framework are one of the main sources for PHP development guidelines (even if PEAR and PSR-2 standards are also widely available):
WordPress has its own set of standards available in the Codex:
A non-technical person can’t judge the overall code quality of a project, but you can get acquainted with the naming convention, indentation guidelines and other text-related proposals and see if the PHP files provided in your product comply with said standards.
SQL Best Practices
SQL isn’t directly used in most WordPress applications. There are other layers of database logic such as the
*_Query classes and the
wpdb class that are used for database manipulation. A large number of custom database tables and custom SQL queries is a possible indicator that the development agency has not been following the database standards or using the right APIs for storing data as WordPress Post Types or Custom Taxonomies.
HTML Code Conventions
This guide (HTML CSS3 – Intro, Guides, and Resources) may serve as a reference for the quality of the generated. Keep in mind that the look and feel of your website depend on the WordPress theme and the output of any plugins displaying dynamic data, as well as the content of all posts, pages and post types provided by the customer.
If you are using 3rd party plugins, a new premium theme or paste text snippets from various sources, the generated HTML document may be malformed.
Use the W3C Markup Validator service to validate your HTML documents.
CSS stylesheets are provided with the WordPress theme and all relevant components styling the generated HTML in your website.
W3C provides a CSS Validator service as well that you could use and test your CSS files. Keep in mind that for performance reasons caching engines often minify the CSS files to a hardly readable format in order to reduce the file size for faster website loading (and better user experience). Some developers also use CSS preprocessors such as Sass or LESS which generate the CSS files from other source files.
Overall Website Quality Check
There are other factors for assessing the quality of your website, including:
- Security Code Review
- Performance Benchmark
- Server Optimization
- Usability Overview
- Image/Video Optimization
- Search Engine Optimization
- Mobile Usability
Our WordPress Development Agency specializes in Security Review and Performance Optimization and we could assess the overall quality of your products. Two of our engineers are WordPress Theme Review Team volunteers approving themes with hundreds of thousands of downloads from the WordPress.org Theme Directory.
Since a notable factor for a website is the website speed and the overall user experience, you can use Pingdom and test your average website load time, and GTMetrix to run the scanners from Google and Yahoo! that would validate your WordPress website against hundreds of different factors. As a result you can generate a detailed report for your web development company and get a proposal for optimizing your website. This would lead to better user experience for your visitors and would likely increase your Google search rank.
Contact us for a website review and we will consult you with regards to your WordPress website quality level and the steps we need to take to modernize and optimize your website solution.