WordPress for business or an alternative?

Started for blogging, wordpress has grown into a wonderful content management system that is search engine friendly and in the main, free.

As an open source cms, it has led to some of the worlds top designers and developers to contribute to its functionality. Developers have created WordPress plugins that have added everything from ecommerce capabilities to stringent security. Designers have created themes that cater to photographers right through to designs for law firms.

But what about the competition?


Another open source application, Joomla offers a middle ground between Drupal and WordPress and the ability to structure more complex and flexible sites than wordpress. A strong user community help this great cms. Supports ecommerce and social networking sites.


Known for its strong taxonomy and ability to create complex content, Drupal is another open source cms. Requiring the most technical expertsie of the three, it is also capable of creating the most advanced sites. A great developer lead community, Drupal is well suited for complex data sites like multiple user community sites.


In conclusion, WordPress is a great cms for most businesses, but for more complex data driven sites, then it is worth looking into Drupal and Joomla, both offering fantastic robust platforms.

Designing a Basic WordPress Theme

If you ever wondered how WordPress themes are put together, this tutorial will run through the very basics of a theme and hopefully wet your appetite in creating your own theme.

Before you start, think about the layout of your new theme, draw it out on a piece of paper if it helps.
For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to split our layout into a very simple grid consisting of a header, main content area, right hand side bar and a footer.









1- Using an FTP client or file manager tool, create a sub-folder in the wp-content/themes directory in your WordPress folder and give it a theme name ie “my_theme”.

2- Use a simple text editor like notepad to create the files that relate to the layout for “my_theme”.

We are going to write 5 files to create our layout before uploading our files via FTP to our newly created “my_theme” folder –

header.php (Header area code)
index.php (This is our main area code and will specify where the other files will be allocated)
sidebar.php (Sidebar information)
footer.php (Footer area code)
style.css (This will dictate how our site will look, for example- colours, fonts, spacing etc.)

Here are the files for our layout-

header.php file

<title>my theme</title>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>">
<div id="wrapper">
<div id="header">


index.php file

<?php get_header(); ?>
<div id="main">
<div id="content">
<h1>Main Area</h1>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<h1><?php the_title(); ?></h1>
<h4>Posted on <?php the_time('F jS, Y') ?></h4>
<p><?php the_content(__('(more...)')); ?></p>
<hr> <?php endwhile; else: ?>
<p><?php _e('Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.'); ?></p><?php endif; ?>
<?php get_sidebar(); ?>
<div id="delimiter">
<?php get_footer(); ?>



<div id="sidebar">
<h2 ><?php _e('Categories'); ?></h2>
<ul >
<?php wp_list_cats('sort_column=name&optioncount=1&hierarchical=0'); ?>
<h2 ><?php _e('Archives'); ?></h2>
<ul >
<?php wp_get_archives('type=monthly'); ?>



div id="footer">



body { text-align: center; }
#wrapper { display: block; border: 1px #a3a3a3 solid; width:90%; margin:0px auto; }
#header { border: 1px #a3a3a3 solid; }
#content { width: 70%; border: 1px #a3a3a3 solid; float: left; }
#sidebar { width: 27%; border: 1px #a3a3a3 solid; float: right; }
#delimiter { clear: both; }
#footer { border: 1px #a3a3a3 solid; }
.title { font-size: 12pt; font-family: verdana; font-weight: bold; }


These files will give us the basic layout we need. We can tweak the various css rulings to our own liking and upload posts and images to our new blog theme.

3 Back Up Plugins For WordPress


Let’s face it, there are always people out there who are looking to do harm to others, and that includes us Wordpress users, whether we run a simple blog or a large business site, the fact is once online, your site is a target, and unfortunately it will be targeted.

There are many things we can do to lessen our sites being hacked, but today we are going to concentrate on one of the most important things we can do, and that is the ability of restoring our site if it was ever defaced or taken down.

Most web hosting companies will do a back up of your site, either paid or for free, but sometimes they get hacked too, and if you ever read the small print, the responsibility is on you to take care of back ups.

So today we are going to look at 3 plugins that can help you restore your site should anything happen to it.



Probably one of the most popular downloads on WordPress, Updraftplus comes in a ready to use free version and can be upgraded with additional paid addons. You can manually do back ups or schedule your back ups automatically. It will back up your whole site and send it to a wide array of cloud storage options that you choose, although the free version lets you select only one storage option, you can purchase an addon that sends your back up to multiple destinations.



A subscription based service that offers automated real time cloud based back ups. Setting up Vaultpress is relatively easy with plans starting at $5 a month, and the option of adding security scans to your site, although at further cost. A great thing about Vaultpress is that it updates your backups incrementally meaning it will create a back up of any updates you do on the site, within minutes, saving on server load.



A free plugin that lets you schedule your back ups to your own server. If you want to back up your site to a cloud storage provider then you will need to purchase the developer licence. Backupwordpress although free is more suited to those who are able to do a manual restore of their site from their server as there is no automatic restore.


3 great plugins for all different levels and all with their pros and cons, so if you haven’t backed up your site, what are you waiting for?

How to Easily Remove or Disable Comments in WordPress


By default, WordPress has comments enabled, but what if you want comments removed or disabled?

Here are 3 simple ways –


To turn off all comments 

1- Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Settings >Discussion.

2- Under ‘Default article settings’ uncheck ‘Allow people to post comments on new articles’ and click ‘Save Settings’.


To remove comments from a single post

1- Go to your published post in the WordPress dashboard.

2- On the upper right side of the screen, click on ‘Screen Options’ and check the ‘Discussion’ checkbox.

3- Now scroll down the page to the newly appeared ‘Discussion’ box and uncheck ‘Allow Comments’. Click ‘Update’ to save.


The Plugin way!

1- From the WordPress dashboard click on Plugins >Add new and search for the ‘Disable Comments’ plugin. Download and activate plugin.

2- With the plugin installed go to Settings >Disable Comments. You can then choose to disable comments everywhere or only for specific posts or pages. Click ‘Save Changes’.


So there you have it, 3 extremely easy ways to disable or remove comments from your WordPress site.