Kenwood component stereo system with record player, tuner, amplifier, equalizer, casette tape, compact disc, and speaker components

Remember component stereo systems? WordPress is a component system too. Or it’s supposed to be if you’re using it optimally. From sites I’ve inherited I’ve observed developers breaking this by:

WordPress is best used as its core, hosting, theme, and plugin components. Add to that a thin layer of custom design code or business rules in a child theme or code snippets.

Your selection of hosting service determines some features and restrictions for your environment. The best managed hosts install one or a few “drop-ins” (or must-use plugins) that enforce caching and security policies and load tools such as monitoring and backups. Some managed hosts offer “edge” layer services such as content delivery networks, page caching and image optimization – without the need for such plugins.

Your selection of theme typically determines your page builder, which in turn usually defines fonts, forms, galleries, sliders, and other UI widgets. Some of the best themes out there work very well with the core WordPress Block Editor. In many cases purchasing a Pro plugin by the theme builder is required to access most of the useful features. Often times these Pro plugins by theme developers allow you to configure your templates, for example assigning page builder templates to dynamic content types like blog posts, post archives, or WooCommerce products and shop pages.

Your selection of plugins adds features to your website, including WooCommerce online store features such as payment providers, advanced discounting, live rate shipping services and label makers, tax services, special product types, and integrations with fulfillment and customer relationship software.

Here’s some advice to get the most out of your WordPress component system:

Of course the best thing with WordPress and WooCommerce versus commercial alternatives is that you own your website and have the freedom to select your vendors and customize as needed.