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WEB SCHOOL hand coded sites while still using wordpress

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gkinghorn3

New Contributor
Mar 1, 2020
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scotland
Hi all,

I've been building sites on WP with elementor + the like for clients quite successfully for a few months now, and have recently decided to learn full stack development so I can work on bigger projects. As you can imagine I have a long way to go yet, but I have enough knowledge to make good looking, and responsive pages using what I've learnt about HTML and CSS. I find it much easier and less frustrating than having to wrestle with WP themes and settings, but I'm nowwhere near being able to write my own functionality into the pages.

My question is; is there a way to build all my site pages by hand, but upload the HTML/ CSS to a domain where wordpress is installed, so I can benefit from being able to use plugins available within wordpress? For example I've had 2 projects this year where the clients had an online course and needed to be able to upload content themselves, track user progress etc which would have been impossilbe for me to do at this stage had I not been able to implement a plugin to my site. Is it as simple as installing WP onto a domain, then just uploading the pages via the file manager on a hosting account?

thanks for taking the time to read this,

Grant
 

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tonibob

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Jun 22, 2020
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Hi all,

I've been building sites on WP with elementor + the like for clients quite successfully for a few months now, and have recently decided to learn full stack development so I can work on bigger projects. As you can imagine I have a long way to go yet, but I have enough knowledge to make good looking, and responsive pages using what I've learnt about HTML and CSS. I find it much easier and less frustrating than having to wrestle with WP themes and settings, but I'm nowwhere near being able to write my own functionality into the pages.

My question is; is there a way to build all my site pages by hand, but upload the HTML/ CSS to a domain where wordpress is installed, so I can benefit from being able to use plugins available within wordpress? For example I've had 2 projects this year where the clients had an online course and needed to be able to upload content themselves, track user progress etc which would have been impossilbe for me to do at this stage had I not been able to implement a plugin to my site. Is it as simple as installing WP onto a domain, then just uploading the pages via the file manager on a hosting account?

thanks for taking the time to read this,

Grant
Hi @gkinghorn3 ,

No idea how good are your skill with Linux, but I would suggest unmanaged hosting like OVH or similar, where you can purchase VPS, deploy LAMP on it and you can install your own wordpress instances. You would need to buy simple domain and then have as many subdomains as you wish pointing to the VPS. I am pretty sure you can migrate the completed website with plugins or through FTP. You need to be aware of the hosting platforms your clients have. Some might have cpanels, some ssh access etc.

It is good to learn the backend as any future issues you would be able to resolve quickly and your clients will have confidence in you that you have complete skill set, rather than being just designer (drag and drop) using plugins.

Best,
Pete
 
OP
OP
gkinghorn3

gkinghorn3

New Contributor
Mar 1, 2020
6
2
11
scotland
Hi @gkinghorn3 ,

No idea how good are your skill with Linux, but I would suggest unmanaged hosting like OVH or similar, where you can purchase VPS, deploy LAMP on it and you can install your own wordpress instances. You would need to buy simple domain and then have as many subdomains as you wish pointing to the VPS. I am pretty sure you can migrate the completed website with plugins or through FTP. You need to be aware of the hosting platforms your clients have. Some might have cpanels, some ssh access etc.

It is good to learn the backend as any future issues you would be able to resolve quickly and your clients will have confidence in you that you have complete skill set, rather than being just designer (drag and drop) using plugins.

Best,
Pete
Thanks for the reply Pete!

zero linux experince, or knowldege of the hosting you've mentioned :happy: but I'll research what you've said. The course that I'm taking covers the backend further down the line aswell, but I'd just like to have a bit of a plan, in terms of services I'll be able to clients in the immediate future.

Everything I've done so far has either been setting up the hosting + domain name, then building the site on WP, or adjusting a clients site thats already been built on wordpress, however I want to be able to work on any web based project, and not just be someone thats only builing the UI.

thanks,

Grant
 

drahz

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Jul 24, 2019
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I think the closes thing to what you describe is to use headless WordPress. You can build your site using your favorite framework or just plain HTML + CSS and use WordPress as a CMS.
 
OP
OP
gkinghorn3

gkinghorn3

New Contributor
Mar 1, 2020
6
2
11
scotland
I think the closes thing to what you describe is to use headless WordPress. You can build your site using your favorite framework or just plain HTML + CSS and use WordPress as a CMS.
Thanks for the reply, drahz. I've been trying to find a solution using google, but mainly just coming up with irrelevant results. Thats already returing pages that are sounding like what I had in mind.

Grant
 

Jon L

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Why would you want to do this? What do you mean by a bigger project, and why would a bigger project require you to code things by hand? Do you have a particular project in mind?
 

George Appiah

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My question is; is there a way to build all my site pages by hand, but upload the HTML/ CSS to a domain where wordpress is installed, so I can benefit from being able to use plugins available within wordpress?
Why bother?

If you think (rightly or not) that a project ought to be built with HTML, why complicate things by adding WordPress on top of that? And if you *have to* use WordPress (to benefit from plugins as you say), why complicate things by adding handcrafted HTML files in the mix (when WordPress can do everything those HTML pages will be doing)?

Why would you want to do this? What do you mean by a bigger project, and why would a bigger project require you to code things by hand? Do you have a particular project in mind?
My thoughts as well.

I've actually (mostly) moved away from WordPress for the opposite reason to OP's: to have less functionality. Most of the sites I manage don't need everything-and-the-kitchen-sink that WordPress has become. And while WordPress itself is quite secure and new vulnerabilities are quickly fixed, the huge install base and large attack surface (due to the many different pieces that need to be glued together) make it the perfect prey for hackers and the maintenance overhead an unnecessary burden I don't want to carry anymore.

So most of my current sites are HTML and CSS, with a bittle lit of JavaScript seasoning. My current workflow is to use Eleventy (static site generator) and Tailwind (CSS utility framework) to build the HTML/CSS pages, and git push to instantly deploy pages to Netlify. I'm still learning JavaScript, but I can already do 100% of what I've been using WordPress for (yes, that includes blogs)... and I don't need to wrestle with hosting and databases and WordPress/theme/plugins/ updates maintenance anymore.

At the other extreme end of the totem pole, I'm currently at the planning stage of a personal project that I've decided to not use WordPress due to WordPress' limitations. Sure, WordPress is just PHP, and anything can be bolted onto it. But if your project is primarily "application" and not "content", you're likely to be fighting WordPress's way of doing things (code-wise) to the point that you'll save a whole of time and frustration if you build from scratch.
 
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Jon L

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Why bother?

If you think (rightly or not) that a project ought to be built with HTML, why complicate things by adding WordPress on top of that? And if you *have to* use WordPress (to benefit from plugins as you say), why complicate things by adding handcrafted HTML files in the mix (when WordPress can do everything those HTML pages will be doing)?



My thoughts as well.

I've actually (mostly) moved away from WordPress for the opposite reason to OP's: to have less functionality. Most of the sites I manage don't need everything-and-the-kitchen-sink that WordPress has become. And while WordPress itself is quite secure and new vulnerabilities are quickly fixed, the huge install base and large attack surface (due to the many different pieces that need to be glued together) make it the perfect prey for hackers and the maintenance overhead an unnecessary burden I don't want to carry anymore.

So most of my current sites are HTML and CSS, with a bittle lit of JavaScript seasoning. My current workflow is to use Eleventy (static site generator) and Tailwind (CSS utility framework) to build the HTML/CSS pages, and git push to instantly deploy pages to Netlify. I'm still learning JavaScript, but I can already do 100% of what I've been using WordPress for (yes, that includes blogs)... and I don't need to wrestle with hosting and databases and WordPress/theme/plugins/ updates maintenance anymore.

At the other extreme end of the totem pole, I'm currently at the planning stage of a personal project that I've decided to not use WordPress due to WordPress' limitations. Sure, WordPress is just PHP, and anything can be bolted onto it. But if your project is primarily "application" and not "content", you're likely to be fighting WordPress's way of doing things (code-wise) to the point that you'll save a whole of time and frustration if you build from scratch.
I love your way of thinking: spend a whole bunch of time up front deciding what a job entails, and then pick the right tool for that particular job. Excellent.
 

deeptib

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Jul 9, 2020
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Hey! I've managed several sites that had a blend of pages in WP with content entry and hardcoded html/CSS.

There is a very straight forward solution to your problem in WP.

You add the hardcoded pages to the theme as page templates. Then you have to set up routing to these page templates by creating dummy pages in the WP admin using those page templates.

I've done this on 5+ sites and it works on all of them.
 

deeptib

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Jul 9, 2020
18
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Austin
Hey! I've managed several sites that had a blend of pages in WP with content entry and hardcoded html/CSS.

There is a very straight forward solution to your problem in WP.

You add the hardcoded pages to the theme as page templates. Then you have to set up routing to these page templates by creating dummy pages in the WP admin using those page templates.

I've done this on 5+ sites and it works on all of them.
If I built a plugin that found the hardcoded pages and uploaded it to your site, would you find that valuable?
 

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