A Beginner’s Guide to GitHub for WordPress Users!

WordPress is useful. Those of you who are regular blog-writers or develop and design blogs, you know pretty well how useful wordpress is. It is used by most blog owners, and is the most popular blogging and content management tool available. Now, WordPress functions with the help of a plug-in architecture and by using templates.

github-for-wordpress

  • WordPress Plug-ins: The Plug-in architecture of WordPress gives it the characteristic of allowing its users to utilize its innate abilities further. It gives them the opportunity to solve any problem and extend the utilization of the software so that they can come up with more and more technically developed blogging sites. The company’s database has over 25000 plug-ins, which are ready to be downloaded and installed. These are ready-to-use code segments which when installed perform particular functions, thus giving users the chance to customize their own sites.
  • Themes or Templates: The users are entitles to move over from one theme to another. These themes are readily available in the official website. Templates are designed to modify the design and look of a page. The Appearance tool helps users install themes. Even several codes in PHP, CSS and HTML can be found in the database. While some of the themes are free, others (the premium ones) need to be paid for before using.

Problems Faced without GitHub!

question-mark-300x300In a WordPress site, you may often have the feeling that you are just a plug-in manager. However, you definitely aim to be a developer. Whatever problems you face, you just have to go to the site and download and install the requisite plug-ins from the database. This has its own advantages, as these are ready codes. But when a highly customized site is to be developed, a lot of plug-ins is required and managing those plug-ins can be frustrating. Each and every detailing requires a different plug-in. So, what to do? Well, you have GitHub!

Introduction to GitHub!

Simply put, GitHub can be explained to be just another open source online web hosting service where coders and web developers can share their handiwork, and do several other stuff. They can host their sites; upload their codes, themes and even plug-ins. These materials are available for download to other users of GitHub. It is sort of a repository, and it is not related to only coding materials. You can host any sort of files. The online service can be used for the development of software projects which employ the revision control mechanism developed by the company.

Why GitHub!

OctocatFor developers centered on WordPress, GitHub is a very popular online society where they can interact with fellow coders and share templates and plug-ins. Since it is an online community, developers can share their projects and if required, they can collaborate among themselves or help each other out. Git is famous for their revision control systems, which works even under collaborations. It functions like this: Your original version is named as Revision 1 (supposedly). After you make some changes and save it, it is renamed and saved as Revision 2, and so on. It is a great way to manage your source codes. On a certain level, it can be called a cloud storage mechanism. GitHub offers its users the opportunity to copy similar project repositories, work independently on that and then merge the several sections together on completion of the entire project.

Forking in GitHub

The name may sound complex, but the job involves just copying a repository and pasting it in your own account. The difference with simple copy lies in the fact that when a repository is forked, the connection which the two repositories have with each other remains intact. The advantage of this is that when changes are made to one, they are reflected in the other one too.

Now, in case you want to contribute to the functionality of any existing plug-in, all you need to do is to have the repository forked. Download your project and make the necessary changes. Once all this is accomplished successfully, in order to have your changes reflected upon the original collection you need to issue a pull request. Now it is up to the repository manager to decide whether or not to accept your request.

Generally, Git is designed to merge the changes of the forked version with the original one so that the entire file gets updated. In case, there are any changes made to the original repository after you forked it, they don’t get overwritten while the merge is ongoing. This happens irrespective of whether your version is the latest one or not, in relation to the respective code, theme or plug-in.

Ways to Install Plug-ins

There are even several less popular WordPress plug-ins to be found here. While you have the obvious option of downloading the compressed file and uploading it to your profile, you also have the option of installing them as you would install a plug-in from the official repository of WordPress. The installation is to be done manually, as you would in case of any other site.

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