Using WordPress as a platform

I just gave a talk in Bangalore PHP Meetup about ways in which we can use WordPress as a platform. The following is the slide I used and a little write up about the talk.

Using WordPress As a Platform from Sudar Muthu

Okay, we have seen various tutorials, blog posts etc about using WordPress as this, WordPress as that and even a definite guide to using WordPress as a CMS 😉

What I am going to talk about is how we can use WordPress as a platform to develop PHP applications on top of it.

There are basically two ways in which we can write apps using WordPress.

  • As a Plugin or a Theme
  • As a standalone app

As a Plugin or a Theme

This is the most common way of writing apps using WordPress. You basically write a Plugin or a Theme that uses WordPress API. (This is how RoloPress is developed)

Check out the slide for some examples apps using this technique.

As a standalone app

In this technique, we can make use of our knowledge about WordPress functions and API in our non-standard WordPress PHP-based web applications. The easiest way to use this technique is to use BackPress.


So what is BackPress. Here is the official definition

BackPress is a PHP library of core functionality for web applications. It grew out of the immensely popular WordPress project, and is also the core of the bbPress and GlotPress sister-projects.

Using BackPress, you can include the necessary files and you will get the WordPress utility functions. My most favourites are the security functions. In additions to using the utility functions, you will also be able to get the following features.

  • User role management
  • Complete Plugin API
  • XML-RPC Server and Client
  • Object Caching
  • Database Abstraction
  • Pseudo-cron functionality
  • Full HTTP library
  • KSES: Full security filtering for HTML content

You can see the full list in the BackPress documentation.

I also go about discussing the scenarios where it is advantages and where it is not so advantages to use BackPress. (You can see those in the slides)

So in a nutshell, if you are a WordPress developer and want to use the familiar WordPress functions in a non-WordPress PHP-based web application that you are developing, then you can use BackPress to get those familiar functions.

I am going to use BackPress in a couple of projects, which I am going to start and so stay tuned. 🙂

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