Developers who manage blogs and web apps side-by-side need to find some convenient method of integrating the two of them together. SaaS providers who post to a blog alongside of an existing web app are probably wishing there was some way to write apps in WordPress and dump all of their other dependencies. Unfortunately, it’s not currently possible to code all but the simplest apps using WordPress extensions.

While there are plenty of options for those who want to create a shopping cart or use WordPress to manage an eCommerce operation, few programmers would want to use it as the primary framework for their next office application or database storage system. That’s where back-end platforms like Ruby on Rails or Node.js come into play. These provide a way for programmers to author sophisticated apps that run directly on server hardware and then expose their output to an API.

Creatively using said APIs can turn an existing WordPress blog into a powerful web app deployment platform that’ll attract new users and may even help to drive traffic to your site.

Joining Ruby on Rails to WordPress

Since Ruby is already used to produce countless web applications, it’s a good first choice for those who aren’t sure of which platform to use. Rails development projects tend to take on a fairly free format, which frees your DevOps teams to write code at any line or column without concerning themselves with what came before or after it. Most web apps have to be maintained on a regular basis with new code added nearly anywhere across the source base, so the ability to put this code wherever needed is very useful.

Since Ruby on Rails can access code written in CSS as well as JavaScript, integrating it with a specific WordPress instance shouldn’t be difficult. Chances are that you’d want to host your WordPress on one subdomain and place all of the pointers headed toward a server-facing web app on a second one. This allows for a degree of isolation between the two platforms, which will cut down on the risk of any sort of conflicts. Ruby on Rails doesn’t necessarily play nice with WordPress at all times, since they might attempt to call the same resources simultaneously,

Once you have taken the opportunity to craft some sort of arrangement that allows your Rails-based app to serve through your WordPress site, you’ll still want to take the same approach to directing traffic to it. The best web app isn’t worth much if nobody ever uses it or even knows it exists, after all.

Promoting a Framework-based WordPress Site

All of the best SEO plugins are platform-neutral, which means that you should be able to promote any sort of site with them regardless of what kind of tools you used to build it. WordPress will still allow you to post content to your blog irrespective of anything else that you’ve embedded into it. That should give you the freedom to continue to use it like normal while still providing a very slick set of features for new users to latch onto. Though word of mouth is going to be important in this space, especially if someone happens to post something about your app on Slack, there’s no substitute for traditional SEO techniques.

Creative developers might even use their blog space as an area to post documentation regarding the apps that they host. Those who host file format converters or office applications probably want to at least share information with their users regarding the types of documents these tools work with. Some people might make sure that even these are search engine optimized, so that their documentation can drive traffic to their blog and, in turn, the tools they offer.

In theory, it’s possible to totally switch content management systems to something that’s entirely based on the Ruby on Rails framework. Nevertheless, Rails-based CMS software shouldn’t be necessary for a majority of web developers. WordPress is popular for a reason, and the large number of plugins for it should ensure that it stays that way for some time. Maintenance of an existing WordPress blog can help administrators to play off of any search engine gains that they might have already made.

The same would go for those who want to develop a suite of web apps using something other than a vanilla installation of Ruby on Rails. Node.js as well as all of the various JavaScript implementations one might think of could run independently of WordPress, especially if they get segmented onto a different server structure using the same techniques. When deployed in this fashion, JavaScript-based frameworks can take advantage of everything that the V8 engine has to offer when run on native bare metal hardware.

Adding Other Frameworks to WordPress

Assuming that all of the work is done on a virtualized server structure, it’s possible to interface WordPress with nearly any other framework that you’d want to program in. Python-based financial scripts tend to work quite well if they’re entirely command line-driven. WordPress can display a mathematical result rendered as plain text input regardless of how it’s done. Any other language could theoretically be used as well.

For someone who wanted to manage a statistical project in R so that they could take advantage of multi-byte support, this kind of design might make a lot of sense. Naturally, most individuals who are only doing general purpose design work are going to stick with Node.js or React if they aren’t already coding their entire project in some dialect of Ruby. A few intrepid coders have actually tried to write entire integrations, though they’re normally not necessary. Enough information gets exposed over standard APIs that something like a hypothetical RailsPress implementation may not gain popularity outside of a specific niche.

Regardless of what kind of framework developers choose, security is going to be a major issue. Open source security patches have made it at least theoretically easy to keep server-side installations updated at all times. Some might find it a challenge to install these constantly, but they at least come as discrete packages.

Best of all, they’re fairly well documented. That alone should be more than enough to keep people coming back to the Rails and WordPress platforms for some time.

Also Read: 5 Useful WordPress Plugins Every Business Needs