Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development



  • 1> WP is Cost Effective
    2> Update Your Site Anywhere You Are
    3> Search Engine Optimization Ready
    4>Convenient Syndication
    5>Responsive Web Design
    6>Upgrade Your Site’s Capabilities Easily
    7>Ideal for Aggressive Content Marketing
    8>Ultimate Social Media Integration
    9>Increased Site Security
    10>Easy Transition from One Designer to the Next



  • None of those except #1 and #2 are core WP, the rest basically rely on what theme you choose, and various plugins.

    WP itself is pretty garbage, non-intuitive for end users, and not easy at all to start from scratch should you want to build your own theme and not rely on a huge plugin stack. There is a lot of magic going on, like meta-data being stored in the CSS file, what?!? And a huge theme waterfall hierarchy, and a billion PHP functions for the API. There is no real theme framework or template system built-in, an incredibly basic and poor custom field manager. They expect you to build themes by using dozens of PHP hook functions and echoing out bits of HTML here and there, making it very difficult to ever track down exactly where a piece of output is coming from. Was it a menu, a widget, a custom field, the page content, a header/footer file, an override template, the functions file, a plugin, WHERE!!

    I could go on and on for days about the many frustrations of WP. But that doesn't matter, because most people only use WP so they can install a huge stack of plugins to actually make it work and do something useful, if you're ok with the huge amount of code bloat you get with it.

    And don't even try to write any custom CSS, because you'll find it nearly impossible to override all the other CSS spit out by the theme and plugin stack, unless you get very hacky to try and force your custom CSS file to be output last after every other style.

    Then when all this is over, you have a basic site with an 18MB size home page, 160 assets being downloaded, 18 stylesheets, 12 Javascript files including three versions of jQuery, etc. So then you have to install some more plugins to try and optimize things, combine files, minimize, compress, and cache things, only to find that the combined JS doesn't work, and the site suddenly looks bad because CSS combined in the wrong order and the cascade isn't working right any more.

    Hey, I work mostly on WP, lol, because everybody uses it, but it's far from praise-worthy, especially for a developer who wants complete control over the site. Or who wants a proper template system. Or who wants to highly optimize their output, or use a proper toolchain for development, staging, and production, etc.

    Use it if you want, but it requires constant maintenance and updates, testing, and review to make sure nothing breaks when your plugins update every 4 days.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    WP itself is pretty garbage, non-intuitive for end users,

    All platforms are bad for end users. Windows is hard for end users. It's not an end user platform, it's a CMS.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    because most people only use WP so they can install a huge stack of plugins to actually make it work and do something useful, if you're ok with the huge amount of code bloat you get with it.

    I see WP every day and almost never see that. WP is fast, powerful, and super easy. The best? Maybe not. But it is really good and extremely broad support and tooling. Most people choose WP because of broad support and skill sets while meeting basic business needs.... fast, easy, powerful. Hard to beat, really.

    It only seems bad if you have non-IT trying to run it and start installing plugins. But nothing works if someone other than IT manages it.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    but it's far from praise-worthy, especially for a developer who wants complete control over the site.

    But again, it's not a platform for developers whatsoever. I think you have a bad impression of a great product because you are wanting a product for a totally different use case and picked the wrong one.

    If a dev wants total control, they don't even want Ruby on Rails, they just want straight PHP or something like that. This is the polar opposite, the purpose of things like WP is to not have developers and not even remotely have total control.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    Or who wants to highly optimize their output, or use a proper toolchain for development, staging, and production, etc.

    A proper toolchain for WP is nothing like one used for dev. All that works in WP. It's the misuse, again, making it seem like a problem.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    WP itself is pretty garbage, non-intuitive for end users,

    All platforms are bad for end users. Windows is hard for end users. It's not an end user platform, it's a CMS.

    WP is designed for end users, it's supposed to be a blog platform for non-devs to quickly grab a free theme and start writing posts.

    WP is definitely not trim or fast or any of those things. Not without optimizing and plugins. It doesn't even have built-in caching no optimizes any of the output.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    Use it if you want, but it requires constant maintenance and updates, testing, and review to make sure nothing breaks when your plugins update every 4 days.

    Again, not things we see in production websites. If you have even remotely qualified WP and IT staff, this stuff doesn't exist. If you don't, no platform can babysit you enough to make it not need help.

    We run WP commercially for other companies, with a lot of stuff that we had nothing to do with, and still these problems don't exist. Because we have WP used as it is meant to be used.

    If you use a hammer to drive a screw, you'll think a hammer is a pretty dumb tool that needs a lot of management to even make work. But it isn't the hammer's fault.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    WP is designed for end users,

    Absolutely not. It's designed for web designers.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    it's supposed to be a blog platform for non-devs to quickly grab a free theme and start writing posts.

    You are thinking of wordpress.com the blogging platform where IT is handled for you. WordPress itself is a software product for IT admins to manage and provide as a service to end users. WP in absolutely no way whatsoever is for end users.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    WP is definitely not trim or fast or any of those things. Not without optimizing and plugins. It doesn't even have built-in caching no optimizes any of the output.

    Those plugins are part of how it works, and give it flexibility. Since it doesn't know what cache it will have access to, building it in would be pointless. It works as designed. You are just highlighting how dramatically it is for IT people, not end users. If you look at WP correctly by what it is and who it is made for... everything you are saying is describing how good it is. From an IT perspective, those things are obvious and necessary. If end users think that this is for them, of course it doesn't seem good because any server of this level is too complex for them to even understand. What end user can explain Varnish vs memcache caching, object caches, reverse proxies, SSL offloading, and such? None. How many even understand PHP releases?

    This is a 100% IT product, and as such, it is fast, stable, and easy to use. Keep the right context, and it all becomes really clear why IT chooses it so often - because it's a very good product that does all the things I said.



  • @guyinpv

    I've used WP for a lot of production stuff and it's been nothing short of excellent with zero issues on any end.

    You must be doing something seriously wrong, or have some weird prejudice or bias against WP.



  • It's the problem with an extensible system... too many options and allowing people to do whatever they want makes things hard to manage if you aren't careful. Look at Linux... if you use a standard Ubuntu or Deepin or Fedora desktop it is so much cheaper and easier than Windows. But they all let you do whatever crazy thing you want, and people love to install anything and everything, twist all the knobs, etc. So people often see them as "hard" simply because they are trying to do something crazy with them. But if you treated them like Windows, they'd be super easy.

    WP requires a certain about of know how, and a lot of "knowing not to" stuff. Knowing not to just random templates, knowing to not try to over customize, knowing not to install many plugins or weird ones or rare ones, knowing not to ignore patching, knowing not to try to develop on it... once you know what not to do, the few things that you need to know to do is pretty minor.

    WP also encourages third parties to host the platform and try to make it seem "trivial" for end users to use themselves as a trick to sell hosting services. Anyone with cPanel stuff is in this boat. WP for people who need cPanel (rather than who want it) is a weird spot, because WP is about the same complexity as hosting is. Why would you run your own WP and not your own hosting? But they do, because it is easy to trick end users. But that's a hosting company doing that, not WP.



  • @Obsolesce said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    @guyinpv

    I've used WP for a lot of production stuff and it's been nothing short of excellent with zero issues on any end.

    You must be doing something seriously wrong, or have some weird prejudice or bias against WP.

    I'm not doing anything "wrong". The point is you have to do a TON of "right" stuff to make WP do what it needs to do. And there is for certain a whole mess of things people can do "wrong" as well. Not updating is a HUGE problem for WP, as recent studies have found most sites using vulnerable versions, low PHP versions, long dead plugins, etc.

    Do you mask or change the wp-admin URL? Do you put the WP core out of web root? Are you able to use a Git workflow or store the custom parts of the theme and plugins in a repo?

    I'm not going to fight about how bad WP is, I already know it, but it's what everybody uses because it has the most plugins.

    If you're a dev who builds the theme from scratch and uses no 3rd party themes, then fine, but that's not what most small agencies and freelancers do. They grab a theme on themeforest and install a 20-plugin stack of their favorite necessities. Then nobody maintains it.

    I'm not mad at WP, it's a legacy system built on old techniques and has the advantage of a huge plugin store. Can't argue with that. But there is nothing much else great about it. You need a large learning curve to figure out its secret sauce. You need extra plugins just to be able to build the custom content needed for pages, or a page builder, ACF, Pods, something. Then a deep understanding of a favored theme framework, if you're into those, and all the possible hook locations. Genesis, Gantry, Thesis, Thematic, Divi, whatever your pleasure. You have to learn the hook system as well as the page builder they may or may not use.
    So every WP site I come across has some new or old framework with an entirely different set of APIs and functions to figure out, because no two sites come together quite the same way. Some have custom admin UIs, some use the Customizer, some are only in the template files, some have child themes, some not. And those that don't use a child theme, you can't be sure whether the main/parent theme was customized or not, so have to be careful doing a theme update.

    We would all like to believe we build WP sites perfectly in April 2019, but in 5 years it will be someone else's nightmare to figure out. Just like every site I'm given that was built 5 or 10 years ago is now my nightmare to figure out. Some were done well, to be sure, and might even have some dev docs to help out. But others you just get 2700 lines of random hook outputs piled into the functions file. You never know what you're going to get. And this isn't a praiseworthy design feature of WP.

    I wouldn't tell anybody to not use it if they want, I would simply say there are other options out there, people trying to improve the CMS space and do things better.

    If WP is your only tool, everything looks like a sloppy plugin-riddled nightmare 😉



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    I'm not doing anything "wrong".

    But you are saying that you are having issues, issues that don't exist when WP is used correctly. How can you have those issues AND not use WP "wrong"? That's his point. You mention several misconceptions about WP... that it will have bad plugins, that it will be slow and unstable, that you don't expect to have to select the needed components, that developers will write code for it, that end users will manage it... all "wrong" from a WP perspective. Those ideas are "wrong" in the WP world and will lead to the issues you are having.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    The point is you have to do a TON of "right" stuff to make WP do what it needs to do.

    Yes, and that is what makes it good and powerful. Just like Windows, or CentOS, it's just a base for IT pros to use out of the box to put together the thing that they specifically need.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    Do you mask or change the wp-admin URL?

    You are not supposed to do that... ever.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    And there is for certain a whole mess of things people can do "wrong" as well.

    Yes, which is why, like everything in IT, only people who know what they are doing should be doing it. Any Windows desktop falls under the same problems. You download a virus, you install Norton, you have problems. Skilled IT people are necessary for powerful tools in any arena. This stuff is simply too much for end users to even understand.

    To make something "anyone" can use, you'd have to make it so limited and bloated. And why, when you have IT to make sure that that doesn't happen with more powerful tools?



  • @guyinpv

    It seems to me that all of the "right" stuff you are doing to your WP installs are actually wrong and screwing it up.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    Not updating is a HUGE problem for WP, as recent studies have found most sites using vulnerable versions, low PHP versions, long dead plugins, etc.

    No, it's a huge problem for people using anything improperly. It's not a WP problem, it's a "who let anyone who doesn't patch run any system" problem?

    Those aren't possible WP problems, the study isn't telling you what you think it is telling you.

    Also, WP has automated update systems, so something out of date means someone isn't doing their job. Bad IT is bad no matter what application you run. Windows, Linux, Word, Excel.... all need competent IT. You can't run IT systems blindly.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    Do you mask or change the wp-admin URL? Do you put the WP core out of web root? Are you able to use a Git workflow or store the custom parts of the theme and plugins in a repo?

    Nope, so that's all good. Thank goodness none of that should happen, so that we don't is a good thing.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    If you're a dev who builds the theme from scratch and uses no 3rd party themes, then fine, but that's not what most small agencies and freelancers do. They grab a theme on themeforest and install a 20-plugin stack of their favorite necessities. Then nobody maintains it.

    Again, you are confusing concepts. 1) Devs don't make themes, designers make themes. 2) Buying unmaintained themes is a problem that IT and the designers need to fix.

    That you have people using systems badly is not related to WP being good. Windows is not bad just because the average end user still clicks on spam email. You mention user problems, but them equate them with platform problems. But the issue is just bad IT that isn't overseeing stuff. That's never WP's problem.

    Here is an easy way to tell whose problem something is: if maintained correctly, does it work well?

    WP when used correctly is amazingly fast, stable, and safe. So when you perceive issues, that implies the issues are with the humans misusing it, since humans who don't misuse it rarely face problems.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    I'm not mad at WP, it's a legacy system built on old techniques and has the advantage of a huge plugin store

    No, it's not. It's modern and works how we'd want a modern system to work. It's an enterprise CMS for IT departments that know what they are doing. You can't get that power from a lesser system.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    You need a large learning curve to figure out its secret sauce. You need extra plugins just to be able to build the custom content needed for pages, or a page builder, ACF, Pods, something. Then a deep understanding of a favored theme framework, if you're into those, and all the possible hook locations. Genesis, Gantry, Thesis, Thematic, Divi, whatever your pleasure. You have to learn the hook system as well as the page builder they may or may not use.

    Like ALL of IT. WP isn't magic, it can't be. It has the expected learning curve for an enterprise app. It's not hard, nor is it for end users. Again, if you fix your misconception of what WP is and thinking that it is a non-production system for end users (nothing for end users is for production by definition) makes all of your "issues" clearly turn into "good design." Everything you mention as being bad is actually exactly what IT would want. Your tone is one of complaining, but your words tell us how good WP is.

    And you don't need all these deep understanding. I run a lot of production WP and have for a very long time, and not one of those things is something we have or need to know. None of it. It's there if we need it, but we don't, not in the real world.

    Most of our sites run with about five plugins, and most of those are not necessary, they just help with management or performance. I think you have seen a few total buffoons try to use WP, someone told you it was something that obviously it is not, and you'd missed how normal people have none of these issues. The system basically "just works" with way less knowledge than you'd reasonably expect.

    I just logged into my busiest, largest site. Number of plugins: 5. One is internal cache, one is external cache management (totally unneeded), one is SSL handling, one is security, and then one for a theme enhancement. That's it.

    WHY do you feel that so many plugins are necessary? Just because you have dealt with someone who is a plugin addict, you can't project that problem onto the platform or other people. That's not a WP problem, it's not a normal problem.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    So every WP site I come across has some new or old framework with an entirely different set of APIs and functions to figure out, because no two sites come together quite the same way. Some have custom admin UIs, some use the Customizer, some are only in the template files, some have child themes, some not. And those that don't use a child theme, you can't be sure whether the main/parent theme was customized or not, so have to be careful doing a theme update.

    Again, end user issues, nothing to do with WP.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    We would all like to believe we build WP sites perfectly in April 2019, but in 5 years it will be someone else's nightmare to figure out.

    Been doing this a lot longer than that, and no nightmares. Nothing to figure out. And I do migrations for other companies. The issues you are seeing aren't normal, even for a WP hosting company onboarding other people's stuff.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    And this isn't a praiseworthy design feature of WP.

    Except, it 100% is. Absolutely. This is what makes WP great. It's why we choose it. It's why people want it. This is totally why WP is praiseworthy.



  • @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    I would simply say there are other options out there, people trying to improve the CMS space and do things better.

    There are, and some good ones. But all that people consider good have the same, or more, of these "features." Drupla, Joomla... if you think WP is complex and can scale out like mad, just wait till you try alternatives!



  • @scottalanmiller said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    I would simply say there are other options out there, people trying to improve the CMS space and do things better.

    There are, and some good ones. But all that people consider good have the same, or more, of these "features." Drupla, Joomla... if you think WP is complex and can scale out like mad, just wait till you try alternatives!

    I've done a lot of work with Joomla, quite a few years. I do like it.

    Not so much with Drupal, but it's interesting.



  • @Obsolesce said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    @scottalanmiller said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    @guyinpv said in Top 10 Advantages of Using Wordpress for Website Development:

    I would simply say there are other options out there, people trying to improve the CMS space and do things better.

    There are, and some good ones. But all that people consider good have the same, or more, of these "features." Drupla, Joomla... if you think WP is complex and can scale out like mad, just wait till you try alternatives!

    I've done a lot of work with Joomla, quite a few years. I do like it.

    Not so much with Drupal, but it's interesting.

    Oh they are fine tools. It's just that they are as big or bigger than WP and even more complex.


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