+27 62 167 5170 daniel@webdevdan.co.za

Since the internet began, websites have been created in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. These programming languages allow for layout, styling, functionality and basic scripting to build the websites that we see and interact with daily. Before I get into what WordPress is exactly, I’m going to share some of my experience as a software developer that will hopefully illustrates the pros and cons of developing websites in WordPress.

I have been programming for about 7 years now and I have learnt languages like Java, C++, C#, MATLAB, Python and worked on platforms such as Android and others. If you’re an experienced developer, you’ll know that a lot of those languages are very similar and if you know one, you basically know them all. However, knowing a lot of languages doesn’t exactly make you an decent software developer. What makes good software, is attention to detail which requires a lot of time, effort and coffee! Without WordPress, the development procedure would play out kind of like this:

  • You would write the HTML for the website saying where everything should go and what is should say.
  • Then, if your website required some functionality like accepting user responses, you would need to write some JavaScript to create that functionality.
  • At this point, your website still looks terrible, so you need some styling and that is where CSS and libraries like Bootstrap come in.

With all this work and debugging and fixing up, this is already at least a week of development depending on the site and complexity of the website. This is where WordPress can make the development process extremely fast, efficient and affordable.

WordPress is a website development platform that attempts to remove the tedious and time-consuming aspects of web development. Creating pages and blog posts in WordPress can be done by simply typing in the content that you want to display on your webpage. This “WYSIWAG” (What you see is what you get) approach is what made and continues to make WordPress such an effective blogging platform.

Although for the most part it may seem like a half-hearted effort to have a WordPress website, there is a big difference between a normal WordPress website, and a WordPress website done right. There are several features that WordPress offers which are often unnoticed and/or underutilised. However, by taking advantage of these features, the website is just that much better. A particular feature that I enjoy is that custom code can to be added into the website and hence, the functionality of the website can be greatly enhanced. However, this does have its limitations. Websites that have a strong dependence on their backend and databases should be developed using traditional methods as apposed to WordPress. This is because the developers need the freedom to interact with the backend directly and not via other platforms.

Styling using traditional website development methods can be a long, complicated and tedious process. However, the wide range of WordPress themes allows you to have the basic styling of the website done beautifully. The only challenge is choosing the right one based on price, functionality and customisation. Most WordPress themes allow you to add custom styling to give you that extra flexibility that is required.

So, all in all, WordPress is a platform that allows websites to be built quickly, easily and at a reasonable price. When it is done right, you can create a remarkable website using this platform. Although it has its limitations, it is still used extensively throughout the internet and is a suitable choice for many applications.

Have you used WordPress before? What is your experience with it? Leave any questions or comments that you may have down below.