Welcome to the Treehouse Community

Want to collaborate on code errors? Have bugs you need feedback on? Looking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project? Get support with fellow developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels here with the Treehouse Community! While you're at it, check out some resources Treehouse students have shared here.

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today.

Start your free trial

WordPress Getting Started with WordPress Getting Started with WordPress When is WordPress Not the Best Solution?

I don't understand when Wordpress is not suitable.


Could you explain about this sentence in the video?

"If you have a site running computation on the latest levels of toxic chemicals in the atmosphere then a CMS based around posts and pages probably wouldn't be the best solution."

Thanks, Ross

4 Answers

Inevitable Walrus
Inevitable Walrus
10,032 Points

Wordpress is extremely powerful and the plugins offer a wide range of stuff with minimal effort, but for really complex projects (like for example a user portal based on a database meant to keep track of purchase orders, notify clients when their products ship out, update inventory accordingly, etc.) you might find limitations. There are certain elements of the back-end in Wordpress that you don't have access to, and certain raw PHP files are obfuscated and hard to edit, so it's not necessarily the best choice if you need this extreme level of customization. To be realistic, if you can't think of a situation where Wordpress would not be appropriate then that level of coding (where you'd need to avoid Wordpress) is probably a bit ahead of your current skill level.

For most websites that only require lower levels of user interaction (contact forms, multiple pages, maybe even a Dropbox upload form or any other functionality offered by a plugin) then Wordpress is simple and effective. It's only once you get into deeper PHP/MySQL/etc. functionality that you might find Wordpress can't do what you need it to.

Sue Dough
Sue Dough
35,800 Points

I disagree. I have built much more complex projects than you mentioned with no issues. I have also built apps in other frameworks and languages before.

What parts of the backend are you referring to when you say you don't have access? What files are obfuscated? WordPress is strongly documented that in fact its almost the opposite of what your saying.

"It's only once you get into deeper PHP/MySQL/etc. functionality that you might find Wordpress can't do what you need it to."

Please provide examples.

WordPress can scale to millions of users. The only limitations are hardware. At that point then debating the stack is just a cost decision. Wordpress.org runs on WordPress with no issues. With PHP7 and the new MYSQL scaling is going to start becoming a thing of the past because performance will go up so much on most applications.

What Zac, is trying to say is, using Wordpress may not be the solution you are looking for in your site.

the example you sited is a site that is gathering data about toxic chemicals. Wordpress is a CMS that due to its nature may not be the best thing to use since the nature of Wordpress is not gathering computational data.

Inevitable Walrus
Inevitable Walrus
10,032 Points

Wordpress is free, but hosting is not. The website I made for my company can be run from a very low-maintenance/low-cost server. Running it on Wordpress would inherently be more resource-intensive, even if I was trying to make an ultra lightweight Wordpress site.

You're talking about Wordpress like it's some kind of catch-all for web design. That's really not the case, which is even illustrated in the video that the OP was asking the question about. There are definitely applications where Wordpress is applicable, and if you're designing something like a portfolio, Wordpress is for sure your best bet.

If you're trying to design something either much smaller (as per the project I cited in my previous post) then Wordpress might not be a wise choice. If you're trying to design something massive, like an Amazon.com-esque e-commerce site, Wordpress might not be a wise choice. If you're tackling every project with Wordpress, that's great, but in terms of time/efficiency/cost, there are other options to be considered. To imply it's some kind of panacea of web design, every single CMS is useless in comparison, is just narrow-minded and wrong.

Inevitable Walrus
Inevitable Walrus
10,032 Points

I made a website that my company uses internally to monitor our inventory as well as track incoming orders from clients. While I probably could have found a way to do it on Wordpress, it would have been a real nightmare. Finding and editing the appropriate files, utilizing and tweaking plugins (perhaps making my own), and then there's the cost. It just wasn't viable to look at this project and say "Yeah, Wordpress is a good fit."

The simpler solution, and the solution we've been using for a long time, was to make it from the ground up. Making major functionality changes to Wordpress in order to jam our project into it wasn't practical. If a large portion of your project is gonna be spent deconstructing your CMS back into more of a blank canvas then you should probably reconsider your CMS.

Sue Dough
Sue Dough
35,800 Points

"Finding and editing the appropriate files"

Seriously? When do you not have to do this?

"utilizing and tweaking plugins (perhaps making my own)"

This has to do with your limited knowledge about WordPress. Making a plugin is just like writing any type of code. Its just a package or whatever you want to call it. You can use purely PHP if you wanted too and none of the helpful native WordPress functions in WordPress. So saying you can't do advanced PHP/MYSQL in WordPress does not make literal sense.

"then there's the cost"

WordPress is free software. Its is licensed under GPL. It is free as it can get. Maybe you confusing WordPress.com with WordPress.org.

"Making major functionality changes to Wordpress"

This is far from true and is terrible practice.. There is almost no need to ever change part of WordPress core files and this is strongly discouraged. Please provide 1 good reason why someone would have to do this.

I would suggest to do more research on the subject and less assuming. You have yet to provide any good examples.