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When shouldn't I use Wordpress and why

Hi guys,

I have been using Wordpress almost on every website. When I tried to look for other platforms like Drupal Joomla etc. People all said Wordpress equips with various of plug-ins, and that is absolutely correct.

When I need a contact form, OK, search for it and grab the one with most stars. SEO? No problem, plug-in does it for you. Even a back-to-top we can find in the plug-in form.

I think we may become non-brain like a script-kiddy this way yet somebody always whisper to you: never reinvent wheels.

When I was looking for a job, it always happened in technical tests. I know nothing about bubble sort, pointer, or css hack which Treehouse doesn't covered.

Maybe we should learn to self-taught, reading those text-only documents and get our hand dirty.

Not coming here to blame anyone, just feel something goes wrong.

What do you think?

8 Answers

Zac Gordon
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

You make a good point here about Treehouse covering more advanced programming concepts [although CSS hacks I'm not personally in such support of] and those advanced topics will often show up on interviews that require a technical test. We have some stuff in the works that will address this kind of thing.

I'm not really hearing a question here of whether to build your own CSS from scratch or not [although that discussion has come up] but there is a valid question of when to use WordPress over another CMS or other approach. Although I teach (and use) WordPress a lot, I am always out trying other CMS and have worked with and taught a lot of other ones as well.

Here are some of the other CMS I'm currently down with:

  • Perch - Great light weight one that's evolved well over the years
  • Statamic - A flat file approach to a basic CMS
  • ExpressionEngine - What I usually use when I don't want to use WordPress or Drupal
  • Craft - I'm really excited about this new one on the market from one of ExpressionEngines lead plugin developers

Notice that none of these are free. WordPress, Drupal and Joomla get a lot of the attention because they're open source and free. There are a lot of other (good and bad) CMS out there that charge for their products.

To your point on being self taught, I say YES! Taking charge of your education and filling the gaps where you see fit how you see fit is important and quite possible. We do have people who get jobs just based on what they learn at Treehouse, but for many students, Treehouse is just one of the ways they learn. (And we hope a good one :) )

Good discussion

Spen Taylor
Spen Taylor
13,027 Points

I like to write scripts myself for the sake of learning, but I know that if I was to build a client website I wouldn't bother writing it entirely from scratch!

I think we should know how to write the code, but in practice, if you can reuse code snippets or plug-ins then do so :)

There is no substitute for knowing how to do things yourself. That being said, creating your own CMS is a huge undertaking. The security considerations alone would put off all but the most advanced engineers. I use WordPress because I'm a developer and a designer, not a security expert or sys admin. This actually gives me more time to do the things I do better.

When it comes to frameworks, plugins, etc. I almost always alter them to suit my own needs. So I'm still using HTML, CSS and PHP on a daily basis. So WordPress is as lazy, or advanced, as you make it, I think.

It isn't the best option for every project but it does work for many. If the default structure (posts, pages, categories and tags) doesn't work for you, though, you should look elsewhere.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Just look at how many multi-billion dollar international companies use WordPress and ask yourself if you know better then these companies with all their resources? I looked at making a CMS, its a ridiculous idea when you realise you can use Wordpress as just a CMS and build whatever you want on top of it. It's still essential to know PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

If you can become an expert in Wordpress, you'll be able to make very powerful sites.

I think this is the same as the "Should we use calculators" type of question. Sure knowing how to do calculations is fundamentally important and should be done before you use any time saving technology. And that is exactly what you are trying to do, save time, by using the right technology you can get more work done, more accurately and earn more money.

Of course if you do not understand the fundamentals of the technology you are using how will you know if the output is correct? Well that's were reading, practicising, discussing, and trying new things comes into play.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Wordpress people tend to live in a Wordpress bubble.

The choice isn't between Wordpress and writing a CMS from scratch but between Wordpress and another CMS. Chose the right tool for the right job.

David Warren
David Warren
1,803 Points

What other types of CMS's are there? Pro's and Con's?

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Pah...I like my bubble James Barnett. :P. It's cosy!

Drupal is better then WordPress but takes a massive amount of time to master and, it is the most powerful CMS out there....so I've heard.

Thank you Everyone.

I summarized the opinions here:

  1. We use Wordpress depend on what we want to do. We are not CS experts (most of us I suppose), let the Wordpress do it for us and focus on what we are good at.

  2. As you proudly told your mom : I know how to program. It's ok if you are more interested in Design, but as our developers we'd better become an expert in our major. Wordpress somehow, is like a giant API, yet it's not made by us, but we do know what is happening inside it. Plus, I have never thought about building a CMS from scratch.

It's a topic beyond Wordpress, my summary is not a conclusion. I'd like to hear further more discussions : )

I've found this discussion really interesting so far because I'm a complete WordPress addict. However, through seeing what other people have said, I don't think I use it in the same ways. I consider WordPress as a framework that has all the basic tools already in place, then I use PHP, CSS, etc to create something from the ground up. Sometimes I'll make use of the plug-ins but I'd much rather write my own and everything you see and interact with on my sites are pretty much hand coded by me.

Maybe I've misunderstood what others have said, but from my perspective I'd consider WordPress a skill that is there to be mastered. Although all the sites work from pages, posts, categories, etc. this gives you a plethora of ways to create something truly unique because it's only the very basics that you need to take advantage of.

I suppose I'm reiterating what Sharon Walls said; "So WordPress is as lazy, or advanced, as you make it" but I think this is so true.

Edit to add: I have yet to do Zac Gordon's WordPress lessons but am wholeheartedly looking forward to them! Hopefully I will learn a lot more. And if I've glossed over any of the points he makes there, that's why!