“Rubbish”, I hear people say, indignantly. “Elitist claptrap! Anyone can use WordPress and create a great looking site in a few minutes!”
We beg to differ and here’s why.
It’s a natural and forgivable mistake but a mistake none the less to think that any WordPress project beyond a simple brochure site could be developed by people with no experience in WordPress, regardless of how good a programmer they are and how many pointers they are given by a WordPress developer. I was a bespoke web developer for a decade before I switched to focus on using WordPress and it took me many projects and over a year to become adept at using it as tool to create complex sites. Even now I am still learning lots as I work with it and projects grow more and more complex.
Theoretically, any developer experienced in php / MySQL and HTML / CSS can make use of WordPress but, in practice, it’s not an effective time saving tool unless you have experience with it. There are 3 key reasons for this:
- You need to become familiar with the application in terms of the template system, the cms side of it and under the hood – it’s code base, it’s loops it’s hooks, etc etc.
There are no barriers to learning this but even an experienced programmer needs some time to do this.
2. Every aspect of the application and it’s thousands of plugins have nuances that are not necessarily published and often not commented on so accumulated knowledge saves loads of time as it allows you to anticipate these and head them off.
3. Using 3rd party addons as any job beyond a brochure / blog would require brings a big time overhead as you have to research and test lots of them to find the right one.
Again, experience of using these addons saves loads of time as you’re then in a position to know which ones to use after reading a decent brief.
We believe that any approach that relies upon using non-Wordpress in house developers, as brilliant as they might be in their field, has a high chance of ending disastrously, unless It’s a simple job with no fixed deadline.
We’re really sorry if we sound negative or perhaps even covetous of our knowledge but we’ve seen it happen – Indeed been involved in bailing out agencies in these scenarios.
In summary, yes WordPress is a great tool for developing powerful, great looking sites, quickly and perhaps cheaply but like all tools, these advantages only come into their own in the right hands. Experienced hands.
There is no substitute for WordPress development experience.