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Thread: Is wordpress a dirty word?

  1. #1
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    Is wordpress a dirty word?

    Folks,

    I've built a lot of big bloated websites over time, all from scratch with hand coded HTML (OK, I do use Homesite), basic CSS, and some javascript. As you all know its very time consuming even with good templates. But I really never had the budget for buying Dreamweaver or expensive Adobe products. Now I find myself needing to build some websites for some new businesses I want to start up, and I really need to be able to spend most of my time on the business :-). I can no longer afford to spend hours every time I need to make a simple page update. So I've been hearing a lot of rave reviews about wordpress as a good solution. I understand it was once just a blogging tool, but now is much more powerful. So I'm wondering what developers here think about wordpress. Is it far too limited? Will it result in frustration every time I want to add a little custom functionality to a page (such as adding a flash video to a page using a flash player SWF)? Whats the verdict on wordpress among you pros?

  2. #2
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    Evil? No. When it can be used to do what you need it to do without jumping through too many hoops and it ends up saving you lots of development time, what could be evil about that? The $64k question is how well it matches your requirements, remembering that there are a gazillion (give or take an oodles) of plugins out there that can add all sorts of functionality.

    Then again, maybe Joomla or Drupal could be a better fit. Spend a little time at http://www.opensourcecms.com/ to see if maybe there's another framework that best fits what you need.
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
    ~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

    eBookworm.us

  3. #3
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    wordpress evil

    Quote Originally Posted by NogDog View Post
    Evil? No. When it can be used to do what you need it to do without jumping through too many hoops and it ends up saving you lots of development time, what could be evil about that? The $64k question is how well it matches your requirements, remembering that there are a gazillion (give or take an oodles) of plugins out there that can add all sorts of functionality.

    Then again, maybe Joomla or Drupal could be a better fit. Spend a little time at http://www.opensourcecms.com/ to see if maybe there's another framework that best fits what you need.
    Well I think I have an answer the "what could be evil", now that I've installed it on one of my domains. What I'm seeing is kind of what I was afraid of. Granted in the past, I'd have to jump through a lot of hoops to build a new page, and establish all the links and images I might want. But at least within the limits of HTML and CSS, the typical common fonts and such, I didn't have to spend a lot of of time establishing the colors and general appearance. especially once I had a couple of pages to use as templates. But trying to do the same in wordpress seems pretty tough. Just as an experiment I tried customizing the default theme by changing the background color. I found options to do it, but they didn't affect the actual background area. Then I tried installing some alternate themes to see if others made it easier, and found many of the themes available had even less options.

    Perhaps once you get to expert level you can do anything, and maybe I should start right out learning to build my own theme if I'm sure of the appearance i want. But I seriously have to consider that the main reason for trying wordpress, as you said, is to save time. Now I'm not sure it will, and I still wonder if others who formerly did everything with hand coding are finding this equally constraining. maybe its just growing pains.

  4. #4
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    Wordpress is a powerful content management system that can be used to develop wonderful dynamic websites. I only use wordpress for dynamic websites. It is easy and fast to install plugins.

    I would suggest trying it out and not giving up for awhile. It does require a steep learning curve. Im learning more everyday!

  5. #5
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    I am by no means a WordPress expert (I'm mostly working in the server-side/database domain these days.) I know there are some generic themes out there designed to be a bare-bones thing that you then apply all your styling to, and might be a good compromise for you -- they handle putting the content into the applicable HTML containers, then you handle making it look pretty.

    Admittedly, though, when I was doing some freelancing, I mostly just used the CodeIgniter PHP framework and did all my own templates and layouts, but I'm not sure any of those jobs would have fit well into any of the common CMS's out there. (Nor do I think I would ever have won any design awards. )
    "Please give us a simple answer, so that we don't have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don't fit the way we want the world to be."
    ~ Terry Pratchett in Nation

    eBookworm.us

  6. #6
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    steep learning curve

    Quote Originally Posted by WebDesignPhx View Post
    Wordpress is a powerful content management system that can be used to develop wonderful dynamic websites. I only use wordpress for dynamic websites. It is easy and fast to install plugins.

    I would suggest trying it out and not giving up for awhile. It does require a steep learning curve. Im learning more everyday!

    I think you put your finger on the problem, and maybe why I'm a little annoyed. You know, I'm a C++ programmer, which gives me a huge amount of power and very low level access to machine level features when code an application. But if I talked someone into getting into it saying it was a piece of cake, they would have pretty good reason to never trust me again.

    Everything i read about wordpress on their own website led me to believe it was as easy as using a desktop publishing program. Drag and drop content, easy customization of everything. Well I've done some projects using the Microsoft publisher and indeed that was pretty easy. I barely had to read the instruction. That's NOT wordpress. I'm sure if I invest the time to become an expert I'll rave about it. But after messing with it all day I've scarcely been able to change a background color, change a font, or do anything with an existing theme but write blog entries. I'm not even using it for a blog. I did find my way to the editor, where I can write CSS. Thats comforting I guess because i used to hand code. But writing CSS is NOT drag and drop.

    Anyway, </rant> :-)

  7. #7
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    Well I've been digging into it, and though I'm still not happy about not being able to actually alter the theme I started with, I'm sure i'll learn that stuff over time. At least I'm getting the basics of hammering out a page. I am pretty disappointing that when you want to place images within text, all you have are the old IMG "alight" attributes to work with. I'd hoped there would be some more modern features that pretty much let you place images wherever you wanted. But anyway, I don't really see any wordpress threads here on this webdeveloper.com site, so maybe it is a bit of a "dirty word" among coders. :-)

  8. #8
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    The final argument is the one by Matt Cutts, the Google guy who tells everyone what Google likes.

    "Google likes WordPress."

    I too was a hand coder, then a DreamWeaver coder, then a PHP coder...
    WTF...
    WordPress.
    It works.

    PS- Check out his vids on YouTube, or his site: http://www.mattcutts.com/
    Good luck and Merry Christmas!
    Last edited by donatello; 12-19-2013 at 07:06 PM.

  9. #9
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    Wow Dreamweaver! I once actually won a Webby award, and one of the promos given me was a whole adobe suite which i could NEVER have afforded out of pocket, and it included Dreamweaver. Like most packages it could only go so far if you asked it to try and take over an existing site, and afterward the pages were a HUGE mass of code. But it sure seemed like a great package for starting from scratch! It had NO issues layering content with pretty freeform placement, and that was at a time when the DOMs were all over the place, and compatibility between browsers was an amazing feat in itself.

    Sadly, I never kept up with any updates, and being recently out of work would be hard pressed to afford a new package (they don't give you much credit for a 12 yeqar old package! :-).

    I guess as soon as I get to the point in wordpress where I've learned to make my own themes, I'll be comfortable. But I still want to look at other tools too. What about Microsoft WebMatrix. I think its free also. Know if its any good?

    I know I know... Google does NOT like Microsoft!!! :-)

  10. #10
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    how can you tell this that WordPress is dirty word..

  11. #11
    i don't think so

  12. #12
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    I don't think so. Wordpress is a powerful CMS which can made any kind of a website o blog easily just by adding plugins for it.
    Halwits - Website and Software Development Company

  13. #13
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    Honey497: "powerful" may be true, but as a former hand coder, the only reason for going to something more WYSIWYG is the save time. I can see that wordpress might save you time once you become proficient, AND if you don't need to have control over your themes without really digging. I'm just not finding that to be true. I've wasted about a week on WP now, dealing with nonsense like its inability to handle GIFs (with any THEME). No, I can't just go to PNGs, as they don't do animations. Then, simple things like trying to change the background color of a page usually mean getting on the forum for the particular theme, and going back and fourth for 1/2 dozen dialogs. When I'm building a site with a text editor, and I want (for example) a teal background, you know what I have to do? <body bgcolor="#33cc99"> done!

    I understand that all new things require learning, but the mark of a good program, to me, ist that if you just poke around for common functionality, you'll have at least an 80% chance of success.

    I guess I'm just old school, but really this has to do with the fact that I want to put some sites together to support some businesses I'm starting, businesses that have more to do with electronic products than web work. I can't afford to have someone do web sites for me, and was just looking for something that will allow me to do so EASIER than hand coding, so i can spend more time on my products. Anything where I have to spend a week just to get some basic appearance elements right is a bad start.

  14. #14
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    I don't think so.

  15. #15
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    Thanks to the op, and all other contributors.

    I was going to post a similar thread: "Wordpress... is that all we need?"

    I'm just an amature in the field of web dev/design. I come from a print media pre-press background (35yrs+) and decided to change my career about 5yrs back and get into web dev/design. I also have some programming experience which I thought could be useful. That idea lasted about a year before I realised that not too soon there would be software out there that could make 'everyone' a web designer!. So what was the point?

    So I gave it up
    and went back into the pre-press industry, dutifuly wiping other peoples arses - ie. people who didn't know the difference between PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign or ms publisher/word and the like - well, everyone's a f*cking artist, aren't they?

    Anyway, I've become a bit sick of performing the 'warm wet towel' wipedowns and the 'ocassional talcom powder feather duster' routine and decided to get back into web dev/design.

    I've only been doing this the last 3 weeks or so, and have come to this conclusion: Things are exactly where I feared and thought they would be at, ie. Wordpress and the like. Well, that's the way is it, so use it to your advantage!

    All because you're a craftsman, that doesn't mean to say that instead of picking up the correct tool to do a job, (ie. a nice sharp chisel) you can't just pull a blunt scewdriver out of your pocket and give it a good whack with a hammer!!! - Job done, and if no-one else knows the difference, who cares anyway?

    That's that way I view a CMS like Wordpress - Use it if it makes your job easier - and you get paid - all good.
    Otherwise get into the coding side, systems like wp are just the beginning.

    I'd like to finish up by saying that this is just "MY RANT" and has no intention to offend anyone.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Last edited by stixstudios; 01-08-2014 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Clarity
    In the process of learning: HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript.

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