Why we will never use WordPress

We have often stated that we will never use WordPress. Here are some reasons why.

  1. WordPress was never designed to manage large websites. It may have been recently developed more to accommodate large websites, but the overall structure is still clumsy.
  2. It does not follow the rationale of proper coding. This is the reason why most web developers with a background in programming stay away from WordPress. The whole idea of proper programming is to be as economical as possible with the source code you write. WordPress does not understand this and adds code that is often redundant or simply over the top.

    There is an interesting bit of history about the West vs East. When the Soviet Union fell and more westerners were able to get into the country, many programmers were stunned at the incredibly precise code Soviet programmers used. Because of limited computer technology available – IBM-based systems with limited RAM – they had to code effectively, using the minimum code to extract the best results. Of course, today we can argue that great browsers and ample bandwidth mean a website can be overloaded with junk and still be served. This may be true, on condition that you happen to have a great connection. Most people do not have the connections many of us take for granted.
  3. Code has to be interpreted by humans. No matter what you write in, be it C++, Java, Python, or HTML, any decent programmer should be able to follow the logic behind the source code. If your code relies on overly complex routines, you are either really stupid, or you are trying to brag about your skills. Let’s use simple math to demonstrate it:

    • Bad code: 1 + (2-1) = 2
    • Good code: 1 + 1 = 2
    Why would you need to first complicate things and use BEDMAS rules to know you have to sort out the bit in brackets before you do the rest? The first example is clumsy. The second one is logical.
  4. Source code should be independent of the platform, allowing anyone to edit and maintain it. Our websites are written in native HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript so that you can edit these with something as simple as Notepad. You will not need some fancy software. Of course, we recommend that you use Brackets or Visual Studio, but it is because these two apps require you to write source code by hand. They are also free.
  5. Licensing is required simply to get WordPress. It is stupid to expect one to subscribe to a content generator and then pay for the various plugins.
  6. We often see WordPress sites with CSS openly visible inside the HTML document when an external CSS file is so much better. This is about the worst mistake you can make and it shows a lack of understanding how proper coding works. All of your styling should be done in an external CSS file.
  7. Plugins that do not work anymore or cost money to renew licences are often problematic. This, and the point below, are the reasons why proper web developers just hate WordPress. It is all good and well to use external plugins, but you have no control over them. If suddenly the creator of the plugin asks money for it, you pay it, or the plugin does not work anymore. Who foots the bill for the plugin? In addition, if a plugin is not supported anymore, it may stop working altogether.
  8. Going overboard with every conceivable plugin and its related CSS and JavaScript files is just messy. Are you bragging with the many “cool features” your client’s website has? Ask yourself if the fancy effect you are using is adding any advantage to the viewing experience. Keep in mind that every plugin probably has its own CSS and JavaScript. All of this has to be loaded and executed, slowing down the completion of the first content paint – what you see when the site has loaded.
  9. Security issues. External plugins could be gateways hackers use to take down your website.
  10. Ridiculous ways to use addressing is a common problem. Look at the following:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/stylesheet.css">

    You are telling the HTML file to go to the css folder and use stylesheet.css to style the HTML content. Easy. This is relative addressing.
  11. Now look at the following:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://www.yourdomain.com/css/stylesheet.css">

    Here you are telling the HTML file to go to a domain, https://www.yourdomain.com, locate the folder css, then use the file stylesheet.css to style the HTML content. This is an example of absolute addressing. Let’s say you change your domain name, whatever the reason may be, from www.yourdomain.com to www.yournewdomain.com. If you do not stipulate the new domain name in your absolute address, your HTML file will not find the required CSS to style itself. If you had used the link properly, as long as the structure is kept intact on the new domain, the HTML file will find the CSS file.

    If you are already inside my home and want to visit the bathroom, I do not tell you to go out of the house, come back in again to where we are now, and then go to the bathroom.
  12. You never learn anything about web development and so are not comfortable with CSS, HTML, JavaScript, or any other language required. Most WordPress users have no idea what HTML, CSS, and other web development languages are. Most will not be able to write even a basic line of HTML code. This is why we often refer to them as “WordPress designers”, never “web developers”. In reality they do not even design anything. They simply stick text and images into spaces and publish the document. You can often tell a WordPress designer by looking at how they use MS Word, but this is a story for another day.

Conclusion

Are all WordPress websites bad? Definitely not! We have seen some excellent sites done in WordPress. However, the creators of these sites know what they are doing and understand the limits WordPress has. They are probably already accomplished programmers and web developers. The problem is that the entire web development industry is negatively viewed by business owners who have burnt their fingers because “their daughter’s boyfriend’s brother” said he could do their website with WordPress for ten times less than Company XYZ, specialising in web development and programming. So they paid “their daughter’s boyfriend’s brother”, only to have him lose interest, and they had to start all over again. The money spent on the initial project, and the time and money it then took to correct it, could have been prevented.