The Wasteland of Wordpress

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In our latest episode I go off on a bit of rant about the landscape of Wordpress. There are a lot of great things in Wordpress, but they are hidden in a wasteland of garbage. I promise to create an introduction at some point -- in the meantime, there's a practical video guide.

We talk about my experience building new sites, including the world of affiliate links.

If you've used Wordpress, what is your experience with it?

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That's the usual "open source" wasteland really - code gets piled on top of code and it's about as "open" as the sand is - go sift it all to find the gems, they are totally in the open. The only way to actually escape this sort of "open" is to acknowledge that lines of code are a liability not an asset (the more, the worst) and then to have actual ownership (as in: responsibility) of code - pretty much what V together with the WoT does really.


With a plugin architecture there's no real way to gain control of the wasteland. This is created by third-party vendors. It'd be like Microsoft trying to reign in the loads of garbage produced for their platform -- which even failed when they opened a store. Thus a controlled pluging marketplace would also not likely fix the issue.


Not sure what you have in mind re controlled plugin market place but hat wasn't my idea at all, no. Taking control of the (any) code that one uses, indeed. But that doesn't mean trying to/being concerned about what rubbish someone else might add. The point with V is simply that "adding" by itself doesn't do anything really - it matters who does it and it matters in a very personal manner aka to what extent and in what way you (the user) trust them (or not). Basically the view that you have on some software or another depends on the people you trust (and that's your choice, of course). In turn, it's really the network of people reading the code and signing it (or not) that matters most, not just the code itself nor some central controlling authority. The point is that the one running the code on their machine should have control as to what code they run, NOT that "Microsoft" (replace with any code-producer you want) should have or even attempt to have control, that's about it.


If you believed it's a wasteland then it sure is just like couple of other developers think who clearly judge it via code or the problems they think the PHP has. I've made lot of custom WordPress themes for majority of our clients as it offers more flexibility and has good user experience/content management system which our clients absolutely love. But ofcourse we also make lot of SaaS products for which we use React or Vue and let's agree creating a content management system from scratch sucks. There are time constraints as well as the client budget. You won't sell a bike to the customer who came to buy a car but instead you suggest a cheaper car alternative which they can consider. As for us we like WordPress cuz it saves most of our time, we don't like wordpress themes very much but there are few really good themes too. The WordPress plugins feature is absolutely amazing and I haven't seen any content management system with so much variety for the plugins or third party integration. Imagine creating a content management system using Laravel or React from scratch for a cheap client who also wants various SEO features. Would that be productive? These days you can also use headless WordPress and connect it with your favourite JavaScript framework. We recently created an e-commerce android application for which we are fetching data from the WordPress REST API, which is super cool. People don't like a product just on what language or framework it's built on, they like it if it solves there purpose with ease. And I think WordPress do this pretty amazing. Not to forget WordCamps which welcome everyone :)


I work with WordPress. Despite all the valid criticisms about the codebase, the compatibility to obsolete PHP versions, etc, it is an easy-to-use piece of software that the end users appreciate. (Or was, before the Gutenberg update).

The problem with WordPress is the ecosystem it has created and a mentality that anyone can build any functionality onto a WordPress site, by just piling more and more plugins. A lot of bad code, useless database records, plugins that don't play well with each other, the whole "shortcode" concept, content lock-in from page builders, themes or certain plugins, the list can go on and on.

In my opinion, WordPress is (was?) perfect as a blogging engine, where all you need is an editor that reminds MS Word (I mean Tiny MCE, of course, not Gutenberg), and a template to shape your site. But due to its popularity, people ask more and more customisation, more and more functionality that should not be handled to a blogging platform, and on the top of all, it has to load super-fast the thousands of lines of JS on their cheap hosting. WordPress gave birth to a whole ecosystem of plugins that do "everything" and created unreasonable expectations from WP users (or WP agency clients). WordPress is good for a blog with a few static pages and comment system and a nice responsive template. E-shops, Swiss-army knife themes, builders, etc, are pushing the original codebase way beyond its limits, in my opinion.


I think Wordpress has done a lot of amazing work for the Web as a whole, being a self installable program and being a decentralized way to get people into Web publishing. But nowadays, I would personally not use it to write since it doesn't support markdown.


I don't use the editor to compose content. I write all my content in Markdown (well, MDL now) and then copy/upload the HTML into WordPress.

I use Elementor to create landing/about pages.

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