I'm not going to really sugar coat this, but WordPress sucks. It's bloated. It's a performance hog. It's not streamlined. And more so, its security is garbage. I've been working on and with WordPress for the most of 10 years now and I have officially come to the conclusion that it's it should not be used to make websites, despite the fact that it's trying to be more of a content management system and less of its original purpose, a blog.
Originally, WordPress was a fork from the blogging platform MoveableType (MT) since MT was slowing in development and needed more support. So the fine folks at Automattic decided to fork MT (since it was open source) and re-brand it as WordPress (or at least take much of the foundation and re-format it, which is common with open source things). Since then WordPress has quickly evolved into one of the top-rated site platforms that serves as the foundation for a majority of sites across the world today. But, it sucks and I'll tell you why.
It's based off of PHP and MySQL #
WordPress is written in PHP and stores all of the data within MySQL. I can't argue that the marriage between PHP and MySQL is a glorious one, but the downside to that is performance. While there has been tremendous strides in performance within PHP and MySQL, it's still a massive resource hog and pails in performance when it comes to servers dishing out static HTML assets and files. Overall, it's not terrible but when you try and get down to the nitty-gritty of performance, you can only get so far.
It's B-L-O-A-T-E-D #
It's a security risk #
So, this has become not as terrible as it was, thanks to WordPress dropping support for older versions of PHP, as well as, the PHP community dropping support for older versions of PHP which were become a massive security risk. But that doesn't mean that other open source plugins haven't caught up yet. So if you have a WordPress site that is using a specific framework or plugin, there's a possibility that you can't upgrade the version of PHP since the plugin or framework isn't compatible. And remember that white screen of death? Well that's gonna happen so you better be able to roll back if needed. And if there is one thing I hate, it's cleaning up a hacked WordPress site. Keeping a WordPress install update to date as well as all of the plugins, is the safest way to prevent a WordPress site from getting borked by some bullshit. But if you can't the you can at least install a security plugin (oh, the plugins) that can help a bit.
It's kinda...weird right now #
When WordPress rolled out it's "blocks" editor (a.k.a. - Gutenberg) it completely ditched it's classic editor and converted to the new one. Which is fine, but what about all the other frameworks and customizations? Oh, well, here's the "classic editor" plugin (yes another fucking plugin) to keep things the same with out destroying your site. Ok great, well how long will that last for? Well according to Automattic (the makers of the classic editor plugin) "will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary." Well, what the fuck does that mean? I can tell you that a majority of frameworks that I've seen so far (cough, cough...muffin builder) are probably not going to give two shits about trying to adopt to the "new standard" of WordPress if they have a fallback option. But...isn't that...bad? I know at one of my previous jobs, every single client site was a custom install of WordPress and they were floating the idea of not updating past WordPress 4.x since the risk of every single breaking (literally, thousdand of WordPress sites could come to a grinding halt), which again, is a security risk. So instead of thinking it through, you might be working on some WordPress sites that have the new stuff, but others might be using the old stuff. The more that I look at it, the more I feel that WordPress is slowly turning into Drupal.
Ok so, it's not ALL bad #
Don't get me all wrong. I've made a pretty good living developing WordPress sites. And when it comes to needing a framework that can manage content easily and is SEO friendly, you really can't beat it. The biggest attraction is WordPress's super easy and flexible theming and templating structure. They've made it super easy for anyone to pick up and get rolling with it so you're not wasting time with trying to organize files and .tpl files. But it doesn't take much for any WordPress site to run out of control. The ease of extending a WordPress site with plugins and frameworks can be a recipe of a montrous headache. So tread cautiously when using thinking about WordPress for a possible web project. It's a hot buzz word right now in web development, so be considerate when thinking about it. My general rule is if you are going to need a site with product info (non-shopping cart), a some pages that you want to update yourself, then yeah, WordPress might be a good fit. But if you are looking for a ecommerce site or just "simple site with a few pages" then go to Squarespace.
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