203 days of WordPress

July 27, 2015   

I started building websites with WordPress back in January when I started my new job. Prior to that I worked almost exclusively with Django. I’ve been meaning to write about my experience making the change because it’s not a common one. Most developers start with WordPress and eventually graduate to Django (and then write how much better Django is). Here are my impressions, in no particular order:

  • Plain ole’ WordPress is actually quite nice. In particular, I like how the default themes look 1000x better than anything I could put together.
  • WordPress has built a great community built around it. I wish Django had something like make.wordpress.org.
  • Django’s documentation blows WordPress’ documentation out of the water. Django treats documentation like a first-class citizen. WordPress’ documentation often feels like an afterthought.
  • There are maybe a couple dozen really top-notch WordPress plugins. I have no problem recommending or installing them myself. But beyond that, I’m not particularly impressed. I especially dislike the ones that clutter up your dashboard asking you to upgrade for premium features.
  • It’s really easy to write bad PHP code. Because PHP is not a tough language to pick up, a lot of code written by inexperienced developers is out there. In general, Python steers you in such a way that it’s harder to write as bad of code.
  • I love how widely used WordPress is. In general, when you encounter a problem it’s not the first time and usually somebody has written up how to fix it.
Overall, I’ve grown to like WordPress. While there are parts I wish were a bit better, it’s usually a joy to work with.