The WordPress Content Management System (CMS) runs over a third of all websites, and two thirds of all CMS sites. That’s more sites than any other system — even counting simple hand-coded sites. So the vast majority of small business web design projects focus on professional WordPress development. Yet why is it so popular?
Because WordPress is hands-down the most flexible, user-friendly content management system around. It’s also free and open source.
Unlike proprietary platforms (e.g. most online site-builders), open source systems let programmers inspect and modify the core code if needed. As that can be risky though, WordPress lets us create plugins and (visual design) themes to expand it more safely.
As a result, WordPress is supported by a massive community of designers and developers. The many hundreds of thousands of (free and premium) plugins and themes available can cover almost any vaguely-common need. When they don’t, developers (programmers) can create new ones.
It’s worth noting that not all “WordPress developers” can program, though. Some are designers who only build websites at the component level (i.e. plugins and themes). That can be a problem when technical issues arise — and they do, occasionally. So it is worth checking that your “WordPress developer” can code.
I’ve been building WordPress sites since 2004, hand-coding websites since 1997, and programming a lot longer than that. So yes, I have those technical issues covered.
Pete is one of the most creative, reliable, competent and ingenious people it has ever been my very great pleasure to work with. There is no problem he can’t find an ingenious and unexpected way out of, and he has a work ethic you could bend horseshoes around. I cannot recommend him highly enough for his breadth and depth of knowledge and his total commitment to whichever project he is currently undertaking. — Ian A. Web Design:
How Can WordPress Development Help?
WordPress is the standard solution for simple editable websites, but can do much more in the hands of an experienced WordPress developer. Some of the plugins available change and expand it extensively. So the common goals of professional WordPress development include:
- Appointment Bookings
- Event Ticketing
- Membership sites
- Community Forums
- Directory websites
- Sales Funnels
- E‑learning sites
…and a lot more. Would you like to see how it could work for you?
Can WordPress Do Everything?
Whilst WordPress is a great starting point for most professional web design projects, like any technology, it has limits. Sadly, some WordPress specialists don’t seem to recognise this. So I’ve watched several “specialist WordPress agencies” fail (expensively) to replicate things I deliberately built without WordPress because it wasn’t the right tool for those jobs.
Then again, being popular, WordPress attracts a lot of invalid criticism, too. Most of that is either just a sales pitch to sell you an alternative, or geek-snobbery. Some developers just don’t like the language WordPress is written in (PHP, which runs most of the web). Others complain about things that are easy to change with plugins or a little coding, because they never bothered to find that out.
So it’s true that a basic installation of WordPress has flaws, and no software could never be perfect for everyone. That’s easy to criticise, but superficial — it can be fixed if you know what you’re doing. WordPress makes that relatively easy. Most alternatives don’t.
Still, to be clear — 99% of small business web design projects don’t remotely stretch the limitations of WordPress (let alone PHP). If someone defaults to “no WordPress”, they have an agenda. Usually one that will cost you a lot more, as bespoke coding is far more time consuming and expensive. Whilst coders (like me) enjoy coding, I’d prefer to provide what you really need.
Still, if — after due consideration — WordPress doesn’t seem to be your best option, we can look at other systems and/or bespoke web development. There’s only one way to be sure, though: