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Developers - Wordpress - Please tell me if I'm wrong

Posted on 2011-02-22
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Developers please tell me if I'm wrong...

I have a client which for the last two years I have built bespoke php websites and bespoke php content managements systems for them to edit the content of their websites.

Now they are asking for all my work to be converted to Wordpress websites. I have explained I'm not sure half the unique features I have created can me done in Wordpress.

I have always said to my client is the reason why I create bespoke websites compared to creating Wordpress / Joomla websites is there are no restrictions. Wordpress / Joomla is made for the masses and at some stage you will be restricted by the capabilities of the software. I understand that there are various modules that you can integrate, but if you need to do anything a bit unique you will be stuck.

I assume the reason why my client persists with the "I want Wordpress" website arguement is because he wants it cheaper and be more self sufficient as he understand the wordpress platform.

Am I wrong? All feedback will be much appreciated
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Question by:petewinter
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by:panagiotiss
panagiotiss earned 83 total points
ID: 34952528
i am sorry to tell you that you are wrong.

with joomla that i know pretty well YOU CAN DO ANYTHING you want.

there are thousands free or commercial modules BUT the real power is that you can do your own.
The API is there to help you for most of the things you want
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by:JF0
JF0 earned 83 total points
ID: 34952564
Indeed you are wrong. Joomla has been covered but the same goes for wordpress. You can do anything you like in wordpress and even build your own modules so there is really no limitation.
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by:petewinter
ID: 34952573
panagiotiss - Thanks for your response. Can you send me relevant links of what you are suggesting?
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by:petewinter
ID: 34952629
Okay if I did go down this route I would like opinions on the best open source software. i.e. Wordpress, Joomla, etc.

Seems like Wordpress get the most press?
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by:panagiotiss
ID: 34952698
i use joomla since its first release.

if  you learn it you can see that you can do anything you want.
the administration panel is very easy even for a basic user (thats an advantage for your client)

 www.joomla.org
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by:JF0
ID: 34952743
I think between the two the best one is going to be the one you pick and learn the most. They can both create the same sites - the biggest limitation is you.  Both have excellent documentation, communities, and api's.
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by:Beverley Portlock
Beverley Portlock earned 83 total points
ID: 34952885
One point that has not been covered.....

Joomla and Wordpress do indeed have lots of add-ons and plug-ins and a significant number of these do not properly validate input and thus allow XSS and SQL injection. It is very difficult to tell the good plugins from the bad in this respect.

Of the two, I have found Wordpress's admin system to be the simpler to educate users in how to use. There are aspects of Joomla's admin system that were clearly designed by geeks for geeks. Your average business(wo)man will find Wordpress less confusing.

One final point - watch out for the warning messages telling you the next update is available. Turn them off or else the end user will never be off the phone demanding that he "has" to upgrade - there's an error message that says so in the admin section. Get 20 or 30 sites all flashing that message one morning and see how much real work you get done that day, and the next......
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by:jeremyjared74
ID: 34953055
There is no limit to designing in WordPress. The only thing that will limit you is your ability, or not being willing to learn the tricks and tweaks. I have been using WordPress to design websites, and there hasn't been a request asked of me that I couldn't do.

I don't always go with the masses, but in this case the masses have it right. WordPress has wiped out the competition for a good reason. It is easy for you clients to use, it has endless customization, you can save considerable amounts of time once you "get it". I speak from experience. When I was first introduced to WordPress I was very skeptical. After my 2nd or 3rd website built in WordPress, I was hooked. I get faster and learn more tricks with every site I build. I would strongly recommend it to designers as well as clients.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 34953284
>> I don't always go with the masses, but in this case the masses have it right. WordPress has wiped out the competition for a good reason

Hear, hear.

I'm the best Expert on this site in Dreamweaver and I tell everyone who asks that DW is a dead-end application due to the rise of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.  You do not need to spend $599 on software to design a website or bootstrap non-programmers with canned behaviors if you can instead set them up on WordPress and turn them loose.  While there will always be some market for bespoke development, the days of writing a entire web site from the ground up for small businesses are coming to an end.
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by:jeremyjared74
ID: 34953431
Don't get me wrong, I still use DreamWeaver when designing in WordPress. It is still useful if you know it and already own it. I don't know if I would buy it now that I know WordPress, but I am very glad I have it. Sometimes I am in a hurry and like the WYSIWYG editor in Dreamweaver for creating tables and other elements that are mis-behaving in WordPress.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 34953446
Me too, but there was a time when beginners were pushed into Dreamweaver because you could use it as a WYSIWYG editor and also delay the need to have a real programmer involved in creating a templated, dynamic site.  

But spending all that money and time to start a site today?  No way.
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by:petewinter
ID: 34953459
Many thanks to everyone for your comments. I just want to leave this question open for a little while as really interested in the opinions of as many people as possible. It has been a great read so far.

To date I have been designing websites from scratch with help from dreamweaver and a mixture of tools from web assist and project seven.

My feeling is to give Wordpress a real go so far.

I have been surprised so far though. I was expecting hard core coders to be anti Wordpress and Joomla for traditional methods.

Keeps the comments coming! :)
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 34953490
>> I have been surprised so far though. I was expecting hard core coders to be anti Wordpress and Joomla for traditional methods.

Gotta change with the times, Pete.  Developing inside of a framework is different from doing completely custom scripts but code is code.

I've noticed that the people who are strongly opposed to changing their methods object because they aren't very strong coders and probably write fairly inflexible code.  The thought of having to learn how to do things differently/better is abhorrent to them.
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by:petewinter
ID: 34953576
jason1178 - Very true. My coding knowledge is very limited so I have been sticking to what I know to get the job done. Time for new working methods for me!

One more question which I know is the unknown, will ask anyway...

What's the likelihood of me learning Wordpress only for a new bigger and better system to come out in 6 months? Do you think this could happen or developers will just stick to expanding wordpress?
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by:jeremyjared74
jeremyjared74 earned 83 total points
ID: 34953838
I;m not sure if you are asking me or not, but I will have a go at it.

While I can't guarantee what will happen, I will say this:
There are way too many people involved, and way too much money to be made designing WordPress themes for ti to go anywhere. It will only get bigger and better.
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Jason C. Levine earned 84 total points
ID: 34953963
>> What's the likelihood of me learning Wordpress only for a new bigger and better system to come out in 6 months? Do you think this could happen or developers will just stick to expanding
>> wordpress?

Straw man.  Even if the Next Big Thing came out tomorrow, it would still take years for everyone to migrate over.

I think that WordPress isn't going anywhere for a long time.  As jeremyjared72 points out, the secondary market of people developing themes and plugins is huge and becoming even more monetized so there will be a lot of incentive to keep it around.  The other systems (Drupal, Joomla which was formerly Mambo) are OLD in internet terms, almost 10 years.  CMS systems have a lot of staying power as the underlying concept is solid.  What changes over the years is the capabilities of the added features...AJAX has been a big shot in the arm for things because it is complicated enough that beginners struggle with it yet easy enough for experienced developers to pick it up and run with it and use it to do very advanced things.

Short version:  no one sees WP going anywhere soon.  Even if it does, it's a sure bet that the replacement will lean heavily on techiniques and processes inspired by WP, so the learning won't be wasted.  You'll get the value for your learning curve...
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by:JF0
ID: 34954006
pete just take a look at the showcase of wordpress sites. It is not just a platform for personal sites and small business. Medium and large business use the platform as well, even colleges!

As you browse the showcase you will also get an idea of the limitless possibilities of Wordpress.

http://wordpress.org/showcase/
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by:boosth
boosth earned 84 total points
ID: 34958197
I use wordpress as the basic foundation for all my blogs. It is a very clean and effective system for content management. Once you have all the templates and plugins you need in place it takes about 10 minutes to clone a site. It is also very easy for non techinical user to learn the admin tool.

For more advanced systems I have been using joomla which has a more user friendly administrative system than drupal. One drawback from joomla is that you often have to pay for thirdparty components and modules. With Drupal the third party modules are usually free and opensource but they can be limited in functionality compared to the paid offerings for joomla.



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Author Closing Comment

by:petewinter
ID: 34964919
Many thanks for all your comments. It's been a great help!
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