What is WordPress and Should I use it for My Site?

September 15, 2015
Business Owners, Designers

Contrary to what many people think, WordPress is not a magical box. I know, surprising, right? Let’s take a look at what WordPress actually is, without all the tech “speak”.

What is WordPress?

Essentially WordPress is a bunch a coding. That’s it. It’s just some pretty awesome people getting together and coding parts of a website that they normally have to re-create every time. For example, to log in. Instead of coding the entire login area every time they create a site, they thought, let’s pre-make it and then just add that code to every site we make. And they did that for every major part of a website.

WordPress is like the cake box of websites. When you buy a box of cake, you can just add eggs and milk and oil, whip it together, and presto! A cake! Otherwise you’d have to get your flour, your baking soda, etc. and make it “from scratch”. Obviously “from scratch” a website would take longer and cost more.

But since every website isn’t the same, WordPress has built-in “hooks” in their coding. It’s not a closed system. So I can create a little coding on the side and “hook it” into the WordPress coding. If you wanted a pop-up when someone logs in, I’d just create a little coding and tell it to do it’s thing when (“hook”) the user logs in.

Cake boxes work in the same way. Sure you can make cake with them, but you can also add a few other ingredients along the way to make your own version of cake or even change that cake mix into cookies.

Should I use WordPress?

Maybe, maybe not. The majority of the sites I create are in WordPress now-a-days, even though I started coding sites from scratch years ago. But that’s only because for most clients, WordPress is a good choice. So how do you choose?

Let’s go back to our cake analogy. If you’re trying to make cake, it’d be a good idea to use the cake mix. If you’re trying to make soft cookies, the cake mix will also work well. If you’re trying to make steak, that cake mix is probably not going to help you.

WordPress works the same way. If most of what you want your site to do, the functionality, is already created in WordPress, use WordPress. If the majority of the desired functionality doesn’t fit with WordPress’s built-in coding, it’s better to start from scratch.

So what functionalities are included in WordPress? Well, too many to list here. It’s easier to list what you want and compare it to what WordPress can do. If you’re looking to start a project, let me know!

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