Why use WordPress?

I have been designing websites since I read “HTML for Dummies” in 1994. Along the way, I’ve had to learn new tricks as the art improved and credit Pinegrow for introducing me to Bootstrap. However, I still cannot see the benefits of Wordpress.
Last month, a client contacted me to change a few things on their existing Wordpress website. I downloaded 1.3 GB of files plus the Mysql Data to my local sever for development. What a mess!
I decided to recode the website. This took 1.5 days but this would have been less had most of the jpgs not required resizing & optimisation. On completion, I uploaded the 2.7M (more or less 1/500th the size) of files
and then compared the website with the original. Only an expert could tell the slide show had a slightly different transition - to the general eye; everything was the same.
I ask the question - What is this obsession with Wordpress and why is it so popular?


I completely get where you’re coming from. I question every project as to whether to use WP or not and it’s generally 50/50. The main benefits, in my view, are the speed to first page, the built in features and the huge library of plugins. I can build a fully responsive good looking site with some key features like shopping cart, blog, etc. in about an hour. But, the downside is the mega bloat and then the issues when a plugin suddently stops behaving or you want to do something specific which isn’t easy with the combination of theme and plugins you’re using.

Pinegrow opens up a whole new arena where you can build the site very bespoke but still within the WP framework and it will perform extremely well.

There will always be swings and roundabouts which is why I consider all the options with each project and don’t just use the same tools every time.

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It’s not about the hype, but indeed, not all sites need a CMS, whether it is WordPress for which we offer features in Pinegrow or other (Drupal, Joomla etc …)

It is a choice that must be made after reflection by considering the present AND the future (evolution, content management, automation, multiple editors etc …) of your service.


I agree with both sitestreet and Emmanuel. However, I see so many websites that use WordPress unnecessarily.
Content management does not need to be so intricate, and many of the functions of the plugins are available as “cut and paste” from script repositories.
Is it, I wonder, down to the daunting task of learning HTML / CSS etc? Simple CMS is easily learnt using PHP / MySQL, and admin UI’s can be made as pretty as you like.
The emphasis on WordPress by the Pinegrow team and not integrating with localhost to aid development has meant that Pinegrow is becoming less important to development teams. I had high hopes when I bought my initial copy, but I use it less and less now as it gets in the way of speedy development.

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@mxs All the opinions are interesting and I invite you to stay tuned because some very cool announcements that do not concern WordPress will be made soon :slight_smile:


I’ve been creating websites for what feels like 100 years. Previously static with Adobe Golive and Macromedia Dreamweaver, later with different CMS. But never with WordPress. I always had the real disadvantages in mind. My last CMS project ended abruptly when the CMS was not further developed due to Corona. So it was incompatible with PHP 8. This was painful as I had put some energy into the project.
It turns out that sustainability is immensely important for a (commercial) project. So I got more involved with Worpress, and I still see its disadvantages. However, it is also the case that every CMS (also Joomla, Kirby, Drupal, Typo3) has pros and cos. So I’m picking this for the most viable because Wordpress has excellent documentation and there’s Pinegrow :-).


I asked this question to myself, too a few years ago. I create most of the pages with pure HTML, CSS and JS in Pinegrow. They are faster than any WP-Website. But I use Wordpress when a customer wants to do changes on their website themselves. If they want a blog or when I have tu build a shop.

I think Wordpress is so common, because you can build everything with it. And you don’t need programming skills - most of the Webdesigners I know never saw HTML Code, they use Plugins for the simplest things link changing the font type. They can create websites fast and easy in Wordpress for free (I know you can spend lots of money in plugins and the websites they build are bad but the customers don’t know).

But I think the Wordpress area could be over soon, when a new tool becomes famous that lets people build their own website very easy (Wordpress is not so easy for beginners).


Lack of optimization (big size and mess) is not the fault of wordpress but the creator!

That’s too easy. I am quite capable of generating optimized layouts and content. I didn’t mean that at all.

In order to avoid a possible fight, let’s agree that whatever the choice of each one, the main thing is that it corresponds to the need and the expectations of the final customer :slight_smile:


WordPress is free. Virtually every hosting plan that has cPanel (or similar) includes it as a 1-click install, and for people who have no idea how to code, it can offer a way to get a website up and running with some fairly sophisticated features (ex. blogging, logins, accounts, password protection and other “backend” features that aren’t always easy to implement in static sites.)

But, of course, we all know the downsides to WordPress. It’s running on a 15+ year old code base. It’s a blogging platform that was never really designed to build websites. There are thousands of horribly coded plug-ins. In stock form it tends to be very slow. And the old saying, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” is quite apropos when applied to WordPress because it allows people who really have no understanding of web development or “best practices” to easily put together a “Franken-site.” The internet is flooded with poor WordPress websites, riddled with errors, that have horrible SEO, and they simply bring the overall quality of the web DOWN.

But it’s certainly not going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s kind of hard to be a web developer and not familiarize yourself with it if you want to be able to work on any project that comes across your desk. Personally, I avoid WordPress at all costs, and only use it if a client wants a blog on their site, in which case I’ll install it in a subfolder and style the navigation to look like the main site.


WordPress in undergoing a revolution. It is slowly using more Javascript, traditionally PHP was a significant part of WordPress, but there has been a slight shift towards JavaScript, which aligns with the shift towards Gutenberg, FSE, lighter sites etc etc… The big thing about WP: is open source. No wix, squarespace, webflow. Maybe is not fair to talk about a WP from 10 years back.

The front-end portion of modern WP sites may be using more JS and better plug-ins, but it’s still built on an ancient PHP back end. And the vast majority of plug-ins range in quality from decent to awful.

Unless you’re an experienced WP developer who knows how to build a WP site correctly, and willing to spend the $$ on good plug-ins, most of these improvements you’ve mentioned go unused. Ordinary people who install WP from cPanel generally use free themes and free plug-ins, which are often poor quality.

Cloud-based builders like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, GoDaddy and others have their own problems for sure. They’re expensive and they tend to have horrible code bloat. Plus you never actually own your website, which is a HUGE turn-off. Webflow is far better in this regard, but Webflow isn’t cheap.

WordPress is a good option if you need server-side features, and especially if you build your own site with a program like Pinegrow, but that’s a huge learning curve that people who use platforms like Wix and Squarespace are rarely going to attempt.

My personal preference is to build with Bootstrap, or plain HTML, CSS and JS. I haven’t played with Tailwind yet, though I know it’s gotten hugely popular in the last few years. I just hate the idea of styling inside the HTML. Having 20 different utility classes strung along in my code and having to scroll horizontally makes me cringe. AFAIC, styling should be kept separate from structure in web design. That’s why CSS was created to begin with. Anyway, I digress.

WordPress has its uses. It’s just not my personal preference.

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Chiming in a bit late here, but I would add that the benefit of any CMS is that it can allow clients and their staff to add or edit content without knowing code. Access levels for admin and front end users can also be set and controlled. That said, many CMS like Wordpress come with unneeded bloat as they try to be one size fits all. Some clients also may not need that much in terms of functionality. So I think Pinegrow’s CMS option could be sufficient for many clients with simple sites. When my clients do need a full featured CMS I choose Craft CMS as it is designed and architected to be designer, developer and end user friendly. Only what you need is built in, and it is easy to build off of that to add additional features either with it’s internal logical tools, or plugin store. Hope that helps!

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It seems i’m too late to jump in and I haven’t read much of the follow up but some observations on your initial post.

Your frustrations with lots of data to download - Please tell me you didn’t do this manually? With All-In-One WP Export this is done in seconds (import and export).

As for images, this isn’t necessarily solved elsewhere. Content managers still don’t upload optimised images and developers still aren’t building this failsafe into their platforms. This isn’t Wordpress specific.

and finally, your hard work going unnoticed. Don’t think for one second any client cares about the tech. They care about the value it brings them. Maybe the design wasn’t something they cared too much about. Again, not a Wordpress thing.

Regardless, I cannot really see how Wordpress is causing your issues, more so just some up to date workflows are in order.

I’m not a WP fanboy to say the least. I enjoy many tools for many reasons so there is something to be said about right tool for the right job and so maybe if you don’t see the value WP can bring, maybe you can get stuck into some of the other exciting tools out there!

P.S. I can’t help but feel like some of Pinegrow’s announcements will be around JAMstack integrations where lightweight CMS’s run rampant! I’ve used PG more in these cases than any other.