Is WordPress the end of the website gravy train?

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When I built RenderReady 1.0, I designed the site from the ground up using PHP and MySQL.  Needless to say, I am no web designer.  In fact, this was the 4th website that I created, and the other sites were simple HTML static pages.  This site was the first website I created that was truly dynamic, or pulls information from a database in real-time.  It was going to be horrible, but my belief was that if I build good content, people wouldn’t mind the crappy site.

For 6 months, I studied tutorials from a site called phpvideotutorials.com hosted by a guy named Leigh.  This dude is super-smart.  Following one of his quotes, “this stuff is harder than rocket science.  I know because I asked a rocket scientist if he could figure out how to code in Cake PHP, and he couldn’t.”  I absolutely agree.  True web design is an art.  It’s a machine where the engineer individually crafts every gizmo, crank, gear and cog and a great engineer will find a way to make it all work with a simple push of a button.  I studied each of his tutorials and needless to say, I was not only blown away by what he could do but certainly realized that I stood no chance in duplicating his abilities.  It was a completely new language and I was definitely outside of my own land.

In the end, the website did happen, in a crude way though.  I hired a lot of help, especially from a guy in England named Ashley.  Hired him to build sessions, a blog, admin panels, everything to make a truly dynamic website that could be easily adjustable on the back end.  I literally spent about 1 year and over $1k learning, developing, and updating RenderReady 1.0 to get it to the point where it was.  Though this was good, it was extremely expensive, time consuming, and lacked a lot of flexibility.  I can certainly understand how a website like Facebook made a ton of money.  It was easy to use, easy to update, and you didn’t have to touch a line of code.

I finally made a jump to WordPress and when it comes to custom websites, and I will make this prediction with solid confidence: this may be the end of the days of custom websites.  In fact, this may be the end of the freelance web designers as a whole.  There is no code to really worry about in WordPress.  Everything is built in.  If there is advanced code to worry about , another developer has created a FREE plugin to assist you.  I bought this theme off of themeforest.net for $35 and I was up and running within 2 weeks.  Let me state that again.  I was up and running within 2 WEEKS!  The time spent building a website is now really about building a website, not about writing the back-end code to make it functional.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is the world is quickly changing.  The barriers of entry are being devoured by the internet by the people who want to challenge the idea that you have to pay a fee to be invited into the party.  Wordpress has made it completely and financially feasible for everyone to have their own store, blog, company website or whatever.  Now it’s about the artist, the entrepreneur, and the visionary.  There is no excuse to not be as awesome as you can possibly be and let everyone know about it.

So for everyone building the barriers of cost, time and resources to create your website, throw those excuses away.  Wordpress is here to save the day.  Pick up a theme and remember, the website will give your visitors an excellent way of viewing your content, but it’s the artist that’s going to give them a reason to come back.

4 Comments

  1. Mike
    11 June 12, 3:19pm

    What? I can’t edit and correct my comment after posting it?
    Guess I just found a perfect example of what I meant…

    • 11 June 12, 3:57pm

      I do it more because of all the crazy spam.

  2. Mike
    11 June 12, 3:16pm

    The problem with this approach is, that you’ll always end up having a “kind of messy website code” displaying a “kind of blog-alike website”. (Not saying that your website isn’t nice as is – but it looks like wordpress on first sight.)

    The harsh truth is, you’ve spend too much time waiting and paying for a guy that should have coded up your website in a week or two… if he had only known how to do it.

    See, a rocket-scientst may not know how to code CakePHP… but if he’s smart, he will do a hell of a good job hiring the right people for the job. If he (or she) fails at hiring the right people, things go wrong and – in the end – result in nothing more than a learning experience that has cost more time and money than needed.

    I would say that next time someone shouts “framework” (here: CakePHP) to you, shout back asking “can you only code with that or do you know how to REALLY develop websites?” After all, a framework can only do that much… but it’ll always be limited to the knowledge of the one coding something based of that framework. And if that someone doesn’t know how to recreate the framework’s magic, you’re already headed for trouble. Same goes for WordPress by the way, as it’s actually a plain and simple “blogging framework” based on CafePress. (Yep, Matt started with something he “borrowed” from someone else.) Anyway…
    Next time, ask a REAL pro. #JustSaying

    If a rocket-scientist need more than a month to build a rocket, he’s either inapt to build one at all or he’s lacking the resources needed. As websites live of content and code, resources aren’t a problem. Think about it… then recheck your learning experience and please draw the correct conclusions.

    ~ change of subject ~

    On a completely other hand, I wanted to drop a “thanks for the great tuts” in here too, as I am currently hugging the “waterdrops on beer bottle” thing (Tut 8). I really appreciate your knowledge-sharing. Keep up the good work… and if some day WordPress isn’t enough anymore, drop a line before hiring someone. Asking for advise doesn’t cost money, and I’m sure I could offer some goodness when it comes to (among other things) web development. 😉

    Best!

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