As someone who has used WordPress on and off for a few years I have noticed it get both praised and crucified across various online opinion platforms. From the developers side they refer to it as a toy or dumbed down version of creating websites from scratch and all the custom stuff is handles by plugins. From the Designers side they say it’s generic and just adds to the pile of homogenized websites on the web. And from the people who use it they say it’s faster and easier that creating and designing websites from scratch. I agree in part with all of these perspectives.
There is no undo button, if you change something and want to get it back it’s very difficult so you must be very careful. It’s an excellent tool for blogging, seo and especially for beginners who are not that technical or may not know HTML and CSS.
Plugins are handy tools for improving website functionality but the more plugins you add, the slower your site becomes.
The other things about plugins is that there is no quality control protocols in place for uploading a new plugin yourself,
so anybody can upload any substandard/incomplete plugin and it can be downloaded easily. The problem with these substandard plugins is that they in fact create vulnerabilities in your site due to their amateur programming which is ironic considering they were developed to improve your site functionality.
The other thing about WordPress is…themes. You find a nice theme that looks great in the demo and really looks like what
you need and then you install and configure it and get the common problem of the WordPress dummy-data.xml importer not
completing correctly (to do with the parser.php file). This is a problem that you really need to know a bit about FTP and editing WordPress root files to resolve yourself. This has happened to me a number of times and is a not a problem with WordPress but with the themes that are being used. From experience this happens most often with more sophisticated themes.
After you overcome this obstacle you can begin customising your site. But be careful about applying css rules to generic HTML element classnames. This seems obvious but when it’s 5.30 pm and you’ve had a bad day the last thing you will want to do it rummage through the theme’s root files and identify exactly where that specific element gets created but trust me it’s worth it
and it will save a lot of heartache later.
A difficulty with working with themes is that each theme is made up of a lot of php scripts and depending on what way
you’ve customised the theme in the dashboard, different theme functions with be run. While this makes customising the theme easier to an extent it also means if there’s anything you want to customise that can’t be done from the dashboard you must dive into the php which is fine but the difficulty is finding the php script that runs the function, that renders the element you want to modify! Basically your WordPress site is made up of a number of php functions which each call different elements of the site to be assembled and rendered on the screen.
Using WordPress primarily through the online dashboard can be very slow since it’s completely dependant to your internet connection, hosting plan and server speed. I would recommend developing the bulk of the site locally using a virtual server like Xamp (Windows) or Mamp (Mac) for the database setup and PHP. Then when you’re happy with the way it looks and behaves upload the entire WordPress site to your domain and from there just use the online dashboard for the occasional update/fix.
To sum up it seems that the things that you’d think are the easiest in WordPress can often be the hardest, but visa versa
the things you would think are the hardest are often remedied with a plugin