319 – Thinking the unthinkable (TTUT). Episode 4: Do we even need WordPress?

“Thinking the unthinkable (TTUT). Episode 319: Do we even need WordPress?” with Nathan Wrigley and David Waumsley.

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Welcome to the 4th episode of our “Thinking the Unthinkable”” series where we attempt to understand controversial opinions on WordPress and web design.

Today’s topic is… Do we even need WordPress?

Talking points

As 57% of the web manages without WordPress, in the wider sense, the answer is no. But 43% use it, including a lot of web design agencies, freelancers and marketers.

It must be one of the longest and most successful open source projects.

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Is it a necessary dependency for them? Would there be any real gain from retraining?

Do clients ask for it, and if they do, why? Need a CMS? Do they? Really?

When is WordPress suitable for clients or not?

WordPress is not one experience.

Certain plugins and themes are forcing my clients to redesign when they don’t want to, and this can be awkward! Worse, I am not sure what they should swap to.


WordPress maintenance and hosting cost. Are these reasonable compared to other CMSs?

The shift in WordPress users. There seem to be more DIYers, and fewer developers.

The issue of not having anyone accountable in Open Source. If it is free, you are the product.

I’ve used it exclusively since 2007, and late last year I decided it should not be the only string to my bow.

I was getting skilled in WordPress plugins and out of touch with the w3c.

Needing to learn Gutenberg prompted it, but was not the reason.

  • Stability
  • Maintenance
  • Control
  • Costs
  • Clients struggling with a CMS

I still use WordPress. It makes a good static site generator. There are lots of Open Source SSG’s via node js, but on this score WordPress’s (simple php core) feels more stable. Lots of movement in the Jamstack movement too.

Via shortcodes:

A good way to learn WordPress (at least the core php architecture). I am now comfortable building and changing my own theme.


Slower builds. I bypass the media library and the menu system.

Dropping certain types of sites . Not ready for static and eCommerce!


For me, it’s a no-brainer. I recall getting into CMSs just because I was really fed up trying to do simple things like login and permissions in PHP and something always went wrong.

I decided I needed to focus upon the website and not really the technology and used Drupal, Magento and finally WordPress.

I can see no scenario currently in which it would not be the first tool that I use.

Sure, all the updates, Gutenberg, FSE etc. can be real distractions, but I still think that it’s a time saver in the end, and allows (with plugins) to extend what I am capable of doing.

Does it cause dependency? Yes.

Do I mind all that much,?No.

One of the pleasant side effects is the community. I guess that there are similar PHP, Laravel, (etc.) communities, but I cannot speak about those.

So, I like the software and the community is now the glue which holds it all in place!

I still like the idea that plugins allow me to offer more to clients than I could do on my own.


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Transcript (if available)

These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.

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[00:00:00] Nathan Wrigley: Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news from the WordPress community. Now welcome your hosts, David Waumsley and Nathan Wrigley.

Hello there and welcome once again to the WP Builds podcast. You have reached episode number 319 entitled, thinking, the Unthinkable, episode four. Do we Even Need WordPress? It was published on Thursday, the 23rd of March, 2023. Just a couple of bits of housekeeping before we begin. If you're into what WP Builds are doing, we would seriously appreciate some sharing.

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We appreciate that very much. If you'd like to keep in touch with what we're doing, head to WP Builds.com/subscribe and explore over there. And lastly, WP Builds.com/deals is our deals page. It's like Black Friday, but every single day of the year, go there and search and filter for your favorite WordPress deals. You never know, you might end up finding some money off.

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Okay, what have we got for you today? Another controversial episode in our thinking, the unthinkable series. Do we even need WordPress? , it's interesting territory for a WordPress based podcast, isn't it? But it really has got some meat on the bones here. Do we need it? Are we reliant on a CMS that in many cases is just too much for our needs? If you've got a simple brochure site, David's experience recently the idea of flattening, learning HTML and CSS over again, getting into JavaScript, getting back to the W three C standards, and in this way, he's discovered a whole new lease of life.

Perhaps you do need WordPress. I certainly think that's the side eye fall on the argument, but have a listen. Give us some comments. If you've got any thoughts on it, we'd really appreciate it. Perhaps there's something in here which would make you think maybe WordPress isn't something I need to use every single time.

I hope that you enjoy it.

[00:03:15] David Waumsley: Welcome to the fourth episode of Our Thinking, the Unthinkable series where we attempt to understand controversial opinions on WordPress and web design. Today's topic is, do we even need WordPress? Nathan, you added this title, so please explain

[00:03:29] Nathan Wrigley: yourself. It's not gonna be quite as funny though, saying it for the second time, cuz just so that, we tried to record this episode and it all went wrong.

But my hysterical joke

[00:03:39] David Waumsley: at this point

[00:03:40] Nathan Wrigley: was yes, you need WordPress. That's the end of the episode, but it falls a bit flat now that I'm using the same joke. But yes, of course you need WordPress because it's WordPress, it's what I've used forever. I absolutely love it. I love all sorts of things about.

But just to give some context, the reason that I came up with this title was because of your heretical, shall we call it , your heretical stance, that WordPress is less important to you now than it was. You can explain yourself and bow and scrape and prostrate yourself during the course of this episode,

But yeah, you've definitely had a change in the way that you use WordPress. And WordPress itself has become almost like of secondary importance. And again, you can, I'm sure you'll explain that as this episode goes along, but for me it really is a complete no-brainer. I think it just saves me so much time.

But we'll get into the details of that. But your, what do you think? Is it a yes, unqualified yes. Or a bit of a. For

[00:04:44] David Waumsley: me it's handy, I think now rather than needed. So I have shifted quite a lot. So 16 years of doing nothing but making sights with WordPress, I thought it's towards the end of last year I needed to Not have this dependency and have other options.

And actually a little bit because of the fact that once you end up in WordPress, you're in that community. You, I learned so much about the plugins and other things that going on in that and get slightly away from other things that are happening, other specifications that's coming out of the W three C.

So I thought it was time to move on with that. And then there's also some business things as well, just trying to dis differentiate myself. , growing number of people who were just jumping on WordPress. So yeah. So it's been interesting. It's been so now I've got a slightly different perspective.

So you definitely, so for anyone who doesn't wanna listen to all of this, cuz there's enough people who do need WordPress for two middle-aged men to chat about it for about . Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that's right. 45 minutes. Yeah. But

[00:05:49] Nathan Wrigley: I would just say David, though, at this point during the course of recording these podcast episodes, we've been going now since 2016, so we've got a fair few under.

Under our belt. All. All I'm saying, David, is you've had these revolutionary ideas before, haven't you? You have. had these changes in direction before. I'm just, all I'm gonna say is if we did this episode again in a year, I don't know. .

[00:06:13] David Waumsley: Yeah. You know that, that's the interesting thing. I'm, in some ways I don't think I've known WordPress as well as I have a present, but trying to move away a little bit from dependency on it has actually got me using perhaps some of the more core features of WordPress.

But we'll get into that.

[00:06:33] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, can I just outline my. My decision making around WordPress. So essentially, the reason I think it's a no-brainer is because. Firstly, it's a cms, really, I guess if you are, if you're into building websites, substitute WordPress for whatever weapon of choice that you're gonna use.

It may be jum or droople or whatever. They all do that job, and that's what got me into. CMSs At the beginning it was just I was learning to use P H P, and so I was learning to, if you like, build my own c m s, even though I didn't really realize that's what I was doing. It was creating login forms and it was creating things like user permissions.

And I just thought to myself, okay, there's quite a lot of scope for me to go wrong here. Things typically did go wrong. I'd try writing the PHP for such and such a thing and usually it would go wrong and I'd have to figure out what was going on. And then onto my horizon came these new things, these CMSs, which really didn't exist before.

So Droople and all of those. And I just thought, this is great. All of the things that are really dull to do. Yeah. I've got them already out of the box. I don't need to do that. And I can now concentrate on the thing, which is of real interest to me, which was putting pixels on a page and having an ability for users to log in and create their own website.

That really is the core of it for me. And WordPress is the one that I've chosen and stuck with. And I think at the minute that's really an argument of numbers. It's got the, it's got the biggest crowd, it's got the, the most plugin. So the functionality that I can drop in without having to be an expert is enormous.

60,000 plus plugins and countless themes and there's lots of change all the time. So it keeps me interested in that way. So yes, for me it's a complete no. .

[00:08:33] David Waumsley: Yeah. And it makes sense because you're not doing the client work in the way that you would've done before. And you know it so well that I can never see an issue.

So I guess what's happened with me is trying to find my feet in, in the business. So when I first did it, the most exciting thing about WebPress is it allowed me into the world of the dynamic web. It allowed me. Do things like memberships and e-commerce and stuff like that, which was just impossible before.

There was nothing out there really other than that. And that's been the link in for me as I've gone on. And really it's because of the client focus. A lot of clients have very static sites, and I've found myself reaching this point where some plugins are starting to fail. They haven't had updates for seven to eight years, and then there's a, it's really coming to the fore.

They need quite a significant change on their website. And actually what's mostly been outputted is a static site. So the CMS side, all of the great things that it brought that excited me and brought me in the first place are often not needed for many of my client jobs. So that's largely where I started looking at it going this is too much code for what they.

[00:09:48] Nathan Wrigley: So is it a function then? A Actually, before, before we get into that, just explain. For anybody that doesn't know, just explain what your new direction is, your new sort of modus operandi the nature of the types of sites that you are gonna be building and the kind of clients that you are gonna be looking for.

Yeah, so

[00:10:06] David Waumsley: most of 'em have been static, and then some of them may have some blog element to it. and that's fine, but nothing as complex as e-commerce or memberships or learning management systems or anything like that. So I'm away from that. So now I realize that really the only sort of dynamic part I need of CMS is something that will.

Maybe create, multiple blog type posts or post types if you like, for maybe products that aren't to be sold on the website. And so yeah, I d because of that and because of the maintenance of having the CMS on top of it, realizing that most people who I gave access to the cms, which is what most clients wanted at the certain point, are not using it.

Or , if they do. They can create some problems where it might have been better for me to have just done it for them. Suddenly made me think, actually I don't need WordPress so much. It was convenient for me. It's not necessarily convenient for a lot of the clients I'm dealing with. So yeah, it led me down the whole different approach of how can I make static sites again?

Cuz I haven't done that since what, 2006? .

[00:11:19] Nathan Wrigley: Okay. So it's a product. The kind of websites that you now want to build which is at the exclusion of lots of different things. So yes, in many ways we've got a lot of commonality there because I, I gave up on building e-commerce sites a long time ago just because I was busy enough and they were the ones that caused me the most anxiety.

I'm sure all identify with that. There's more things to go wrong and there's less things to the, I, it's just difficult. I'm just more difficult. So I decided to quit that. And it sounds like you are the same, you don't wanna be involved in the l m s, the membership sites, the e-commerce sites.

You just want a, you want to be building brochure sites basically. And because of that, you're not constrained by needing the site to be interacting with a server. You, so long as the site's been built and the HTML is in existence and the CSS and JavaScript are somewhere, that's

[00:12:15] David Waumsley: fine with. Yeah, exactly.

But there was also the element of if I'm going to look after a client long term, what they need today might not be what they need in the future. How would you then bring in, let's say they did decide at some point around that site they needed membership or learning management or e-commerce. How would I do that?

And that's been the difficult thing. This is where they do I need WordPress? I thought if I need to do that, I probably do, but I. I think these days, and this is where we've got more options than this, there are better APIs that if you are skilled enough or somebody's skilled enough to be able to add that in, you can add it into your basic static site.

So that was my rationale, thinking that okay, if the client now doesn't need anything more than a basic static site, I can build those a lot more simply and also polish up my skills, which I've got out of touch with. , but I need a root in so someone could add in an API if I don't put them on WordPress.

So that's been my kind of journey with it. But in the , one of the odd things is it. Taught me about all of the new JAMstack static site generators out there, and a whole bunch of 'em, and they, some are growing to become ever more popular and some are already starting to decline. So it's led me in an odd situation to think I'm turning WordPress into my own static site generator.

Yeah. Yeah. So

[00:13:46] Nathan Wrigley: WordPress is still a part of the jigsaw. It's just a. thing.

[00:13:50] David Waumsley: Yeah. Yeah. So I, I'm working on the site at the moment. As far as the client's concerned, it's not a WordPress site there, there'll be no indication that WordPress is involved in any way because it's the, you should look at the code.

It's, I'm skipping out the menu, I'm skipping out the media library. . So everything that's getting out outputted, but actually all my sort of pages and posts are all being created with it. The code that I'm putting in is going into a WordPress header and a WordPress footer, and the SEO that I'm putting in, I'm going to be putting into an seo, plug it in.

So I'm still using it locally. And Yeah, turning it into a static site and then putting it up to a CDN for quick speeds.

[00:14:37] Nathan Wrigley: And how, what are you doing for menus then? If you're pulling out the menu system from WordPress, how's that getting onto the site or is there simply no menu?

[00:14:45] David Waumsley: I don't know.

No I'm, again, we're still relying on I am to make this work. Some WebPress plugins. So WP code boxes particularly helped me at the moment because if I want to do hand code in, if I want to hand code the menu section and put it permanently in the header I can do that within a plugin like that, which allows me to.

HTML and CSS as I would do if I was using VS code, turn it into a short code, stick it into the header of the theme that I'm using, and then I'll just, change the menu items manually as I need them. But it's gonna be represented across the whole of the site. Whereas if you needed to do this with one of the statics site generators, they.

The ability to be able to do that kind of stuff. Create your own sort of templated areas. But I know WordPress and it's so easy to do it. Yeah. . Yeah. So it's a really interesting, experiment for me at the moment. Just doing this first client site where, And, the WordPress theme.

I've learned how to create that, which I, I tried doing that years back 2007 when I first got into WordPress. I did it. I've moved on further. So it's a very old situation cuz in some ways I'm so detached from the WordPress in it. But I've learned more about WordPress, did

[00:16:08] Nathan Wrigley: the whole Gutenberg thing because a lot of people, I think, really started to look at WordPress with a d.

Yeah, through a different set of spectacles when that happened, I, there were a lot of people that were really cross about that. There were a lot of people that thought it was mismanaged. They didn't want their their c m s being upended in the way that it wasn't changed so radically do you see that as a moment in time where that painful distraction, if you like, got in the way and made you start to rethink, cuz I know you, you didn't and still don't use it really.

[00:16:46] David Waumsley: No, I don't. It's easy to blame it all on Guttenberg. It certainly did prompt me to start looking, but in some ways there was already the question about whether WordPress was right for all clients and. I think it's not, as I say, there's some people who are shocked now that seven years on that they're gonna have to invest on something because plugins have died.

And I think plugins have become much more commercial. There's been a lot of acquisitions lots of changes going on with big plugins that you rely on. And that's something that when the client jumps on board with where press, they have to know. They do lose that control over their website, whereas if you hand them over a HTML and CSS website, literally anyone can take that and they could take it off and add in APIs as they wanted.

They could just manage it locally. They could do the same as what I'm doing using WordPress locally and flatten in the sites. So it's

[00:17:43] Nathan Wrigley: interesting because that exact argument is the one. The opposite, isn't it? People use the argument, oh, it's an open source cms, any developer can come on and, take it if a plugin shuts down, you can get another plugin or fork the code and do it yourself.

So it it works in two directions. That doesn't it, but I can see if you've got, basic requirements, then it makes sense. But you're still, you are still using word pressure. You haven't completely decoupled yourself. And presumably is that is that because you're not quite at the point yet where you can yet, where you can do all of these things yourself and WordPress still bridges that gap.

[00:18:22] David Waumsley: No, it's just because actually at the moment it seems like the most stable static site generator for me. Interesting. Interesting. Yeah it's because there is this JAMstack movement where there are a lot, Astro was one that I was particularly interested in, which would allow you working in something like VS.

Code to put in a section and add in a CMS as well, of course, if you wanted to with it. , so I'm combining it, but ultimately I've decided that for what I need, I just need someplace to organize my code. So if I want, I don't feel comfortable writing a whole page out if there's lots of different units, like sliders or galleries and stuff like that, it's a lot of code on one page.

WordPress allows me with its short codes and to be able to section that off with something like WP Code Box. Different files and organize it around WordPress. I haven't found an alternative to that. Okay. That I trust that's been around for a long time, and the stuff that I'm now using in WordPress is the stuff that, from how I understand it, from what Matt Mul wakes.

Answers have been when people have said does the whole of WordPress need to go to react? The old PHP structure that's underpinning it? And he's never thought that was, that's needed. So I think all the stuff I'm using in WordPress, it's more stable than anything else at the moment.

[00:19:53] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Yeah, that's really interesting. The whole guttenberg thing, as I've loved it from the get-go because it fitted. Perfectly. I, in fact, in many ways, it came about exactly the right time. It, there was this moment where I was getting more into podcasting and less into building client sites.

I'm still doing tons of WordPress. I'm addicted to it, but it didn't really matter quite as much to me that there was this new editor, because there were less and less clients to care about that. So I've been following along very closely. I really like it, but I do realize that it was a massive distraction.

And if you. If you had an agency with a roster of hundreds of clients and you've suddenly. Ticking time bomb of the old way of editing is gonna be dying at some point very soon. I can imagine how galling that was and I know for a fact that a lot of people jumped ship and moved away, and the thing that we're asking here is do we even need WordPress?

A lot of, for a lot of people, that moment in time, they went from a yes to a complete no and just removed themselves. I think.

[00:21:01] David Waumsley: Yeah. And where were where GBO really comes into it for me is this, because previous to that I'd followed, if you like, what clients were asking for, which was an easier way to edit their sites than what I was using before with Genesis.

So they wanted more control. So we moved into page builders. Now then you end up with a problem. It's Guttenberg effectively is much more like a page builder. And if you're going to. Trained to do that, you're gonna have to jump on board with it. But the problem with Guttenberg, then you make your clients the Guinea pigs for the changes in Guttenberg.

And that's not what they wanted. When they wanted a page builder, they wouldn't be able to cope with the changes that have come with Guttenberg. So in some ways it was one of these Defining moments where I only jumped on the page builders to make it easy for clients. Guttenberg won't make it easier for people unless they're really into that, because it's gonna change on them and they're gonna have no control over it. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that was the de defining moment, and that's really when the big question comes. , how many of my clients so far have actually needed the cms? And the reality is not many because when you've tried to safeguard against all the things they can do wrong, let's say they're adding a post in, they, they need to know.

To upload an image that's not too heavy to slow it down. Okay. You can guard against it. They need to know to put the right kind of SEO in, they need to know how to mark up headers and sections. So it's quite readable. They need to know that image is going to work on all devices, and that's an awful lot for them to know.

In addition to having the technical side of any changes that might happen to the cms. So mostly I came to the conclusion, let's just quicker for you to give me a Google Doc with your words on it and maybe some images and I'll stick it up for you.

[00:22:55] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah, I can completely see it. It does make an awful lot of sense and you are completely right.

That's my experience anyway about the clients that say that they. A blog or different custom post types or whatever and then never make use of it. Yeah. That was my experience and I dunno what the listeners will be thinking of this. Maybe we're just really peculiar in that respect. But I would always offer the option for the blog and they would always bite my hand off.

That was a crucial part that yes, we're gonna. Have this really effective SEO strategy. We're gonna write loads of blog posts and almost a hundred percent of the time, that turned out to be mere fantasy. Soon as the project was finished and I'd been paid and we'd handed the site over, maybe one or two got written in that sort of flurry of interest about the website.

Oh look, we've got a new website. We're telling everybody about it, so shouldn't we put some new content up there? Go back in a year's. It hasn't been touched for, 9, 10, 11 months. So the CMS portion really wasn't needed, and it could have been a flat site. . Yeah. And

[00:24:01] David Waumsley: I think, the interesting thing about Gutenberg change, and I think it, people have either gone with it saying, okay, WordPress is what I'm doing, so I'm gonna go with it because that's going to be the future and I'm going to learn it and I think most people have been able to do that, or in a situation where it's not going to impact on clients.

For me it was more difficult because for the example, if I did want to make sure that it was client, Guttenberg, I'd be waiting, what are we now four years on from it to the start of being able to restrict them from doing what the heck they wanted with it. Where before you could use something like a c f and restrict what images they put up and where, so there was a, there's a time gap and you, in that time gap, I'd be thinking no.

Let me just two strings to my bow.

[00:24:54] Nathan Wrigley: It's interesting. You have almost, in a sense, gone full circle, haven't you? In the, if you go back before use of WordPress, so 2006 or something like that. Yeah. You were doing, like me, you were writing PHP files and using htm l and c s and creating individual pages and working in your IDE and all of that.

Yeah. Yeah. And then the CMS comes along and you think forget that. That's a waste of time. And , if you like, your skill level of those things probably dropped off a little bit and now you've come back to the point where you want to get back into that again and you wanna strip out a lot of the word pressy stuff that you no longer need.

And I think one of the refreshing things for you must be. That new curiosity about things. Yeah, and we can be curious about the next page builder. We can be curious about what the next plugin does. But for you, it seems like you're just getting really curious about what the internet can do and what the WW three C is saying and all of those kind of things.

Getting back to basics.

[00:25:57] David Waumsley: Yeah, one of the nice things I wasn't expecting it, is we're getting back to hand coding. Just recently I'm putting the site together, so I'm thinking about almost everything afresh. So something like a logo, how I might mark that up. So I'm putting in my own schema rather than, looking up.

What my SEO plugin and does my SEO plugin match this site or whatever. And a lot of the stuff there was a kind of another level. You're looking at the tools that you're going to use in WordPress where I'm going more directly and it's making me think a lot more about the sites that I build.

The one thing about it is that it's much slower . The, a lot of the joy about, WordPress, particularly with page builders was this, visual editor and being able to chuck things in very quickly, and dump stuff in the media library. Suddenly it's become quite a pain to do that.

But the other side of it is that you really get. Think about the code and question everything to get the ed better end product. I think sometimes outta

[00:27:05] Nathan Wrigley: that. So yeah, I'm gonna change the conversation quite dramatically actually, because this has got nothing to do with the code. But I think it's an important piece and it's actually, it's dawned on me when we were thinking about this subject that this piece is probably more important than anything else, and That's the community.

We always talk about the WordPress community, and nobody really knows what it is, and everybody's got their own opinions on it. But for me, it's been a real out and out win. I absolutely loved it. I came to WordPress, had no idea that it was anything other than software. Never heard of a word camp.

I know that, I know there were things like DrupalCon and all that, but that really wasn't for. All these little local meet ups and made real friends that I've met in the real world and really respect and really yeah. So for example we ended up chatting because of our combined efforts in Beaver Builder.

And now we're here, 300 plus episodes into this podcast and that whole community piece, the events, meeting people, being in Facebook groups and in Slack channels, and chatting to people online and doing the podcast and all of that. That is a piece that I would, you're really gonna have to prize that from my Cold Dead hands, , that has become such a key part of who I am and what I want out of life.

Stepping away and saying, I'm never using WordPress again. That seems so difficult to take on that. Alone in a sense, it would be a bit like me falling out with my family and saying, I never want to see you guys again. Yeah,

[00:28:44] David Waumsley: Yeah. So saying, if you've got no mates, you need WordPress, , .

[00:28:50] Nathan Wrigley: That's basically it.

That's what happened. No, it's true. It's true. I obviously, there's people in my local community and I love and respect and enjoy their company and all of that, but this has added a whole. Layer to the cake. It's just, it's broadened my horizons. I've met people from all over the world.

Turns out a lot of them I'll probably never meet in, in real life. Doesn't really matter. I can enjoy their company because of the wanders of zoom and all of that kind of thing. Yeah. And I've just really enjoyed it. It's made me. It's made me a better person. It's given me different perspectives.

And whilst for many people that might be utter piffle, and you might be listening to this thinking I don't wanna be any part of that. It's not such a big deal for me. It really is.

[00:29:36] David Waumsley: , and that's for us, as as people who work in the industry. That's the benefit. It's zero benefit for most clients, I would guess, right?


[00:29:48] Nathan Wrigley: Yeah. Oh yeah, completely. That's very, that's a selfish. . Yeah. That's a selfish motive of mine. Yeah, you're absolutely right. But then again, I guess in a way it's no more selfish than you deciding. I don't want to touch WordPress for this kind of client. I wanna do it all myself. It's just a, it's just a thing you want to do, right?

No, maybe not, because there is definitely benefits for your clients. So yeah, maybe that wasn't the best parallel, but you get my

[00:30:13] David Waumsley: point. I guess the main benefit for a client is if they can bear the fact. Take a little bit longer to build the site. It has got us a lack of dependency.

They can take it to anybody, not just a WordPress specialist. And they can, in theory, it's never going to break. So they don't need to update it and their money can be spent on other things, if you like, for the updates rather than what we have to do in terms of providing care plans for WordPress.

So there's a lot of benefits to them, there's not the. Yeah, I that's really what I think brought most people to WordPress is it allows you to download a plugin or a theme that can do things that you can't do. Does the

[00:30:58] Nathan Wrigley: community piece, does that speak to you though?

Do you have that same. Desire to be in that community and a sort of feeling that if you move away from it, there'll be some sense of loss there, or do is it just it is the software and the community bit. It's fun, but whatever. I can move on and what, whatnot.

[00:31:17] David Waumsley: Yeah, I I think, my entry into the community was particularly with one page builder, which if you like, is, at risk from WordPress itself.

So that mainly where I got my sense of community. I do sense it there, but also, with all big communities and it's huge, isn't it? We've got. Lots of different elements, and particularly, the community is very much, WordPress is the Center for Commercial Activity. So there's some bits of the community I don't like, but I do the fact that there is this, that kind of central thing that it's, I think being in WordPress is.

Given me, like I say, friends, friendships with you and other people that I've met are quite good friendships now. Yeah. That wouldn't have been there without WordPress, without

[00:32:04] Nathan Wrigley: a doubt. Yeah. The thing about that is it's a it's, you could argue it's it, if you remove WordPress, it doesn't remove your friendships, does it?

But for me, I think it's the prospect of being continually. Able to talk to those people about something that I like. So obviously if I stopped using WordPress and tried to communicate with those people, because that friendship is often around WordPress, we maybe run out of things to say, if I know there's other communities out there, there's PHP communities and Laravel communities and React communities and all of that. But I wrote in the show notes I, I'm not convinced they'll, it'll be made up of the same broad church of people. Yeah. I wrote here somewhat condescendingly.

I'm expected, I don't even know if I wanna read this out. I suspect that it's going to be full of unwashed nerds who only can spot a joke if it's got the word Star Trek in it, .

[00:33:01] David Waumsley: Yeah. There's something in that, but also it may be a reason as well for why you don't need WordPress or certain people don't need WordPress.

I think what happens, and it's happening with me is a little bit like the, I would say there are more developers who are moving towards the JAMstack thing, and I think there are more of your. Regular public who want to make websites themselves coming into WordPress. So there's a switch in the nature of the community.

When I was first in WordPress it was a lot of serious developers who I looked up to, who built some of those early plugins. Yes. And a lot of those had disappeared now, gone down other developer route. So I think there has been a shift, you

[00:33:44] Nathan Wrigley: know? Yeah. That way It definitely has changed. And like we said earlier, I think the I think the impetus in some cases, , it's just burnout, they're not interested in the project anymore and there's a few notable examples that we could point to who definitely remove themselves at the point of Gutenberg, but yeah.

Yeah, I just thought that was an interesting thing. So the software is of great interest to me. It's, for its utility, but I wrote in the show notes, the glue that keeps the whole thing of interest to me is the community. I do love that. I really do.

[00:34:16] David Waumsley: We could never get a you don't need WordPress answer from you.

Could we, the last episode ever. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Does this

[00:34:24] Nathan Wrigley: podcast need WordPress? Maybe if we let look. Okay. So maybe if we get to episode 1000 yeah, I will utter those words, but until that point no. I'm here for the long haul. I ex, I anticipate that a lot of the people that I.

Are gonna have that as well. Maybe there's ups and downs. Maybe you don't like decisions that are made. Maybe you don't attend events. Maybe you do, maybe you fall out with people. I, I don't know. But in the end, I feel that a lot of the people that are I've met and a lot of the reasons that I've met them are gonna continue and I'll be enjoying the community for a long time.


[00:35:03] David Waumsley: I think it's a different I think it's an ever-changing, as I say, I think it's shifted out. I think a lot of the developers will have gone the JAMstack route because they'll be interested in the new JS stuff, which maybe keep them in WordPress as well, but they'll just be interested in new approaches and will move on.

And more people, WordPress becomes ever more accessible to people, so it's gonna pull in different people. So I think mainly I've got to a certain point where I thought I, I'd better just. better at the essentials of my job and get bit back to code. Yeah. So it's led me more to following where developers are going.


[00:35:41] Nathan Wrigley: Maybe we should wrap this episode up, but, here. Here's the question, right? You've got three, three choices. You've got yes, no, or yes, no. Sorry. You've got three choices. Yes. No. Or maybe do we need WordPress?

Actually I

would've to say, oh no. Go .

[00:36:02] David Waumsley: I'm gonna have to say . I'm gonna say no, but it's very handy.


[00:36:07] Nathan Wrigley: I'm gonna say yes. Because it's great. Okay, that's that one. Don. Where are we going next time?

[00:36:14] David Waumsley: Next time we're going to talk about clients. Get away from WordPress for a moment and talk about how website clients are impossible. It's

[00:36:23] Nathan Wrigley: Completely gonna be brilliant, . I will see you in a couple of weeks.

Okay then. Bye. I hope that you enjoyed that. Certainly an interesting subject for a WordPress related podcast. Do we even need WordPress? Maybe it gave you some food for thought stability, maintenance control costs. Do I need this? If it's just a simple brochure site, could I get back to static site generation?

All of these different things. If you've got any thoughts, head over to the WP Builds.com website, search for episode number 319, and leave as your comments there. We would really appreciate. Alternatively, WP Builds.com/facebook and search for the episode in our Facebook group.

The WP Builds podcast is brought to you today by GoDaddy Pro. GoDaddy Pro, the home of managed WordPress hosting that includes free domain, SSL, and 24 7 support. Bundle that with The Hub by GoDaddy Pro to unlock more free benefits to manage multiple sites in one place, invoice clients and get 30% off new purchases. Find out more by going to go.me/WPBuilds. And we sincerely thank GoDaddy Pro for their ongoing support of the WP Builds podcast.

Okay, we'll be back next week. We'll have a podcast episode on Thursday. It'll be an interview. We'll also have our this week in WordPress show live 2:00 PM UK time. I'm sure that if you show up, you'll enjoy dropping into the comments. You can even give us a weather report, which seems to be coming the the way to correspond at the beginning of that show.

It'll also be coming out as a podcast episode on Tuesday. Head over to WP Builds.com/subscribe to be update. That's all I've got for you this week. I hope that you stay safe and have a nice week. I'm gonna fade in some cheesy music, so byebye for now.

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Nathan Wrigley
Nathan Wrigley

Nathan writes posts and creates audio about WordPress on WP Builds and WP Tavern. He can also be found in the WP Builds Facebook group, and on Mastodon at wpbuilds.social. Feel free to donate to WP Builds to keep the lights on as well!

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