If you’ve found yourself swearing at WordPress, you’re not alone. Setting up, updating and maintaining your own website can be headache-inducing — no matter what platform you’ve picked. And after working with this platform for over a decade, I realized that people don’t actually hate WordPress. They hate what has cropped up because of its features.
Shitty WordPress code
WordPress itself isn’t poorly coded. It’s a pretty spectacular tool thanks to years of hard work from the team behind it. But because WordPress is open-source, anyone can have at it. Anyone. Including people that don’t know what they are doing, or worse…don’t care.
Before I dig into this, I know that everyone starts somewhere with learning. I used to slice + dice existing themes to learn how it all worked. But I still gave a lot of fucks about the final result.
“Open-source” simply means that you do not have to pay to get the code that creates WordPress. Anyone can go to wordpress.org + download a copy of the CMS right onto their computer. Because of this, there is no regulation for theme developers. And that leads to some pretty poorly coded WordPress themes.
As a non-coder, how are you supposed to know what’s good + what’s bad?
To avoid hating WordPress because you accidentally picked a poorly coded theme, start with reputable companies. I recommend spending 15-20 minutes reading actual reviews of the theme you’re considering. You can learn a lot from focusing on the most recent great review + poor review.
Another option is to look at a demo of their work. Since we provide custom + customized themes, we don’t have a shop demo. When someone is interested in working with us, I provide login details for some example sites that they can tour.
Don’t hate WordPress for the shitty theme you stumbled upon.
The same reason that some themes are horrible is why some plugins are too. There’s no regulation + anyone can build a plugin. What bums me out the most about plugins, is that poorly built ones are usually the culprit behind a broken or hacked website.
To avoid hating WordPress because of a few bad plugins, start by installing only the plugins you need. From there, look at the number of installations a plugin has (a few hundred thousand is a good bet) + the star rating it has.
And if you find yourself swearing at the features or settings of a plugin, find a new option. Seriously. There are so many available plugins in the world that you don’t need to waste your time with a bad apple.
You hate WordPress because of inconsiderate developers
Do you wanna know what I hate? Developers that trap their clients into needing to pay money to make changes to their websites. I’ve seen it so many times, I could scream. A developer sets up a WordPress site with hardcoded sections or actually turns off WordPress features so their clients can’t make edits to the site they own.
What is “hardcoding” + why is it bad?
WordPress uses PHP, which is a coding language that allows it to display content based on variables. It’s why you can create an unlimited number of blog posts with a title, body copy + featured image. When someone hardcodes something, they are placing the text right into the theme code — meaning you need to feel comfortable with SFTP + PHP to change it.
If I had a nickel for every email that I’ve gotten that said something like “Alison, I’m not able to change the hours listed on my site, can you help me?” I’d probably have a dollar. Which is 20 sites too many.
When you hire someone to build you a website, you can expect the keys to be handed over to you. If you don’t have time to work on your site + want to hire that out, great! But that really needs to be up to you. Not because you were forced into it by your developer.
Not being able to make copy changes is enough to make someone really hate WordPress. But that’s not how WordPress works, which means you’re hating it for the wrong reasons.
Ready to love WordPress?
Anyone who has uttered “I hate WordPress” is going to love what I’m working on — learn to love WordPress. This course is for the bloggers + solopreneurs who are struggling to make WordPress work. Whether it’s adding new content, taking care of updates, or making your site your best employee, I’m converting my 12 years of working with this platform into video tutorials + resources for anyone with a WordPress website.
If you want to know more about learn to love WordPress, sign up below + get first dibs on the course. You’ll also get weekly nerd alert emails to help you make the most out of your WordPress site.