Using WordPress vs. building a website from scratch

The right tool for the job?

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Member Stevejfr asked:

“Should I use WordPress or build a website from scratch?”

Adrian8 replied:

“I have a few websites with WordPress, and, just like you, when I’ve started to use WordPress it looks like going from one problem to another, but, if you dedicate a bit of time to learn how to do it, you will see that the results are very satisfying.

Just as a small incentive, keep in mind that with WordPress it will be much easier to make your site to look good on any type of device (PC, tablet or mobile phone) than with html, and in our days, optimizing your site for mobile devices is extremely important.”

Rd adds:

“I start with the project in mind first. If you know exactly what you want then WordPress might not be the best because despite the configuration ability you have there is still a basic structure in each implementation.

Sometimes getting what you want into a WordPress structure and available themes is indeed problematic (as you have noted).

I find that WordPress is best when your website fits into a category. Are you designing for a doctor’s office, boutique, DJ, lawyer, wedding photographer…? There are great themes that are highly specific and detailed themes ready to go with functions you want and need, plus others you haven’t thought of.

Your background in HTML and CSS might make you the next great WordPress theme designer if you want to take the time to learn. Creating WordPress themes for scratch is one way of getting what you want while also utilizing what is best about WordPress.”

Webdiva says:

“It may seem daunting at first, but stick with it. Once you’ve used WordPress for a bit, things will get much easier. I have built over 200 WP sites, and have moved just about all clients off of HTML sites (I was using Dreamweaver). The options for functionality are endless, in that there are so many plugins available.

The WordPress community is huge (over 25% of all websites, last I saw), so there are plenty of people to help you, numerous websites with helpful info, etc.

Knowing HTML and CSS is a plus, because you’ll use those, even on a WP site (such as for customizing the stylesheet). Just about everything I build is custom work, starting with Genesis themes (worth looking into). If you buy into Genesis, then you also have access to their forum, with plenty of q&a, step-by-step guidance and how-to instructions for each theme, etc.

Be patient, it will be worth it!”

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