Is WordPress Really the Best Web Development Platform?

Is WordPress really the best web development platform?
I am not an expert, but I have used WordPress to develop 3 full websites and a few landing pages. I found it annoying to install a plugin for every small task (even copy-pasting a page). Too many plugins also made me concerned about the page speed. While using Wix, it was basically drag and drop and it took much less time to develop a website.
So is WordPress really the best platform or just hyped? Or is there a way around to use WordPress more effectively? Would love to hear your thoughts!
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I recently decided to move from an old Content Management System (CMS) to something new. I ended up with WordPress. The deciding factor was the ecosystem built around it and the community makes it easy to find tutorials and code examples for whatever you need. But also the economics of the .org was a big factor. But as more and more plugins move towards subscription schemes, even can be quite expensive if you want to do something else than blogging and have to rely on plugins for advanced functionality…
That being said, as I wrote in another group recently, sometimes WordPress feels like trying to use a canoe as a bicycle… It was built as a blog, then repurposed to be used as a cms… 😅

Thakur ✍️ » John
haha yeah I can totally emphasize with that. My first website was a 3 page portfolio and I built it on WP!!

I do WordPress every day, it’s efficient, you just need experience and a workflow.
For organic search there is no contest between the 2 platforms.
I have done plenty of Wix to WP migrations and you see almost instant gains by moving to WP.

Thakur ✍️ » Pritchard
thanks! Yes even I have heard about WP being really effective for organic search!
I have experienced the same… I have migrated several businesses from WIX to WP (and when setup right) they have had new leads within days when they were not getting any via WIX. These platforms are all tools at the end of the day. The tools are only useful to help you reach an end goal. If your end goal is just to have a website that you are not bothered about getting found online and all you are doing is adding a URL to your business card. Then WIX might work. But if your goal is to get targeted traffic, enquiries and potential sales – WP has all that is needed. It is irrelevant how long each takes to build if one will not get you the right amount of targeted traffic where the other will. Look at the end game not the journey… if the end game is to get real world exposure then WP always (in my experience) out strips wix and squarespace for generating real world results that matter.

When it comes to builders I choose Oxygen builder. It was the most flexible I could find and the LTD is VERY reasonable. If you want to progress as a developer/designer and be able to do unique designs and tailored solutions I think is unbeatable. The best combination of drag and drop with coding capabilities…

Kafka » John
ditto, loving oxygen
Me too 😉 Less bloat, great capabilities. And a fantastic, helpful developer community comes with it 😀

You only used plugins because you didn't know how to code in what you wanted. WP is a Swiss army knife, don't cut yourself.
It takes me 5 minutes to install the plugins I need on WP and I can build a 5 to 8 page website with Astra Pro with Elementor Pro that is better than the competitors in that niche in just a day, so how fast does it need to be lol!
Wix might start off cheap but if you scale, it gets expensive upgraded functionality, so adding even basic needs like Google Analytics starts adding up.
The same when you scale for moving content. It is virtual impossible to migrate content, as they own it.
And I could never use a platform where I am not fully in control of the site speed or are limited in what I can do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) wise. That would be crazy!
Wix might be okay for a one-man trade business or shop owner, who are in a very uncompetitive niche but for a professional to use it over WP, would be a joke!

Out of interest, what are your go-to plugins?

I agree, every plugin comes with JS and CSS files and its own http requests.. I use the WooCommerce and i try to minimize the number of http requests by making some development work by myself (creating one plugin for different tasks) but if you use the WordPress alone without the WooCommerce, you won't need more than 5 plugins so it won't affect the speed much.
Adding plugins is a benefit not a disadvantage – you add only the functionality you need. If it came with everything you could possibly do built in, that would make it a huge mess and a nightmare to work with. It's why WordPress is much more flexible and comprehensive than anything else.
Yes some plugins are better than others.
Not even close to the best.
It is good because:
1. It is the fastest way to get a site to market with prebuilt themes.
2. The high number of plugins allow developers to add functionality without additional work
3. Non developers can add functionality they couldn't otherwise add.
4. It has more training and resources than any other platform – which makes the barrier of entry significantly lower.
5. The use of plugins and third party systems allow people that don't know how to code or make websites to look like they can code and make websites – and they won't have the limitations other DIY systems will have.
It is bad because
1. Plugins are terrible technical debt you should avoid whenever possible.
2. It wasn't really designed to do what people are making it do, other development platforms are significantly more elegant and easier to use.
3. Security is awful. By the time you spend the time and money to make it secure you could have built it on something better – if you know how.
4. People saying it powers x% of the internet don't focus on how many of those sites are amateur hobbyist sites not built by professionals. There are definitely some complicated enterprise WordPress sites that are fantastic – but the average WordPress site is pretty terrible.
5. If a plugin doesn't do exactly what you need to do and you have to do development, you may as well be doing something else. Which can leave you dependent on the marketplace and third party systems.
You included in your post that you wondered if WordPress was the best because you used Wix and it was easier. Wix is good for nothing, it is the best at nothing, and shouldn't even be in consideration for anything other than either the worst system, or the best marketing (they are really good at getting users).
For lower tier simple sites if you aren't a dev or designer – Use Duda, Webflow, or Shopify.
For mid tier if you need functionality beyond what those offer, but aren't a designer use WordPress or Shopify
For higher tier and custom designs if you are a dev and a designer use Craft CMS or Umbraco
For higher tier sites requiring a lot of custom development use something like Laravel
For enterprise use Kentico or Sitefinity.
Use Wix for nothing. Only being able to build on one thing is a Vertical Integration problem so don't do that either. You can also always build a good site on anything and you can always build a bad site on anything. No platform makes anything amazing, or makes anything terrible – the work still comes down to you. Some systems just make certain types of sites easier to accomplish.

These may satisfy you:
» Is Anyone Using any CMS Other Than WordPress? How is Your Experience?
» Speed up Your WordPress Website and Avoid Plugins | Add This Script to .htaccess
» Making a Custom CMS is Better than Using a Common CMS eg WordPress. Isn’t it?

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