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Why learn web development when there is wordpress
May 31, 2022
Why learn web development when there is wordpress? At a glance it might seem like WordPress and other similar services make web development obsolete. Anybody who wants to make their own website can just use wordpress. They’ll end up with a good-looking website that works fairly well, for a reasonable price. And they don’t have to know how to code at all.
By comparison, hiring a web developer or learning web development seems expensive, time consuming, and unnecessary. If you’re already familiar with wordpress, you can even offer your services to people who want a website made. You can build it for them in wordpress and deliver a decent website in just a few days. You can be earning money right now instead of waiting until you’ve mastered web development.
But is that really the best way to go? After all, it looks like web developers are still in high demand, so there must be something they’re doing that wordpress can’t, right? Keep reading to find out!
WordPress, the Good and Bad
There’s no denying the popularity of WordPress. It’s been around forever, and people can use it for free. It is, by far, the most popular content management system in existence anywhere.
42.9% of all websites in existence use WordPress. That’s a market share of 64.1%! And it’s not even close- the next most popular CMS is Shopify, used by 4.3% of websites. Squarespace is used by a whopping 2% of websites. So, WordPress is a giant. Nearly half of the websites in the world use WordPress.
In fact, only 33.1% of all websites don’t use a content management system. So ⅔ of all websites are using a CMS, and nearly half of all websites are using WordPress. If you know how to use WordPress well, there’s going to be a huge demand for those skills.
So, why learn web development when there is WordPress? Keep reading to find out!
What A Web Developer Does
Simply put, a web developer builds websites. When you say it like that, it sounds like a web developer does the same thing that WordPress does. But that’s a bit misleading. Web developers write the code that creates websites. They can do everything from creating the user interface to writing the code for the back end functions of a website. Those are the parts that connect your website to servers and databases, and make it functional.
We have to point out here that this means WordPress has to hire web developers. All those wonderful templates you can choose from? The websites you build through WordPress? Somebody had to write the code that’s used for that. Web developers are involved in every WordPress website.
That alone is one answer to why learn web development when there is WordPress. WordPress doesn’t eliminate the need for web developers. It’s a tool created by web developers. So asking the question why learn web development when there is WordPress is a bit like asking why learn to cook when there are restaurants.
WordPress Has Disadvantages
Have you noticed recently that nearly every small business website looks the same? That’s because they’re all using WordPress. All those listicles you click on when you’re scrolling through your social media feeds? Yep. WordPress. That’s why they all look the same, too. Why learn web development when there is wordpress? Because businesses want websites that stand out.
WordPress may offer a bunch of different templates, and to be fair they can look very nice and professional. But still, if everyone is using the same templates, there’s just not going to be much variation out there. Or, more specifically, if everyone is using WordPress without knowing how to code, all the websites are going to look a lot alike.
So it may not be accurate to say that WordPress has disadvantages, so much as using WordPress without learning web development has disadvantages.
Why Learn Web Development When There Is WordPress
WordPress is a tool. It’s not a replacement for web development skills. It’s true that you can create a website through WordPress without learning web development. But if you do, you’re missing out on what WordPress is really capable of.
Using WordPress without learning web development is really going to limit you. WordPress themes are generic, and designed for mass appeal. That means that, while they look nice, they’re limited in their functionality. Why learn web development when there is wordpress? Because it takes a web developer to really get the most out of wordpress.
Your website’s functionality will be limited to whatever that theme supports. That means the theme you choose will determine what your website can do. It also means you might be stuck using a theme you don’t actually like, because the one you do like doesn’t support the functionality you need.
Web Developers Make Themes
All of those themes are made by web developers. Even the themes you buy online from other sources that can be used with WordPress are all made by web developers. Again, it’s kind of like saying you don’t need to cook because there are restaurants and frozen meals. You can get by on those if you want but you’re probably going to regret it. Why learn web development when there is wordpress? WordPress uses web developers!
Web developers are the ones making those themes. But when the themes they’re making are general ones, meant to be appealing to largest number of customers possible, they just can’t give them the kind of flexibility and customization that makes for a great website.
More importantly, if you’re considering a career in web development, you might want to consider that you would be able to make your own themes as a web developer. You could make generalized themes and sell them online. Or, you can make your own custom WordPress themes.
Web Developers Can Use WordPress
WordPress is a free, open source tool. When you pay them, you’re buying a theme or paying for a domain name and hosting services. The actual software behind it is open source and free.
WordPress is a tool. A web developer can use it to aid in developing a website just like a chef uses a stove. Using WordPress without learning web development is like heating up a frozen meal in the microwave and calling it cooking. It’s technically true but it’s really not the same as the real thing. Why learn web development when there is wordpress? To make a better website with wordpress than you could otherwise.
WordPress Themes Have Limits
Anytime you design something for generic use and mass appeal it’s going to have a lot of drawbacks. Walmart t-shirts are cheap and widely available, but they don’t fit well and they wear out fast.
WordPress themes are no different. They look nice and clean, and they’re usually affordable. But they aren’t optimized for speed or for functionality, and that’s important.
If you’re building an online store, you need your website to be designed for that purpose. It has specific functionality requirements, and using a theme that isn’t optimized for use as an online store is going to cause you problems.
Even the themes that say “best for online retail” and things like that aren’t actually optimized for speed and functionality. They’re optimized for people who don’t know anything about web development to build a website with.
Think about that for a minute. The whole idea behind the themes available on WordPress is to enable people who don’t know what they’re doing to build a website. Imagine trying to design a guitar that will make beautiful music even if the person playing it has never learned how to play guitar.
Maybe you’d get something that could play something generic and inoffensive, like elevator music. But it also wouldn’t be interesting or even desirable to listen to. That’s how it looks when you use WordPress to build a website without learning web development first.
Why Learn Web Development When There Is WordPress: Customization and quality
So, what can a web developer do that you can’t? The answer is, quite a lot. Even if you’ve mastered all the basic functions of WordPress, you still can’t really compete with a web developer in terms of knowledge or skill.
All you’ve done is mastered a bunch of tools that are meant to help you do something you don’t know how to do. And you’ll end up with something that really doesn’t work as well as you need it to.
Web Developers Can Create a Customized Website
One of the best reasons to learn web development is the ability to create a customized website. You aren’t limited to the themes created by other developers. This is about more than just the way the website looks.
It also affects the speed and functionality of the website. Simply put, a customized website, optimized for speed and functionality, is always going to work better than one that relies on a generic WordPress theme. It’s true that a lot of small businesses are more interested in something quick, easy, and cheap when they’re just starting out. They’re happy to buy a WordPress theme and build their own website.
But inevitably, as their business grows, they start looking for web developers to build a new, custom website for them. They tend to realize quickly that the generic website they’ve built just doesn’t meet their needs. Especially as the traffic to their website increases, that lack of speed and functionality starts to make the user experience unpleasant.
They’ll contact a web developer to build them a website that works better, runs faster, and will more easily scale with their business. In the end, they’re going to spend a lot more money than if they had just hired a web developer right from the beginning. Why learn web development when there is wordpress? WordPress can’t replace a web developer.
You Can Create and Sell Themes
Another answer to why learn web development when there is WordPress is that you can create and sell your own themes. Instead of waiting until you find a client who needs a whole website built, you can just start creating your own custom WordPress themes and selling them.
It’s clear that demand for WordPress themes isn’t going to slow down. Everybody needs websites and no matter how hard we try to convince people that the best solution is to hire a web developer, some people will always choose what looks like the easier path.
So, why not steer into the skid? Learn web development, build WordPress themes, and make some money off the people who won’t hire you as a web developer. You aren’t limited to making themes, either.
You can also make WordPress plugins. Every website is going to need plugins at some point. If you want to work with WordPress, you’re better off being the one making the themes and plugins than trying to build a website without learning web development.
You Aren’t Limited To WordPress
If you learn web development, then you won’t be limited to WordPress. Even if you’re building themes and plugins for WordPress, you’re still limited to what WordPress can do. You’re much better off learning web development and freeing yourself from those limitations.
You’ll be able to add features to your website that you might not have been able to use in WordPress. You won’t be limited to what WordPress will support. That means you have a lot more flexibility to optimize a website for functionality.
You’ll be able to develop custom software for your clients, too. A lot of companies need very specialized functions on their websites. You just can’t do those kinds of things in WordPress. If you’re only able to build websites in WordPress, you won’t be able to do what they need.
What that really means is that there’s a lot more work available to you if you learn web development. If you only know how to build websites in WordPress, you’ve limited yourself to a small client pool. When you learn web development, your client pool expands to include pretty much anybody who needs a website built.
Why Learn Web Development When There Is WordPress: Maintenance is Easier
If you’ve been hired to build someone’s website, you’ll probably also be expected to maintain and update their website as well. This is where learning web development gives you a massive advantage over using WordPress.
WordPress Themes Use Page Builders
To make things easier while you’re building the website, most WordPress themes use page builders. They’re simply and quick to use, so it makes sense. But they make updating and changing the website a huge pain, especially if it’s a bigger site.
If there’s one section on the website that’s on every page- something like the company’s contact information- and it needs to be changed, that’s going to take a while. In a WordPress theme, you’ll have to go in and make that change on every single page.
That’s not that bad if there’s only five pages. But if you have 50 pages on your website, it’s going to take you a while. A web developer could just create a block, set it to update across the website all at once, and get that change done in just a few seconds.
So, learning web development may require more work now, but it can actually save you a lot of work later on. It’s a skill that will make your job a lot easier in the future.
Web Developers Create Custom Solutions
A web developer creates a website designed specifically for what their client needs. That website is always going to work better than one that’s created for general use. There’s just no comparison.
A web developer paired with a good web designer is always going to make a website that works better for the client than anything they could buy from WordPress. That means that, if you learn web development, you’ll be able to create better websites for your clients than you could if you just used WordPress without learning web development.
That, in turn, is going to mean you can earn more money. You’ll land higher-paying clients than you would otherwise, because the product you create is better. You’ll be in high demand. In the long run, you’ll be much better off.
Why Learn Web Development When There Is WordPress: Prebuilt never works well
A WordPress website, especially one that just uses the stock themes available, is a prebuilt product. Prebuilt products are always inferior to custom made ones. If all you want to do is write a blog, it might not matter. But for almost any business, a customized website is essential for them.
The need for a quality website is only going to grow. A business’s online presence is a huge factor in their success. As more businesses recognize this, they’re starting to invest more and more money into their websites. That translates into high pay and more jobs for web developers. If all you know how to do is use the stock WordPress themes, you’re missing out on all of that.
WordPress Themes Can Look Unprofessional
There’s no way around it: some WordPress themes just don’t look good. They have a dated, unprofessional appearance. That’s because free WordPress themes have been used since the early 2000s by almost every blogger out there.
So now, some WordPress themes, instead of looking sleek and professional, remind you of a poorly written internet diary. That’s a real problem. Paying clients want a website that looks professional, not one that they could’ve made themselves.
And that’s what it really boils down to. Anybody can use WordPress. That’s part of it’s appeal, after all. But in order for it to be used by anybody, it has to sacrifice a lot of features. It can’t compete with what a real web developer can do.
If you want to make money by building websites, you really have to learn web development. Since anybody can use WordPress, most paying clients are going to want to see you building a website yourself, not using WordPress.
Why learn web development when there is WordPress? Because WordPress is limited. It’s functionality and speed are nothing compared with what a web developer can make. The end product of what a web developer can create is far, far better than what anybody can make using the stock WordPress themes.
Plus, you can end up making a lot more money by learning web development. You’ll find more and higher paying clients who want a custom website. You can also make money by building custom WordPress themes, which means you can actually make better use of WordPress by learning web development.