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To WP or not to? Custom code vs WP.

     
5:39 pm on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hello all

I am building a typical creative-agency website (with pages like "Work", "Portfolio", "Clients" etc...).

It will also contain a blog section, powered by WordPress. I will have to skin the WP blog to look like the whole site, so I thought that, instead of building my custom PHP code to power the rest of the site, I could use WP for everything.

But that means adapting WP to power a very different home page than WP's one. The rest of the sections will probably be OK (topics like "Clients", "Portfolio" etc... that could be like WP Pages). But the home page will be my biggest difficulty, as I must make a custom setting layout be fed from WP data.

I have no experience customizing WP beyond adding basic stuff to headers, footers and side bars.

Is this even worth it? Should I try to make WP power such a site in its entirety, or will I just end up wasting more time?

Can you please direct me to a good starting point.

Thanks a lot
5:42 pm on Oct 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Depends on work schedule, etc... but will offer this one comment: WP needs to be updated constantly as vulnerabilities are discovered (or inadvertently introduced during upgrades). If you will be in control that's not as large a problem as doing it once then turning it over to the site owner (who may not have a clue).
3:31 pm on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I will be doing it, so this should be somewhat OK.

What I really wonder is, from other's experience, is it easier to write your own simple custom publish code for the whole site and just use WP for the blog; or should I try and use WP for all content? I don't need commenting functionality and easy update in the rest of the site, so should I bother using WP?
10:14 pm on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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IMHO - simpler to bite the bullet and put the site into the WP framework. Use WP and edit your theme to incorporate conditional coding: [codex.wordpress.org...]
3:46 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Adapting themes is not that difficult, be patient, you'll see.

My biggest concern on this matter is always security. I don't find WP to be secure enough and you always have to be updating the app as Tangor said. Sometimes the updates makes your whole site to become unresponsive. I don't like that.

The good thing is WP allows you to develop sites without compromising (giving away) your own CMS if you have one. It also helps so others can update the content as is very common and most people would learn how to use WP with easy.
4:32 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Agree with Lorax. Use it as a framework - you can do all sorts of things to customize the home page and build out a site like you describe.
6:03 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I find that it's just easier to plug in a WP Contact form of some sort than to bother building my own. There are few things I can't do with Oliver Seidel's cforms II, for example.

>>I don't find WP to be secure enough and you always have to be updating

This is less and less true. Since the 2.8.? code hardening release, there really haven't been that many security updates. Of course, if you have modules like cforms II that I just mentioned that allow user input, you have another potential source of exploit. But WP core has gotten a lot more solid.
6:23 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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@ergophobe: thanks for update on WP security. I certainly expected that to eventually happen, but at the time I might have gone the WP route there were significant difficulties... and I've since moved on to other methods/products.
6:53 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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OK, so I will go the WP way: make WP power all sections of the website, including home page.

I will probably get a book to help me start.
9:07 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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>> I will probably get a book to help me start.

You'll find everything you need on their website and plenty of help in the forums. Or stop by here again. I'm happy to help with WP questions.
11:05 pm on Oct 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is less and less true. Since the 2.8.? code hardening release, there really haven't been that many security updates. Of course, if you have modules like cforms II that I just mentioned that allow user input, you have another potential source of exploit. But WP core has gotten a lot more solid.

Yes and no.

Since 2.8... so far. As other updates we cannot tell about the future, it seems WP developers learned the lesson, not forgetting the "upgrade now to xx.1" and then "do not upgrade to xx.1" cases where the update was a bigger problem. So, yes, it is better now but we cannot tell about the future releases.

One problem that wp showed in the past is how some plugins became unusable on some updates of the wp itself. I don't know how the future looks on that arena at this point.

But yes, Wp has become more stable and robust.