WordPress “snobbery” could be leaving developers behind

WordPress in the Enterprise.

It still comes as a surprise to hear that many “serious developers” refuse to use WordPress, calling it a blogging platform. Are these developers missing out?

I would say so, and it’s largely borne out of ignorance and the fear of change.

WordPress is the fastest growing digital platform in the UK and it is estimated that nearly half of UK companies are now using WordPress. That’s a huge market to miss out on, and underlines it’s serious position in the marketplace.

WordPress is chosen for a number of reasons, and all of those are divorced from the role and needs of web developers. In fact, the anti-programmer and anti-IT geek stance that WordPress kinda takes is driving a dramatic skills wedge between the needs of UK organisations and traditional programming staff.

The most popular reasons for companies using WordPress are its ease of use, not needing to know HTML skills, cloud-based management and it’s extensibility (add-ins that make it work better). WordPress also has the largest support network and development community in the world, and to cap it off it comes Open Source and license-free.

Adoption by GOV.uk, BBC, Time and many others is changing the game as WordPress is now seen as a credible alternative to expensive (and often proprietary) content platforms – and not just for small sites, there is growing WordPress adoption by some of the biggest companies to underline their core digital strategy.

We’re living in a transitional age where IT and programming staff are suffering loss of work, migration to the cloud and the democratising of digital services. This is killing-off many of the small-time web agencies and freelancers who have lived on the back of providing “magic, black box skills” to dis-interested organisations.

Is it time, then, for the army of old-school developers to put down their decade-old tools and learn WordPress? Yes, and at the same time learn some marketing speak, a touch of client services and adopt a more efficient development/project management model.

By Martin Dower