WordPress and PHP

Odd what you find when you decide to just follow comment link after comment link – why do some people seem to think that to use WordPress you must know PHP ?

I’ve used Blogger, MT, Nucleus, Pivot, TongueWag, GreyMatter, and with ALL of them, I found them too clumsy, too cumbersome, too demanding from me in some way or another. They needed to know server paths when being installed, or they had some wierd system of tags that governed what went where on your page, or you could make one tiny correction to a post yet had to sit and watch your whole site rebuild, or any one of a number of other reasons.
That’s why I did my site in plain HTML and CSS for a long while – I knew what was what, and I had full control. With MT especially, the process from clicking ‘Publish’ to seeing my words on the site almost seemed to be that it was taking what I wanted it to say and grinding the words into a format it found acceptable.
The other odd thing is that I have never seen anyone say “I can’t use MT because I don’t know Perl” or “I’m fine with the cgi-bin so I’m running this or that”, so why this fuss about PHP ?

I’ve been here with WordPress now for 5 months, and I know 1 thing in PHP:
<?php info(); ?>
There you go – and that’s already included in a WordPress download anyway !

I’ve upgraded numerous times, I’ve changed this page layout just as many, I’ve installed and removed hacks as I played with them, but I still know sod all about PHP.

I do know enough CSS to alter layouts, but then you need to know CSS with any blogging tool unless you want to look the same as everyone else. I know enough HTML too, but even that knowledge is being reduced when it comes to blogging tools.

If WordPress had required such a level of programming knowledge that some people seem to imagine, then I would not be using it, and I doubt many others would either. I can see that people will scan the forums, and may see code being quoted here and there, but can they not take that few moments more just to understand that the code is very probably there because someone is asking for something that is out of the ordinary, and that they are being answered with the code that they need. See ? You don’t need to know it, someone else will sort it for you!

And sites like those of Brad Choate and Scriptgoddess got hugely popular with MT users because they too offered tweaks and enhancements for the perl-driven MT – but did all the users of that software understand it ? No, they didn’t. I’m certain that WP would also have more such sites were it so widely adopted – there is already the Weblog Tools Collection, Chait.net, Alex King and others offering support as well as the WordPress forums and Wiki.

WordPress installs easily and quickly, it is very easy to change to suit the style and tweaks that you want, and it works quickly and reliably. Add into that a forum where questions are answered in a very short time, and an irc channel where you can actually ask the developers questions, and there really is no reason at all for someone not to consider WordPress simply because they are under the mistaken belief that you need to know a programming language.

All you do need to know is what you want your site to look like, and what to fill it with.

When I wrote my site in HTML/CSS I felt in control of it all.
I still do.

11 thoughts on “WordPress and PHP

  1. I think sometimes that a part of this (a small part) is that the forum (like many) covers a wide range of subjects. Reading it all, a newcomer might think that everybody is hacking it to bits. But that is the forum not to software. My other thought is that the forum is of a very very high standard technically. I haven’t found one that is comparable. But as a starting point for reading up on Word Press for many typical bloggers, it might seem overwhelming. In fact, it might only be a very small percentage of users who have genuine software related problems, or are doing something clever to fit their particular needs. The great mass might be installing and using quite happily without using the forum or knowing anything about php (which I certainly dont)

  2. Pingback: box of chocolates

Comments are closed.