Branching out from WordPress

I want to start learning another framework. I don’t want to keep relying so heavily on WordPress as the default option when starting a new site.

It’s easy to assume that WP, being the most universal CMS, makes sense. But FSE, Gutenberg and block themes are placing enormous demands on its contributor base, theme builders and plugin developers to build a solid and user-friendly admin. Case in point: 6.2.1 auto updates broke countless sites that were using the shortcode block.

Building from scratch, something I’ve done forever, just isn’t fun anymore. There’s too much javascripting and build processes; I feel like I’m making an app (which is what modern websites are becoming, I suppose.)

While I will never touch page builders like Elementor or Divi, I’m considering GeneratePress or something closer to the core for my next WP theme. I’m also looking into WebFlow and/or Framer for my next project.

Is anyone else in this boat? How is your workflow changing, and what advice do you have?

  1. I used Drupal long ago and it was cool, except that very new major version rendered many old modules obsolete. And updating Drupal was painful.

    I have been a GeneratePress user since 2017, and it has been great. But now I am branching out into Bricks. It is relatively lightweight with clean code output, and the interface is surprisingly intuitive. And I am saying that as long-time hater of page builders. I am only playing with Bricks in a sandbox, but so far my experience is better than with Gutenberg, and I liked Gutenberg some time ago.

  2. But… why?

    To build websites for clients, you’re going to use something slower to develop, and that requires rebuilding things that already exist?

    No alternative will be safer, because safety depends on large community supporting it, and the other options which used to exist were abandoned, because they all had their own quirks and issues.

    No system is going to be perfect, even one that you build from scratch.

    It only makes sense to do custom builds if you have a $10 million start-up seed and 20+ engineers/designers.

    Beyond that, some dinky brochure or e-commerce website is not worth the time or effort of custom.

    I don’t care about occassional security issues, gives me a reason to charge clients an ongoing maintenance fee every month to keep them backed-up, updated, and fix plugins that break. Good for a consistent retainer.


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