Your preferred way of building WordPress websites?

Hello everyone, I’m a learning web developer here. I’m currently focusing on HTML/CSS/JS and React.

A while ago, when I started, a friend of mine asked me if I could build WordPress websites for him to earn some cash on the side while I was learning. I’d had some experience mantaining WP websites, so I bought a course on Udemy and thought I’d try. I’ve made a handful, however, as time goes on I’m slowly starting to despise the workflow. As a non php developer, it’s a case of buying a theme, downloading it, and “building” the website per the theme preview. The result is usually very bloated and kind of messy, and it always takes longer than it should (what with learning the particular themes builder, widgets, setting, etc) and then there’s always the case of someone wanting a certain template from the theme, or widget, used for a completely different purpose than the theme initially intended, a load of extra css to add to change some things the cms can’t (along with a load of css the website doesn’t need, say, if you aren’t using a specific style) and sometimes even JS to change a “learn more” button in to “read more” or something because the option is nowhere to be found.

Unfortunately, I haven’t the time to learn php right now, but I was wondering if there’s a better workflow than this for building the websites and still having WordPress as a cms. Let’s say, manually writing the html/css/JS and manually coding, for example, a specific design for the “product grid” and one for a call to action section or something in the homepage but still in a way where the owner of the website can, via cms, add new images and text and have it still styled like that.

Theme building seems the better option but unfortunately I don’t know php, Elementor seems a bit chaotic. I’ve heard good things about ACF plugin to achieve this. Any suggestions?

  1. If you’re interested in building the front-end entirely yourself, so it is fully under your control, but you want to use WordPress to run the CMS, you might want to look into headless WordPress. it’s more trouble than the regular arrangement but can allow you to avoid many of the bloatware concerns you mention.

  2. Try out one of the new themes! (Twenty Twenty Two & Three) They have a new editor for theme building and I moved my website over to it. Its templated and block based using the Gutenberg editor. Its under Appearance > Editor.


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