I opted to test out.
Before he would even think about administering the test, the professor wanted to see a web site I’d built from scratch. As you probably imagine, 100% of my clients use WordPress, so I didn’t have anything to show him. It took my breath away. What could I do?
Biting my teeth, I sent him the URL to one of my WordPress sites and hoped he wouldn’t view the source code. I should have known better. He wrote back, confused. Was he missing something, he asked? No, he wasn’t. I was caught.
That embarrassing scenario got me to thinking. If redneck Oklahoma cowboys look down their noses at “web design gurus” that can’t even build their own site outside WordPress, what must potential clients on the West and East Coast think? They’re laughing their heads off!
Folks, there’s a subculture of so-called “Web developers” who know little more than basic HTML/CSS and WordPress-specific PHP functions. That’s scary.
About six months ago I asked if our shrewd optimizing has ruined our real conversion rate. At the time, you asked me what the implications were. I couldn’t answer. I wasn’t sure.
Now I’m sure.
People are getting smarter. They’re starting to realize that they’re not just buying a pretty picture when they commission a web site. They’re buying code. They’re buying how it works. Core functionality. Guts. Backend. Performance.
The implications? They’re not going to commission an iPhone app from a developer who goes around with a stick phone. They’re going to commission the dude that’s got the iPhone 4S and the iPad 3. They’re viewing your source code before they decide if you’re worth their money. Sure, the source is just the final product. They’re not seeing the server language, the stuff that’s actually generating the markup. But they can learn a LOT on how you’re handling your Content Management System by viewing your source.
For YOU, this means you can’t expect to come across as a web design expert if you’re using WordPress to power your company’s web site. You’re undermining your credibility. You’re admitting you might know a tiny bit of PHP, but you’ve certainly never worked with a MySQL database. What kind of a web developer are you? What you’re doing is called graphic design.
Enough is enough. I’ve finally launched my real company — Perfection Coding. It’s powered by a custom MySQL database. No, it’s not as fancy as WordPress yet, but it has the core functionality and if you view the source, you’ll know right away it’s a custom job, thank you very much Professor Ward.
What in the world are you even talking about? I don’t call myself a web developer, and I love WordPress. You’ve insulted me and an entire community! Unsubscribed.
Chill, it’s cool bro. All I’m saying is, if you’re a web design agency, you need to rethink your books. If you’re a small business, you can close this window and get back to it. In the next year, probably 100% of my new clients will be on WordPress. I LIKE that. WordPress is GOOD for them. I’ll RECOMMEND they use WordPress.
But I’m a design agency. If I have a class D fire extinguisher, that means I can put out A-, B-, C-, and D-class fires. If I’m using a custom database, I can SURELY build in WordPress on the fly.