Are WordPress’ “Small d” Developers Getting Left Behind by “Modern Best Practices”?

9 thoughts on “Are WordPress’ “Small d” Developers Getting Left Behind by “Modern Best Practices”?

  1. I really appreciate your take on this, Michael. And thank you for putting it out in the open.

    I’m one of those “small d” developers (perhaps a “smedium d” by now, but still). The new technologies are intimidating for a classically trained HTML/CSS guy who has worked his way through the Codex frontwards & backwards to build many custom themes for clients.

    I’m currently diving deeper into PHP & JavaScript… and there’s a lot to learn. But I can see both sides. On one hand, I don’t want to get left behind, and feels as though I have some catching up to do to keep pace. But on the other, newer, modern technologies open up new possibilities.

    Here’s to hoping we continue the conversation & find a balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing your feelings about it Dave. Yeah, I feel pretty conflicted about it too. In no field is technology stagnant, we should expect to need to learn new stuff, especially in web development. But it’s hard to drop everything and focus solely on learning new stuff…
      The thing that especially bugs me is when we spend so long learning new stuff, that something new comes along and then we spend all our time learning that! There will always be something new. The trick certainly is finding a balance.


    1. Thank you for that Russell. Yeah, once you’ve setup composer in your environment, and know how to work around the errors you get, it’s pretty nice. But I’m sure many of your plugin’s users haven’t done that, and if that were a requirement, would probably first try another plugin that *doens’t* have that requirement.
      So +1!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for speaking up on this, Michael. I’m one of those who, faced with the outrageous tooling overhead of Drupal 8, decided it was time to move to WordPress instead. I hope it doesn’t now go the same way. Tooling infrastructure has its place for complex sites and big teams, but not necessarily for the small d developer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting Tim! Thanks for sharing your experience. Admittedly it’s been about a decade since I dabbled with Drupal.
      I had a somewhat similar experience with using Java, and its dependency injection framework Spring, its package dependency manager Maven, etc. Dealing with “dependency hell” (see was my daily routine. I found working with PHP such a breeze, in comparison. But now PHP is starting to look more and more like Java from 10 years ago. It makes me worry something else new, simpler, will come along and beat PHP once it’s gotten too complicated too.


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