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On balance, it is better for businesses learn to WordPress than other aspects of web development.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,082 times Debate No: 42493
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




For this debate, I will be arguing devils advocate. I will be arguing pro on the resolution:
On balance, it is better for businesses learn to WordPress than other aspects of web development.

This debate will be centered around the theory of a new business wanting to get a website up and running for their company. I will be arguing that it is better overall, in several aspects for them to learn WordPress as opposed to looking at lines of code and attempting to learn them to build their website.

This will be a short debate, with 2 rounds of debate, the first being a challenge round as requested by my opponent. May the debating fun begin!


Thank your for challenging me, Pro.

Please state your case.
Debate Round No. 1



For those of you who do not know much about this topic, I will briefly elaborate on the topic to make this easier to understand for the readers who aren’t familiar with this area. When you want to make a website, there are several ways you can do it. You can write up the code yourself, in a few of the many online coding languages that exist, or you can install a third party application that assists you in designing, and developing your website. There are several Content Management Systems like this out there, but the most popular one by far, is WordPress. WordPress is designed to be a lot more user friendly than having to code an entire website from scratch. [1]

C1: WordPress is designed to better help new businesses.

WordPress is probably one of the best services there is for new business, and people with personal interests in web building. For many people, staring into a line of code can be intimidating. The idea of having to learn how to do it can be pretty frightening. But hiring a web developer will cost quite a bit of money, and adding the cost of a developer is just one more expense that businesses will have to encounter.

WordPress is easy to learn and work. In fact, with WordPress, an individual can build and design a fully functioning website in under two hours, from watching step by step YouTube tutorials. I myself did it with my first website, before I learned different coding languages. Tyler Moore is one of the most popular video tutorial creators for WordPress for example [2]

WordPress has awesome custom templates for free, so that these businesses don’t have to waste time adding padding, margin, weights, colors, etc to make an awesome design. They can easily browse the internet for great existing templates that fit their needs, and install them to their website. [3]

Not having to do any design work, saves an enormous amount of time. Of course most web developers know, the same templates can be used in virtually any code language, however, it also requires knowledge of where to put content in lines of code, knowledge of style tags, value, properties, etc. To properly learn all of this, is can take weeks to months. Most businesses would prefer to hire a developer rather than try to do this all themselves, as time is money. 1 Hour of work and following a video tutorial, can save both time and money, and that is one reason why WordPress is superior than other coding languages.

C2: WordPress is better for existing developers

WordPress is famous for its many plug-ins that help add different functionality aspects to the site. All you have to do is search for a plug-in that contains the functionality that you are looking for, and the plug in does all the work for you![4] This can save time on attaching multiple external javascript, and Jquery sheets. You can add membership without having to manually create databases, roles, etc. WordPress can do almost anything you can imagine doing in other coding languages. The designs themselves are slightly less customizable, which is rarely a problem because most customers will be attracted to the pre-existing templates anyway. Well saying they are “less customizable” really isn’t that true. I downloaded a plug-in and added it to WordPress that allows you to create tables, embed photos/ music/videos, add galleries, etc. [5] (Visual Composer is awesome!) Basically you can do everything in WordPress that you could do in design view on Visual Studio 2013 or Dreamweaver, but in a way that is much more user friendly.

The point of this contention is, that Web Developers can help their own customers and save plenty of time by using WordPress, making their business more effective saving time, and give their customer something they will love! Most customers will not know the difference between a WordPress website, or one built with hours of HTML and CSS. Imagine being a web developer with multiple customers, only having to spend 1-2 hours per customer, and making anywhere from 300-500$ per project!?

C3: Too many different languages to learn is overwhelming

There are many different languages and aspects of web development that people will encounter in web development. While all aren’t entirely needed, most developers will have to learn at least 2-3 coding languages in order to develop mobile apps, web apps, and websites. For example the standard two languages used in most websites, are HTML/XHTML and CSS. Most tutorials for these languages would have required you to already know another language, for example W3schools.

Before you continue you should have a basic understanding of the following: HTML / XHTML [6]

"To make a website more dynamic, they may have to learn a few more coding languages on top of that. New developers will see languages and terms that don’t make sense to them, but they will have to learn them. They need to know what databases are and how to use them to store information, how to interact with languages like C#, C++, Perl, PHP/MySQL, etc. There is simply way too much to learn, with very little benefit. Most businesses or clients won’t understand the little benefit in the first place, and can more than likely experience that same feel from a WordPress website by adding the right plugins. WordPress’s admin dashboard is designed to be easy to use, and self-explanatory, though watching a youtube video or two to show you the works never hurt anyone.


WordPress is much better suited for new businesses and new developers. Learning WordPress saves time, money, and frustration. With WordPress, you do not have to navigate to the w3schools page every 10 minutes to see if your code is healthy. WordPress can help you get a website out that looks great, feels great, and advertises exactly what the client wants and needs without all the added effort. It is for these reasons, that I believe WordPress is better to learn for new businesses.



Thank you for your arguments, Pro.

Contention #1 - WordPress limits creativity
My opponent is certainly correct in his assertion that learning to use WordPress is simpler than learning to build a website from scratch. Unfortunately, what is simple is not always the best business option.

I remember launching my first website (an anime review site) with WordPress and waiting excitedly for the traffic to begin pouring in. It never came. While my site had quite a bit of good and even unique content, its functionality and design were not unique enough to set it apart from other sites in the same niche. Even the addition of BuddyPress forums and other plug-ins didn't drive visitors to my site.

It was then that I realized that I needed to do something to make my website unique. I scrapped WordPress and built my own CMS and proceeded to create a website that allowed users to rate anime and manga and get recommendations for other titles based on their ratings. The website became relatively popular and had about five-hundred members at one point.

My point in relating that little anecdote is that good content is not always enough to attract users to a site. Sometimes a unique feature is needed, just as a unique design is needed to establish brand identity. This is one area where WordPress falls short. Without programming knowledge, WordPress users are confined to themes and plug-ins made by others that are most likely used on other blogs. This can be fatal for a business.

Contention #2 - The WordPress experience is improved by web design skills
To quote Internet entrepreneur Lisa Irby, "Someone on YouTube once told me my advice about CSS was 'old school' because so many people now use WordPress. I completely disagree. As long as tools like WordPress, Joomla, etc. are driven by CSS for the design, it will always be relevant. Most people eventually discover that if they want full control over their site's design and theme, they have to learn some of the fundamentals."[1]

In other words, WordPress users (and CMS users in general) will usually discover that there is something that they want to do with their site that the WYSIWIG interface of WordPress can't achieve. Want to modify a theme's header? Change the functionality of a plug-in? Tweak the padding on an element? All of these operations require programming skills.

This makes my opponent's second contention invalid. Yes, there are free plug-ins and themes available, but usually a user will want to modify them.

Contention #3 - WordPress plug-ins do not fill every need
As in the case of my personal site, sometimes there are specific function needs that cannot be filled by a plug-in. A good example would be a resale shop or an online education site. Also, many plug-ins are out of date and thus incompatible with modern versions of WordPress.

It is, therefore, necessary for many businesses to either learn web design skills or hire a designer to achieve the functionality that they need.

Debate Round No. 2


Thank you to my opponent for a great response!


C1: WordPress limits Creativity

In regards to the story about a lack of initial visitors, I would quickly like to say that such problems can be easily solved in WordPress, and take very minimal know how to do it. In fact, the lack of traffic very well may have been an SEO problem, as opposed to content problem. Of course if a web site is at the top of the search engine,it's conent is going to be that much easier to access, thus resulting in more traffic to the website. Nathalie Lussier gives a great example of a wordpress plugin that handles SEO optimization (7). In a quick and short 3 minute video, there is an excellent example of how to use a plug in that handles all the meta tags for description and keywords, without having to input the meta tag every few seconds. The "SEO All in One" plug-in allows the creator to add such tags to every blog post, such that their own website shoots to the top of the search engines (8). In fact there are plenty of tutorials and instructions on Youtube, and in personal blogs, that demonstrate how to create many different things in a WordPress site. Really, the creativty aspect is limitless, and WordPress just makes it that much easier to learn.

As far as adding a unique design for brand entity, I don't see why this is impossible with wordpress. Every single theme you can add to your wordpress site is customizable, but that aside, the choices really are limitless. The content inside of them, is what seperates them from the rest anyways. Again, Visual Composer is an awesome tool that allows such customization to the website. You can create multiple tables within a webpage, edit headers and footers to proportionate sizes, and design the whole thing exactly the way you want it to look.

C2: the WordPress experience is improved by web design skills

In reference to the first part of your Lisa Irby qoute, it is true that many aspects of CSS and HTML are important and driven my WordPress. The thing that makes WordPress so great, is that it can use those things in a way that makes things easier for the user to recognize.

As far as the customization you speak of, I think the center of this debate comes down to this question: Are the weeks of required learning for those functions really worth it to businesses? If most everything they need is covered in a plug-in, why tweak it? Also even using the appearence editor, someone can add such minor features to their website without an exstensive knowledge of CSS. (9)

Unfortunately learning how to program, design, and develop, isn't worth the time and effort that is saved in learning how to work the mostly self explanatory WordPress.

But even with that, I have a hard time realisticly believing that there isn't a plug-in that suits the needs of the website creator.

Even making padding, margin, and font changes to the header and footer can be done with basic plugins. (10)

C3: WordPress plug-ins do not fill every need

Unfortunately, in some cases, every need cannot be fulfilled even by the hands of the most skilled programmers. But when it can, it can take weeks, or months to create such specific things that allow these needs to be filled. As far as "out-of-date" plug-ins go, I doubt this is an issue as well. There are always new and innovative plugins being created for the CMS, even with the newer versions. The descriptions should tell you what versions they are compatible with.


I think this debate really breaks down to what can and cannot be done in WordPress, as compared to learning coding. I have given plenty example outlining how most if not all of the same things can be accomplished and easier through WordPress, but I have also explained why the ease of use factor makes up for any physical capabilities anyway. Anything that can be done with coding and not in WordPress, probably isn't a big enough deal to make it completely worth it to someone to learn how to code as compared to managing there website through a CMS such as WordPress. WordPress, is easy, user friendly, and can satisfy the needs of both noobies, and experts. It is for these reasons, that I believe WordPress is on balance, better for business to learn than other aspects of web development.

I would one again like to thank my opponent for a great debate, and wish him luck in future endeavors.




Contention #1 - WordPress limits creativity
In regard to the SEO issues raised by my opponent, automatic SEO tools are generally inferior to manual SEO tools.[1][2] Search engine optimization is, in truth, yet another reason to learn web design.

The level of customization that can be done for WordPress themes is extremely limited, you must admit. Although it does exist, it does not extend far beyond changing the header image and perhaps the background motif for most themes.

Contention #2 -
The WordPress experience is improved by web design skills
Whether or not it is worth the time and effort is up to each individual business. But I will wager that for most business owners who do business online there arises a situation in which they wish that they had the ability to customize their own site at least once.

Web Page Mistakes has two lists that I would like to present. The first is a list of reasons as to why a custom design is superior to a template design.

  • Unique design.
  • With a custom web design it is created just for your business. Your website will be different from anyone else’s.
  • By hiring the right web designer, it will be constructed so it is search engine friendly.
  • How the background coding of your website is done will influence your success in the search engines.
  • The website will be more adaptable to your company’s needs.
  • If you have done your website planning, you will have a list of features you wish to have. By prioritizing this list of website features, you will give the web designer an idea of what to accommodate for in the future if your current budget doesn’t allow all the features to be implemented from the start.
  • Scalability.
  • Just like adaptability, if you have planned what you want in the future for your website, a good web designer will take this into consideration as they select the technologies to use while building the website.[3]
The second list is a presentation of the downfalls of website templates.

  • There is going to be a ton of other people using the same template.
  • Unless you pay the “Exclusive” price for the template, the template website is going to keep selling that same template to anyone that comes along. Keep in mind, even if you pay the exclusive price, there are others who have bought the template prior to you and they still have the right to use it.

    If it’s a really appealing template, there may be lots of other people who have already bought that very template.

  • You will be limited on the customization of the website template.
  • Without web page coding skills, you are still going to have to either spend the time and money to learn how to code a web page or hire someone to help you.

    Some templates are laid out very specific. Meaning if you incorporate your own graphics or have extensive content, the template could break.

  • Some website templates are not built to be search engine friendly.
  • As explained above, it is important how the background coding of your website is done. If not done correctly, it could hurt your marketing efforts on the Internet.
  • Antiquated coding.
  • If the website template uses antiquated coding, it might not work in all browsers.[4]
Contention #3 - WordPress plug-ins do not fill every need
How long it takes to create them is irrelevant if that is what is needed by the business.

As for outdated plug-ins not being an issue, I suggest you do a search for "defunct" on the WordPress site. It will turn up many entries for plug-ins that are no longer valid due to WordPress updates. I have personally dealt with the frustration of having a needed plug-in, one that seemed to be one-of-a-kind and the only one that would meet my needs, not match my client's version of WordPress.

Thank you to Pro for a good debate.

To summarize my points in this debate, WordPress is a wonderful tool that can indeed save businesses time and money. But even when using WordPress, the online experience is improved by having a grasp of at least basic web design skills. Also, there sometimes arise situations in which WordPress simply cannot meet a businesses' needs and a custom fix is required.

4. Ibid.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
You're welcome, and thank you.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
Thanks for the great debate!
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
With a challenge round? Meaning only 2 rounds of debate? I guess so.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
Would you be willing to change the number of rounds to three?
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
If you want I can switch sides, and argue devils advocate.
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
I know about the topic, but I agree with TUF.
Posted by TUF 3 years ago
I don't think many people know about web development outside of larztheloser, and maybe yraelz.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
Why has no one accepted this yet? It's been at the bottom for a day, and it is a debatable topic. But there is no way in hell I would go up against TUF. I thought maybe Roy or Ima would...
Posted by OtakuJordan 3 years ago
What does that have to do with this debate?
Posted by SONOFGOD2013 3 years ago
So you don't believe in god?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Concade 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Recognizing that the Pro was playing devils advocate, I first must say that I found the contentions supporting the importance of Wordpress over traditional web development to be well thought out and compelling on their own. The Pro did a great job in presenting advantages to new businesses/owners by focusing solely on Wordpress. With that said, I found Con's first and second contentions the most compelling of the round. Wordpress obviously has a lot to offer, but as the Con highlights: users of Wordpress have to rely on other developers unless they obtain traditional web development skills to make their own modifications.