WordPress #nocoding

As I’ve spent the last few months learning how to run a wordpress installation, I want to propose a suggestion I think is sorely missing.

We need a wordpress movement supporting #nocoding.

I’m not a developer. I draw the line for wordpress when it comes to writing code. Thats when I’m out.

This seems impossible for developers to understand.

“But its so easy! Just change these 8 lines of code, then you’re done!”.


Sure, I can copy/paste. But whenever I make these “easy” code modifications, I’m now running something non standard. Upgrades of a plugin may no longer work. The widget may no longer be modifiable. I may not be able to change my theme to a new one. Or maybe I can’t easily modify something when I’m really busy. The last thing I need is to have to sit down and dig into some code someplace when I’m under huge time pressure.

I want wordpress to be easy to maintain and easy to configure. This means I need to be able to modify things at any time I want. In fact, it is possible to build pretty decent wordpress sites with no coding involved – I built http://yinyangtheory.com in this way. This site is multilingual english/chinese, supports title optimization and is designed to work for both the west and China, crossing the great firewall of China.

By comparison, here’s the widget settings for my wordpress website, built in 2010.


The team which built this site hardcoded everything directly into the theme. This is the entirety of the theme options. The theme cannot be upgraded. In fact, they even made a weird bug where the post excerpts are copied from the post before it. It all works, but to upgrade the theme the whole site has to be rebuilt and all posts reformatted.

Never again!

It can be very difficult to find the right combination of plugins to accomplish something in wordpress at times. But this is WORTH doing.

So, if I’m hiring you to help me with wordpress administration and you’re finding the work difficult – and your suggestion is “let me write some custom code”, what you’re actually saying is you’re no longer qualified to work with me. Lets just end your role, so you can go work someplace else. And I will find someone else who is capable of working this way.

This post isn’t written for any particular person.  Its happened enough times now that I need to explain myself clearly to all wordpress tech guys I come in contact with.  And of course, I really appreciate the hard programming work that goes into the wordpress ecosystem.  I just don’t want that on my sites.  🙂

If you are a wordpress developer, why not consider learning how to build sites that are #nocoding compatible?  Then you can set them up for your client and teach them how to modify things themselves.  You may feel like you’re giving away business – but you’ll be able to charge a much higher rate for your time since the value will be much higher.  And you’ll have very happy clients who will generate lots of referrals for you.  There’s a gigantic market of people who can’t use wordpress due to the technical complexity.  Its time that went away.

In time #nocoding on wordpress will become much easier. I’m very much looking forward to this.

I’d like to thank BobWP – his website taught me a LOT about working with wordpress with #nocoding, and he showed me what was possible. THANK YOU Bob!