Skip to main content

You don’t know WordPress

You don’t know WordPress

That isn’t meant as an insult; it’s just a statement of fact. The truth is, most WordPress designers don’t need to understand how it works. That’s because there are so many 3rd party tools that make the features of WordPress usable for people who don’t want to learn it.

YouTube video

Let me tell you a little story…

A few years ago, my wife and I spend three weeks traveling around Chile. Not just American-friendly tourist parts, either. We went to the places where her Chilenos cousins like to go. The thing is, neither of us speaks Spanish. We got by using a translator app, an English Spanish dictionary, guides, translators, and English-speaking locals. We even picked up a few phrases along the way.

We had a great time, and we didn’t feel too held back most of the time. That said, without actually learning the language and culture, we’d never function as effectively there as we do here. At the end of the day, we don’t know Spanish. We only know how to use the tools available to navigate a Spanish-speaking county.

That’s how most of you approach WordPress. I’d go so far as to say that most WordPress designers know how to use their page builders better than they know the fundamental WordPress concepts or the basic building blocks of the web like HTML and CSS.

So why am I bringing this up?

In the last few weeks, I’ve been posting a lot of Pinegrow-related videos, I’ve had over a dozen people approach me saying that they think it’s a cool tool, but they don’t want to learn something that’s so new. And they don’t want to take the time to learn something that uses a different paradigm from the rest of the WordPress tools they are accustomed to.

For a while, I was trying to help people who said that see Pinegrow through their page builder lens. But it suddenly occurred to me that I was taking the wrong approach.

That’s because Pinegrow isn’t a new paradigm. It isn’t doing things a different way. It’s doing things the WordPress way. In fact, I’ll just say it. Pinegrow is boring!

Forget all the nonsense you learned by using WP Bakery, Divi, and Elementor. Forget all the hype and new terminology being thrown around by the flashy tools getting all the media attention today. Pinegrow is just WordPress, plain and simple.

Here is the real kicker, It’s not even crazy fancy WordPress voodoo, either. It’s just doing the basic stuff that you would have learned in WordPress 101 if you hadn’t gotten distracted by the ever-changing array of page builders or half-baked Gutenberg blocks.

There is nothing new here. Pinegrow is doing the same stuff WordPress has done for years. It isn’t sexy. It’s boring. It’s HTML. It’s CSS. And it’s using the same WordPress templates and template systems that you see in their documentation.

There is no need to worry about what the latest tools are doing, the bugs they introduce, or the backward compatibility problems they create.  In fact, I find it interesting that some of the most popular page builders and blocks look and behave more and more like HTML, CSS, and native WordPress every day! I mean, they all still have to have their secret sauce, though, right? Otherwise, there is no reason for them to exist!

So why do I use Pinegrow instead of writing my own code by hand? And why do I keep saying how powerful it is if it’s just doing basic WordPress? Well, that’s because WordPress is powerful. And because Pinegrow saves me a ton of time compared to writing all that code by hand.

The visual interface makes it easy to find and remember what I need, and the Pinegrow engine takes care of writing all the repetitive code.

Oh, and Pinegrow has yet to forget a semicolon, causing me hours of troubleshooting even while my code editor flashes giant neon signs at me.

Because, I’ve heard that’s a thing that happens to people…

Back to my point, though. The Pinegrow Web Editor has a lot of buttons, knobs, switches, and dials. It isn’t meant to be beautiful or bring you inner peace when you open a menu, it’s meant to get a job done and save you time. And it does that beautifully.

I don’t have to remember all the right functions, their parameters, or their attributes. It’s all there for me in the interface. I don’t have to learn the new paradigm or terminology that the latest tools introduced, because I’m just doing things the WordPress way.

And yes, the WordPress way is ass backward sometimes and incredibly frustrating other times. But guess what? I’d rather understand it so I can work with it than spend countless hours and silly amounts of money using tools that fight against it.

And you know what else? My clients appreciate it, too, even though they don’t understand it. They appreciate that they aren’t being locked into a proprietary system inside an open-source platform. If they wanted that, they’d be using Wix. They appreciate that I deliver an open solution that any WordPress developer can pick up and run with if the need arises, without having to know any specialty tools. And, they appreciate the stability, maintainability, and longevity of native WordPress themes and blocks over the “here today, gone tomorrow” 3rd Party ecosystem that’s so prevalent inside WordPress.

So yeah. To summarize, Pinegrow is a boring product that doesn’t do anything new to WordPress. And I’m more than happy to give them my money and my time to help support them since their product supports me.

Alright, I hope I ruffled some feathers. Better yet, I hope I got a few of you to stop and think for a minute.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comments below.

And, as always, if you found this video helpful, please hit that like button and subscribe to the channel.

I’ll see you next time!

Recent Posts

  • Using Sass with Pinegrow

    I recently had someone ask whether Pinegrow supports Sass, so I thought I’d do a quick video demonstration. In this demo, I show you how we activate our Sass stylesheet and how we can use a simple Sass variable to change the color of a heading.

  • Pinegrow Countdown: Day 1 – Pinegrow Plays Nice with Others

    A lot of products in the WordPress space have grown in popularity, primarily because of their open and flexible ecosystem that allows 3rd party developers to create add-ons, extensions, and libraries. Pinegrow also has a great plugin API. But I’m going to show you in this video, that in most cases, you don’t even need it.

  • Pinegrow Countdown: Day 2 – Pinegrow is STILL not a Page Builder

    In this video, I’m going to show you why Pinegrow is different from Page Builders so you don’t fall into the trap of trying to use it like something it’s not, only to get frustrated and give up.

  • Pinegrow Countdown: Day 3 – Frameworks in Pinegrow

    Pinegrow has built some fantastic helpers for popular frameworks. In fact, when you start a new project in either Pinegrow Desktop or the Pinegrow WordPress plugin, you’ll be asked which framework you want to choose. If you are already used to using one of the built-in frameworks, the choice will be easy. If not, this little video will hopefully help you understand what the frameworks do and how you should answer those important initial questions.

  • Pinegrow Countdown: Day 4 – WordPress Blocks and Themes

    When you start a new WordPress project in Pinegrow, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you will create a Block Plugin or a complete theme. In this video, I’ll help you understand their differences so you can start on the right foot.