Should we use wordpress for first iteration or build it from scratch?


We are working on a collaboration platform for artists. I managed to put most of the first alpha together myself with wordpress and some other open source elements and additional code, but I'm not an experienced developer, can't finish it on my own. The dev guy in the team joined us when it was half done. He thinks it would be better to write it from scratch. I always had the feeling that developers prefer from scratch solutions, no matter what circumstances.

I have two main problems with that. First, development always takes twice as much time as estimated, and I want to test the idea before investing that much time into it. Either we come up with a simple solution real fast, and then start from scratch again when we need to change the concept and iterate further, or we build something flexible and modular enough, and spend a lot of time with it before testing the idea at all.

Also, we would become too dependent on the developer if we start relying only on his code, and I'm not yet sure that he is the perfect tech partner. With wordpress I am confortable digging into the code, there is a community around it, etc. I'm not sure I want to put the whole project in the hands of a single coder's possibly not so well documented code. I already made that mistake last year, and it turned out to be a huge waste of time.

To me it makes a lot more sense to do a few iterations with a good and flexible cms, and build our own solution when we know exactly what people want.

what do you think?

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asked Sep 23 '11 at 01:32
Mihaly Borbely
715 points

1 Answer


I always had the feeling that developers prefer from scratch solutions, no matter what circumstances.

As a "recovering developer," I could not agree with that statement more. I have been guilty of it many times in my career - even when it was my own business and my own money that I was burning. So I think you're right to worry about that.

Another factor you didn't mention is speed to market and failing quickly. The faster you can get to market, the faster you'll learn whether or not you have something. And if it fails, the sooner you fail, the better off you'll be.

I'm in complete agreement with you. Don't let perfect become the enemy of good. Get something put together and ship it.

answered Sep 23 '11 at 01:49
Jon Di Pietro
1,697 points
  • Agreed. Get something into the marketplace and see customers' reactions ASAP rather than (potentially) wasting tones of time on development. – John 12 years ago

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