Over the past few years, it has seemed to become an assumption that projects will be built in either WordPress or React.
Is it an app?
"This needs to be done in React."
Is it.. not an app?
"Must be a WordPress site."
I believe it is the duty of web developers to prevent sites to conform to one of two molds. Maybe I should keep my mouth shut as someone who makes a living as a WordPress expert, but WordPress is not necessary for all sites. React is not necessary for all PWAs.
The decision to use a certain technology is a nuanced one for each site. The solution should be tailored to the problem. Before the decision to utilize a certain framework, CMS or technology is used we should think about the constraints. Here are just a few questions I think about when beginning a project:
- Who is the audience?
- How complex is the site or application?
- How many pages is the website?
- How often is the content likely to change?
- What kind of traffic is this site or application expected to see?
- Are the site admins tech-savvy? Can they write markdown, HTML, or CSS?
- Is the project dealing with any secure information? (credit cards, addresses, etc)
And that doesn't even cover questions you should ask about each individual technology that you are considering. Some examples:
- What is the core problem this tech aims to solve?
- How close to that core problem is our use-case?
- How mature is this technology?
- Will this technology increase the complexity of the project? (hosting, deploying, development environments)
- Will this technology cause performance issues?
- Is the community active? Will support be hard to come by?
- Who backs this technology?
By asking these questions you might uncover that you don't need to use something as complex as React to build your web app. You might even learn that you don't need a web app at all! Maybe you learn that WordPress seems like a big solution for a site with a few pages and content that is not likely to change much. The client might be very comfortable writing HTML or markdown and not need the visual editor that is a core selling point of using a content mangement system.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing to quit using WordPress or React. I am merely saying that we, as the builders of the web, should challenge the assumption that any given framework or CMS is mandatory.