The Struggle is Real

Being a WordPress shop, especially in a town like Greenville, NC, we build a lot of websites. And while it can be monotonous, I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing. First off, every site we make is built custom for clients. Each site is a new design, a new layout, and sometimes, new features. But at their core, a lot of the practices are the same from one site to another. This has resulted in us having a sort of lightweight framework that we use when we build our sites. It gives us a solid jumping off point filled with some of our more generic needs that can be easily molded into more dynamic and and site-specific features. But even the parts that stay the same can still get changed.

Hidden Opportunity

Sure, some things can’t really get any better than they already are. And as a minimalist both in life and in programming, I’m not about to over-engineer the basics just to have more impressive looking code. But there’s still plenty of opportunity to improve things, especially considering how fast-paced things are in the world of development.

Over the last few years, PHP has made MAJOR strides towards being a more mature language. New features are being added left and right, and as a server-side language, I don’t have to worry about “dumbing down” the code to work on older browsers. I can use the most up-to-date features virtually worry-free.

But Sometimes, Older Browsers Don’t Matter

Now this isn’t going to be the case for all of our sites, but often enough, we get sites that allow us to really flex our creative front-end muscles. With web applications, which don’t need to worry about SEO and outdated browser support, the sky is the limit. If you think PHP has come a long way over the last few years, JS makes it look stagnant. Moreover, CSS has modern features like flexbox and CSS-grid that make some of those wacky layouts that designers love to throw at us FAR easier to manage.

But Even When They Do

Yes, I would much rather play with the latest and greatest technologies in the dev realm. But needing to solve modern problems with older solutions puts me into a position where I find things I wasn’t aware of. And in the end, providing solutions to problems is why I got into programming to begin with. If I treat restrictions as handcuffs, I’m chaining myself. But if I choose to see them as an opportunity to push myself, I get a lot more out of the experience. As more recent projects have helped me to more thoroughly understand, it’s all about perspective.

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