How far can we push WordPress?

16 June 2021

About ten years ago when a client would mention WordPress I’d cringe. It wasn’t good. For the first few years it looked liked a hobby project that got out of hand. There were much better options for CMS needs such as Concrete 5. When WordPress version 4 came out my opinion started to change. Now at version 5 there are WordPress tools that make clients productive and us comfortable recommending it.

Using the Pods plug-in and some custom code we built an application for The Center for Auto Safety that:

  • Ingests multiple hundred meg and larger files from NHTSA;
  • Matches that data against a list of vehicle manufactures the client is interested in;
  • Allows people to submit their own complaints about a vehicle;
  • Enables people to subscribe to updates on the vehicles of their choosing;
  • Have all of this manageable through WordPress;

And it’s not ugly. It works really well. 5 years ago this system would have taken months longer to build, debug and train the client on using a custom solution. In addition it would have cost 10 times the price in monthly maintenance and downtime.

Additionally, this system ties into their CRM solution, Stripe (for credit card processing) and Mailchimp (for custom subscriptions).

Now what if we made it headless and took advantage of Gatsby?