Is WordPress Legacy Coded? Addressing a Public Misconception

After 2 decades WordPress remains to be the most popular CMS in the world. The modern WordPress development has allowed small businesses to become more agile and reliable. But do the WordPress PHP coding standards set a coding benchmark? Well, most developers have shown their strong hatred towards the same old boring code that’s still being used to this day. Why is that?

Let’s explore the reasons why developers rant about WordPress being legacy coded.

Admission of the Obvious

Is WordPress legacy coded? Yes. Was WordPress to revive PHP? Perhaps! But that’s not the point, developers/programmers want code to be new, clean, and especially a reflection of the modern coding standards.

A fact to the matter, modern WordPress development even being deemed outdated, at the end of the day it gets the job done. To address this issue, WordPress offers its users a proper procedure to tackle it all. Outdated code or outdated WordPress websites can be dealt with easily by upgrading the theme, plugins, and versions.

Voila! Your WordPress website is good to go. However, for developers, it’s not that simple. Their meaning of outdated code or legacy code is as simple as a code being unsupportive or lacking compatibility. Even with modern WordPress development, the codebase wouldn’t fully be optimized.

Even if the coding standards for modern PHP do not fully align, this still doesn’t affect WordPress functionalities.

Mario Peshev, a WordPress core contributor, explained how even in the next 5 years with current code working, WordPress would still be relevant. It all boils down to the platform’s relevancy in the tech industry. By the looks of it, with modern WordPress development, things will look a lot better.

The DevriX CEO mentioned with clear feasibility, despite having a conflicting codebase, that WordPress will remain in the palm of developers and users for the years to come.

According to statistics, more than 455 million websites use WordPress on the internet. So do code matters or the community? You figure.

modern WordPress development and WordPress PHP Coding Standards

Legacy, Messy or Outdated Code – What is it?

A messy code is unoptimized. Your multiple attempts to fix the code give birth to the spaghetti code. Most developers have stated that WordPress used spaghetti code since it’s operated by thousands of people worldwide, somehow this is possible.

Legacy code is deemed to be unsupported or outdated. Developers have a strong hatred towards legacy code owing to its messiness. This is why WordPress offers some charming ways to maintain legacy websites:

  1. Upgrade the websites’ themes and plugins
  2. Make regular backups a habit
  3. Never use abandoned plugins or themes
  4. Watch out for obsolete jQuery JavaScript
  5. Neatly document the codebase
  6. Research before you disable a plugin
  7. Legacy websites sometimes can be fixed if new features are added
  8. Work on the SEO
  9. Put some efforts

Your users want the site to be fast, reliable, and user-friendly. All this is easily achievable through modern WordPress development.

modern WordPress development

So is WordPress code messy? Yes, not all WordPress projects are safe and it’s a known fact that WordPress shouldn’t be used for everything. But to fully constrain yourself from using WordPress just because of its messy code is simply a shortsighted reason. However, this may blind you from the fact that:

  1. It has a rich ecosystem
  2. It’s quite stable
  3. The development of themes and plugins is easy to do
  4. Furthermore, WordPress offers backward compatibility

So to sum it up, it doesn’t matter if the code is messy, outdated, or legacy. At the very end, if the user is satisfied, everything else becomes insignificant.

If your sole concern is to give a modern touch to your WordPress websites, PressTigers can get the job done for you by designing custom WordPress websites. Our priority is to deliver you a site using modern WordPress development.

Some Words of Developers

On some older threads in Quora, many developers agreed to the fact that ‘WordPress has the baggage of legacy code but sided with the fact that this doesn’t hinder its performance.

A software architect took this debate more realistically stating that developers/programmers don’t pay the bills. Adding that it’s clear that WordPress code is messy, outdated, and maybe on some level legacy coded but business concerns trump architectural purity.

‘But while admitting that working on such a codebase can be horrific at times but a changing system overtime can be uglier. Constant changeovers to platforms increases its complexity. While WordPress, regardless of its outdated code, makes it easy to hop on it and get the work done. With modern wordpress development it all seems juicier’.

Matthew Parks, the CEO of Lexium Technologies added in the same thread sayingWordPress legacy code and how code needs to be re-written. He went on to state that WordPress is easy to work with, semi-easy to develop and even easier to customize. Almost more than 80% of the websites on the internet are sited with PHP‘.

Wordpress statistics


Modern WordPress PHP Coding Standards are explained on The Modern WordPress development workflow is very simple; it states the following:

  • Reliable coding
  • Smaller codes, a clear picture
  • Reusable codes
  • Easy maintenance

WordPress has its flaws like all other open-source platforms. However, the reason why WordPress has succeeded after all these years is that it stood by its core and roots. WordPress is like a fine old tree. It’s true to its core but grows to new heights owing to its stunning updates. This has made its ecosystem robust despite the fact it’s too old.

We enjoy working with WordPress, it’s a platform of our choice. Over the years, we have witnessed how it made our development jobs easier and better. Would you like to experience it for yourself? Get in a useful conversation with our engineers to know!

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