SXSW 2010: Is WordPress Killing Web Design

Is WordPress killing web design? Leading creatives from the world of web design debate whether CMS tools have made designers lazy, and created a new set of design conventions that designers feel obliged to follow.

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  • There are so many images on the Web. How can you know whether an image is original or has been edited by Photoshop? Check it out using Photoshop Killer.

  • Is WordPress killing web design, or is lazy web design killing web design? WordPress is just a tool, no different than a pencil or paintbrush. Print designers imposing their preconceived idea of design onto the platform of the web hinders web design; lazy designers who don’t push WP hinders web design; not WordPress.

    The tool is indifferent. WP doesn’t make or break design anymore than a pencil makes or breaks a drawing. It’s the designer on the other end of the tool who’s responsible for that.

  • @TenTonBooks Hear hear, jolly good show! I’m a longitme web designer and I’ve jsut gotten into WordPress – What I thin kit does is free a designer to focus on design without the time and cost associated with setting up or building a CMS. It lets you be a designer again with the added bonus that the site is robust and manageable for clients.

    Stick THAT in your workflow pipeline and smoke it!

  • but WP is primarily a blog engine. You get much more freedom if you use a cms like MODx or even Silverstripe. How can WP give any designer freedom? What am i missing? As an afterthought, child-themes are awesome, particularly thematic. Go see.

  • Real estate web hosting template companies have killed many of the mindsets for agents. Let’s get a template that looks like everybody else for free, go find a theme and hope that it makes you money.

  • Our sites are drop dead gorgeous, intricate designs and still gave the basic user tons of ways to interact with their sites.

  • Word Press has the ability to be a complete robust website with a blog included!

  • WordPress can be very helpful sometimes. I think it actually it is actually on a per project basis if it is going to be useful.

  • I’m just a beginner here but every site I’ve started, starts with a blank CS4 canvas and my cms is built around my design.

  • I’ve been using WordPress for a while now, but when it comes to designing a theme, I can’t seem to latch on to how to do it. I know basic web design, but I’m very confused by WordPress’ language and can’t seem to turn a web theme I create into a WordPress theme (let alone any of the other CMSs).

  • I started with wordpress… then I stopped web development for about a year and went into python and java to get a better grip on programming… and then I came back to web development… shopklick.tv Let me tell you, I wrote the entire site 3,000+ lines of code from the ground up,(and yes, it’s still a lil’ buggy, due to rapid dev)… personel preference is for solid libraries( thank you soooo much jQuery ) CMS’s are for people who want to do what’s already been done

  • if this was tl;dr,: wordpress isn’t bad, the way some people are using it is bad. like comic sans.

  • These guys are tools

  • @chilled99
    Exactly man. Well said. Drafting in Photoshop, front-end HTML/CSS coding and above all apply the proper WordPress tags. Easy as pie and you can focus on your design, not the CMS. I would say that is killing back-end developers “creativity”, and making front-end designers life easier and funnier.

  • The use of WordPress has allowed me to continue to find decent work in this crappy economy. My clients are thrilled with the idea that they can (somewhat) manage their own website and save themselves some serious business cash.

  • @JenJW Look for an inexpensive program called Artisteer, it’s a bit like a WYSIWYG theme designer for many CMS systems. It is far from perfect, but it will get you headed in the right direction.

  • @mimeans it’s programs like Artisteer that ARE killing web design. It’s got its purpose, that’s for sure, but it’s the reason that so many WordPress sites look like WordPress sites.

    There’s a give and take on the web between nice looking and customizable – for the most part you can’t have your cake and eat it too – which is why sites that all share a popular framework (at least, 99% of them) look the same – WordPressy.

    it’s not bad – Mediocre designers / marketers-turned-designers make it bad

  • Agreeing with a quote I read somewhere “WordPress puts food on my table” period.

  • Using wordpress as my cms website is because my clients able to update the content by themselves. Not the reason for us to become lazy.

  • @chilled99 I totally agree with your comment…

  • WordPress is making things easy for the end user. Managing a website without technical understanding was a challenge for years. WordPress changed a lot of things for the better. If anything, even wordpress is not there yet. But it is way better than software based web design.

  • Web design is a field for lazy people in the first place. I can’t believe what some of these lazy people charge for nothing. I for one, do it in my spare time because I can’t justify charging people exorbitant amounts for nothing. I’d rather create something physical than a fleeting pile of pixels.

  • @aliencrap Then go do that instead of trolling