The WordPress As Web App Framework Experiment

WordPress As Web App Experiment

In a prior posting, I mused that one could use WordPress as a framework to develop minimum viable web applications–rather than hunkering down into coding something before you know if it will prove practicable.

I’m moving ahead with this experiment.  Why?  Because I don’t have the coding skills (yet) to crank something out without the training wheels of something like WordPress.  Secondly, this approach will allow me to build a web app with the resources I already have.  That is, it will not have to hire a developer to get a minimum viable app running.  Third, simply because this should be fun to see how far we can stretch the WordPress framework.

How I’m Building A Web App in WordPress

  • Build The Website.  WordPress.  Thrive Themes.
  • Course Creation and Structure.  Thrive Apprentice.  This feature is included free in certain Thrive themes.
  • Membership Access.  S2 Member.  Using this plugin because several reputable review sites recommend S2 as a decent place to start for a free membership plugin.
  • Thrive Quiz Builders.  This will serve as the algorithmic heart of the site.  Thrive quiz builder acts as a customizable if/then-styles decision algorithm with a fair amount of functionality.  Once users log in to the site, they will interface with the quiz builder.  (The modules won’t be called quizzes, as I’m using this plugin for more than just a “quiz”).

WordPress for Web Apps – How Will It Perform?

One potential downside of this approach is that the site may run slowly if WordPress becomes bogged down with too many plugins.  On the other hand, I’m using Thrive Themes, which are optimized for speed and adding mostly their own plugins.  I think we can keep this site reasonably speedy, but that will be part of the experiment: to see how much performance suffers as we go down this route.

Even If This Fails, It Will Serve As A Template for Real Coding and Design Features

Another huge bonus of this approach is that I can quickly build the rough outlines (not the content) of the site in a morning.  Should what I’m trying to accomplish prove beyond the scope of WordPress, the functioning site will serve as a prototype for me or someone else to use when coding out greater functionality down the road.

So that’s it.  I’ll provide regular updates on the project.

P.S. I’m not announcing the name or focus on this website yet.  That will be announced down the road.  Till then!

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