Using WordPress to Create a Web Application

WordPress Web Apps

For the past few months I have challenged myself to become a better developer. I have a solid, basic knowledge of programming and can hack through a WordPress site to get what I want out of it, but have never used my programming skills to create an application from scratch.

This year I want to change that and have looked at different frameworks to help with the development process. As I was looking at Code Igniter, Zend Framework and CakePHP as the top three frameworks to use with PHP development, I started to wonder if I could use WordPress as a means to create the applications I have been dreaming up.

What is a framework

In application development the framework allows the developer to reuse code where necessary by packaging commonly used actions into functions or libraries that can be accessed many times throughout the development but only referenced once. This works well to keep the development streamlined and makes it easy to update the code for the functions as needed and you only need to change the code once, saving you thousands of hours of having to copy and paste the same code everywhere.

Why use WordPress

Taking the concept of reusing the same types of libraries or functions as needed, WordPress is already really good at inherently performing several things for the developer.

As Tuts tutorial share, the frameworks usually handle many of the following features for the developer:

  • User Management
  • Template Engine
  • Error Logging
  • Form & Data Validation
  • File Uploading & media management
  • Image manipulation
  • Search-engine Friendly URLs

and many other features.

But Isn’t WordPress Just a Blog Platform?

Since it’s inception 10 years ago, WordPress has slowly migrated into different platforms. From 2003-2007 the main focus was around being the best blogging platform around for writers and bloggers. Then, as the needs of the users changed, there was a shift to becoming more than a blogging platform and becoming a full content management system. The CMS shift has been going on from 2008-2012.

As WordPress has gotten more into the CMS platform, there has been some pushback from developers who still maintain that WordPress is solely a blogging platform and not very good at being anything else, but industry developments are proving this as just being short sited.

The Future of WordPress

According to Matt Mullenweg WordPress 3.7 is slated to be release October 2013 and the main focus of this release will be to prepare WordPress to become an application platform for developers. They plan to focus on stability and security to help developers create the great applications they want using WordPress as the framework.

Examples of Applications Built on WordPress

Finding examples of WordPress driven applications can be challenging at times if the developers aren’t sharing how they did it.

Luckily the creators of HelloBar shared how they used WordPress to create this great application that you likely see daily on several websites. The crazy thing about it is the development process took them about a month to complete.

What Applications are You Building with WordPress?

WordPress already handles many of development features needed to create great apps, it makes sense to use it as a framework for your next application development.

Share below on any developments you are currently working on with WordPress.

5 thoughts on “Using WordPress to Create a Web Application”

  1. Hai,

    last year i had a comment on this post.

    I have developed an amazing Webapp using wordpress. Its atually a planner site kerala tourism, India. Please check it here

    Technically the app is powered by WordPress+ Angular JS + woo Commerce.

    Angular Js is responsible for creating front end planning. WordPress give API Json return on each request.Finally on successfull planning automatically create a woo commerce product and which is booked by traveller.
    Have a look at it.

    WordPress is just amazing beyond the word.

    Thanking you

  2. We used WordPress as the application framework for Our app takes advantage of all the features already inherent in the WordPress core. Because our app is a timeline with sortable content, categories, tagging, menus and of course the CMS was a natural fit. If we had gone the route of building our own framework from scratch, we would have just been reinventing the wheel. This might not be the case with all apps, it really just depends on the functionality you need.

  3. I’ve developed a web app recently with wordpress. Start with wordpress as a second option, before it, I tried common mvc frameworks. But I realized later all necessary things are implemented in wp, and the development became quicker. I hope, as Matt said, they will do some improvments in wp, to get closer to an app platform, specially in speed. It became more fun and things run smoother then I expected. :)

    The app works as a theme due to it’s a whole app and easier to install.
    You can check the demo here:

  4. WordPress is a very good platform to develop any application very easily…. Its predesigned templates and varieties of plugin’s really help a developer to develop a site very fast and using less time.

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