Do Real Website Designers use WordPress?

This is a question I have been grappling with since founding Mara Communications. I created my company knowing that I would be using Wordpress as my preferred platform. I have never studied coding and I knew that I would never be a ‘build from scratch’ type of designer. So the question is, am I a ‘real’ website designer and if so, how have I been able to achieve this?

A large part of the answer is technology – in particular the ever evolving technology which we take as given these days. I know that I could not be achieving ten years ago that which I am capable of today. Most likely not even five years ago. While the first version of Wordpress was created back in 2003 it is only in recent years that it has matured into the stable and user friendly platform that it is today.

So is utilising a user friendly platform, where someone else writes the code, cheating? In the past my opinion may have verged on “yes” but the last year has shown me that the answer is actually “no”.

What I have realised is that Wordpress in itself is a specialised skill. Within the platform there are a multitude of skills to learn and master. First most is Wordpress itself. Then there are themes which all vary in their style and function, as well as the wide range of available plugins. There are also multiple elements that may be tweaked. Although I would never describe myself as a coder I would go so far as to say that I now dabble frequently in HTML and have a workable knowledge of CSS up my sleeve.

I am slowly accepting my worth as a website designer and with each project I learn a little more and my confidence grows. Instead of feeling inferior to designers who code, I am beginning to find my own niche.