I am going to start programming a website which allows users to post adverts for aircraft for sale. (Think autotrader for planes). It will be free to use. There are a few websites that do this already but they are all flawed for different reasons.

I am comfortable using php and mySQL so plan to use these to do the 'back-end'. I am also competent with HTML as a language but am terrible at graphics and making these look pretty. Therefore I would like to use some form a 'skin' to place over the code I build.

I have considered using Wordpress as there are many free themes which are aesthetically pleasing. I have never used Wordpress before. I know it is a database website already. Is it suited to having custom databases/webservices built behind it and displaying search results etc...


Can I use the database that comes with it as the information store and allow users to create accounts and post items etc...

Any thoughts/advice welcome.

  • If your site is CMS heavy (for example you want the full content management or blogging functionality) then WP will save you a lot of work. However, if you think your project will be development-heavy, then WP isn't particularly elegant in its internal approach, and you're better off with a framework. That would be Symfony2, Zend, CodeIgniter etc.
    – halfer
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 9:19
  • (Just so you know, although you can glean bits of help for discursive questions like this in the comments, since there is not a definitive answer, they will usually be closed. It's not that it's not a good question, it's just not a good fit for the site).
    – halfer
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 9:21
  • 1
    I think this might have a chance on WP.Stackexchange where they are a bit more liberal on open-ended questions AFAIK. I'll ask a mod to migrate it.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


Wordpress is an ecosystem of its own, and it's pretty fat in terms of memory use and existing APIs and structures.

Integrating this huge behemoth with a lean back-end that you have already built on your own won't make much sense unless you specifically want to use WP's back-end functionality instead of yours.

WordPress themes are just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so anything a WP theme does, you can achieve in your app as well - it's "just" a question of effort. Starting to use Wordpress just because of a nice-looking WP theme won't make sense as the effort of integration will very likely be much more than what you save by using the theme.

If however you're considering using WP as the back-end (say, using custom post types for aircraft entries, etc.) that is a totally valid path to go. Again though, it has pitfalls as well as advantages, and the ability to use some nice-looking WP themes shouldn't be the only factor in your decision.

  • 1
    OP: yeah, agreed. If the theme is the only draw for WP, it'd be only a small amount of work to do something similar in a framework's layout. You could farm this out to another developer, it should only take them a few hours to a day, depending on complexity.
    – halfer
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 9:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.