So normally I REALLLY prefer custom development to canned solutions.  Sure, the pre-built software peices are nice in that they provide out-of-the-box solutions: but the problem is that the solution is not always very useful.  End soap-box.

Today I began my first-ever implementation of a site design to WordPress.  I've used WordPress for blogging before, but I've never really messed with it from a design standpoint.

My initial impression is that it's okay.  Just as with Blogger and other similar services, the plugging in of functionality is sensible enough (although Blogger's tag-based version seems a bit more intuitive…).  There are fifteen-billion functions available for getting dates, user scopes, etc.  So that's all fine and good.  

I guess my biggest objection–and this is true of all software like this–is that styling the default WordPress widgets is a PAIN.  There's a lot of un-classed generated code that one has to wade through to get down to very mundane–yet extremely design-important elements like <a> tags.  What's more is that these default plugins appear to live outside of the "themes" that one can build.  So if one is not interested in traversing several levels of inheritance just to apply a different color to a "Most Recent Posts" link, the only other option is to download and install a custom plugin that does a similar function.  Unless I'm missing something…

So anyway, it's not been a terrible experience, but it is lacking.  However, it is marginally redeemed in the fact that it has a pretty slick interface, which makes the bitter pill of its reality a little easier to swallow.