- Sep 23, 2014
It really depends on what kind of sites you're building and how much control you want over them. If you are creating several small/medium sites and don't need a bunch of customization (e.g. different sidebars/footers/headers depending on page) or you just want to publish sites then move on, then you can get by with WP. If you want full control over every aspect of the site and already know your way around the HTML/CSS, then something like Hugo (https://gohugo.io/) might be a better option for you for static sites or an actual framework for Saas/Dynamic Sites such as Rails, Django, Node,js or my personal favorite, Phoenix.As a small-scale independent publisher, would it be worth my time and energy to learn the latest js thoroughly and any other supplementary stuff (for example, something like React/Redux)?
A lot of folks learn WP because it's easy to get started and can take you to the 80% of what is needed to get an initial site up and running. The problem is, that sometimes things are are extremely easy to do with a static sites require you to find a plugin for WP and that's where that remaining 20% causes the headache. The end result is that many people develop a dependency on plugins and many times their sites get hacked because all it takes is a bit of bad/malicious code in a plugin to compromise a site. I do quite a bit of sysadmin work and have seen many a WP site compromised because of one tiny plugin.
As to whether you should know JS, React, etc thoroughly? The answer is, no you don't need to know any of those technologies inside and out and master them. You just need to get your feet wet and learn as you go through trial/error and a lot of Stack Overflow (https://stackoverflow.com) queries.