Recently I had a bit of an online dustup with someone who objected to me calling WordPress a 'bait and switch' proposition. As our typed responses got more heated (I was thoroughly civil) it was clear that WP was his platform of choice for developing sites for his clients and he didn't like me writing anything bad about it. After all I was insulting his past work and his future WP work.
My point was, and is, that there are many systems and they all have their place and advantages. My objection to WordPress is that it is so well known that people who need a website ask for it without knowing what it is and what it is best used for.
And there's that 'free' thing again. Calling WP a bait and switch pitch is a bit harsh. First of all, WP is not making any claims it can't back up. It's a great application if you want a blog, but it has a so-so content management system and if you want anything more than the templates they offer you have to program it. If you don't know how to program, you have to hire someone and its promise of free suddenly becomes an illusion and WP becomes no different from any other system whereby if you don't know how to code you are being held hostage by people who do. Ours is the only system that goes as deep to offer a no-code experience.
The bait-and-swtich problem actually lies with the customer. You see when someone tells me that they are looking into WordPress for their website, that's code for, "I want my site for free." You can build your own website in Your Web Department for free but we always charge hosting because we're not a toy. In fact, we are the only platform that is business-owner-friendly. WP is a developer's tool, not a business owner's tool.
The usual pattern is the the client tries out WP. Runs it for a while. Grows unhappy with the limited services it offers out-of-the-box, or can't get the widgets to work as advertised, so they turn to a WP programmer and suddenly they are drawn into a never-ending rabbit hole of custom programming. No one is being dishonest. WP isn't. The programmer isn't. You were dishonest with yourself in thinking you're getting something for nothing and now you're stuck having to finish because of the investment you've made or turn to someplace else.
Finally to the person who's baby I insulted, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings but you really should get a broader perspective of what tools are out there because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. I'm happy to recommend alternative solutions to YWD after talking to people for whom it is clear we're not a good fit. The last thing we want is to sell our solution only to endure a client that gets frustrated using it. That does not make anyone happy.