Re-write or assimilate?

5 Mar

I’ve bought dozens of sites. From smallish ($250) to largish ($xx,xxx) one of the first pains we go through is – what to do with the site.

One thing I hate about PHP is how simple it is. If you thought BASIC was easy, PHP is even simpler. It makes complex things so simple anyone can do it.

And to a certain degree, that is a problem. I’ve seen code mangled as if a werewolf attacked it. Horrible SQL calls that could easily be sped up 100%. Ugly ugly magic quotes and global variable usage that made me sick. Form mails that didn’t do a single check (so easily exploited by spammers).

So every time, we have had to re-write. Sure there are some damn good coders out there. But 90% of amateur programmers, having had no formal learning, and only a simplistic tutorial to base their knowledge on, write some horrendous crap :)


  • Can write the code more efficiently.
  • Can write SQL interaction more efficiently (even the usage of indexes is a foreign concept to many.
  • Proper separation of code and appearance.
  • Proper data handling. All input is properly cleansed, all data is stored as UTF-8, etc.
  • Easier to integrate later on.
  • Easier to manage (both administrative and programming).
  • Ease of mind.


  • Costs money.
  • Takes time.

In the end, the only thing I care about is my ease of mind.

There is more to buying a site than just transferring over cash. People often forget that.

2 Responses to Re-write or assimilate?


Elliott C. Bäck

March 6th, 2007 at 7:10 am

How right you are–I’m currently moving over a site which would cp index.php to every subdirectory whenever it handled an upload…



March 8th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Veterans share stories about the war (whichever one it may be)

We share stories about horrible code :)