WordPress is a very interesting beast and the most powerful General Purpose Framework on the market.
The reason for this is that it can be used in 3 primary ways.
(a) As a design tool where third party extensions can be included and configured
(b) As a design tool where developers can program plugins & extensions to improve upon the WordPress functionality
(c) As a framework that you can include in third party engines & other frameworks.
I myself am in love with option C and this is how I use WordPress.
By using WordPress in this way, one can use every single component of WordPress including all the plugins and extensions, and pull them into other PHP development environments making it the most powerful General Purpose PHP framework in the world, dwarfing the functionality of its closest competitor Laravel.
Simply in terms of the size of the community and the massive monstrous number of extensions, WordPress is the only general-purpose framework that I use and the only one that I care about.
By using this approach you only use the parts of WordPress that you need to use and you can switch everything off that you don’t want to use, removing the bloat and increasing productivity 10 fold in comparison to building plugins through the highly messy & Long-winded plugin building API & Third-party frameworks that WordPress provides.
As a developer, I can produce sophisticated and fast applications at a fraction of the cost and delivery speed for the client.
This is not something that I was taught how to do, it is a methodology that I stumbled upon almost 10 years ago and have become a specialist in.
I have built dozens of WordPress applications like this at a fraction of the cost of those that use Frameworks such as Laravel.
I would encourage all WordPress programmers to take this approach when building applications for WordPress.
There is only one thing that you need to do before you can use WordPress in third-party applications and frameworks and that is to run a full installation.
Learning this method of development will not only make you fall completely in love with the immense power of WordPress but it will make you wonder why you ever wasted your time bothering with Laravel which has about 1% of the extensions that WordPress has and around 5% of the community.
It must be noted that WordPress already powers 43% of all known websites and 60% of all PHP websites are built-in WordPress. The other 20% are built-in raw PHP making Laravel one of around 10 different mainstream frameworks that make up the last 20%.
And you know what the beauty of using this system is? Every extension that you install can then be called in the third-party application but managed from the WordPress dashboard from the vanilla install. This is also the same for any line of code that you write because effectively you are just building WordPress pages in external applications and making use of the entire WordPress framework.