I think if we're honest, wordpress is a blogging platform and if you try to deform it into your own little niche needs, you need to accept the inherent risks.
"This would actually be a much smaller issue if it wasn’t for the WordPress’ update schedule. I am 100% for constant updating of software, but the current desire to redesign the AdminUI 2-3 times a year creates a huge amount of friction from both clients and developers."
"Kev, they released a BETA version that they didn’t even load on Windows. The MENU didn’t work. Not some advanced feature throwing a bug, the fucking MENU didn’t work. I can’t test our themes and software against that. Lets be honest mate, how did it get past their tester and release procedure? Oh, thats right, they dont have a Tester. They just load it on their MacBooks and presume it works for the other 95% of the world. It’s a fucking shambles, and clearly they’ve learnt nothing since the 3.0 fuck-up."
I work with WordPress a lot, and have regularly had similar issues. Even as a blogging platform, WordPress is increasingly difficult to manage.
I agree that WordPress's issues multiply in proportion to how much you want it to do, but the fact that prerelease software has bugs is not one of them.
No, that's not what beta means. I expect core functionality to work properly in a beta. I expect there to be intermittent issues, and I expect advanced/fringe features to maybe sometimes not work. I expect there to be workarounds for most (but not all) issues that crop up. But the freakin' main menu didn't work. How is that beta-quality? I'd hesitate to call it alpha-quality.
And yes, I know, it's open source, it's free, you shouldn't feel entitled. I know. I wrote and maintained open source software for 5 years. But c'mon, from the perspective of the developer, have enough pride in your work to at least do a little testing before throwing a release over the fence.
2. The article is a bit vague (which doesn't help its case), but if the bug is the one I'm thinking of, saying that "the main menu didn't work" is a bit of an exaggeration. I believe the actual issue was that the main menu didn't work in Explorer. Broken Explorer support is very common among beta software unless they're specifically targeting Explorer specially.
I expect bugs, yes, but the "traditional" meaning of beta is that core functionality is done and it's passed through QA and some form of alpha stage with internal and some trusted external testers to catch, at a minimum, glaringly obvious stupidity.
I'll excuse a beta release with some significant but not absolutely critical feature clearly walled off and labelled "this bit doesn't work yet". I'll not excuse one where critical functionality becomes clearly unusable just by virtue of running on a supported platform. That's so beyond the pale for what is -- even if in a twisted/attenuated sense -- a commercial product as to reflect nothing less than utter incompetence.
If Wordpress was mission critical for my business, after reading this article I'd be investigating their build process very carefully. If it turns out that they don't have an effective test phase, I'd be migrating my customers to an alternative as fast as I could.
For these people, I would strongly recommend a look at ProcessWire. It's kind of like a radically simplified Drupal that is at least as easy to use as WordPress, if not more so, and has a similar attention to design and detail. I've been using it for a few months now across two very different projects, and I'm wishing I'd found it earlier.
Here is a great blog post about the transition from WP to EE written by one of our designers - http://www.viget.com/inspire/wordpress-to-expressionengine/
and here is another unique EE site that shows the flexibility of its native theming system -
Template processing is slow, processing order is wonky, and it's very easy to create N+1 query loops that can only be avoided by writing custom SQL queries/php. They also made some poor database structure choices in certain areas.
Mostly though it just boggles the mind why they put so much effort into creating a regex-based templating system when the app is already just PHP.
Still, probably the best CMS I've used and it certainly has its uses. I just wouldn't use it to develop anything complicated ever again.
Might want to revise that to "from WP to EE."
In addition to repeatable fields, they're planning a versioning system, staging states, and even a forms builder. Not exactly earth-shaking for a normal CMS, but these will open up all sorts of possibilities for ProcessWire.
At its core, ProcessWire just gives you an extensible, hierarchical (and relational when you need it) model to build upon, and then gives you a really slick jQuery-style syntax by which to access it. You build templates in PHP, but the selector syntax is so easy to work with, it brings to mind WordPress theming.
One of its founding principles is that it is markup-agnostic. I'm using it right now for an XML source that feeds a site (and possibly later a mobile site, an app, or anything), with the XML being a ProcessWire template.
That said, any CMS will struggle with the challenges that he lists. It's not some sort of magical entity where you turn it on and it's perfect.
I feel bad for his clients...
This may just be my lack of experience in Drupal talking (I've got plenty of experience in PHP, just not Drupal), but I put a pretty decent amount of thought into the matter and even mocked up simple prototypes just to see if there was something I was missing.
I have had an absolutely terrible experience with it, which sadly isn't unique amongst these big PHP projects.
My primary job for the last 2 years has been developing a Drupal site for a group of daily newspapers with monthly page views in the low 8 figures.
We were in a situation where we had to get a site up quickly (Our small group was bought off from a much larger conglomerate, so the huge $$$$ Java system we had been using
went away). Drupal allows us to get a tolerable site up in about 3 months, and a much better site up about 6 months later. Have there been pain points? Sure. But if we'd used anything else there's no way we would have been on our feet nearly as quickly.
Are we investigating other options? Of course, if I wasn't I wouldn't be doing my job. There's a part of me that would love to rewrite the whole thing in Rails or Django. That would be a huge undertaking though.
We've had different experiences, but I wouldn't touch it with a 10' bargepole, not any more. And I'm glad I've been managing to encourage my boss to start moving away from it. The only positive thing I've been able to take from it is a list of things never to do in my own code.
Like I say, it's not just Drupal. It's a side-effect of over-complication in the name of simplicity, and trying to run in parallel a system that makes it easy for non-devs to use. It's a recipe for disaster if you want lean, maintainable code.
Oh, and it causes performance problems too.
Understatement of the year so far.
I love Drupal, but since there's no bright line separating configuration and content, rolling features up from a dev environment to staging to live can sometimes be a nightmare, particularly if the Features and Strongarm modules don't have you covered.
Drupal is extremely powerful, but would be a nightmare for users used to the WP platform.
Drupal does have wysiwyg implemented as a module http://drupal.org/project/wysiwyg (actually several competing editors are possible),
Drupal also can do automated updates, though I wouldn't advise it. Drush works for it, http://drupal.org/project/drush and a lot of people use it with great success. You would want a carefully vetted rollback plan though. The better road is to forgo updates other than security until scheduled maintenance or a MUST have feature is present. The GUI /update process is actually quite nice if you've set everything up properly.
The thing about Drupal is doing everything doesn't have to be painful, but if you've approached it in a "non-Drupal" way it can get bad quickly. Drupal is complex and the hand off to a customer is never easy with complex software. Have you tried the same with Plone?
Now of course I don't expect that either of these is as user-friendly to many (and they don't solve many of the ailments that he cites without effort), but what I'm trying to escape from are the things that are just 'broken' about Wordpress. I hate the 'loop' that they use. I don't like PHP one bit compared to Ruby. No automated tests. I really dislike the way theming works generally. The layout of the entire application is just wrong to me. I like the ease of deployment, but I've got enough experience that deploying a Sinatra app takes me only seconds.
For me, what Wordpress once did for me quickly is no longer an asset generally. With my personal skills and experience I can much more quickly get a Rails/Sinatra blog off the ground than I can reskin a Wordpress one and beat it into submission.
For me it's rails for the complex stuff, SilverStripe for the simple sites. Keeps me and clients happy.
Like project management systems, CMS is destined to be reinvented by everyone, every day of the week.
If management chooses to rely on a vendor to set the roadmap, then they are fools, and there's not much you can do to help foolish management.
Still the best open source CMS I have used.
Lots of folks have tried to force Wordpress to be more than a blog platform. I've always seen these efforts in the same light as when guys dumps tons of money and time squeezing horsepower of a Honda Civic: end of the day, it's still a Civic that get its lunch eaten by a stock 'Vette.
Look, you just don't get power and flexibility in the same package as intuitive and simple. The best you can do is cut one to boost another. Take iOS. Intuitive as hell. Flexible as a piece of rebar.
Drupal's been mentioned in other comments. It's crazy powerful and very flexible... it's the Corvette to the hopped up Civic that is Wordpress. It's also hard to learn, the interface can be...challenging and the plumbing is complex.
Edit: Downvote me if you must but at least communicate why...did you build a 11 second Civic or something? ;)
Exactly. It's still a fucking Honda, and for the time/money spent on it you should have bought a Lexus. Similarly you can tweak wordpress all day long, in the end it's a blogging software.
Wordpress is the PHP of web publishing platforms. The barrier to entry is low, you can get decent results quickly, and it provides a great deal of power to the unskilled user. There are lots of things that it's good for; I'd say, in fact that in most cases it's all a company needs.
But it's really easy for it to become the only tool in the box, and pretty soon someone is in over his head trying to brute force it into being the solution to a problem that it was never designed to solve.
Now on the other hand, if you started with a British Mini...
At the risk of being pedantic, I think you mean Acura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acura).
The closest competitor, Drupal, is an absolute nightmare. For designers, developers and certainly for the end user. It still doesn't even ship with a wysiwyg editor—hard to disagree that this is precisely what the end user wants.
In Drupal, developing themes is a nightmare, theming Views output is an absolute disaster, and upgrading modules/core will almost certainly result in a whitescreen.
I don't see an alternative to WordPress at the moment. If you want to give you clients a reasonable admin interface I don't see another way around it. And I don't find that clients mind it changing 2-3 times a year—they all say it gets better each time.
Though it certainly is blog-oriented, and you will have to twist and bend it to act as a CMS, having to do this is a lot more fun than trying to wrangle a Views template file.
Drupal does have a steep learning curve, and it is certainly not for everyone. Out of the box, it's extremely easy to install... but you end up with nothing more than Wordpress until you extend it. The goal with any project though should be to find the tool that works best for the situation. For me, Drupal is (or at least can be) the answer the majority of the time.
Once you get Drupal, understand where everything is, comprehend nodes, can appreciate the beauty of blocks, and can recall which module you need for the specific situation - Drupal goes from being a nightmare to a dream. Projects that would normally take days to code in PHP or Rails end up taking hours with Drupal. You never have to think about validation, mobile compliance, or site speed if you know how to customize Drupal. To me, the best part is the community. Time and money is saved thanks to the huge number of modules and themes to choose from.
If you end up giving it another shot, check out the lynda training videos or grab a book from Amazon.
It's definitely overkill for a simple Wordpress style use case, where you have a user who wants to post to a blog. But it provides a lot of the functionality that the OP listed as missing from Wordpress.
There are plenty of cases where you would not need a WYSIWYG editor on a website - for example, when it's simply providing a web services API to another application, when it's just a front-end aggregating content from another source or when it's being used for mobile. All of which you can do with Drupal.
It's certainly not perfect, but it's definitely got it's uses.
The fact that modules break, etc. imho is a Good Thing - in following the rule of "failing fast". Since, you dont need to change/hack the drupal core to do anything complex, if a module is breaking it is typically highlighting incompatibilities with other modules (99.99% of the time). Giving a white screen on module install is exactly the right time to have it happen, rather than 1 month later, when it goes live.
I completely agree with you on the admin UI part - I had just two main peeves with Drupal 6: Postgres support, which got fixed in Drupal 7 and admin UI, which is not yet done.
I also wish that they provide a couple of starter "installation profiles" - blog, wiki, corporate, etc. - enabling a quick start for 99% of the population.
I agree. And I think this says a lot of the sorry state of Open Source (actually, even proprietary) CMS engines.
Wordpress is kinda nice, but it too breaks down.
For sites after a certain level of complexity, instead of CMS like Drupal etc, what would be useful would be a CMS lib, to build your own solution around.
Don't have my work in your idiotic constraints, just give me something like (fake language):
front_page_articles = get("type"=>"article", "limit"=>5, "published"=>true, "order"=>"DESC");
search_results = search("query"=>$query, "limit"=>100, "order"=>"RELEVANCE", "range"=>[10,20]);
add_document("body"=>$body, "title"=>$title, "createdBy"=>getCurrentUser().id. ...);
The thing that Apache Jackrabbit could be, but isn't exactly/yet.
Listen: fire a pair of "department heads", hire a pair of very good coders from the community surrounding the project you're trying to use and make the changes you want. Bonus points for giving back those changes to the project when you're done.
Bitching that the free software you tried to perch your business on isn't meeting your needs is just bad form.
WordPress is the best choice for our clients, because it's easy for them to use, FULL STOP.
Enhancing that great UX with our own sauce is hard work, but it pays of for them in the day-to-day and for us in the long run. (Referrals and repeat business.)
The OP may have left the building, but WordPress is sticking around for a long time.
I'm Kevinjohn Gallagher, the author of the post.
While I really appreciate all the comments, quite a few folks here have made presumptions that are really wide of the mark.
I love WordPress. I use it for my personal site, and thats not going to change. WordPress is very good at what it does, and Im in no way down on it for that; its just that the needs of my small company is now very different that the options WordPress gives us. There's no real drama there.
What has driven this decision though, is that sites that could/should/have-already been running nicely on WordPress have really been let down by a number of changes in the 3 releases in the last year. We deal with a lot of smaller government and charity websites - which don't pay well - and they simply can't handle the AdminUI changing every 16 weeks. To us techies thats a long time, to your average "Joe Public", thats quite a lot. Given that most of these people have really strict usage requirements (colour blind, no use of mouse, etc) the new WordPress 3.3 AdminUI is shockingly inaccessible.
So much of the change involved in the WordPress product is horribly unmanaged. And thats ok, it's free software. For our small company, this doesn't work for us anymore, so we move on. I wrote the post on my personal website, simply as a marker, to give myself closure more than anything. I'm not really sure how or why thats offended so many of you, but I'm more than happy to talk it through over e-mail ;)
We're a 5 person company, with 2-4 freelancers as needed. We're definitely not some $750k a website agency as someone mentioned. Heck thats more than double our turnover for the year!
As the volunteer admin of a small blog network, I cannot agree more.
Having to upgrade whole versions just to get a security fix is terrible practice, but I'm forced to do it.
However, it's often a band-aid that isn't big enough for the wound.
I've found that a primary reason companies start using WordPress is because the administrative console is literally the only one intuitive enough to use for most non-technical users. I see in your post and this comment that part of issues with WP is because of Admin UI changes, but I'd still bet on WPs Admin UI. I'll be curious as to your reaction when the grumbles of your devs are replaced with the grumbles from the people who write the checks.
A simple but usable product attracts new users, those new users eventually start demanding features, the features eventually get added, the new features make the product attractive to more people, some of those people become new users, they demand even more features, etc. It's a virtuous circle.
The powerful but complicated product, on the other hand, doesn't attract new users, and its existing users learn to live with its idiosyncrasies, either because they want to or because their boss orders them to. So there's never enough real pressure on the developers to make it truly usable, which means it doesn't attract new users, which means there's no pressure to make it more usable, etc. It's a vicious circle.
WordPress has been pursuing the start-simple-and-get-powerful model, and they've made a lot more progress in that direction over the last couple of years than the start-powerful-and-get-usable (Drupal, Plone, TYPO3, etc.) have at making themselves more usable.
And I am not talking about code side...
Defaults are extremely powerful things. For most users they are all of your product they will ever experience.
If your default settings are off-putting, people will feel that your software is off-putting. The defaults are the welcome mat. If the welcome mat is studded with titanium spikes coated with blowfish toxin, you shouldn't be surprised if people aren't eager to walk through the door.
Op is _developer_.
I can think of lots of alternatives for the OP but all of them have certain costs/tradeoffs that are prohibitive in many scenarios. The OP goes into great detail describe how WP doesn't meet his needs...I'm really fascinated to know what alternative he's considered that does meet his clients need and that is realistically doable?
The author does not understand that if a theme is designed properly, an admin can mark comment as spam without editing the post. In addition, just about every single thing he thinks core Wordpress lacks can be added easily with a plug-in.
You need the CAPABILITY to be able to edit posts to be able to mark comments as spam. Many of my clients want to be able to delegate SPAM marking, but not have that person be able to edit any content on the website.
WordPress has hardcoded these two CAPABILITIES together for the last 13 releases.
How certain are you that you're going to find software that won't have similar problems? One of the reasons I like open source is that I have control and can make changes when necessary.
edit - also, you basically have customers that are saying they have a pain point, please solve it. I would tell them that Wordpress is designed for the majority and there may be edge cases that don't cover their particular usage. If they would like a customized solution, you can do it for them but it will cost x amount of dollars.
<1% of spam gets through by using spam filters.
1. Allow me to kill deer.
2. If I had a dead deer, you do not allow me to cleanly gut it.
3. After gutting the deer, you also do not allow me to cook the deer.
Goodbye Swiss Army knife. I'll miss you, but my clients who don't know how to use the right tool for the right situation won't.
Mr. Gallagher clearly didn't know how to explain to his clients that there isn't a one size fits all solution and that you need to use many tools to get complex business tasks done.
1) Wordpress might seem like just a blogging engine, but this is not how the WP developers see it -- on the Wordpress .org About page, it's described as "[Wordpress] has evolved to be used as full content management system" (sic). So they expect people to use it as a CMS.
2) Plone, unless you have a lot of technical chops, is a nightmare to use and maintain. My SO had one set up for her non-profit less than a year ago and they've had so many problems with memory, weird WYSIWIG bugs/behavior (stripping all sorts of tags, including nobr, for one), confusing configuration, costly and/or poor quality plugins, frequent need to modify source, etc that they're looking to move off it ASAP. So I wouldn't recommend it if you're setting up an instance for non-technical folk.
And they appear to facilitate that. But, it tellingly IMO, doesn't say that WP was designed as a CMS or even that it was modified to become a CMS just that it has grown to be used as a CMS.
On the other hand, the alternatives kind of suck. This author doesn't even recommend one, which is odd considering he purports to have recommended WP to everyone for the last 4 years. Most other CMS solutions I've used over the last years have either been vastly overkill and overly cumbersome, or still severely lacking the features he describes as lacking in WP. It usually turned out almost as easy to develop your own skeleton CMS depending on the site's needs.
Also, why is the font on the site so large?
Another error I caught: softwre
I guess he needs spell check on top of WYSIWYG, too?
The Admin UI doesn't get a redesign 2-3 times a year. There is a big difference between redesign and adjusting. Most of the buttons are still on the same place as in WordPress 2.8. They only got replaced or have different colors. Maybe they should create admin themes so you have the ability to hold down some versions.
I think he and his team should stop complaining about things where they never tried to make it better. At least it doesn't stand in that post. I do think that WordPress can and should do a better job and I am do help a little bit with it. That was something they should do to.
The complaint about a Beta product is just lame. It's a beta version. What can you expect. A lot of Beta version of other software do break things.
This is just my point of view. If you dive into WordPress Core files you can find solution for problems you thought WordPress couldn't handle. Sometimes it can be little bit ugly code tho.
Use a CMS that's been around for more than decade which has all the features you want in a proper CMS (single sign on, WYSIWGY, multi-lingual support, a huge community of developers and service providers).
ie., Plone -- http://plone.org
(I don't say this to pick on Plone -- I'm a big fan of the TYPO3 CMS, for instance, which does lots of the things that he mentions very well, but the downside to that power is that it's insanely hard for normal people to pick up and use.)
Selecting and using a CMS requires time, preparation and mostly importantly a budget. If you haven't considered the any of these, then you can't really afford a CMS.
Also, Zope based. I worked with Zope building large portals from 2000-2004. Worked, but not a very pleasant experience.
Zope is just a datastore that happens to be well suited for storing documents. Bad things happened because people did too much magic with zope. "With power comes responsibility" etc.,
If you are looking for a custom feature set on a project that you claim WordPress doesn't meet your needs, then build a custom CMS for the job and charge appropriately. WordPress allows organizations and individuals to have massive power in their website for a fraction of the cost of a custom CMS. And in comparison to a custom CMS, it gets a great deal of testing.
WordPress is always looking for new contributors, and if your solution isn't something that works for core and the WordPress core philosophy, then you can extend your idea via a plugin.
And in the author's list of things WordPress "has either no, or severely limited" support for, he is way off the boat. There are a slew of highly talented developers that either having working solutions for or are working on almost all of those things, and more.
(Not disputing OP's critique of WordPress dev and testing.)
I've used it for plenty of projects, and IMO there are two things holding it back: the violent release cycle (frequent UI changes, out-of-date plugins, mandatory major upgrades) and the shitty performance (a standard install gets barely a single request/second on a common shared box, for a content-rich page - file based caching doesn't help much).
On the other side it's the most flexible, easy to customize and pleasant to use CMS out there. It's a shame, really.
Other CMSs I've looked at are way overkill, and while I've toyed with the idea of building my own custom CMS, the fact is I can get everything I need in a 5-minute WordPress installation and 30 minutes of plugin configuration. Theme development is straight-forward and relatively well-documented.
The investment in rolling your own is a mite more than 35 minutes. Even the act of walling off or hiding portions of Drupal is more involved than that.
"The straw the that broke the camel’s back? My Account Manager: How can we claim that [WordPress] is the CMS for our clients, when you need the capability to edit ANY content on the website simply to mark a comment as spam?"
1) That generally makes sense. You need the ability to edit content in order to edit content (in this case, comments).
2) I have never had a client require a user account which can edit comments but not edit content. This is an extreme edge case.
Wordpress has exploded in popularity largely because of its ease of use. When you start to build a system which incorporates every possible feature to please every user, it will start to suck.
If you have a requirement that is not served with Wordpress (1) built it as a plugin or (2) use another system like Drupal. It is that simple.
Actually, that's a moderator.
The problem is that WordPress is really, really good at basic things. Things which involve end users and ease of functionality, this covers quite a bit of actual work.
The problem arises when you need to extend that functionality outside the box, you're used to working with something great, you're taking it for granted that it can do anything.
Well it can't, some very basic functions like say a forms API or media API which you consider essential , does not even exist.
I think there has been a strain lately that the core team, especially with J. Wells leadership, has concentrated WAY to much on UI and Design. Developers are starting to look elsewhere for actual functionality that keeps up, the problem is so far there is not much out there that is easy to use.
I'd argue that WordPress is extremely solid and mature for these uses.
At one point most projects will hit a wall where the demands outgrow the constraints of the framework. So, if you're lucky, your framework will end up being somewhat flexible. Stability and good testing practices are also important and often neglected.
As someone stated in the comments. Wordpress isn't the solution to all. Mainly it's a blogging system with the possibilities to add some static content. Of course there are many plugins which enrich the wordpress expirience but a blogging system stays a blogging system at heart.
If you speak words like
* Document Management
* Workflow Management or
* Digital Asset Management
It's most likely you misunderstood Wordpress and it's capabilities from begin.
I personally use Wordpress for many purposes private and for professional work. But if the client's demands are to high i switch instantly to better suiting solutions (which does not mean that wordpress is bad but probably not suitable for all use-cases) which makes the client even happier.
About selling the right thing:
If you go to the customer and tell him "This one-shot solution will be Wordpress and you can do everything with it !" You already oversold it and probably you should speak with your business development guys ;)
One point i agree is the release schedule, which creates quite a lot of work trying to stay up to date with every wordpress instance you have. But i never saw the so called "perfect solution" not in OpenSource and not in "I pay fricken lot money for licences"-Software.
just my two cents
(Although it has it share of cons too, it can do many of the items on the list. Some require coercing, but doable.)
edit, in progress:
- Document management- No, not Word, Excel files etc. but can do revisions/diffs on site content, and manage files to some degree.
- Workflow management- http://drupal.org/project/workflow
- Digital asset management- http://drupal.org/project/media
- Link management - http://drupal.org/project/pathauto and others... not sure what you need here.
- User management - Default may do what you need, can do more.
- ESI Caching / CDN ability. - (no esi in drupal 7) / http://drupal.org/project/cdn
- WYSIWYG editing- Many options but sometimes flaky.
- Single Sign-on- http://drupal.org/project/bakery
- Multi-side Admin - Not sure. Different user groups can have different access.
- Publishing options - Quite a few. what do you need?
- Access Management - http://drupal.org/project/acl and more.
- Application - ?
- Multi-lingual - http://drupal.org/project/i18n
- n-to-n content sharing- user to user sharing?
- Reporting - what kind?
Disclaimer: I've used it for a few projects; More experience than word-press or joomla.
I think every single CMS/platform/framework can be criticized or even demonized if you search well.
EE is pretty powerful in enabling you to get a site with multiple customized CRUD data up and running quick. Though the makers of EE need to do some serious work on documentation, as it took me about a week to fully understand how all the parts fit together (Our designer is having major issues wrapping her head around it). As with most any other CMS, when you hit the limit of EE, it is a hassle to add that one small item you need.
There is an active 3rd party plugin community. With quite a few being paid plugins.
The overall license charge and additional plugins are just a drop for any major project. It is exciting to know there are a few 3rd party folks making some good money on small EE plugins. I may just write a few of my own.
In general the plugins / addons create much less problems than the Drupal equivalents. Also, from what I heard is that it's now easier to hack EE through its CodeIgniter base.
Prce is an issue, but really, what is 200USD if you're billing thousands for the whole project? Lack of a demo, no excuse for that if it really is the case.
I would love to check it out; but if I don't like it or it won't work for my clients it's a total hassle.
It would not take much for them to setup a personal sandbox demo just like spree commerce does ( http://spreecommerce.com/demo )
It can't be that they don't want people to think the product is too complicated before purchase, as their after purchase help docs are limited and they have no personal follow up or checkin.
Our aim is to get close to the power of something like Drupal with a simple and usable interface that's a joy to use. All fully hosted, requiring no maintenance.
It's not free software but from my biased perspective its by far the best CMS I've ever used and my clients love it.
Demo here: http://demo.wheelhousecms.com
I agree with others above that the author could have mentioned alternatives.
Ease of install and being able to run on a $3/mo hosting plan is not the game CMSes play.
PS: I was thinking more £30 to £100/month with someone else handling the platform...
Mostly because as a first-time poster, no-one knows you here and it would be good to see some impartiality or at least a critical argument about what sets concrete5 apart in respect to addressing the concerns of the article.
There seems to be dozen of CMS users:
* Marketing (free form, reporting, link management)
* Document Management users (structured, access management)
* Store front aka E-Commerce (structured)
* Simple Company Site (blog/wiki)
What I routinely see is CMS' that try to solve all these problems. OR the CMS is basically just a platform/library which really doesn't help the end user.
Part of this is what caused me to start http://snaphop.com which is a mobile campaign management (cms for marketeers) instead of the general mobile content management which has the same problems above except for mobile.
Most every other CMS would not be suitable for disabled users, colour blind users, those not using a mouse.. (unfortunately).
> "those not using a desktop PC"
Wordpress had a pretty nice official mobile interface.
> "those using a microsoft browser, especially those using IE6 or IE7"
IE6 is not supported by most website. Facebook recently stopped supporting IE7. IE8+ works fine.
> "(Bluntly, if you’re not using a Mac, look out)."
There is no basis for this comment.
I am not sure why we are giving this author this much attention.
I don't really agree with the OP that all of the workflow functionality belongs in the core. If he thinks this is something a lot of users want, why doesn't he write a plugin? If he's right (and maybe he is..?) then it would be a huge hit.
If more hooks are needed to allow plugin developers to implement these things and make WordPress more competitive with enterprise CMS systems, I would support that. But I would not support adding a bunch of complexity to the core.
Rolling a custom CMS every time a client needs something isn't really a good, flexible solution. There are other options out there, like CMSes built on top of existing frameworks (e.g. Diem or Sympal, which are built on Symfony), but I'm not really sure how viable those are. I am curious if anyone else has other ideas...
I've developed customized WP sites for things like realtors, business directories, news sites, restaurants, online stores, local governments, and quite a few small/medium sized businesses.
The only way to use WP to it's full advantage is to first of all, take advantage of custom post types and taxonomies. Organize your content. Also, you need to customize the backend so you're only allowing you client to see certain information. There are great plugins available such as Adminimize, and the User Role Editor for properly assigning permissions to your user roles.
As far as security is concerned, this obviously depends on the administrator. Simple things such as not using "admin" as the administrator, and NOT using wp-admin as your path for the backend, proper file permissions on the WP installation dir, etc, are all simple practices.
To say WP is just blogging software obviously means you haven't been paying attention for the past 3 years.
What people don't seem to get that WordPress has been morphing from "just" a blogging platform to a CMS ever since 3.0 shipped. It'll just be a matter of time before most of the legacy stuff is gone and we'll have a CMS that can do blogging instead of the other way around.
Sure, you can use WordPress as a pretty good CMS, but there are going to be cases that WordPress chooses not to handle. Some of those cases seem to be what this guy needs in his site, so he's not using WordPress. That's it.
And unless I'm missing something, www.techcrunch.com isn't even a complex site: blog posts in the left-hand column followed by comments, a smattering of basic widgets in the right-hand column, and ... uh ... that's it?
"Please someone inform Z (people/companies that abuse X as Y or even use it as K<<Y)"
Doesn't look that smart this way, now, does it?
I had way too many situations where a plugin would break after a WordPress update and the author wouldn't support it anymore.
Also, there are malicious plugins on WordPress.org with no direct way to submit report or post a warning. Can you imagine a FaceBook widget that after a while of use starts to promote some rogue site?
The OP's company is in the business of selling WordPress-based solutions and that to me seems like a shaky business at best. In another post the OP clarified himself in saying that they are not a large business and mostly work with non-profit and small organization without a large development budget so I guess now his write-up makes more sense. But perhaps instead of ragging on WordPress for not being something they were hoping it to be, they should be thanking the authors of WordPress for for creating a tool and releasing it free of charge allowing the OP's company to stay in business for this long.
His company requirements outgrew Wordpress, its how you can resume that big article.. I also don't understand his 'windows' problems? I guess he is talking about ie7 and less, and well in a beta you can expect problems with legacy.
Your a real wp dev? well you know where to draw the line where wordpress becomes a drag, and act consequently, that does not mean removing it entirely from your stack, that just mean using something more custom when the situation arise.
I'm sorry but 3/4 of the world web agencies can't create a better user experience as far as the administration panel is concern.. It's the best bang for buck for simple content and blog websites.
Maybe this guy just got the wrong people around him too..
tl;dr; Wordpress is great for a blog. I think they put a lot of effort to make UI perfect for single user blog. And it is easy to install. But what happens next - people try to do something with wordpress it not supposed to do. And that's where problems start comming.
Not so much the website/blog of a startup of 10 people. For that kind of use-case -- Wordpress is awesome.
• WordPress comes with an attitude and a path. And as long as you are in this same attitude and path, you are fine. Otherwise it's best to part ways...and stop complaining...
• You should have spent more time building plugins to complement the WordPress System. You waited for others to deliver to you... (which is a bad call for a developer of your stature)
It looks like it wasn't the right tool to base the business on.
The trick is to not download random plugins; stick to things with lots of reviews and lots of downloads. Installing some security plugins will help (WebsiteDefender, both the plugin and the service, is a good example), as will putting your site behind a protective CDN like CloudFlare (and since they're free, there's really no good reason not to do this..)
Really, wordpress.org users are the testers, wordpress.com users are the customers. I'd love to hear what the OP now recommends though, that would provide some good perspective.
Tons of free software projects have ESTABLISHED testing procedures. Have some of your developers/project members sit and check it is OK before shipping it.
Even more so, if you have a huge company and PAID developers on the project (Automatic).
1) Unable to change content types
2) Funneled into the "Blog" post type, which is simply called "Posts", with no easy way to kill this off and create your own
3) User group management
The list could go on forever.
However, if the shoe doesn't fit, why force it? Did the author ever consider using (or building) a CMS that fit the needs of the project?
Also, it's an open source piece of software. Why not contribute some time yourself and fix the problem related to moderate_comments (http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/4802)?
Other than that, this post is a bit infuriating as it lacks background as well as a solution. Thanks for letting us know you'll no longer choose WordPress as your (seemingly only) choice of CMS. And thanks for not providing one ounce of helpful insight for how to improve the problem or what the alternatives are.
Now try moving those posts to a different post type.
Not so easy, now is it?
I do not understand. Wordpress can certainly use custom content types.
So presumably this is hyperbole and you'd still recommend it, only for a more limited range of sites.
The big question, as others have said I think, is what do you now recommend?
For one, WP is always trying to improve the WYSIWYG experience, but if you're not happy just look at all the alternatives available for free in the plugin repository
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/wysiwyg - some with very high adoption and ratings.
You could even integrate with markdown if you wanted http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/markdown - what other CMS has these kinds of options in the writing experience?
I've used 9/10 CMS's in the market right now, and although there are the occasional mishaps, it's still the best CMS regardless. Some will say it's only a blogging engine, but it has enough functionality, when used correctly, to battle most CMS systems. Especially with it being free... you have absolutely no room to complain.
* document management (I assume more like an enterprise CMS)
* link management (outbound links on posts? detect 404s?)
* publishing options
It serves neither purpose well and someone who who claims to have been working on the internets ever since their immaculate inception should know better than to recommend [hosted] Wordpress to anyone other than the random dreamer who still thinks that they need a website from which to pontificate. In good conscience, I no longer even do that, as I find it to be a cruel exercise to inflict on someone who's otherwise harmless.
If the inability to moderate a comment is your biggest argument against a system, then I look forward to the follow-up post in six months when you truly try to implement any of the other "major CMS'".
Many people here are mentioning that this isn't what WordPress was built for – and this is true. But WP can be used amazingly well for any style of site. The fact is it has a hockey stick curve of usage because it does make a wonderful web backend.
My biggest curiosity is Drupal. After implementing it for major clients, managing it for major clients, and working with many developers who swear by it, I've never seen it work well for user or admin. It just seems so terrifyingly inbred.
I can agree with him on things like lack of a fancy wysiwyg, but workflows? Multi side admin? Pay someone to implement that for you if you don't want to do it yourself.
A simpler more effective plugin system (current one is an unmitigated mess).
Others cool stuff have been added lately such as drag and drop uploads.
This guy is expecting to have someone coding a custom software for him just because it's available with GPL license. Non-sense.
Wordpress is not a CMS.
It's a blogging engine.
Especially since it is made up of exactly the same kind of procedural spaghetti that makes WordPress such a joy to work with... "clean php5.3+" my ass.
And I'm not spamming when I contribute an anecdote or other information to a discussion, or when I post a request for feedback on r/php. Startups come to HN to post their launches and updates all the time and it's not spam. Go look at the front page right now and count the number of open source projects making announcements. I've made exactly one story submission to HN about my project, and I've mentioned it while contributing to a discussion a total of four times in six months.
On the other hand, alternatives like Drupal are just too complicated for users, which leads to them simply not keeping their sites updated. So I'm building an alternative that focuses on minimalism, so it's lightweight and fast, and easy because it's uncluttered.
Obviously I have a long way to go in terms of supporting the plethora of plugins Wordpress users enjoy, but I've got a solid showing already for being a 6-month-old project. I've been implementing CMSes for about 12 years now, from newspaper and university sites to simple ma & pa sites, so I've personally made all of the mistakes you can make and learned what does and doesn't work.
So I don't mean to just disparage Wordpress, but it's a platform that's been stretched far beyond its central purpase and it shows, and I think an alternative is due.