June 22, 2015 / Web/
WordPress as a CMS? Five years ago, you would’ve been laughed at. But now, it’s powering much more than just your cousin’s blog – it’s the engine driving big, complicated websites. It hurts me to admit this, but it’s possibly the best CMS out there right now. Despite its flaws.
Why is WordPress the best?
WordPress’s editing experience is reason alone to crown it the best. Combine this with it’s plugin architecture, themes, community and low cost-of-entry and you have the perfect storm. Nothing seems to come close.
Other solid products such as Drupal and Umbraco don’t stand a chance against all this. They are hard to use and you probably need an experienced developer to get off the ground. Even if you get something built, the writing and maintenance experience is sub-par.
I work with technology everyday, and have had a bit of exposure to Drupal over the last few years. Even I struggle to find my way around the Drupal admin interface and perform basic tasks. Your average web content producer isn’t going to last long in this environment.
Users want a simple, clean, pain-free experience.
WordPress is a classic example of the consumerisation-of-IT. People get familiar with it in a personal setting, and then bring it into work. The trouble with the consumerisation of IT is that it generally doesn’t scale well. “Nerdy” things such as information architecture and performance aren’t on the radar of the average IT consumer.
No one seems to care that WordPress doesn’t have a proper permission model. People don’t seem to care that plugins regularly break things when they are updates. People don’t seem to care that extra fields are still treated as second-class citizens. People don’t seem to care that it can easily kill your DB server if you have an unexpected traffic spike.
WordPress is a success despite these drawbacks. WordPress isn’t yet at it’s peak.
I wish all this wasn’t the case. I would love a CMS with the editing experience, community and low cost-of-ownership of WordPress, but with a much more solid information architecture, focus on performance and less breakage when updates roll out.
I was a true CMS for the Content Everywhere revolution.
I haven’t found the answer yet, so for now I’m sticking with WordPress and grumbling under my breath every time I hit one of these well known problems. Hopefully something else pops up in the next few years. Surly there is a gap in the market? Surly someone will come up with something that takes the best of WordPress, but is built for the future.
Maybe I’m wrong, and there is a product out there which meets these requirements. Maybe a next-generation CMS exists. If so, please leave a comment. I’d love to be proven wrong.
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