I Love You, WordPress! But…
...There are certain things that I hate about you, sadly. Yes, I know, many WordPress users will disagree (some will already have started cursing me, even without reading this article). On the other hand, many non-WP users might be passing those *I-knew-it* smiles while reading this text. Perhaps you are one of them? In any case, my point behind this article is not to trash-talk WordPress. Trust me: I love WordPress! As a matter of fact, I use WP on many of my websites. Plus, I’m currently writing this article for Noupe, an awesome website that uses WordPress. In short: WordPress, I love you. However, there comes a time, when your loved one ends up doing certain things that you cannot stand. Forgive me if I sound melodramatic, but as far as I am concerned, present-day WordPress is doing many things that I do not like. *sigh*
Things I Hate About WordPressWith you still being with me, chances are, that you have a slight idea, even see some points by yourself that I’ll be mentioning here. Maybe you have created a small list of your own? Serialized data? Global functions? Permission settings? Cluttered database? Actually, I’ve learned to live with all of that: each CMS has its own way of creating and doing things, and you cannot expect every developer to master everything. In other words, I have not many complaints related to the WP code. No matter in how good or bad shape it might be, I’ve learned to use it, and I’ve gotten used to it. What about the post editor? It surely is a pain, isn’t it? A good number of us dislike the new Media Manager for sure, don’t we? Once again, let’s just leave the Media Manager and TinyMCE alone. What exactly do I hate about WordPress then?
1. "Just Write!" --What?If you’ve paid close attention to the distraction-free editor in its initial stages, you will have noticed the text at the bottom of the screen -- “Just Write!”. As I noted in one of my previous articles, back in 2009, I migrated from Drupal to WordPress. Back then, WP offered me simplicity and ease of use. Sure, I could never give up Drupal completely, and I still like it, but WordPress offered me something Drupal didn’t -- speed and agility. Drupal was bloated, WordPress was not. However, looking at WordPress 3.5, I know one thing for sure: WordPress is no longer the bloat-free software that it once used to be. If you’ve been watching the evolution of WordPress down the ages, you will have noticed that the speed and swift operation that WP was once known for, is continuously being sacrificed at the altar of each new release. My response? Wherever possible (or necessary), use less bloated CMSs, such as Habari or Radiant, or even Concrete5.
2. Who (or What) is the Target Audience, Again?WordPress began as a blogging platform, and not essentially a CMS. However, owing to its awesomeness, it soon established itself as the world’s most popular CMS. Make no mistake about it: I strongly feel that WP deserves its #1 spot. Naturally, as the world’s apex CMS, WordPress has to cater to a diverse array of users. Its target audience includes geeks sitting in their basements, as well as grandmothers attempting to create a picture gallery on their blogs. However, the ‘average’ WP user is neither a geek nor a true newbie. He/she is, in fact, somewhere in between the two levels of expertise. Time and again, I have classified the primary users of WordPress as under:
Now, WordPress is making good attempts to please its audience. Twenty Twelve features a custom homepage that probably caters well to a corporate or business look, whereas the new Media Manager allows easy creation of galleries, which might be a blessing for portfolio users and artists. However, in the midst of all these changes, whatever happened to the bloggers’ CMS? Even the trends in WP themes present a dismal picture, which brings me to my next point!
- Portfolio purposes (artists, designers, photographers, etc)
- Corporate/business websites (you know, homepage with a big slider and 3 widgets and a separate blog page)
- News/magazine websites (though most of the time, I feel WP shares this position with Drupal, Joomla!, Expression Engine and of course MODX)
- Blogging (obviously)