Did you know that WordPress used to be a – wait for it – blogging platform? Not a CMS, not an alternative for the mammoth sites of today, but a blog platform. Some will call it the good old days, which would be a lie wrapped in cuddly pink nostalgia fluff. Because let’ get something straight right away: WordPress has never been as good as it is today.
Again: WordPress has never been as good as it is today.
Yet there still are competitors, and new ones appear every now and then. What’s up with that?
I’ll tell you what, people want even better experiences, and some of us are willing to work for it. That’s why Habari came to be, that’s why there are PHP clones of (ruby gem) Jekyll, and that’s why Dustin Curtis would even begin to create Svbtle.
(Svbtle is a brilliant name by the way. Very subtle. You decide of that was sarcasm or not, I haven’t had my coffee yet so I’m not sure myself.)
WordPress competitors aren’t launched to destroy all that we love about our platform, they are born out of a different need.
We can all learn from that, and we should all consider the alternatives as I’ve pointed out before. Knowing what’s out there is very healthy.
Now, I recommend WordPress as a CMS for just about every client that crosses my path, and those are quite a few. It’s an easy decision because not only is WordPress a great CMS, but it is also something a lot of the users are already familiar with. Win-win.
But for blogging, straight ol’ just publish a series of posts type of blogging, I feel as if WordPress has gotten too big. I solve it, for clients that is, by hiding features they don’t need and hence making it easier to use, but every time I do I can’t help to wonder how we got here. This used to be the blogging platform, and although none of the alternatives really warrant me to recommend them for customers, I have player around with them a lot for my own amusement. I like to keep things tight and small and clean, and WordPress is nothing of the sorts. Not that it should be, it has evolved, but it makes me stop and think sometimes.
This is bad actually, because I sincerely doubt I’m alone in entertaining these thoughts. People like me, from developers and designers to high profile writers and free thinkers (aren’t we all? where’s the bloody coffee already?!) will always look onwards at a certain point. We will swap platforms, and others will follow. This is an universal truth and it is a good thing, otherwise I’d still be using MS-DOS, or Windows, or inferior Linux distributions, or… You get the picture.
I’m not spelling DOOM for WordPress. I’m not even saying that there are better options for simple blogging, because I don’t think there are for the average user, and my obsession with text files is being medicated into submission most of the time.
What I am saying is that there are a lot of ideas, concepts and alternatives that do blogging better than WordPress at a glance.
What I am saying is that WordPress imposes way too much of an CMS on the writer for powering a simple blog.
Finally, what I’m also saying that we can fix this. We just need a better admin interface. I really got to get crackin’ on that, this is the
second third time it has come up in these rambling columns of mine.
Change. Got to love it.
Photo by Jason OX (CC)