WordPress sucks….well at least it does to me. Now I know that there are many people out there that use and love WordPress daily. My cousin Mark is a a phenom when it comes to WordPress and Genesis Framework. Robbie Ferguson of Category5 Technology TV just setup one of his co-hosts, Sasha Dirmeitis with a nice looking WordPress blog. For the right kind of person, WordPress is awesome…but I’m not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I think WordPress is an awesome technology and if you are a non-technical user/blogger or a business of some sort then I’d say WordPress is probably perfect for you. Actually, this blog you are reading now is on a WordPress blog platform.
So, why do I not love WordPress ? Well, for one, my blog loads pretty slow for my standards. Of course, I do realize that a lot of this has to do with my hosting provider and the fact that I am on a shared server. I also know that WordPress, as great as it is (and can be in the right hands) is based on a fairly complex back-end architecture involving PHP code and a MySQL database. This makes for some rather cool things you can do with it, but it also adds overhead for processing. Not a big deal if you are on a nice optimized server with the appropriate CPU and RAM. As a matter of fact, you can have your WordPress set hosted on a server that’s dedicated and optimized for WordPress. However, with complexity there is always added overhead.
Secondly, being a techie guy, I really like to tweak and play…This can be a bad combination in WordPress unless you really know the back-end and are comfortable with code. Now, I love code just like so many other techie’s but with WordPress one wrong move and you could have a mess on your hands. So that means making backups of the entire server folder sub directory AND the MySQL database before tinkering. Theming in WordPress can also get pretty complex, so to “trick out” your site, you have to be pretty intimate with a number of technologies or stick with pre-made themes. Some of the pre-made themes are free (like the one I’m using) and some are not. Also, to add any kind of real cool stuff, you have to use plugin which are just extra chunks of code that sort of bolt onto the WordPress back-end. There are a lot of plugins to choose from: some are great and some suck.
My solution? Well, I have been playing around with this cool CMS (Content Management System) called PicoCMS that is written in PHP but it’s not huge and it uses simple text files for it’s pages instead of a back-end data base. This means there is no database to maintain, or break, or have to backup. The database cannot become corrupted because one does not exist. You simply install it on your server and go. Pages are written in a markup language called Markdown, which I absolutely love and once you save a page to your server, it automatically becomes a page on the site. Don’t want a page anymore? Rename it or move it and it’s gone! You can theme your website using the Twig framework which was designed to use a simple scripting language to theme your site. PicoCMS allows you to blog, add plugins, a write your own plugins as well.
Now, to be fair, PicoCMS is really not for normal users. It may even sound like it’s more complex than WordPress, but it’s not to someone who already programs a fair bit and doesn’t mind doing it. I like to tweak and I like to code so it’s perfect for me. I have it installed on a cloud server I run through Digital Ocean and it is pretty cool. I’m just beginning to play with it but it’s fun for a guy like me. I’m techie, programmer type who just wants something fast, that I can tweak to my hearts content that does not have a complete back-end database structure that I constantly have to worry about and a templating system that seems pretty easy for me to use without an advanced degree in CSS or WordPress themes.
The bottom line is that WordPress is a great website architecture if you really do not care to get into the “nuts and bolts” of the back end. For the casual user, professional blogger, or full scale business WordPress might be just what you need. For me, not so much. That’s the beauty of technology these days; there is something for everyone. Incidentally, as I mentioned at the start, my cousin Mark is a wiz with WordPress. You can check out his site at MarkStruczewski.com for all kinds of great success tips, productivity tips, and other cool stuff. He’d love to hear from you too. Ask him about WordPress and you’ll see he know’s his stuff.
As for me, I am going to continue to play with PicoCMS, because…well…I think it’s cool and for me, that’s what really matters.