Abhijit Nadgouda @ iface’s article, “WordPress: The Goods and The Bads”, is a well written and clear look at the good, bad, and the ugly of WordPress.
A lot has been written about the niceties of WordPress and its capabilities; its tweaks and extending its limits. Particularly Lorelle On WordPress site and the post websites pushing wordpress beyond its limits points to very good stuff.
Nevertheless, as a software engineer I will analyse it from a different perspective – for more industry use than individual use. Blogging is not personal any more, the industry has accepted it as an effective form of broadcasting, marketing and community development, hence this effort.
WordPress is a kind of tool that gives you instant conviction, both as a user and developer. To be able to setup your website quickly and also see a UI for managing it makes you feel powerful. This concept is applied in lots of tools to create Content Management Systems. The idea is to control entire lifecycle of the content using a single platform. Where most of these tools differ today is the flexibility and performance that they provide. Some of them are built for specific purposes or with certain ideologies. I will consider WordPress as a CMS tool specific to blogging.
Beyond the plug for Lorelle on WordPress, Nadgouda makes some excellent points on how successful WordPress is in many areas, and where improvement is needed, tackling the issue of how WordPress works, on the surface as well as under the hood.
One of the topics he covers deals with the way the program works with PHP and MySQL, a challenge for WordPress developers. The struggle to constantly keep up with the latest developments in support technologies comes smack up against backwards compatibility. Being dependent upon web hosts of all shapes, sizes, and colors to upgrade their PHP and MySQL versions in a timely fashion means being dependent upon lazy or slow to move web hosts. I’ve been begging my web host on Taking Your Camera on the Road to upgrade Apache for over a year to no avail. Unfortunately, this isn’t reason enough to switch, but it does make me debate frequently.
Another issue I struggle in Nadgouda’s review is connecting WordPress as a blogging tool with a CMS (Content Management System). While WordPress is getting closer and closer to being classified as a CMS, there are still some major distinctions that keeps WordPress out of the CMS game completely. It’s great if you are into simplified CMS features, but for serious content management, you will have to use many WordPress Plugins and do some tweaking with the core programming files to bring WordPress up to CMS qualifications.
It is my opinion that until WordPress offers more control over the Administration Panels Post management, by allowing searching by authors, categories, and other sorting and management options, WordPress is still more blogging tool than CMS. Still, the lines are blurring as more CMS tools are now including many powerful WordPress features.
There is one topic I am totally in agreement with Nadgouda: The WordPress built-in search.
WordPress has search that is partly effective. It does not search through everything, there are some plugins to this effect, but they will never be as effective as WordPress supporting it by design. The search does not show relevance or highlights of searched keywords. It needs a strong search enging that can index the data and provide better search performance.
Overall, Nadgouda’s review highlights WordPress as a valuable and important tool for blogging with good CMS features and if you are debating about choosing WordPress or not, it’s worth a read.