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Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: lorax & rogerd

WordPress Forum

This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59 ( [1] 2 > >     
So you're using WordPress. Why?
Because it's the best darn CMS out there.
lorax




msg:4346432
 12:00 am on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Anyone that's chatted with me at PubCon [pubcon.com] knows I'm all for a heartfelt discussion on something meaty and/or controversial. I like to debate a point, respectfully. I can learn a lot from someone that takes the opposite position to mine. The key is keeping the discourse civil. So, here's an opener for you to consider.

WordPress happens to be the best CMS available at the moment. Bar none. Out of the box, it could easily drive 98% of the websites on the planet. The rest of them would take a bit of tweaking but I still think it could handle them. Sure it has it's faults and yes, I'm stirring the pot. What say ye? (Please engage in thoughtful and respectful repartee)

Why?
the framework is flexible and extensible (just look at the number of plugins for an idea of relative ease of implementation)
the documentation is superb above all other CMS' IMHO
there are a huge number of implementations (50 million and counting - yes some of those are on WordPress.com - does Joomla have one of those?)
massive community support - so many folks monitoring and participating in the WordPress forums. Tips, tricks, troubleshooting, if it hasn't already been asked/answered then support is typically pretty quick
and it's the spirit of the community. I won't deny that Joomla et al have a community spirit as well but WordPress has been at it far longer. Sheer numbers tells the story.

So come on. Let's engage in a serous discussion about WordPress. Love it or hate it, let's hear your thoughts (but keep it clean please).

 

jk3210




msg:4346441
 12:38 am on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have 23 WP sites and in my opinion WP has two main faults...

1.) It's slooow. Doing your edits over the net is a big time-waster even on sites hosted at WP. I wish WP was set up like traditional site creation software where you make your edits on your local machine, then upload the pages. In this regard, even lowly FrontPage was superior to WP.

2.) To WP, everything is a blog post. Sure, you can do wonderful things by changing themes and css, but THAT'S the point, you DO HAVE TO CHANGE the css. It's not even remotely on par with modern WYSIWYG software. The WP text editor is crap and auto-formatting is a curse if you're looking to do more than just blog about your cat.

Yes, there are lots of plugins, but a good number of those plugins were only created to make up for WP's shortcomings.

alt131




msg:4346839
 8:32 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi Lorax, great question, but few of those advantages are apparent when a member lands in the css forum with a code problem.

I just checked the wordpress site, and the intro goes something like:
1. Get a blog
2. Decide on content
3. Use fancy features of admin system.

Shouldn't that be
1. Have content
2. Deliver to maximum number of users

Cms seems to be all about the users of the cms - not about the users of the website - so are you really sure your way of measuring "best" really is the "best" measure? <--- I had to read that twice, but it does make sense ;)

Leosghost




msg:4346936
 1:48 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

A new wordpress ( plugin ) exploit ..0day
[markmaunder.com...]

Exploits being the most "communal" aspect of wordpress IMO ..ie; almost anyone can "own" your wordpress installation..with the digital equivalent of piece of bent wire..

ps..a fix ( maybe the only fix for now ) is also on the page I linked to..but one needs to be quite calm about delving into the gubbinsses of WP to apply it..

Ghalib




msg:4347050
 8:07 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The wordpress applications are user friendly and search engine friendly as well. You will notice that just you post something in new post, at the same moment it gets cached.. that is the main special feature for which I like wordpress.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4347077
 10:26 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The points/pros are fair lorax, but you did forget to mention that it is an 'out of the box' website, it wasn't too long ago we were having to make sites from scratch! The CMS's main benefit; it saves time.

I went old-school the past month or two and developed a basic flat-file CMS, no DB reliance, all CSS/templates/file structure can be customised down to the last character, but in the end it's quite simple and just delivers content by piecing together HTML fragments (header, navigation, footer), CSS, JS, and finally the content.

I was thinking I could add JQuery on particular pages if I required it. The structure and admin is there, and I have the basic HTML/JS knowledge to get it working.

Isn't that the benefit of Wordpress? The fact that it has all these hooks and plugins, the basic WP is a 'master of the DOM' and it can all-happen behind the scenes with pointing and clicking a GUI. Every element of it is defined and can be expanded upon by plugins.

The bare-bones CMS I have weighs in at 140K, including HTML and admin, I've always felt that WP, Drupal and the like just have too much extra stuff in there and it's a bit like learning a new language entirely; getting to grips with a new system of the scope of WP.

Sorry that I haven't discussed the pros and cons compared to other popular CMS's. Though one good point I can think of, it's good for SEO content to appear more mainstream because of its popularity web-wide.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4347097
 11:25 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wordpress is good but it's got some nasty habits you need to be aware of and it has the potential to be a HUGE underperformer if not used properly.

An example of a nasty habit would be the database growing in size without adding to the site. Visiting the dashboard generates a LOT of feed related data in your database (_transient_feed%) and the simple habit of double checking a post or making a spelling correction causes 2-3 or more copies of the post to be stored as revisions and autosaves. Do that consistently and your database becomes many times bigger, and slower, than it should be.

An example of underperforming, adding widgets that look great but do things under the hood that slow down the site be it with markup bloat, too many database calls or worse, calling home to the plugin author.

It takes some learning to turn wordpress into a hotrod but once there... vrroooooom!

smithaa02




msg:4347136
 1:31 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

To Sgt_Kickaxe, any specific tips on improving wordpress performance?

albo




msg:4347153
 1:59 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I understand all the downsides mentioned. But I see WP as a great item to pass to a not-too-savvy client who needs an easy way to maintain a group (perhaps even a large group) of "static" text pages without my constant attention.

And, yes, I've diddled the CSS already. And enjoyed the quite helpful support forum.

What say you all to *this* sort of case. Anything better?

netmeg




msg:4347154
 2:01 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

I've come around to doing pretty much everything in WordPress now. It's very flexible, if you know what you're doing (or have a good developer on call) you can pretty much do anything you want with it. There are some areas where the plugins leave a LOT to be desired (ecommerce, event management, etc) but if I can't find what I want I can get someone to write it. I've got some killer ideas for premium plugins. I'm also a big fan of theme frameworks, because they really open up the options as well.

I find I am able to use WordPress in some client situations when I can't do exactly what I want to do in their shopping cart or non-WordPress CMS (I'm looking at you, Magento) I can just slap WordPress on a subdomain, port over a lookalike theme, and create PPD and email campaign landing pages, flip books for catalogs, image and video galleries and all the stuff where a ton of WP plugins can make my life easier.

I put one of my primary sites into WordPress this year; previously it was just plain ole HTML, PHP and a MySQL DB. Was somewhat worried about the performance aspects, because at times this site gets over a million pageviews per day. But with some help from a good caching plugin (I use W3 Total Cache) and some tweaking by my hosting company, it sailed through quite easily. So now most of the rest of my Evil Empire will go into WordPress eventually as well.

I could wish the people behind WordPress put a little more effort into security rather than some of the other hijinks they engage in.

Also, hosting matters. I have tried close to a dozen different hosts over the years, and it's taken me a while to get my strategy in place. Some hosts are really insecure. Some (like GoDaddy) just plain suck at WordPress hosting (security AND performance) If you depend on your site, don't go bottom feeder on the hosting. I have one host I use for mission critical stuff, another host (with one of those unlimited sites via CPanel plans) for development, and I'm working on building my own VPS.

wheel




msg:4347163
 2:07 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's the Windows XP of the CMS world. It's biggest advantage is that everyone's using it. If you're a purist, get something else.

J_RaD




msg:4347165
 2:09 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)


To WP, everything is a blog post. Sure, you can do wonderful things by changing themes and css, but THAT'S the point, you DO HAVE TO CHANGE the css. It's not even remotely on par with modern WYSIWYG software. The WP text editor is crap and auto-formatting is a curse if you're looking to do more than just blog about your cat.


that silly WYSIWYG they give you is so annoying, i just create all my pages in DW then paste the HTML code over. *gag*

smithaa02




msg:4347191
 2:43 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

If anybody is trying to do more advanced editing with the WYSIWYG editor, I would suggest the plugin 'TinyMCE Advanced'. Gives you lots more widgets, contextual options and the ability to control how line breaks are handled or stripped. Something like this really should have been standard with wordpress. There are also plugins out there that will prevent (whitelist) certain elements like iframes from being stripped as well.

lorax




msg:4347194
 2:49 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

All valid points!

Security is an issue at times. But are the other CMS's really better at this or is this a matter of perception?

Hosting does matter as does the setup. Speeding up WordPress by loading scripts down low in the template, using a caching program, and designing templates to reduce HTTP calls for resources are all standard tricks.

I've seen a shift in how the WordPress team is developing the GUI for the Admin. It appears to me to becoming more unified and intuitive - not that it wasn't pretty good before.

@jk3210: can you give some examples of other CMSs that use "modern WYSIWYG" software? I know that Joomla allows you to use different WYSIWYG editors. Others? Any news from the WP development team on this?

@alt131: My gauge for "best" is both. I know that WordPress may not rank well in either category (admin and public display) alone or straight out of the box but I do contend that it has all the makings and in the hands of someone that knows how to use the API it can be extremely powerful.

I do hope the WordPress team builds a better security structure. I'm not sure what that means exactly but I know there are holes in there and when an exploit is released, all heck breaks loose until the hole is plugged. The dev team does seem to be pretty good at plugging - and in some cases identifying the hole in advance. But it does leave me to wonder sometimes. The funny thing to bare in mind is that WordPress is pretty open about the exploits and updates. How open are Joomla, SilverStripe, et al?

Panthro




msg:4347207
 3:15 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wordpress is terrible. It's easy to set up and use for a simple blog or website, it's open source, and there's a lot of good plugins for it - but that's about all I can say for it. It's slooooooowwwww, it has that terrible line break bug which for some reason is never fixed, and worst of all, support is barely existent.

explorador




msg:4347246
 4:28 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

WP was made for the masses, this makes it what it is and generates differences in opinion depending on your experience and objectives. I write my own CMS but if I had to choose from other options I would go first with Drupal.

- WP is slow
- Security is an issue (yes, still is an issue)
- Security can be compromised by WP itself and also by the template/theme.
- Your customizations are not guaranteed to be centraliced, some might go on the theme and some on the CMS
- Upgrading WP have caused the death of many sites, emmm blogs.
- Automatic one click upgrades have done the same
- The same for upgrading themes...
- What took months of work could fall down due to incompatibilities among WP and its plugings after an upgrade
- The editor is terrible and makes changes you don't need/want
- The editor is too heavy

Very often, the owners of WP sites have to choose from upgrading and remove a plugin due to incompatibility or not upgrading and stay in risk for security issues. Also, very often WP owners face the "WP is getting too slow again" and no clue on why.

netmeg




msg:4347285
 5:46 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Eh, all that can be said about anything if it's not properly looked after.

jk3210




msg:4347337
 7:07 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@jk3210: can you give some examples of other CMSs that use "modern WYSIWYG" software?

Oh how I wish I could... ;)

jk3210




msg:4347366
 8:08 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Additionally, I always make a point of sending a donation for each plugin I use, and I would gladly pay serious money to Automattic for a "Pro" version that solved these problems.

mhansen




msg:4347406
 9:43 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

We started integrating WP in 2007-2008... today, I would venture to guess that 90% of the sites we manage use a WP backend, including a few smaller commerce sites. Here is what we learned.

I agree that the editor is challenged for code issues... but its not a deal breaker. I actual like the simplicity of it and it forces me to keep sharp on my html skills by editing in the code view most of the time.

1 - Get a dedicated server. The slowdown on a shared or VPS is at the database. We have 1 dedi running several (15-20) WP installations, and they churn along at -2 second load times nicely. 3-6 was the best we ever got on a VPS, 4-8 on shared.

We used to run the W3 cache plugin, but now only use the "Force GZip" plugin.

1A - Keep your database clean with an optimizer type plugin (or do it yourself) that weekly, backs it up than cleans up scuttle from the database.

2 - Security - Never load more plugins that you need to run the site, and always limit access to your wp-admin directory within the htaccess. We deny all but 3-4 IP addresses from accessing the admin sections.

/wp-admin/.htaccess

AuthUserFile /dev/null
AuthGroupFile /dev/null
AuthName "Access Control"
AuthType Basic
order deny,allow
deny from all
#list your allowed ip's here
allow from 12.345.678.89
allow from 12.345.678.33

2A - Delete all unused themes and plugins... Even if they aren't active!

3 - Using the wp-config.php file, turn off post revision tracking.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

4 - If you are using WP as a CMS, use it as a CMS! We use pages for 75-80% of our landing page content, and only use the post features to compliment our pages. We use .html as a file extension on pages and posts... and take GREAT care to make sure the index taxonomy is correct from page to category of post when used.

For example, if we had a "Resource" section of the site, that showed a landing page (Resources" and then we used the blog post section to write articles about resources, it would be:

Page: /resources.html
PostCat: resources/

So our landing page would be: site.com/resources.html
and the articles would be: site.com/resources/article-title.html

A bit of hand-rolled wp-query code allows us to relate pages to catid's of posts, and show them under, or within the content. We also use tags for this.

5 - Tags and Categories are always noindexed for us. The PAGES are our primary landing areas, and the tags and categories ultimately support them.

6 - Clean up your themes to the N'th degree. We use a speed tool that waterfalls the http requests so you can really clean it at the file level.

7 - Always use sitemaps, both xml and reader sitemaps.

8 - Favorite admin plugin, Ozh Horizontal Admin Menu plugin by Ozh. It relocates the admin menu to the top of the site and frees up much needed horizontal space for writing.

I'm sure there is much more... but its time for dinner! :-)

Leosghost




msg:4347412
 9:55 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

@mhansen..That was a post well worth delaying my dinner in order to read ;-)

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4347413
 9:55 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

The slowdown on a shared or VPS is at the database


Indeed, if anyone can edit their my.ini and WP still uses MyISAM tables, then you'll want to increase the key_buffer value if possible. This will store most frequently requested index values into memory.

A bit OT but here's a post about how partitioning can help WP speed, by putting older less frequently accessed data into separate partitions from the regularly accessed data [pento.net...]

graeme_p




msg:4347454
 11:40 pm on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

When all you have is a hammer...

Just because you can run a site on Wordpress, does not mean its the best solution. How easily could I port my encyclopaedia site back to WP without losing functionality? What about my client with a database of (a particular type of, in a particular area) luxury holiday accommodation? What about my Q & A site?

My main site started out as a section of a Wordpress site, and so it began life on Wordpress. It even got mentioned in other people's posts on WP running a site very different from a blog.

The problem is that sites like that (niche encylopedia) are much better off with a database structured to their needs: you ensure integrity of your data (rejection of duplicate data, transactions on updates....) and its easier to automate stuff like generating the index. You COULD write a plugin, but its easier to the site on top of a framework. I now use Django. As a bonus, the admin interface is better suited to the site because it reflects the structure of the data, is VERY easy to customise.

Its much the same with the other sites I mentioned. There is a better tool.

For simple hierarchical sites where I do not want much blog functionality, and would end up with a Wordpress site consisting mostly of pages, I would use a simple CMS like WOlfCMS. At the very least you get a UI geared to managing that rather than posts.

It is good to reduce time to implement, and increase time to write content, but an hacking an unmaintainable mess to make WP do something it was not designed to might cost you more time in the long run.

tangor




msg:4347475
 12:57 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

One of my clients insisted on WP (due to peer pressure in their niche... everyone else seemed to be running it) and first year it was okay, then the nightmare began, got that sorted for another few months, then another nightmare (both were security difficulties). Ultimately we went to a hand-coded solution which has been in place every since. My client moaned later on that the experiment with WP cost nearly half-again the total for the final solution. That said, there are MANY WP sites that work properly and exactly as advertised. Sometimes, I think, it is WHO is using/updating their WP that is the problem... we know the old joke that there's one nut behind the keyboard which can't be fixed...

wheel




msg:4347476
 1:02 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

I run my main site and any number of secondary sites on WP. Shrug, it works. 10-20 pages and easy addition of content, what else do I want?

When I ran a 10K page site, all wordpress did was cause me problems and money.

But most people are running 10-20 page sites and want easy editing. Most people don't want or need the lamborghini or even the mac truck of CMSs. For most of them, the Lada will do just fine.

alt131




msg:4347485
 1:12 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wheel, what do you think counts as a Lamborghini? And what makes WP the Lada?
(As someone who only sees spaghetti code, genuinely trying to understand)

philooo




msg:4347489
 1:37 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

so who left word press and where did you go with :) ?

wheel




msg:4347495
 1:52 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Everything about wordpress is designed to be easy to use and applicable across most applications. It's almost perfect for most applications, and actually perfect for none. If you want real performance, you need something custom. Custom database, custom layout, custom css, custom this and that. That's the lamborghini. If I ran a 10K page site, I wouldn't use wordpress. If I need high end performance, I wouldn't use wordpress. If I need lots of very specific things, wordpress won't do the job exceptionally well.

It will however, do most jobs reasonably well. As I noted, it's like windows XP. FUll of holes and bugs, but it works for most people. I don't use it though, I don't use any Microsoft OS. I use linux because that's my lamborghini.

But if I have a 20 page site that takes 3000 page views a day, what do I need anything other than wordpress for? I don't - all the custom tuneups will cost money and not change the website one noticeable bit. that's the lada. Goes from point A to point B slow and not in style - but it gets there. If you want fast, that's not lada. If you want sleek, that's not lada. If you want point A to point B, that's a lada.

tangor




msg:4347542
 5:42 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

From a website creator for multiple clients, I already have my tool kit in place, no need for WordPress, but one does what the client wants until you can prove the client wrong... in other words, the client is always right. My homegrown kit supports 1000K page sites, but it costs a bit. WP is cheap, and as long as the client knows I can't guarantee security via a third party app, the all is good.

Nothing wrong with WP... it enjoys a large and viable presence on the web... and BECAUSE IT DOES enjoys the same hacker attempts that "XP" enjoys. Hence a nod and wink to above commentary, and also to lorax (OP)... If something is THAT COMMON the bad boys will hack it. And they do: routine.

graeme_p




msg:4347565
 7:19 am on Aug 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

But if I have a 20 page site that takes 3000 page views a day, what do I need anything other than wordpress for?


The problem with that argument is that you could substitute almost anything for Wordpress.

If a site is that small, who would you need more than a static site (especially if you use a static site generator to make it user friendly)? Why would you need more than a hosted solution? Why would you need more than any of the dozens of perfectly good light weight CMSs out there.

All of these have advantages over Wordpress (cost of hosting, security, simpler templates, quicker on the fly tweaking, etc.)

@philo, I sent wordpress to static site generated Latex (because there was a print version of the site that made sense) to ModX to Django. Another site went straight from Wordpress to Django. In both cases by "Django" I mean "a custom CMS written using Django".

As the previous two versions of Django get security updates, I only have potentially site breaking upgrades every one and a half to two years, and its unlikely I would have to do more than minor changes each time.

This 59 message thread spans 2 pages: 59 ( [1] 2 > >
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