Do you still use Wordpress?

The world’s most used CMS wasn’t nominated for this year’s CMS Critic Awards. Shocker?

What the hell is Wordpress for?

Initially, for those who remember or witnessed WP’s birth, it was a blogging platform. I loved it when it came out. It looked clean, pretty, organised, and far better than the proprietary platform I used back then. It was so good that people started trying to make more than blogs with it.

Examples

One example — note, this was many years ago and something better surely exists by now — is the way I had to implement a multi-language site in WP. After installing a plugin for multiple languages, I literally had to write both versions of a text in the same field and separate them with a special code, something like {//english//}, that I had to write by hand in the text field. I don’t remember the exact code, nor do I want to. But the point is that the workaround was so dirty I had to explain my client that whenever creating a new page, just edit an existing one, copy the text, paste on the new page and replace content.

Code comparison. Same function. Wordpress on the left, ProcessWire on the right.
Screenshot of a Wordpress admin area, editing a page with Visual Composer plugin.
  1. What the fuck?
  2. Look at this mess! Where do I begin?
  3. Good luck figuring how to use that visual composer. The client doesn’t know what a query is? Well he’ll have to construct them so better start googling.

So why am I biased towards ProcessWire?

Because experience!

Creating a news article on ProcessWire. One of my actual projects.

Simple != basic

  • If you need different size versions of images, just output $page->image->size(200,100)->url. ProcessWire generates that image, saves it to reduce processing the next time around, and returns the url.
  • You can set that pages of X template allow only Y templates as children. Or no children at all. Under that news page you get only articles, and under the articles you don’t allow subpages to be created.
  • The Page->find() method is like queries on steroids. Search anything, filter by any field, sort by any field, as simple as jQuery selectors.
  • You can use ProcessWire’s user control for authentication on your site. Users are pages as well, you can modify the fields on them too. And you can create a type of user (role) that logs in at the frontend but has no access to the CMS. Clients on your store perhaps.
  • It’s inherently secure. In fact, in this Reddit post, a user asks why there are no documented security breaches on ProcessWire yet. Maybe this is because the architecture is closed to begin with, and developers open it up just as much as they need. ProcessWire Modules (plugins) for the most part just add new field types and output capabilities, never doing too much on their own, thus not opening up holes.
  • It’s really fast. I’ve built all kinds of sites, including an ads portal with thousands of entries and complex searches take milliseconds.
  • At first, the fact that you do everything on the page tree seems strange. We’re used to having separate modules for news, products, etc. The tree will grow on you. Content editors will find things easier because menu structure = content structure.
  • And these are the ones I can come up with from the top of my head.

I’m out

I’ve got work to do and lunch is just about ready, so I’ll stop here. If you’re a developer, I strongly suggest you have a good look at ProcessWire and see for yourself. If you’re a client, I believe you’ll be better off using ProcessWire on your next site because you’ll get a much cleaner, organised and future-friendly platform. But then again this writer is biased AF.

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Designer, Developer, Liberal

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