I’m not one of those people who openly sings the praises of WordPress. Like anything else, something great is never perfect and as popular and versatile as it is, it’s still not the ideal solution to every single person’s web design prayers. I don’t believe there is now or ever will be such a thing because it’s impossible for any one thing to meet 100% of everyone’s needs. Some people love it, others hate it and you can probably toss in a good number of those that are just plain confused by it. Count me as a member of each of those groups.
Its Versatility Rocks!
WordPress is quite the amazing piece of backend machinery for a web site. Some of the things you can do with it really blows my mind. I recently read it’s abolutely the most popular blogging platform and right up there for being the most favorite CMS choice. There’s a plug-in for pretty much anything and everything you’d want your web site to do. As of this writing, WordPress has 6,331 plug-ins available that have been downloaded no less than 46,043,076 times and by tomorrow both of those numbers will increase. There are probably just as many themes if not more to choose from. Versatility is WordPress’s middle name.
The basic idea is that just about anyone can install it, select a theme from the thousands available and drop it in, maybe add a few plug-ins and all you need then is to add your content. Instant do-it-yourself web site, what could be easier than that? For someone who believes in the “if you build it they will come” philosophy … absolutely nothing. For those of us who know more about building web sites than the average person, there is no such thing as a good quality instant web site.
What I See as Some of the Negatives
The frustrations I have with WordPress stem from all the good things it offers. Because it’s an ongoing General Public License (GPL) project, it’s constantly being updated. This is not a bad thing in itself. However, because it’s favorable to always to run the most current version, if I did that, I’d be doing nothing but repeatedly updating WordPress on every site I’ve created that uses Wordpress as it’s base.
When WordPress is updated, all the plug-in makers must upgrade their plug-ins or at the very least, test them for compatibility and other issues. There are thousands of plug-in makers, just trying to keep up with all their updates is exhausting, probably more-so for them than me.
All the upgrades I’ve done range from simple and fairly quick to simple but somewhat time consuming and until the other day, I pulled off every one without a glitch. Murphy’s Law must have decided it was time again for one of his regular visits because this last one was (and four days later continues to be) a real doozy and pain in my patooty. Thank goodness the issues with the upgrade occurred with my own site and not one belonging to a client. The problems that surfaced reinforced my standard rule of “upgrade only when the upgrade involves a security fix or a major new feature has been added that one simply cannot live without.”
It’s totally unrealistic to expect that something with so many contributors is going to work flawlessly each time a change is made and this last upgrade most definitely reinforced this 100% and then some.
The WordPress base script itself has become slower and slower with each upgrade. Add to that the more plug-ins one uses, the slower the site gets. I don’t mean just page load-time either, you can include working in the admin area as well. The wait time just to load a simple page edit is sometimes absolutely ridiculous!
So with all it’s great points, abilities and capabilities for vesatility, as impressive as it is, WordPress has its drawbacks which makes it no different than just about anything else in our lives. The more I use it the more things I find it can do and I have no doubt that I’ve barely touched the tip of the iceberg. For me, WordPress is an adventure that I’m glad I delved into, which at times frustrates the living daylights out of me. I just have to deal with the frustrations as best I can and I can live with that.