Hello friends. In my last migration updates, I said that I’m really going to use the WordPress.org software when I leave WordPress.com and go self-hosted. However, my doubts about WordPress won’t leave me, and so I had no choice but to keep on looking for CMS alternatives. (Fortunately, because I do have some advanced computer skills, setting up a dynamic database-driven website in my DIY web hosting provider, NearlyFreeSpeech.NET, has turned out to be not so difficult after all, and this has allowed me to try out a few other CMSes besides WordPress, like Drupal and Typo3.)
I’ve done my homework, researching and reading reviews of popular Content Management Systems, and these are the reasons why I won’t be using WordPress anymore.
Firstly, with the long-term plans that I have for my websites, I doubt that WordPress will still be able to deliver optimum performance when I start getting heavy traffic. My research indicates that WordPress, unless supported by a team of experienced administrators, just can’t cut it in that kind of environment. Even my web hosting provider says the same thing.
Secondly, I really dislike the fact that, to get a fully functional WordPress website, I have to install and maintain a lot of plugins from third-party developers. This is because the core WordPress software is small. There are other CMSes that use plugins, but they also provide much-needed functionalities out of the box. This system of high dependency on plugins is risky and it makes the website vulnerable to attacks (e.g., because of outdated plugins), and it will cost me too much of my time and effort to administer the website in the long run. (Notwithstanding the auto-update options, inconsistencies among plugins do happen, and they can lead to serious problems.)
Thirdly, because WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, it is simply no longer suitable to my plan of building a full-fledged website that is tailored according to my needs — even with the use of plugins.
And fourthly, and this is a personal reason, I don’t much like the WordPress block editor. In my opinion, it just adds unnecessary complexity to the workflow, distracts the blogger from making his content, and takes the fun out of writing. (Where’s the good old reliable word processor when you need it, the one you can use to pour your heart out?) Now that I’m starting anew, I’m taking this chance to avoid the block editor altogether.
I’m building for the future, and by faith I dream of success, and so my choice of CMS platform is very important. What I really want is to use either Drupal or Typo3. These are enterprise-level CMSes, and they guarantee stability, scalability, and performance. But my problem with them is that they are aimed at web developers, and I am not a web developer, nor do I have the time to study and become one.
Then, in my search for an alternative CMS, I’ve come across Tiki Wiki, and I thought that it is the one. For one thing, it doesn’t use plugins; it’s many optional features are all built-in, including community and newsletter features. For another, though web developing skills will be helpful, they are not required to use the CMS. However, because of its flexibility, setup and administration are very complex behind the scenes, and learning Tiki requires a strong commitment on my part. And so I won’t be using it, but it’s still one of my best options.
Finally, I’ve come across b2evolution. The most integrated CMS ever — b2evolution includes everything you need to build websites for sharing and interacting with your community.
It is more complicated than WordPress, but less complicated than Tiki Wiki. And it is certainly not aimed at web developers. What is most important is that it is perfect for my needs and requirements — now and in the future — especially with its support for multiple blogs, newsletter, forum, hierarchical pages, and member-only sections. It even has built-in statistics and anti-spam protection. The investment of time to learn how to use it will be worth it. Unless some things go wrong, it’ll be the CMS I’ll use for Swordsman Network.
Now, I won’t extol further the virtues of b2evolution. Just read them yourself. Or better, go and try out the software :)
Note: Using b2evolution means that I’ll be cut off from the WordPress.com cloud when I move: I will lose my blog followers, and you won’t see me anymore in the Reader. However, the CMS has a built-in Newsletter system, and so by registering to the website, you’ll still be able to follow me by email. Registration also means that you’ll be able to comment on my posts, and then later, if I choose to add them to the website, access the members-only section and the forum.