When I bought this domain eight years ago, I looked at a few CMS platforms, but none of them did what I wanted at the time, so I built my own. Since then I’ve always looked at WordPress and it’s ilk as being the lazy way to build a website, and if I’m honest, I still do. Why then you might ask is this site proudly using WordPress to display content? That’s simple, I no longer have the time. When I was at university, I had virtually unlimited free time, and developing a website was a useful application of what I was learning in class, so it was actively contributing to my education. Then I left university and got a job. I still love to write and have an opinion, but I no longer have the time to mess around and try to write my own PHP code. Couple that with having a wife and a house that demands constant attention, the thought of having to manually mess around with the database editor to publish an article becomes very tedious very quickly.
Things I like about WordPress
- Installation is as simple as possible. You go to the WordPress download page and get the zip file; extract it into the directory on your web server where you want the site to reside; set up a MySQL database; put the database details and security keys into a config file; and then go to the home page of your site. The setup process takes a further two minutes and you’re done.
- WordPress is infinitely customisable. The site is now themed how I like it, there’s a page builder, and an SEO tool that tells me what a mess of my pages I’m making.
- It works. Properly. I can now use the site on mobile or desktop. I can edit content anywhere there’s an internet connection. I can even save drafts and look back though the draft history! My old site couldn’t do any of these things.
- I can now focus on writing – I get a few minutes every day where I have nothing else to do. Now I can jot down a few words, and some days an article will come out of it all.
And things I don’t
- The simplest tasks can be a pain in the arse. On my old site, to add a YouTube video, I simply copied the iframe code from their website into the article and it displayed. With WordPress, first I had to find a plugin, and then it still ignores what I ask it to do, and stretches to the layout. To say this can be annoying is an understatement
- The attack surface of WordPress is vastly greater than that of my own CMS. In mitigation though, vulnerabilities are addressed much more quickly.
One upon a time I assessed my choice of website content systems purely from a technical point of view. Now though I look at it from a managers viewpoint. Why spend a huge amount of time and effort on coding when there’s a tool that’ll do it all for you, and you can spend that time writing content that people might actually want to read?