Alister Cameron // Blogologist

Changing the world. One blog(ger) at a time.

What would you leave WordPress for?

I love WordPress. That’s obvious. I’ve no plans to leave it. But once in a while — with online business blogging/cms criteria in mind — I am so impressed by something that I am tempted. Seriously tempted. Squarespace and GoodBarry are that kind of temptation. What has tempted you?!

18 Comments

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  1. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I don’t get the loyalty, but I suppose I’m slanted to say such things 🙂

    On features like your previous post (cache busting), Squarespace just does that automatically. We don’t even think to list most of that stuff — but it seems perhaps we should.

    Drop me a line if you switch over.

  2. Alister Cameron
    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Hi Anthony,

    Great to have you drop by 🙂

    I am particularly impressed with your theming system and the dynamic resizing, moving stuff around, etc. Very very slick!

    In my dreams, I want my Vanilla WordPress theme to do that!

    If I switch… you’ll know. More likely a client site 🙂

    -Alister

  3. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Hey Alister,
    hehehe, like Anthony, we don’t get the loyalty either 😛

    But honestly, I guess it really depends on your focus – we’re big believers in “horses for courses”, and choosing the right tool for the right job. We’re fans of some of the good stuff wordpress and squarespace do, but obviously there’s a difference in focus in what GB does – which is online businesses.

    If you ever have any clients (or yourself) looking to build or expand their online business around and beyond their blog, drop me a line!

  4. m-alo
    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I wouldn’t change to anything else than WordPress unless it was something that could meet all the following criterias:

    Free of charge
    Open Source
    Not hosted
    Better than WordPress

    Obviously nothing like that exists…

  5. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I am sorely tempted by Habari. I have been writing about it on my WordPress blog, although I am making direct comparisons to keep things WP related.

    I am in the process of switching my photoblog over but I couldn’t in all conscience run a WordPress blog on Habari could I?

    When it comes down to it though it is less that Habari is tempting me and more that WordPress seems to be pushing me away.

  6. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Now Andrew, you can’t just say stuff like that and not elaborate 😉

    Wanna tell us what’s pushing you away? A bit of WP community introspection is nothing to be afraid of!

  7. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    OK, if you insist. My last post was about this very topic actually, even though I was only really linking to someone else.

    In essence I feel that WordPress is targetting a different set of users, users that want the UI to do much more for them. My honest opinion is that WordPress.org is starting to overlap with the WordPress.com customer base and I feel that they are developing a lot with them in mind, instead of me. Most people insist that a product can meet the needs of both, but I disagree.

    I don’t want to be more specific because it is a general feeling rather than anything they are doing wrong.

  8. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Not sure about substituting anything else for WordPress. It does provide me with all I need for now. Like m-alo said if I can get all these service:
    Free of charge, Open Source, Not hosted Better than WordPress.

    Obviously nothing like that exists…

  9. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Bighow is like WordPress (.com) in many ways but different. It offers 30+ distinct categories in which you can make your posting – diary, polls, news, links, reviews, classifieds, resume, forum…you name it and Bighow has it.

    The moment you post something, it is aggregated instantly on special pages.

    Bighow has social networking features, too.

    Bighow is a completely original way of publishing online. We are testing it now.

    Did I forget to mention that Bighow is free?

    Your suggestions are always welcome.

  10. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I’m interested in Andrew’s comments about the changes in the WordPress UI. Is there a real difference between those using WordPress.com and those using the self-hosted version? That much of a difference that the much needed improvements to the Administration Panels impact the two groups of users? Hmmm.

    I think there are two groups of WordPress users and they are found on WordPress.com and the full version. They are the tweakers and the bloggers. While some tweakers are bloggers, their passion lies in pushing WordPress and stretching it. I love that. I worship them. They are the ones who make WordPress become the powerful program it is.

    On WordPress.com, these are the people who get the Sandbox Theme and start messing with their designs. They are the ones who keep adding all kinds of goodies in the sidebar Widgets, figuring out how to get things in there that most think can’t be done. It’s a full time job for Automattic’s staff to keep them under control so they don’t break the whole network. 😀

    However, the rest of the world just wants to blog. They want to blog easily, add pictures of their children, dogs, cats, and vacations. They want to incorporate video and audio without learning code. They want to get attention and give attention through comments. They want simple and clean for an interface, and the ability to clutter up their blog faces to the world. These people are using all the versions of WordPress.

    The interface has to change, with the times and technology as well as the increase in non-technical users. Change is hard for us older folks, used to the way things were, but its necessary.

    Is it enough to push people away from WordPress? For some, yes, because any change is drastic, so instead of embracing the change, they pull out an ultimatum and embrace something totally new. That’s serious change, but they don’t see it that way.

    For others, the changes WordPress is making is slow, too slow, which satisfies those who like things in small doses and frustrates others. 😀 Can’t make everyone happy.

    Did you see the incredible testing they’ve done as part of the development of the interface? It’s amazing. Check out the videos from WordCamp SF. The development isn’t based upon whims and whine but thorough scientific research. It’s fascinating.

  11. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I was considering switching over to Joomla for a while – mainly because I like magazine style themes, and Joomla looked more magazine style out of the box. That’s really just one page though, and I don’t think anything can catch up with WordPress now in terms of plugins. That’s really what does it for me: the community. Anything I want, I can get – or likely code up myself if it’s simple.

  12. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    I should clarify my comment a bit I think, following Lorelle’s comment.

    My only problem with the actual UI is that it is being changed so soon after the last change.

    When I speak about the UI doing things what I mean is that UI is more and more being written for tweakers who are unable, or unwilling, to learn how to tweak things.

    WIdgets are a case in point. While they do add some interesting possibilities they also mean that tweakers never have to leran how to paste template tags into their sidebar. This was a great way to lean as it was quick and simple to do and reduced people’s fear of the underlying code, whether it be PHP, HTML, or CSS.

    This isn’t a bad thing, but producing features that allow the users to be less able in turn means attracting less able users, which means you need to do more work to support and develop for those users. This inevitably means the UI gets more features, gets more complex, and ends up being less flexible for the users that find it just as easy to throw a few lines of HTML into a sidebar template as it is to create a text widget containing that same HTML.

  13. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Good point Andrew, and it’s true by the way, users who use
    Wordpress now are less and less familiar with languages.

    My father who is 60, is very satisfied with the new Wpress, for him, how just want to blog, it is very easy, It’s true that Widgets and stuff make it easier to add modification to you site, but not flexible enough if you want to reach an other level of modification…

    I myself created some plugins/themes for wordpress and each time i have to modify many lines of code and databse requests to suit the new WordPress versions…which come very fast…

  14. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Lorelle and Andrew,

    As I see it WordPress.com is for the noob blogger, mostly, who wants to get some sort of social media buzz thru the centralization of the WordPress.com portal (if he/she even knows about that), but who mainly just wants a quick and easy way to blog.

    I would be keen to know how many people on WordPress.com are going for the extra $$ options of domain name, custom CSS, etc… my guess is that the vast majority do not… they’re noobs, or they’re content.

    WordPress.org, on the other hard… that’s where a fair degree of technical acumen is assumed, at least compared to the WordPress.com platform, and as such these people, as per Andrew’s comments, don’t want to be treated as sucklings.

    I would like to think that the happy middle-ground is a WordPress.org codebase that can switch between non-tech and tech modes. Essentially, what’s done with the WYSIWYG/HTML editor modes extended to the whole system.

    I understand Andrew’s point, I think… that there is a leaning towards bloating the codebase with more and more featured designed to hide anything technical from the user, and yet allow them to do powerful stuff.

    I have no problem with that, except that I want to be able to turn all the window-dressing off, if I want to.

    Does that make sense?

  15. Posted 9 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    As I see it WordPress.com is for the noob blogger
    Absolutely.. I encourage all my friends and co-workers *that I like* to start out with wordpress.com account..

    Obviously most people won’t start out on their own server or coding plugins, but the real learning curve for me has been the writing, which I am slowly getting better at.

    I’m confident that I’ll be a lifelong WordPress user, I’ve very impressed with the developers work and surprised at how easy it is to customize the living daylights out of WP.. and still upgrade in under a minute!

    I have to learn and explore new software all the time for my job, which is how I got started, and IMHO, nothing can touch WordPress.. Its open source software with a thriving community of developers.. if you were to leave now you’d hate yourself in a couple years.

  16. Posted 9 years, 1 month ago // Permalink

    I think that Andrew is spot on.

    Although I (as a plugin & theme developer) absolutely love widgets and the simplicity they bring, the overall feel of how WordPress UI and core features are decided still seams too hidden and unclear.

    Everyone knows about the user testing, but the results have not been made public. If the decisions are based on these results (plus their own experience and knowledge) then publishing them shouldn’t be a problem. One might ask if they are of any benefit to developers and users. I think they are.

    My understanding is that wp.org & wp.com indeed have two very different set of users and targeting them both is a very challenging task.

    One solution would be to make several of the noob features available as plugins that are installed by default for wp.com users. This would be something along the lines of what Alister said and wouldn’t require any extra options in the settings page (for which the core developers are very opposed to).

  17. Posted 8 years, 11 months ago // Permalink

    As for me, I like WordPress.com ! it’s something awesome! I always find there some ew solutions! You know there are no perfect things in the world and as a thing of this world it also has lacks… but it’s not to be blamed for it

  18. Posted 5 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Ooooft, tough question. I like Squarespace. But on the other hand Tumblr is much simpler, easier to connect with people and free. Toughie, but it’s a tie with Squarespace and Tumblr.

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