[wp-hackers] One CMS to Rule Them All (was This was painful to read...)

Jared Bangs jaredbangs at gmail.com
Wed Dec 2 19:12:22 UTC 2009

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 10:19 AM, Otto <otto at ottodestruct.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 6:02 AM, Mike Schinkel
> <mikeschinkel at newclarity.net> wrote:
>> This was painful to read. Not because I disagree, but because I can't disagree even though I wish it were not true: ...
> I don't disagree with it either. However, I do disagree that WordPress
> should handle those use cases at the present time.
> We're not trying to build "one CMS to rule them all" here. WordPress
> is not, and should not be, all things to all people.
> There's plenty of room for specialization. Focus on doing one thing
> right, not on doing many things badly.

I totally agree. WordPress should primarily focus its efforts on doing
what it's designed to do, and doing it well.

WordPress is good blog software. Without getting into a semantics
debate about what a CMS is, I think that one good reason that it has
become popular to use WordPress as a foundation in CMS-oriented
systems is that it's much simpler and less bloated than most CMS
systems out there. Let's not spoil that advantage by allowing all
those other things to creep in, just for the sake of saying that WP
can handle some use case (far enough removed from blogging) that it
might not currently address.

I didn't read the whole thing, but the article talked about two very
different things, and explained why they are different: WordPress and
Drupal are (or can be used as) "platforms"; Django is a "framework".
This is an important distinction. WordPress should not aspire to
"compete" with Django at all (by adding framework features), because
it isn't intended to be the same thing or meet the same needs.

I think there is a danger in confusing or blurring the distinction
between a "platform" and a "framework". WordPress is an extensible CMS
*platform*, by which I mean that can be a good foundation on which to
build sites which are primarily blog/CMS based, because of the good
core features (as slim as possible) and the open extension model
(using plugins).

Sometimes when I see people looking to use WordPress as a "framework"
for building any sort of generic web app or site, even if it's not
primarily CMS focused, it strikes me as "golden hammer syndrome". This
is a common occurrence for any popular software that's easy enough for
people to customize. PHP is a pretty easy language to learn, and so I
get the feeling that sometimes people go from customizing their
WordPress themes (learning PHP in order to do so) and being impressed
with the ease with which that customization was done, to seeing it as
the solution to all sorts of requirements that it may not quite fit
well for. (More of my thoughts on that here:

My advice is to expand your horizons, and become familiar with other
options: other platforms (like Drupal) and more low level frameworks
for general purpose web development. This will help to avoid the urge
to pound a square peg requirement into the round hole of the scope of
what WordPress can or should do.

WordPress is a proud part of the open source community, and a key
benefit to that community is that there's no need to capture market
share or dominate over (and push out) all other peripherally related
products. Like Otto said, much better to focus on doing something
well. There's no harm in acknowledging that other solutions are better
suited to other needs, and no reason for that to inspire jealousy in
regards to the features of another product.

More information about the wp-hackers mailing list