WordPress, one month later

A month ago, I switched not only the theme and title of this blog, but also the software underneath from Joomla! to WordPress. I always intended to expand my Joomla! based blog into something more substantial; a new way of presenting and sorting information, opinions, reviews, and recommendations. However, I didn’t get very far in achieving this.

Meanwhile, blogs have become so prevalent that people will assume you website is actually a blog if it feels somewhat like one. With this in mind, visitors have a certain expectation of how your “blog” will behave; if it doesn’t, people can get confused and possibly frustrated. So now I’m using blogging software instead of content management software.

Here are my impressions of WordPress. The user interface gets all the points for KISS principle. Writing posts, seeing new comments, scanning incoming links, and adding images are all a pure joy! It’s also nice to see the autodraft saves so that you don’t accidentally lose your work. WordPress also has enough functionality for building a very basic non-blog website if you need one. Finally, I’m happy to see the WordPress folks following a web software convention I feel is crucial: the backend has an interface distinctly separate from the one seen in public. (Not going to mention the names of any offenders here.)

However, not all is rosy with WordPress. Within hours of putting up my blog, dozens of spam comments were pouring in, making me wonder whether I should turn back before it was too late. Fortunately, they died down after a couple of days and a few keyword filters. I have comments set to be displayed only after the email and name have been approved. (If you use your OpenID, your comment will appear automatically.)

The other gripe I have about WordPress is the templating. I took a peek to see if I could quickly throw together a basic theme to match my main website. Unfortunately, I was in for a rude surprise. While this isn’t the worst system I’ve seen, WordPress themes are broken into too many pieces in the wrong places, with poor internationalization to boot. It’s very irritating to work in a world where an HTML tag opens in one file and closes in another; this is just begging for mistakes to be made.

Despite these speed bumps, I’m definitely enjoying WordPress and will change the theme to something else once I find one that suits my tastes (or have time to build a new one).

5 Responses to “WordPress, one month later”

  • Hello.
    About the spam, I use Akismet and spam has gone a long time ago. :)
    About the themes: there are many good themes (Joomla doesn’t have many themes… unfortunately). You are right: there is not a MVC (both for plugin and themes… like Joomla does in 1.5).
    May I suggest to add
    http://txfx.net/code/wordpress/subscribe-to-comments/
    ?
    It helps commenters like me to follow the next comments.

  • admin:

    Hi Carlo,

    Thanks for the comments :)

    As far as the comment notifications go, wish granted! Let me know if it’s working.

    I would activate Akismet, but I try to avoid external services. I had some “special sauce” for the comments on my Joomla! based site; I may recreate some of it here. With the old one, I maybe got 1 spam every two weeks on a post from three months ago. So we’ll see.

    WordPress doesn’t necessarily need an MVC architecture. However, it could do a lot better with the theming support.

    As far as Joomla! not having many themes (templates), I’ve experienced quite the opposite. I would venture to say that Joomla! has more templates than any other open source project.

  • Ok, reply to this comment to see if the plugin works.
    About Akismet: I don’t like to put too much web2 things on my wordpress too… but IMHO Akismet is mandatory. :)

    About the themes: I suppose I said Joomla! has just a few of them because my customers always want a new one :-(

  • admin:

    RE: templates: too true!

  • Interesting. There are some good ideass presented here. I need to do spend some time reading more about these topics.