What's with the WordPress bashing?

I see a lot of WordPress bashing on Slack and in the (concrete5) forums. I know the code of the WordPress core is a bit dated, but how is the overall experience? And, even if the core is dated, would that mean WordPress is bad and evil? I'm going on a journey. :)

Installation

The installation went super fast on my PHP 7 Windows environment. I think it took me 20 seconds to add a database and then install WordPress. The installation takes up 12 database tables, that's interesting, because concrete5 has more than 300 tables.

WordPress database tables

Plugins and editing

I develop a lot of concrete5 add-ons, so I'm interested in how WordPress handles this. WordPress has over 45 thousand plugins. In comparison, concrete5 has around 480 5.7+ addons.

What immediately strikes me in the backend is that they have a feature to enable / disable plugins. That's not possible in concrete5, and it's a lacking feature. (Yesterday I had to add a single page controller, view, and installer to make it possible to enable / disable an add-on of mine). Another thing that takes my attention is bulk updating and deleting plugins. It seems to me that the Plugins overview in WordPress is more suited for when one has many plugins. I like the overview, but I'm missing a visual, e.g. an icon.

WordPress plugins overview

Installation of new plugins went smooth and quick. I came across 'Elementor' which is a fine plugin that almost mimics the UI functionality of concrete5. From what I did with it, it works well. Here is what it looks like:

WordPress Elementor plugin

One block stands our for me, the 'Spacer' block. It's not a built-in concrete5 block, but the Spacer does exist as an add-on. Clients often ask me, 'how do I get some space between these two images?' I think a Spacer is a good solution for that.

They WooCommerce plugin seems very nice and way more advanced than the Community Store solution. Also galleries for example seem to include lots of options and are downloadable for free.

WordPress has apps for iOS and Android, which probably makes editing on smartphones easier. (I haven't tried this myself)

WordPress Android / iOS apps

Documentation

Documentation is a pain point for concrete5; it's often outdated, missing, or incorrect. But that's just how it is, I guess. WordPress has a larger audience and the documentation seems also to be more complete. It's translated in many different languages. Evey section has an anchor, making it easy to link to a particular section of the documentation. You often see version selectors on documentation websites (see Laravel, Contao), but I couldn't find one on wordpress.org.

WordPress Plugin Handbook

Another way to engage is via WordPress.tv, a platform to watch WordPress related talks and videos. Pretty slick!

Communication

WordPress uses Slack as its main real-time communication platform. They have a nice introduction page about why they chose Slack and about how it works. You need a WordPress account to get access to Slack, so I registered an joined. At the moment they have more than 22K members.

wordpress-slack-members.png

WordPress communicates via Twitter and seems to be successful at it with 625 thousand followers. They updates seem relevant and are retweeted / liked by other accounts.

wordpress-twitter.png

They also blog (yeah, of course!) quite regularly, see https://wordpress.org/news/.

Community

WordPress has several teams you can join. E.g. teams for Testing, Marketing, Training, TV (!), Hosting, etc. Every team seems to be able to post updates, making their progress very transparent. They organize weekly chats on Slack at a certain time, e.g. at 15:00 UTC.

Online Wordpress meetings

A local MeetUp can be visited if you'd rather meet in person. They have over 275 thousand members and more than 600 local groups... I don't know how many concrete5 has, but I doubt if there are more than 10.

The ideas section is also interesting, I think. It seems community members can propose ideas and then vote on them. The highest rated ideas will be worked on.

Proposing WordPress ideas

Conclusion

Honestly, I don't see where all the negativity comes from. Maybe it's an easy target because it's so popular? WordPress seems to do a really good job from what I'm seeing. It has a huge user base, is fast, seems to evolve rapidly, is transparent, has lots of good plugins, lots of jobs, is accessible, is well documented, has a great community, and is free.

Saying that WordPress (in general!) is bad and that you should tell all your customers it's bad, seems to me like an incorrect statement not based on fair judgement.

Note

Did you notice anything different about the images used in this blog post? Well, they have been optimized with Image Optimizer, a great way to reduce file size, increase performance, improve user experience, and to get higher SEO rankings in concrete5.

Huge cuts on file size thanks to the Image Optimizer