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Is WP a viable alternative to Squarespace? (5 posts)

  1. Acarnie
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Hi all,

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this and I apolgise if I have posted this in the wrong place.

    I currently use Squarespace as my CMS/Blog platform and let me say right up front that I think it is a great system. It's easy to use and set up, everything is integrated and the tools for modifying the layouts are easy to use.

    However it does have a few problems, most noteably the fact that it is entirely propriatory and cannot be added to by anyone other that the company. There are features that I need as I continue to add content that squarespace does not currently offer, that are available from open source products like coppermine, but I am at the mercy of the development team at squarespace, who have a vision of where they are going with the product and what features are being developed or enhanced, and are at the present time unwilling to give even a hint as to what that might be.

    It is for this reason that I have spent the last week or so playing with WP and a host of plug-ins and third party programs like Gallery2, Coppermine and Plogger, various rich text editing tools and doc management systems in an attempt to pull together something similar to what I have now.

    My conclusion is this. WP is not yet a tool for the masses, as it lacks the polish and attention to detail demanded by todays market. It has great potential, but lacks the feature set to make it a viable alternative to systems like Squarespace. This is not a critisism of Matt or the many hundreds of delevopers who have helped thus far to shape the product and those who have given their time and talent to develop plug-ins. It is a statement of fact.

    The problem as I see it is that WP is still a programmers tool and has not matured into a tool that can be easily installed and configured by the average user. It has lots of great features but they are mostly hidden behind the need for tagging or HTML. It is still has only a basic text editor and no spellcheck or decent graphics handling and needs to mature before it can really appeal to the masses.

    For myself, I'd like to see it evolve into an integrated multi user CMS that out of the box (or zip file) has full on rich text and (X)HTML editing for authors and commentors, picture gallery functions, anti spam (without the need to sign up for antoher blog even if it is free, just to get an activation key) and a secure file storage solution, as well as the ability to host regular web content with integrated WP sidebar info, in essence, everything that I have now, but with a much richer feature set than Squarspace currently offers, all of which could be achieved by the seamless integration of some of the already available third party open source tools or a comprehensive set of well written, user friendly plugins and not written with the dedicated tag coder in mind.

    There are literally hundreds of plugins and side projects based on WP, but it all seems to be coders writing for other coders.

    More and more people want to share information, ideas, family photos, etc with each other using the web and the availability of in particular online gallery products should have already convinced the team behind WP that tighter integration with graphical content is a must as is a solid security platform.

    Coppermine or Plogger have all the features the average person needs and Gallery2 has the rest so the products are out there. What is required is solid integration and an all-in-one installation package.

    Sorry if I seem to be going on a bit, but it is frustrating for someone like me who is not a coder to see the potential of WP but not be able to easily plug into it.

  2. moshu
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    [moved to the Feedback forum]

    My personal opinion: if WP would become such a bloated "monster" as you describe it should be... most of us would abandon it. Take this from another non-coder :)

  3. Acarnie
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Hey moshu,

    I don't want to see WP become a bloated monster, I want to see slick, neat coding, quick loading and fast posting performance, but if that means having no features then where is it's use?

    I'm not suggesting that WP design it's own gallery features, what I want and frankly need from it, is a much tighter and user friendly vision for plugin development. For example, it's great that there is a plugin for Gallery2, unfortunately, in order to make it fit on a WP page with a reasonable text size and still look good, you need to hack the php code in order to switch off the sidebar in G2 or spend time endlessly tweaking the WP themes.

    The plugin for coppermine has no button based interface interface in the editor, so unless you are comfortable with tagging, it is useless.

    I don't mind having drop in the odd tag here and there, but WP and it's plugins are seemingly designed exclusively for either coders, or those who have the time and interest to spend digging into php, html and MySQL in order to get things up and running in a way that works for them.

    When I first started in IT nearly 20 years ago, this state of affairs wouldn't have bothered me at all, I would have just gotten on with it and made it work. 20 years on I just want software that works without much hassle (yeah, I know I'm just getting old... :)).

    I'll admit that some of my frustration comes from not understanding how to code myself, otherwise I probably wouldn't be writing this now. That having been said, having spent nearly 20 years in the IT world as a network systems architect, I can say that if I could code then I would be designing plugins that are easy to install and use by the average user.

    There is an air of unintentional snobbery about WP and it's plugins that is preventing WP from reaching a bigger audience, and why a system such as squarespace and CMS like it are occupying an area of the market that WP should be able to compete in but currently can't.

    As I said before, this is not meant as a dig at all those responsible for WP, I think it is a great product with stacks of potential, all the cool stuff is hidden behind the need for hacking, tagging or coding of some sort. I know it's not a popular thing to say around here, but I'd be prepared to pay for WP if it had the features I need, I like it that much.

    Anyway, hope your having a good day and I'm looking forward to any response you want to make.

    Cheers,

    Ali..............

  4. davidchait
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    That's also not necessarily a fair comparasion. Who knows what code sits under the covers of that system -- could be OSS for all we know. It's a HOSTED solution, so you can't compare it to an OSS solution like WordPress directly.

    However, it is good to identify it as what WordPress.COM users might want when they sign up as built in features. Note that WP.com is also free. ;)

    -d

  5. Acarnie
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Hi David,

    That's a fair point, I don't know what Squarespace is sitting on. That WordPress is free, is one of it's most attractive features :), but it's just not as user friendly as other offerings. All I'm asking is a little more attention to detail as far as making it friendly to use.

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