corenominal

Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, OS X, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

WordPress Vs. A Bespoke CMS image/svg+xml

Many of us tend to use and recommend a single CMS for our projects (WordPress, in my case). An established platform like WordPress has a great community of resources behind it. So if you get stuck on part of a project, there is very likely a solution to any problem you run into.

There is also a group of programmers out there who have created their own software for managing content. They may use some existing PHP or JavaScript libraries within the system, but essentially it’s a CMS of their own creation.

The decision of whether to use WordPress or a roll-your-own system is one that can stir great debate. Is one better than the other? What are the pros and cons of each?

Since moving to WordPress, from my own bespoke content management system, I do sometimes question whether I did the right thing. I often think that I miss the flexibility of developing my own systems, but then I remember why I started looking into WordPress.

While there might not be any plugin or theme upgrades waiting to break a custom CMS, there is another issue that could be troublesome. What happens when you’re not the one maintaining the software anymore?

For me, this was one of the main reasons for switching. I’m responsible for a number of web properties at my day job and whilst I’m currently really happy in my work and have no plans to leave, I do wonder what would happen if I were to be hit by a bus. Of course, there are some systems at work that I have developed which are just not suitable for WordPress (various web services and APIs), but where WordPress is suitable, I use it. This way, my hypothetical replacement should at least have a fighting chance.

Also, the interesting thing is, I’m not sure anyone can fully appreciate WordPress until they have rolled-their-own CMS. From experience, I’ve found that many of the features I painstakingly developed for my own CMS are already available in WordPress. And also from experience, it’s often more fun to hack on WordPress in an attempt to make it work how I’d like, rather than build another feature for my own CMS.

So, if I were to give anyone any advice on these matters, I’d suggest gaining some experience by developing your own CMS, before then considering WordPress for future projects — it might give you a better appreciation for it.

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