29 Jun 2022
What if WordPress Didn’t Exist?
Pete Moore recently responded to my Ask Me Anything post by asking what I’d use if WordPress didn’t exist. Let’s get into it…
Think I already know the answer to this, but nonetheless:
If WordPress didn’t exist, what would you use to power your blog and why?
Pete, if you do know the answer to this one, please do let me know because I don’t think I know the answer! 🙃
It’s a great question, especially since it’s almost a meme at this point that I regularly switch up the platform this blog is based off of. However, I always come back to WordPress.
Here’s some of the platforms I’ve tried in the past:
- Ghost — Ghost is great on the surface, but I don’t like the direction they’re going in and many of their themes are very bloated. Plus, their founder can be a bit of a dick. In the end I got rid of Ghost and went back to WordPress.
- Grav — It’s a happy medium between a static site and a CMS, but I had lots of little problems with it, so abandoned it in the end.
- Jekyll — I love Jekyll and still use it for a couple of my projects, but using it for a regular blog is painful, so once again I headed back to WordPress.
What if WordPress disappeared?
WordPress powers like 40% of the internet or something, so I don’t think it will be going anywhere anytime soon. But what if Matt and the team decide to go in a direction I don’t agree with, like Ghost have?
My knee-jerk reaction would be to go back to Jekyll — it’s light and I know it fairly well. But like I said, managing content is painful and Ruby can be a bit of pig to manage.
Thinking about it more, I don’t think Jekyll (or any SSG) would be the right platform for me. My requirements are fairly simple:
- A simple way to write and publish content (I love WordPress’ editor)
- No server to manage
- High performance hosting at a reasonable price
I currently use Cloudways managed WordPress hosting, which works brilliantly is very reasonably priced.
So what would I use?
Jekyll and SSGs are out. Ghost is out. Grav is out. So what would I use if WordPress bit the dust?
I really like the sound of Blot and Bear, but I think they would introduce the same frustrations as an SSG would. I’d definitely give them a try though.
I’ve heard good things about CraftCMS, Publii 1 & Kirby, but I don’t know much about either of them. I think I’d have to run my own server though, so I’d have to look into that.
If I were to make the decision right know, knowing what I currently know and doing no other research; I’d likely go back to Jekyll, but with something like NetlifyCMS on top of it. It’s far from perfect, and not as functional as WordPress, but it would get me most of the way there.
Are there any managed CMSs out there that align themselves to blogging, which are performant and reasonably priced? If so, I’d love to hear about them. I suppose there’s a reason why WordPress has 40% of the Internet…
I don’t think I’ve answered your question very well, Pete. Sorry about that, but thanks for asking it — I’ve really enjoyed working through the question.
Update: After playing around with Publii, following John’s recommendation, I’d definitely go with that. It looks like a great piece of software and I’m going to start exploring it a little deeper.
 Thanks to John Lyons for the recommendation