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Wordpress alternatives

As regularly comes up in Level1 news, wordpress is really quite horrible, and I have been tasked with remaking a site that is currently using it. Is there anyone who has moved multiple non-technical users to another CMS and what are your experiences?

I asked this exact question on both the latest news video and its post here on the forum.

I too would like to know.

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I’m not a professional at this stuff by any means, but I did work on some sites recently.

I’ve used both Squarespace and Wix with success. I’d say Squarespace has a slightly steeper learning curve, but is a little more slick looking out of the gate.

The built in templates for both are helpful since a lot of stuff is already formatted, the user just needs to swap out pictures and info for their own stuff. They are actually kind of similar to PowerPoint where you can have things snap to left/right/center or equidistant from other things so aligning everything is easy.

The site I put together for a local club I went with Wix because it was cheaper at the time. My employer is toying with the idea of changing our site away from Wordpress at some point and we’ll probably go Wix or Squarespace at that point in time.

wordpress is really quite horrible

I actually disagree with this. The Wordpress ecosystem is garbage for the same reason the PHP ecosystem is ridiculed: terrible code has extensive reach.

Wordpress itself? Not actually that bad for what it does.

multiple non-technical users to another CMS

The absolute worst thing about Wordpress is that it allows users to upload files. Any CMS that allows that is going to have the same problems as Wordpress because the easiest way to do that in a hosting environment is give the webserver write permissions.

This is a terrible practice, but commonly done.

I’ve found nothing that compares to Wordpress in terms of flexibility, ease of use for non-technical users, and broad community support.

For slightly technical users, static site generators with a proper deploy process are amazing.

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Some of my hatred of the platform personally comes from a perhaps unfounded annoyance with php, as whenever I choose software I would rather choose something I could see myself contributing to.

I’ve used multiple static site generators myself but it’s not an option in this case, as the users are absolutely not willing to learn anything technical.

It seems that the alternative Wendell & Co. have gone with is Drupal looking at their website. It is also written in PHP though.

Maybe I should just try to get comfortable with PHP :sweat_smile:

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Avoiding PHP was never an option if you’re dealing with non-technical users.

Pretty much every other language requires proper CGI handling and reverse proxying in order for apps to function. This greatly reduces the viability of dropping a directory full of files into a bottom-of-the-barrel webhost and having things work.

Being able to do that is why non-technical users gravitate towards PHP. Being able to do that is also the cause of most of PHP’s problems.

I greatly prefer Wordpress’s code and community over that of Drupal, personally.

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Ghost.

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I’m not sure how good a choice it is since I didn’t look that closely into it, but I landed on Wagtail the last time I spent any significant time looking into this sort of thing. Never got past the internal testing part of trying to get that website actually published…

Its not turn-key, but it seems to be reasonably secure, and I like the feature-set overall.

Anyone got any experience with Python and Wagtail(/Django) as a way to go? I really like the basic featureset and it seems reasonably friendly to non-techie users.

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Jekyll? It’s very simple and no frills though.

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As Drupal developer, I’ve started playing with Wagtail, and am blown away with simplicity (in a good way). As a test I’m doing same website using Drupal and Wagtail. Drupal project has been completed while ago, and it took me something like 2 months. Now, doing same with Wagtail, in 2 weeks I’m almost done (maybe covid contributed a bit).

There is one thing left to do, find a way to deploy wagtail(django) app to shared hosting. This part for Drupal is easy, all shared hosting providers have PHP support. As a test I did try to deploy Wagtail MVP (minimum viable product) to my current shared hosting provider, but no luck. I’m getting all sorts of errors when trying to create environment there (pip is erroring out).

Might not be great for clients, but I run hexo for a personal blog. It’s a dirt simple static site generator that makes for a clean interface, with plenty of customization available for themes. Not suited for anything past a static site.

Personally, I love the combination of Ghost as your CMS for any kind of blog functionality and using Gatsby.js as a static site generator. Can go wrong with that.