Ben Brooks has penned a great argument for using Wordpress as a website CMS. Drawing on his experience, Ben rightly argues that Wordpress is the best, easiest, and (potentially) most powerful way to create and maintain a beautiful website.
There are more reasons to stay with WordPress than there are to move. There is simply no compelling reason to move. Don’t get wrapped up in what CMS is trendy, figure out which one is going to grow with you. Likely that will be WordPress and not the others.
I read his post with a smile on my face, as I have a gut feeling Ben’s thoughts were partially fueled by a conversation Conor McClure and I had on Twitter. Both Conor and I run Jekyll blogs, and we have both been experimenting with different ways to post content to our sites.
Ben is right – tinkering with a website is the bane of content creation. Most people should use a simple, widely-used, widely-developed CMS to run their blog. Wordpress has improved greatly over the years and breaking it has become increasingly difficult as well.
For people who don’t understand code (like myself), I think Ben is right 99 times out of 100. However, I found in my experience with Squarespace that Squarespace’s simplicity made it too easy to adjust design settings. Every week, Newsprint readers would be welcomed with a fresh face. For the life of me, I could not find a consistent brand to move forward with.
So I hired Josiah to create a website that I couldn’t change. I wanted to make it difficult to tinker. I also wanted to make it difficult to post different kinds of content. I figured this would help focus The Newsprint and give the blog a more defined direction.
And to that end, I think the new design and new platform has been 100% effective. Since December 2, 2014 (the date of the redesign launch), I’ve had Josiah change a grand total of two design details. First, Josiah added the ability to create extra-wide images. Second, Josiah changed the “Sponsored By” section to “Supported By”.
That’s it. Nothing else has changed. I’ve been able to focus on creating content instead of tinkering with customizable details. The probability of me breaking my site is far higher than if I stuck with Squarespace, so that fear has forced me to stay away from The Newsprint’s design files.
People often say that creativity is most abundant when constraints are set. For me, Jekyll’s complicated back-end acts as a tremendous constraint that I am afraid to overcome. And therefore, I feel creating content for the site has never been easier.
Once again, I want to make it clear that Ben’s premise of Wordpress being the best choice for the majority of people is spot on. Wordpress is simple to use and to tinker with, while also being very powerful via the impressive community that has developed around it.
However, I advise to not write off a CMS’ ability to hinder creativity by giving too many options and by making it too easy to tinker. In the end, giving yourself the best environment for creation is the key to publishing and, for me, major constraints have helped to create that environment.