I co-host a WordPress podcast wpbuilds.com. We’re going to be ending a series of debates with WordPress v ClassicPress.
Even though I am not using ClassicPress now, I have become increasing aligned with what you are doing here.
I imagine I can put a half decent argument for ClassicPress based on my own frustration with WordPress ( Automattic). I’m also impressed by the growing number of plugins here, the talk of governance and the focus on security and minimizing bloat. All good to hear.
I just wondered if anyone has anything positive that might be less obvious to put forward.
Our audience is largely people build clients sites. Many are Page Builder users which leans more to Beaver Builder which I know intend to stay working with ClassicPress. Most buy a lot of premium WP plugins and themes. I imagine most will be wondering about the potential longevity and support for ClassicPress.
Anyway, thank you to all who are keeping ClassicPress here for us Advance thanks too to anyone who has the time to reply.
One thing you didn’t touch on is the mess that can happen when editorial staff have too much design control. I think this is a general understanding, but, suspect Gutenberg (in time) will prove it out as it moves into full site editing.
With ClassicPress – because of it’s commitment to compatibility and semantic versioning – updates are far less scary than with WordPress. I find myself applying updates without much additional thought, rather than blocking out a whole day “just in case” as it sometimes happened with WordPress.
We’ve got a great forum experience for community members and there’s no cliques to deal with. People are on a very level playing field here – even our lead developer frequently posts to brand newbies to help with various issues, questions, and concerns. You’ll also find that forum moderation here (when it even needs to happen) is nothing like the WordPress experience – posts don’t magically disappear; accounts don’t mysteriously get locked out.
And, too, there’s the fact that our ecosystem is not yet dominated by all those “big fish” players that WordPress has, so, there’s still room for new talent to rise up.
I’m sure others can chime in, but, these things stand out to me in the moment. Hope it helps!
For me the biggest issue was in terms of looking after a number of clients. And I’m sure many, many agencies would be feeling this same pain. I have annual maintenance contracts with my clients where I look after their sites long term (hosting, domains, backups, security, support). They pay me a fixed amount and it is all running smoothly.
Suddenly there is this totally unnecessary upheaval and I find myself having to consider whether to retrain them all in the new “methodology” for the simple act of writing a post (and I personally found it hard to get my head around, so many of my clients would be completely lost). These are mostly clients who grew up using Word, and they went into WordPress and instantly felt at home.
And if I do retrain them, do I charge them extra, or do I wear the time and cost myself?
So the obvious answer was to stick with the status quo and move them all to ClassicPress. They are none the wiser. As far as they are concerned nothing has changed. They are happy, and I’m happy.
Yes, links are allowed and welcome. However, new members can’t immediately post links. They’ve got to be around for a few days or have a few interactions on the forum (or both)… I can’t recall the exact criteria.
For me, it’s not one or the other. CP is what it is because of WP. CP gets a lot of its updates because of the contributors to WP. Almost all of the plugins and themes are because of WP’s popularity.
For my clients, I weigh their requirements and involvement against what CP or WP can provide, and choose accordingly.
But more and more, I’m leaning toward using either one as a static site generator, doing JAMstack instead of LAMPstack.
No, not really a factor for me. To choose WP, you have to be willing to put up with the decisions of a group that doesn’t think like I do. I know this going in, and it is a factor I consider.
I’ve been looking at JAMstack because of an existing(old) static site that doesn’t really need a CMS, but needs a search. The existing search was written for PHP4, and I’ve had trouble updating it, so I’ve explored other options.
Very well said - this is the key for me. WordPress is not and can never truly be a tool that is usable by anybody to do anything imaginable on the web, it is fundamentally a tool to deliver HTML and CSS. I saw WordPress going a different direction so I got involved with ClassicPress in order to preserve that behavior that still has a close correspondence to the standards which originally made the web great.
Page builders muddy the waters a bit, in my opinion, but they are welcome in our ecosystem. I expect we will see more alternatives to Beaver Builder as we release our directory and make it easier for plugin developers to get their products released and fully supported under ClassicPress.
I think keeping the core of ClassicPress free and open-source (and free in all senses, such as free from commercial interests that unduly influence the direction of the platform) is very important. However, I also want ClassicPress to be a place where developers who participate in our ecosystem can make money. There is a balance there that we will be refining over time but the general idea is that the best is yet to come.
Some of the fastest and most accessible sites today are the ones that have been serving straightforward HTML and CSS for 10+ years with only very minor changes.
For those who haven’t seen, there are some interesting discussions going on around these kinds of alternatives. I think of it more as “different tools for different purposes”, and if that approach works for you and your clients then why not?
Thanks @1stepforward I did take a peep earlier, but a useful reminder for me to study it a bit harder. It’s useful for sure.
Nice to get comments here to help make it more real world for me. Our podcast debates are a bit of a sham as we only polarize to be sure we dig a bit deeper. It’s hardly ever that we think one is exclusively better than another.
One thing I would add to everything else everyone has said is about writing experience. A big portion of WP users that are not happy with Gutenberg are writers/bloggers. I see bloggers and writers constantly complain about the poor writing experience compared to the classic editor.
Writers don’t need to build pages/layouts, they simply need to be able to write. That’s where Gutenberg failed them. Copy/pasting issues, lack of footnotes, lack of text colors, editor crashing and not saving posts, etc.
Gutenberg was forced upon the WordPress community prematurely. Probably 1-2 years prematurely. It’s only now getting a bit more useful with many bugs fixed, more controls, and more features.
But then they go and remove the WP menu from the block editor page. They’re increasing the number of clicks needed to complete the most basic activities in WordPress.
Automattic is using an open-source community to help it compete with Wix, Weebly, SquareSpace, Webflow, etc. For some users it’s good, for many it’s a painful realization they don’t really have any control over their WordPress.
Side note - this has been changed. New users can now post a reasonable number of links in their first post(s) here. There are still some restrictions to help guard against spam, but the way for each user to further lift these restrictions is through normal, human participation on the forums. More details here: https://blog.discourse.org/2018/06/understanding-discourse-trust-levels/
@viktor Thank you. Nathan, the main person behind the podcast, is someone who really likes the writing experience, but I think too that those most upset with it are writers.
One of my clients is an author who only wrapped right or left aligned images around her text in her post The block editors made doing such a simple thing very difficult.
I have seen that since she has deactivated the classic editor, but it gets reactivated. I assume too much to learn for no obvious gain.
Bugs! Looking at the Gutenberg issues on GitHub they are more than double to what the were when released.
Your last point is the one that gets to me most. I think WPs success was in being a simple stable framework where others could build on top of for their type of user with some reliability. The community has already met the demand for Wix, SquareSpace type solutions
Search volumes for WP related things dropped of in 2014, but were replaced with searches for the WP based page builders. Now Automattic seems (purposefully or accidentally) to be in competition with those who have kept WP growing.