WordPress as a CMS? Bah, humbug – but there’s hope!

I’ve been using WordPress as a website platform since 2006. At the 2007 NTC, I was carrying around my yellow WordPress messenger bag (note – even before the W logo was standardized) and tried to start a BOF session on “WordPress as a CMS” – no takers.

Anyway, fast forward to yesterday’s WordCamp San Francisco that I partially attended via live stream. There is still a *really* strong bias towards WordPress as a blog platform. And that’s fine. That’s what Matt uses it for (adding pages and image galleries to a blog do not a CMS make) and I’m sure that’s a large part of its popularity — essentially single user, expository platforms.

Two big problems I’ve had from the beginning:

  • Roles and capabilities are opaque. Yes, they were added *years* ago as an upgrade to the earlier, rigid levels — but to use them requires some plugin magic.
  • Something simple like “show these posts/pages/attachments” only to authenticated users* is a holy grail that I have yet to find. I’ve tried multiple plugins and custom code and the problems range from plugins that do *so much more* than that simple task that they’re impossible to configure, to solutions (posts/pages) that require only a few lines of local code — but if I’m writing code, there’s a problem. I haven’t yet found a solution for attachments that uses the WordPress authentication instead of .htpasswd control on a separate folder (except for one really kludgy custom code one – see above).

But the good news:

  • It sounds as if the 2012 theme discussed yesterday will be “web site” ready out of the box. That may trigger a cultural shift?
  • While Matt does talk from the “blog” point of view (or at least that’s how I hear him, over and over again), he did put out some hope for “collections of plugins” that could be installed at one swell foop for a new site. Perhaps the powers that be could be convinced to bless a certain set of plugins that would help jump start web site functionality.

*Setting a password on a post to limit its visibility is just bogus. Are you listening, Site Resources?

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