Is there a ‘best’ CMS?
Is WordPress the ‘best’ CMS? If I had a penny for every time someone asked me which CMS was best; I’d have a very large collection of coins that aren’t legal tender in Aus. What I have instead is a lot of people asking a very broad question that can’t really be answered that simply .
To tell you which content management system is best I’d have to know what you think the best one would have and do. The ‘best’ CMS is the one that ticks as many boxes as possible but more specifically, it has to tick your boxes.
Does Anyone Use WordPress?
Absolutely! Almost 30% of all websites have websites powered by WordPress. The Walt Disney Company, Usain Bolt and the Official Star Wars Blog all use WordPress. Want to know what CMS a website is using? There are plenty of ways to discover which CMS is in use but an easy way is to head over to a website like to WhatCMS.org and plug in the URL.
I’m sure you’ve heard that WordPress is extremely user friendly and widely supported, but what does that actually mean? In practical terms it means that you can create content and customise your website without ever having to touch a line of code.
WordPress is extremely well documented. As a starting point WordPress host a four-step plan designed to help beginners. In addition to that there are the thousands of people on the internet who’ve jointly experienced almost every problem possible.
Need a contact form? There’s a plugin! Need a gallery? There’s a plugin! The point here is that there are plugins for everything and as a result your experience is simplified greatly. Someone has already done the complicated bit and saved you time and effort.
What doesn’t work?
Like many CMS, WordPress has fairly limited functionality out of the box. That’s fair considering how many different uses there are for it but it’s also worth knowing about.
There is also no across-the-board regulation of old, unsupported or simply low quality themes and plugins. There are so many new themes and plugins everyday that maintenance of the free theme/plugin you’ve chosen is unlikely. Is that a WordPress problem? No, but it’s definitely worth knowing about.
Security can be an issue. You need to stay up to date or you’ll have more security issues than you know what to do with. Being this popular makes you more susceptible to attack and an easier target in some ways.
WordPress.org lists almost 54,000 plugins – talk about needle in a haystack! Finding the right theme/plugin combination can be a real trial-and-error experience. Finding specific answers relating to your combination of themes and plugins can be more difficult than generic answers – a lot of time can be wasted here.
Essentially, WordPress is really easy to use but also not. Setting up a simple site and straight forward but getting it to do exactly what you want is much less so. Keeping it working long-term is also more complicated and often requires changes to your chosen theme or a complete re-theme.
WordPress is perfect for many things and great for many others. Want to get up and running fast and don’t want anything overly complicated? Great! Install it and pick a theme. Otherwise, unless someone has done your exact, possibly very niche, project before there will likely be more modification then you bargained for. Is this a WordPress problem? No, but definitely worth knowing about.