Ben Brooks is an opinionated writer and I tend to disagree with what he says. Most recently, he wrote an article claiming WordPress is the only choice for everyone.
Best is subjective. That’s why there exist many more Content Management System out there – some have been around longer than WordPress, but all of them are far less popular than WordPress. According to W3Techs, WordPress powers 60.7% of all the websites using Content Management System, and 23.4% of all websites.
WordPress may be boring to some, and that’s partly because they’re so widely used. Geeks and early adopters tend to move away from the mainstream. They are a breed that shuns what the mass are doing and take pride in being bracketed together with emerging or niche products. But, consider this: do most of the people out there who just want to write and share with their friends want to go through the hassle of self-hosting and figuring out how to publish something? Most people would just register for a free account, play around with the theme a little and just hit publish whenever they feel like it. WordPress, Tumblr and Squarespace – these three are the most user-friendly and they remove the fiction between writing and publishing.
Boring is consistency. Steve Jobs wore turtleneck and jeans almost every time he presented on stage. President Obama is the same, wearing either gray or blue suits. In his words, he said “You also need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” That’s basically conserving our limited brain power and energy to do the things that really matter. Granted, I’m not running the world’s most valuable company or the most powerful nation in the world, but the theory is the same.
I used to tweak enthusiastically – looking for new themes, changing them and tweaking the fonts. Feels like a new site every week. However, I wrote very little because all my energy were already drained. I did the backend work and I no longer had the time nor energy to write. I thought changing CMS would help, so I migrated all my content to Squarespace. Before the annual plan expired, I spent much of the time playing with the settings, trying new themes and fonts. Articles were far and few and even then, most of them were link-post to other sites with a short commentary from me. Eventually, I moved back to WordPress and settled down. I haven’t change any settings, added new plugin or fiddle any other thing except writing. I write a lot more frequent now. Posts are longer and I put deeper thoughts into my writing.
This is not a post supporting the claim that WordPress is the best Content Management System or something along the line. It is the feeling that your best work doesn’t come from having the best platform. You can write with a pencil and paper, with a rough piece of paper, under the flickering kerosene lamp. That doesn’t make you less of a writer than the one with Jekyll or Statamatic.
The bottom line is, we need to be comfortable with a system we can trust. Because having something you can trust and rely on is so liberating. Go out there and explore the options, choose the one that fits you best. For me, WordPress is my choice as it fits my needs perfectly.