I’ve done a decent amount of research about the advantages of using WordPress. Obviously the biggest one being the usability from an administrative perspective. We currently do all of our client websites in Joomla but am looking into converting over to WordPress because the UX of Joomla is pretty crappy and outdated. The only thing I am concerned about in WP is the lack of large scale components that Joomla offers. In fact it’s why we use Joomla in the first place. I’ve dug around a little bit but haven’t seen anything conclusive so I’d thought I’d ask here.
These are the major components that I’ve used for clients in Joomla:
- Social Networking (JomSocial – http://www.jomsocial.com/)
- Content Construction Kit or Directory (SOBI2 – http://www.sigsiu.net/sobi2.html )
- E-Commerce (VirtueMart http://virtuemart.net/ )
- Media Sharing (HwD MediaShare http://hwdmediashare.co.uk/ )
Also, do WordPress plug-ins and extensions follow MVC for design?
Also, I’ve heard good things about Drupal as well, but nothing specific to the things I’m looking for.
I guess it really comes down to the scale of your client needs.
I’m trying to figure out why you would need to use something like the Content Construction Kit. Isn’t mainly just a revised way to look at Joomla’s default structure on the back end? I was checking out the demo and I couldn’t figure out what kind of customer would need it.
And to what scale are you using media sharing? I’d say the vast majority of uses for sharing files can be done outside of a CMS and through a much easier solution (like drop box). If you are using it for project management, again you might find tools that are much more appropriate for that application already out there without needing to bog down your CMS with it (such as Project Pier).
The ecommerce one is definitely a big subject. Virtumart is extremely powerful. But I guess you come back to the scale of your client’s needs. I’d say many basic solutions could be fulfilled with WP e-Commerce, and medium sized might go for something like foxycart. There are some licensed solutions out there that seem to offer some of the scope of what Virtumart offers, but again it is a very powerful cart for being a freebie.
And I’m thinking the social networking piece of this is already part of WP’s basic structure. Minus the forum (which just has to be implemented) you have everything you need already at your disposal.
Thanks for the feedback.
CCK – This is extremely powerful for creating highly customized directories. This is a good demo of the type of functionality a CCK can give you (although its really showcasing the reviews/comments functionality):
As you can see you have a listing of items divided into categories and you can slice down into the information. What makes a CCK (and SOBI2 for that matter) great is that you can create fields for all of the items in your directory and import mass data into the database. Think of it as an easy way to create a database structure without have to completely create new code and database associated with it. An example customer would be a widget manufacturer who wants a complete listing of their product line online.
Media Sharing- I’m talking more about a YouTube-esque type of system. Also the idea is to able to hook this into a CMS (i.e. user framework, etc)
E-Commerce If the customer is just an E-Commerce shop we actually will use Magento but don’t have experience trying to hook a Magento system into other CMS functions/abilities.
Social-Networking – I haven’t seen much that can touch the functionality of JomSocial or CommunityBuilder in any other CMS. Although admittedly I haven’t done much research for WP. (aside from http://buddypress.org/) Basically you can do a nearly fully functional Facebook website with JomSocial.
At the end of the day one of the biggest things is the extendability of the CMS. I don’t see WordPress with enough plugins to surpass the scale of that of Joomla or say Drupal, unless someone can prove me wrong. My general assumption with WP is that its a very basic and user friendly CMS at the barebones which a lot of good web dev’s have decided to extend with their own custom needs. I’m in no way trying to knock WP just trying to see if anyone can add to my experience and thoughts.
Well thought out responses.
If you look at this site, CSS tricks, would you be able to consider it both a social networking site and a media sharing site? I would classify it in those terms because it does both functions. Now, you may not be able to get facebook-esk interaction, but for me I’m not sure why you were would want to. There is something to be said about building a system as large as that, but I think it makes the most sense to simply use facebook for facebook-esk functionality.
I mean, built into WP is the ability to add video, add comments, images, integrate forums, etc. Beyond that I really think social media is there for a reason. We may simply agree to disagree on this one :)
I think the best way (for me) to describe WP is that it’s easy to learn, very difficult to master. People can agree or disagree with this statement, but WP is by no means simple. The basic framework is simple, but I think that’s only a testament to its flexibility.
I used to be a Joomla cat as well… and what I found most frustrating about Joomla is that while it appeared to be much more robust than the other CMSs I saw at the time, it was very VERY restrictive on how you could manipulate it. What I found later on was that by the time you got good enough to make Joomla do what you wanted, you were better off taking that same energy and mastering Drupal because it really is much more flexible if you know what you’re doing.
But coming back to WP, every time I wanted to do something, or a client asked me "can we do this?", I could always come back with an answer that I could. It forced me to dig into WP and learn more about it and found that there is a LOT of functionality in there but you don’t necessarily see it on the surface. And I’m still learning a ton of new stuff every week. Someone once told me that WP can do anything you want it to. I’m beginning to think that’s true.
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