Well, I missed the 10th anniversary of my website. I’ve been using WordPress all that time. I haven’t posted as much on this site since I started using LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus (mostly Facebook and Twitter). I like LiveJournal. It’s quiet over there.
WordPress has improved dramatically over the past 10 years but I’m looking for another platform. Python is my preferred programming language, but there simply isn’t a CMS/blogging platform written in Python that is as ubiquitous as WordPress. Because of my experience with WordPress I have become a freelancer setting up WordPress websites for people. Most of my clients are individuals: authors, artists, musicians, and small businesses. Another reason is that I hadn’t found a Python based platform that could replace WordPress for me. Until now.
I’m currently investigating Wagtail which is a Django based content management system. I’m going to conduct an experiment in converting my site to Wagtail and if I like the experience I’ll see what else I can do with it. I’ve also set up a few websites using Plone which is a Python based CMS but it’s overkill for most of my clients. Also it’s hard to develop for. It’s great out of the box, but I have found it difficult to write extensions for. Now it may have changed with the most recent release of Plone, version 5, however, I’ve done enough Django development that I prefer it for developing web apps. My goal is to see if I can replace both Plone and WordPress with Wagtail.
That being said I will continue to support my clients who use WordPress and unless there is a compelling reason to switch them to Wagtail, I won’t. WordPress has a great community, there are a large number of developers who create themes and plugins. I like that I can empower the end user so they can manage their own sites once it is set up. I liken my job to customizing a car. I set up and customize the website, train the client how to use the website, but if anything major needs addressing, I can take care of it like a car mechanic.
So why switch? I am not a fan of PHP. It’s harder to maintain and harder to read that Python. I will tweak PHP code as my clients need but I don’t write plugins or create themes for WordPress, but I do customize the themes as WordPress makes it easy to create what are called child themes. And I’m a fan of Python. It has a gentle learning curve and it’s much easier for me to read and maintain the code I create. So I’ll see how this Wagtail experiment goes.