Why I left WordPress and won't go back

WordPress works…

I've been using WordPress for more than 5 years now. From the start I have been very happy. When I first used Wordpress, I didn't have a lot of coding experience, especially not in PHP. Wordpress enabled me to program nice and functional websites that are easy to use in frontend and backend. Or maybe easiest at least. Having served a few customers over the years I can also say that WordPress is easy to understand and use even for newbies to the Internet.

I can't say that I do not like WordPress. It gives my customers autonomy to use their website without my help, it enables young developers, bloggers and other content creators to get their stuff out and it does work for a lot of people.

…but maybe for too many

And there might be the problem. WordPress is so popular and easy to extend that it is used all over the world. While it still seems to be a blogging platform, it also seems to have morphed into a general purpose CMS. From static websites to webshops, WordPress is supposed to do it all. And funnily, it can.

WordPress is now used as if it were merely a framework that a full CMS. And that leads to every website carrying WordPress' "do-it-all"-functionality with it, even though these problems might be solved much more easily in a different way. This, of course, creates big speed issues and also security problems created by all of those attack vectors.

Is there an alternatve?

The other big CMSs are no alternative, though. They either have the same problem of general-purposeness, are simply completely horrible to use or aren't big enough to support major functions so that you have to write a lot of it yourself.

That is mainly why I stuck with WordPress for so long. I saw no real alternative but also didn't want to write my own because I don't want to eternally support my customers and also it is a lot of work and there are many things to do wrong. Finally, I was fed up enough to search the Internet and take a look at the smaller CMSs. And I found something that works for me.

Pico to the rescue

Pico CMS is a very lightweight, small flat-file CMS. It uses .md files (with some Markdown Extra and YAML sprinkled on top) which are simply stored in the content/ folder on my webserver. A little bit of PHP (twig templating) does the rest to serve a nice and simple website. Much faster and easier than WordPress. And thanks to Pico's easy structure and fully object-oriented code it is very easy to add features I am missing, like a small user interface for customers to edit their articles without the need to manipulate files directly.

I have fallen in love with this nice CMS which is small enough to be understood, light enough to speed and powerful enough to perform. And you should try it too.