Aractus 12, March, 2019


My blog is now running on ClassicPress not Wordpress. I know what you’re thinking – it’s stupid to be an early adopter. Well, I’m going to flip that and propose that it’s stupid to be a late adopter.

See what’s happened over the past 10 years is there has been a very strong shift away from “Webmasters” doing their own website coding. And it’s only getting worse. In the first place, Wordpress got way too big and tried to service far too great a demographic. What was once a blogging platform became a powerful all-in-one business and e-commerce platform, and now with the invasive forced deployment of the Gutenberg Block Editor they have moved well into the space of WYSIWYG design in a shameless attempt to compete against the likes of Squarespace and WIX. As if what the world needs is more generic bloated Javascript-dependent slow loading, poor performing, websites. Fuck the user experience.

Is Wordpress even salvageable at this point? I honestly don’t know. But what we can say is that it’s definitely no longer a CMS for guys like me that do their own coding. Nor is it for people who are wanting to optimise the user experience – as it has gotten more and more bloated, the additional integrated crap is hard and harder to decouple. I’ve known for at least a year that I would need to move to anther CMS in the near future anyway, but migrating to something else will be a huge PITA as well. I will possibly do so after cPanel 80 introduces NodeJS. In the meantime I’ll be using ClassicPress.

Why ClassicPress?

At this point you may be thinking that everyone who hates Gutenberg are just backwards-looking angry old men who hate change, and that moving off Wordpress is a massive overreaction. Especially as it’s just the post editor, isn’t it?

I wouldn’t switch the platform because of the editor. WordPress has an amazing community and eco system of plugins, themes, etc. Something that I bet ClassicPress will have hard time to cope with. 2021 is centuries in Internet years, I would wait and see how things develope.

Hristo Pandjarov, SiteGround

Well hold-on a minute. Don’t write us off as a bunch of Grumpy naysayers stuck in our ways just yet. Wordpress had an established user-base, and as mentioned at the top they have gone after targeting more and more demographics to add to the userbase. You know those page-builder ads that you’ve seen for Godaddy, Wix, and Squarespace? Well starting with WP 5 they are moving in the direction of WYSIWYG page-building; and it’s not as simple as saying “that’s just a new feature that you can turn off”, Gutenberg is being integrated into Wordpress core with reach far beyond just the editor. While you can currently turn the post editor off, there will be no option to remove it from the rest of Wordpress.

This doesn’t mean that ClassicPress is going to be the CMS for me in the future. ClassicPress version 1.0 is essentially Wordpress version 4.9. It’s a fork – and that’s how a fork works, you start somewhere, create the fork, and then move off in your own direction. What this means is that ClassicPress is not hawking back to the good-olde days of Wordpress 3.0 – the version this blog was **originally** built on, running on PHP version 5.3. We’re running on modern PHP (currently version 7.2) and, for better or worse, the Wordpress 4.9 core. It will be interesting to see what direction ClassicPress takes as it matures – version 1 is foreseen to be a LTS version, but version 2 will be where it will start to find its own identity.

I am sceptical about its future to be honest. I want a light-weight CMS so my blog literally POPs. If you were to ask people about their top 5 annoyances with Wordpress, slow load times would consistently be in there. It’s just not a CMS designed around delivering a fast-loading website anymore. Getting it to work the way it does on my blog means literally skipping features that it **expects** you to use; yet in version 3 this was how you used Wordpress. But I can tell you one thing, wherever my blog’s backend goes in the future it won’t be back to Wordpress – I might have to reassess the CMS options in the near future, but in the meantime I am very grateful that we have ClassicPress to steady the ship.

One comment on “ClassicPress”

  • James Nylen says:

    I want a light-weight CMS so my blog literally POPs.

    This is exactly our plan for ClassicPress v2. You can read more about it on the ClassicPress roadmap, but basically, we’re going to start moving less-used features out into core plugins so they can be disabled for improved performance.

    And in the shorter term, my goal as development lead is for the v1 series to be as stable and predictable as possible – “to steady the ship” as you say.

    I’ll be making a post on the official ClassicPress blog about how we have maintained stability so far, and how we will continue succeeding in this area, within the next week or so. I think you will like it – the short version is that we will review, test, and thoroughly understand ALL code that is added to ClassicPress, and we WILL NOT add new, bloated features to the core platform.

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