April 29, 2019

How would you rebuild WordPress as a modern CMS for the modern web?

WordPress still powers 30% of the web despite its many shortcomings. I don’t need to go into too much detail here, about its security issues, often sluggish performance, or convoluted interface.

WordPress does have good qualities. It’s very enabling, allowing anyone to create a decent looking web page relatively quickly. A healthy plugin ecosystem expands things much further.

My question is:

“What if we took all that’s good with WordPress, and rewrote it for the modern web - what would that look like?”

So far we have:

  • Open source
  • Flexible
  • Design led
  • Based on a modern stack

We created a landing page with information on this concept, where you can also sign up for updates.

Let's start a conversation here. What are your thoughts on this, and what else should we be considering?

  1. 2

    I think you've missed a trick here.

    See... it's technically easy to replicate Wordpress and make it subjectively better. However the true "what's good about Wordpress" is in it's developer community and established brand.

    You can't re-write that

    1. 1

      You’re not wrong about the community and brand, and I’m well aware of it.

      It is becoming evident however, by talking to tons of people, that they are looking for something else - something new.

      Time will tell how this goes. We’re not rushing into anything.

  2. 2
    1. Super flexible like a website builder.

    2. Powerful in a way that would be more than a blog even without plugins, like e-commerce or other type of platform.

    3. Wordpress of the future is not a website anymore, can be a website, an app and more.

    1. 1

      Good input, thank you!

  3. 2

    WordPress still powers 30% of the web despite its many shortcomings.

    Still??? WP's marketshare has only grown in recent years. It's one of the most actively developed projects in existence. I think you should reconsider your assumptions.

    Its update process, and its security processes are second to none. Considering the millions of third party plugins and its massive install base, this is no simple feat.

    1. 1

      This is a thought exercise. I acknowledge good things about WordPress, but it's not perfect, just look online, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.

      All that aside, maybe it's perfect for you, and that's fine, but then this thought exercise isn't for you.

  4. 2

    It would be

    • free

    • fast (static?)

    • 1 click launch, no installation needed

    • make pages and posts

    • various types of forms included, just choose which one suites your needs

    • option to have it hosted for you (but be able to export your code), or use your own hosting

    • would have list building tools out of the box,

    • ability to toggle reading modes (light / dark)

    • ability to strip away all styling (for example, I prefer to read everything in reader mode in my browser),

    • extensible with a ton of premium addons available for free,

    • responsive (obviously),

    • minimal analytics included to keep track of most important metrics

    • stupid simple user management

    1. 1

      This is excellent feedback, thank you!

  5. 1

    I never understand the hate for Wordpress. If you're not stupid in your choice of plugins, hosting and theme it's fast, secure and pretty damn modern. You can easily build a super fast modern MVP using it.

    It sounds just like another topic about how this modern language is way better than this old one.

    If you are looking to build a product improving this space that's great but stay classy, you have a lot to learn from them.

    1. 1

      What hate are you talking about? There's no hate implied, if one seeks an improvement to an existing solution.

      You telling me to stay classy is a personal thing, which I won't go into here. You don't know me personally, so let's leave it there.

      Nonetheless, I'll entertain your response. What I wrote is balanced. There's plenty good about WordPress. Just look at my above mentioned good qualities, based on personal experience btw.

      The learning has been done already. This is a thought exercise. Take part or move along.

  6. 1

    It already exists: Ghost

    1. 1

      That takes care of blogging only, and Ghost is great. What I'm talking about is what WordPress has become - a fully featured content management system (CMS), to create websites. This is what we're looking to modernise.

  7. 1

    Hi, Leandro. Curious to know what you think of JAMstack as modern replacement for Wordpress and what advantages your concept has over it? Thanks.

    1. 1

      Yeah a while back I was also looking for Wordpress alternative that is faster and more modern. I ended up on this site https://www.staticgen.com/ and I decided to give Netlify CMS + Hexo a try. I feel like JAMstack is the future.

      1. 1

        Hi papoola, I want to know why you end up using Hexo instead of other JS-based SSGs. I currently use Jekyll and want to explore other SSGs so I look forward to your rationale

        1. 1

          @galliani main reason for me to choose for Hexo it was most starred SSG written in JS (Node). Of course in order to work with a SSG you don't need to know the language it is written in, but as a developer I liked to explore the source and perhaps in future create plugins or migration scripts etc. I considered Jekyll as well (which has more stars) but since it was written in Ruby which I don't really know I went for Hexo instead.

          Other reason was that first article I read about SSG was this one https://www.toptal.com/front-end/wordpress-to-html-with-hexo-blog in which the author has chosen for Hexo as well.

          How is your experience so far with Jekyll ?

    2. 1

      I'm not too familiar with JAMstack, but at a quick glance it seems like a framework of doing things, which is cool. What we're proposing is wrapping a particular framework with a nicely designed interface.