Now that this site is more or less close to complete, I’m taking a few minutes to reflect on far along WordPress has come along.
The last time I fiddled much with building websites was back around 2006-2009. Back then, WordPress was already a very well rounded blogging platform. It wasn’t exactly as robust a CMS as it is today (arguably, some folks still do not consider it a CMS). I needed an online forum for my growing MMORPG group. Although there were forum plugins for WP to add the forum functionality, they did not appeal in features and the support felt lacking. WP was a blogging platform primarily. The forum functions would be second. After fiddling around with a few others including Mambo, Joomla and Drupal to find one that suited my needs, I went with Simple Machines Forum instead and built a community around that.
Today as I look at WP’s admin dashboard, I can see many subtle and not-so-subtle differences. A few that popped out:
- Customizing themes no longer mandate rolling up your sleeves into CSS (you can still do so for fancy, more complex ones).
- The Media library stores images you’ve uploaded and even lets you do some light editing complete with version control.
- The Settings panel is much more robust, letting you tweak your site without going to code.
Granted, I am only looking at the web-hosted version on www.wordpress.com and not the downloadable package. Should I decide to build another self-hosted site, I expect there will be even more pleasant new features.
Co-incidentally, this article about WordPress’s humble beginnings came up on my feed today. It made for an interesting, and slightly nostalgic, read.