My Kingdom for a CMS

I have a new job. Yay.

Seriously, I'm very happy about it. I get a lot of control over the technical direction the company goes which is all a developer can ever ask for. But the first job I've had to do for them was in Drupal. I don't want to hate on any open source project, a lot of people a lot smarter than me have spent countless hours building a huge project for people like me to use for free. But I hate it, I hate it so so much.

To be fair it's more of a Content Management Framework and I really want a Content Management System. I also haven't invested the time I should have in it which means I'm in the dark a fair bit. Also, we passed a AAA Accessibility test without breaking a sweat because Drupal takes care of 90% of that stuff for you.

But it just lacks the template flexibility that I so desire and I find it's data structure to be less intuitive than I'd like it to be, but again, I haven't invested much time in it. It also seems like you have to write code to do some fairly basic things like Breadcrumbs which I would expect to work out of the box.

I've also used SilverStripe recently. I picked up a small freelance job that was supposed to be done in Wordpress but I thought I'd give SilverStripe a go. It's way too minimalistic. A CMS should have basic menu controls out of the box. And when I installed a popular Menu Manager plugin it didn't handle submenus at all.

I actually took a bit of time with SilverStripe. Read quite a bit of the documentation and read a few tutorials but missing something like a decent menu manager is a pretty major oversight from my perspective.

Moreover, both Drupal and SilverStripe require one writing way too much code to do even the most basic of things.

I've used Joomla in the past. I was quite excited when it first split from Mambo or whatever it was called. But that ecosystem is pretty shit which any half decent modules being paid-for and I'm yet to meet a Joomla site administrator that actually likes to use it.

So that swings us back around to Wordpress which I'm now redoing this freelance job in. Wordpress is pretty amazing. It kills it's competitors. The reason I'm reluctant to use it is that it's a blogging platform not a proper CMS. But it's build in a flexible enough manner that it doesn't matter and it's API is actually shit hot.

It still runs on PHP 5.2 though which worries me and I've been to talks from the core Wordpress team and those guys are stilling on a shitload of legacy code. To their credit though, they're slowly working through that. No tests. And I know it's easy to hate on Wordpress given the number of vulnerabilities that they have exposed people to over the years, but to their credit their auto-update functionality is second to none and has fixed a lot of those issues now. I personally find writing plugins for Wordpress to be so straight forward that I pretty much don't use third party plugins anymore which are the other primary source of security vulnerabilities.

But the issue remains, I want an alternative to Wordpress that is a proper CMS out of the box - not something that's morphed into a CMS.

This blog runs on Ghost which I'm delighted with. It's modern, fast and nice to look at, front and back. But it's a blogging platform as well.

So what alternatives are there? Why isn't there a really kick arse Open Source CMS that everyone is using?

In the mean time I guess I'll just keep using WordPress.

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