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  1. #1
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Exclamation Five Things You Love/Hate About WordPress

    I've been developing Wordpress themes for a while, and getting to know my way around this open source blogging/content management system. However, while there are things I like about the platform, there are also a few things I just can't stand as well. So I thought I'd share them with everyone (in no particular order), and ask for the community's views on the subject as well. So feel free to add your own "five things you love and hate about WordPress" here.

    My list is below.

    5 Things I Love About WordPress
    • It's free. Not just free as in "freedom", but more importantly, free as in BEER. Just download and go. So, 'nuff said.
    • It can be used easily either as a traditional blogging platform or a full featured content management system, depending on how you set it up.
    • The wealth of plugins and themes available to customize your WordPress installation (especially ses5909's "Ask Me" plugin).
    • The community that developed around WordPress. Seriously. It wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as it is today without the people who use it also contributing to its development and adoption.
    • The Codex. Whenever you need to look something up, this should be the first place you go. If only I'd listen to my own advice more often. Oh well, as the old saying goes, "All Glory to the HypnoToad Codex."

    5 Things I Hate About WordPress
    • I can't stand the search system. Come on, let me use "search" for the input filename instead of "s" for crying out loud! Not only does it have semantic meaning, but it's also easier to remember when typing in manually.
    • It messes with mod_rewrite too much for my tastes.
    • Code bloat. Everywhere from the PHP back-end that powers WordPress to the excessive use of classes and IDs where they don't belong in the HTML output. Really, it just makes the Web pages heavier, makes my HTML code look like garbage and even makes WordPress slower than molasses moving uphill during a blizzard for crying out loud!
    • I like my HTML code to be indented properly. WordPress doesn't do that. But then again, anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a markup freak anyway.
    • The stupid wp- prefix being applied to everything. Look, somtimes I don't want people looking at my HTML source code to know that I'm using WordPress. Especially given the number of WordPress blogs/sites that were hacked over the past year. Franky, I'm starting to consider the prefix to be a security risk. (Update: SarahG over at "The Blog Experiment" wrote a tutorial post on how to "remove" the wp- prefix. Link: http://www.theblogexperiment.com/blo...4001#post14001)


    Note that I did not include "WordPress only searches through posts by default" in the hate list. This is because WordPress will be able to search through posts AND pages by default when WordPress 2.4 is released on January 28th, 2008.
    Last edited by Dan Schulz; Dec 21, 2007 at 00:13. Reason: Added update (link to relevant tutorial post)

  2. #2
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I hate the lengthy downloads. Honestly how much change can the "en" template have in all the lang folders. Seems to me that some of the stuff could be consolidated to shorten things up. Lost count of the images folders.

    The five minute installation is great -- if you do everything right during uploading the files to your ftp and remember to not just detactivate but delete plugins before upgrade.

    I don't like the obligatory use of "em" and "strong" over "i" and "b" for bold and italic. From semantic reading I've done, screen readers (as of yet) don't really pay attention and even if they did, there are some cases where you might want to italicize or bold something to make it stand out visually that is no real addition to the way the content should be read.

    I'm with Dan on the indent. I hate that I can't use the tab if I update presentation files in the admin panel so I generally use my own text editor for doing the css and html.

    I love their documentation, especially the codex, but it is time they trimmed some of the "this page is deprecated" and "this page is empty" from their support area.

    I like that they have links to a plugin author's site. Several times I've clicked to the author and that has helped me to decide whether to download that plug in or not.

    I don't like that the WP header extends into the main content window. A header should stay a header.

    I don't like that WP hijacks the H1 element for placement in the header. It messes up the outline of the page and makes it less SEO friendly since every page H1 is the same and each new post begins with an H2 instead of an H1. That leaves any other subheads as less important H3 and lower.

    The dynamic sidebar is great, but there should be an easier way to find and modify the widgets if necessary. The way it is... it's even tough to find their style declarations.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  3. #3
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Linda, the heading hijacking problem is a theme issue. Too bad that replacing the H1 in the header.php file with this (example below) is such a pain, since you then have to go into the other template files and edit the heading structure accordingly:

    PHP Code:
    <div id="header">
        <img src="<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/images/logo.png" width="200" height="80" alt="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> logo" title="" />
        <p>
            <?php bloginfo('description'); ?>
        </p>
    </div>
    Of course the image width and height would then be dependant on the size of the image.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    5 Things I Love About WordPress
    • It's GPL/free.
    • It can be used as a CMS.
    • Lots of off the shelf themes.
    • Lots of useful plugins.
    • The theming system is easy to understand.

    5 Things I Hate About WordPress
    • No way to limit which pages/posts/categories a user can edit/create without hacking up the admin interface quite drastically - or at least no way that I'm aware of as yet.
    • The lack of a reliable bridge with SMF - there are some available, but seem to be quite buggy.
    • You can't theme the admin panel without 'technically' modifying core files - useful for setting up WordPress as a simple CMS for other people to use.
    • The stupid way that WordPress messes with your HTML even when in code view
    • The wp-admin folder. Seems like a good way to get hacked when people know exactly where they should look for your admin folder.


    Dan - Good thing to see that they'll be including search by posts and pages as default in the next upgrade. That is a really annoying feature of the current version and something I don't understand.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower View Post
    I don't like the obligatory use of "em" and "strong" over "i" and "b" for bold and italic.
    Don't the "i" and "b" tags work in code view? Isn't it just TinyMCE which doesn't support them by default? If it is just a TinyMCE problem then there's probably a way to add them - there's lots of info. about this type of thing on the TinyMCE website.

  6. #6
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Ryan, you said that the SMF to WordPress bridges are buggy. Would you include this among the list of buggy bridges available?

    http://www.earthorbit.com/opensource/

  7. #7
    SitePoint Member Swiftie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the read. Good to know.
    Bounceweb - Great cPanel shared and reseller Web Hosting.
    Wattoogle - Energy Saving Google Search.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    Ryan, you said that the SMF to WordPress bridges are buggy. Would you include this among the list of buggy bridges available?

    http://www.earthorbit.com/opensource/
    I don't know. I haven't actually tried any, I've just read some poor reports on the bridges available and a friend of mine tried one and it fried his SMF installation.

    The main problem I've read about, is that existing SMF users don't get transferred over to WordPress which is a fundamental stumbling block for me as the only SMF forum I have is already populated with most of the people who will ever use it. So unless I make them all re-register (not an option) then I can't do much with the bridge. I haven't read up on them for a few months though, so things may have improved since then.

    I have you tried any yourself Dan?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    I thought of a sixth thing I hate.

    The fact that WordPress adds 'category' to the front of all category URL's by default. This seems like something that should happen by default, or at the very least should have an option to turn it off in the options panel.

  10. #10
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Category Base Killer will take care of that problem, Ryan. As for the SMF bridges, I just scrapped WordPress AND SMF on a new site I'm building for myself because I didn't create an identical admin account for SMF (same username and password as Wordpress).

    Fun times, eh?

  11. #11
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    I would like WP to come with a full featured stat's manager.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godXcel View Post
    I would like WP to come with a full featured stat's manager.
    That seems like bloatware to me. There are many ways to do stats and I don't see much point in installing a built in one, better as a plugin IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    Category Base Killer will take care of that problem
    Yep, have been using that, although often just hard code the categories in as pages anyway. I just think it should be a default option, not a plugin job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    As for the SMF bridges, I just scrapped WordPress AND SMF on a new site I'm building for myself because I didn't create an identical admin account for SMF ...
    By "scrapped", do you mean it broke the bridge? Or do you mean you've given up and are trying something else - in which case what?

  13. #13
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    No, I mean I forgot to use the same username and password on the forum as I did with Wordpress when I installed SMF and had already installed the bridge when I realized the mistake. So I figured "better safe than sorry" and wiped the slate clean.

    The bridge appears to be working (I haven't tried it much) though it does throw a fit when display names (or "nicknames" as WordPress calls it) are changed.

  14. #14
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    I'm going to have to think about this one. I can say the #1 thing I like about WordPress is the community of developers and designers out there. It is one of the best open source communities IMO and that alone, really diminishes any drawbacks to the software.
    Sara

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Things I hate about Wordpress:

    * There is the same code in multiple template files, meaning that if you want to make a change to a theme, you have to change it in the search, page, archive, and other template files.

    * Ugly default theme. I don't know why they can't spend a couple of hours of effort to make a default theme that doesn't look like crap.

    * The fact that Wordpress is updated or patched so often that you've got to upgrade practically every month.

    Other than that, I like Wordpress a lot. It's very good at what it does, simple to use, simple to set up, and the code is easy to understand. You don't need to be an advanced PHP coder to know what Wordpress is doing.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * There is the same code in multiple template files, meaning that if you want to make a change to a theme, you have to change it in the search, page, archive, and other template files.
    I guess so, but that's more of an issue of themers using too many files rather than WordPress requiring them to.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * Ugly default theme. I don't know why they can't spend a couple of hours of effort to make a default theme that doesn't look like crap.
    My concern isn't at what it's looked like, but that it should be a little simpler. It's pretty minimalistic as it is, but I'd be inclined to reduce the amount of HTML/CSS to the absolute minimum for a default theme. It makes it easier to redesign that way.

    Off Topic:

    SMF have as a truly awful default theme. phpBB3 has a totally awesome default theme. SMF, WordPress and other related softwares should take a look at phpBB3 for an example of what a default theme should look like/be coded like.


    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * The fact that Wordpress is updated or patched so often that you've got to upgrade practically every month.
    True, although personally I'm fairly ambivalent to their upgrades. I upgrade when I get around to it, not each month when they tell me I should. I have a hunt round to see if there any major security holes, but I usually find that the security holes are related to parts of WordPress that I'm not using, so upgrading isn't necessary for me most of the time.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I love it's populary, themes, pluging and Google love for WP
    I hate WP code! it doesn't meet MVC architecture
    "si-AdPlace Pro" - Text Ad Software

  18. #18
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    Things I hate about Wordpress:

    * There is the same code in multiple template files, meaning that if you want to make a change to a theme, you have to change it in the search, page, archive, and other template files.
    I'm getting kinda annoyed by that as well. I'm not much of a PHP person, or else I'd do something about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * Ugly default theme. I don't know why they can't spend a couple of hours of effort to make a default theme that doesn't look like crap.
    It's ugly for a reason. To make people want to switch to another one.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * The fact that Wordpress is updated or patched so often that you've got to upgrade practically every month.
    Eh, I'd rather upgrade regularly rather than not often, or worse, not at all. Though I wish they'd test more thoroughly BEFORE they release it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cheesedude View Post
    * There is the same code in multiple template files, meaning that if you want to make a change to a theme, you have to change it in the search, page, archive, and other template files.
    I guess so, but that's more of an issue of themers using too many files rather than WordPress requiring them to.
    True, but a lot of themers base their themes off of Kubrick. Which is a mistake, if you ask me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    My concern isn't at what it's looked like, but that it should be a little simpler. It's pretty minimalistic as it is, but I'd be inclined to reduce the amount of HTML/CSS to the absolute minimum for a default theme. It makes it easier to redesign that way.
    Minimalistic in display, bloated worse than a stuck pig with regard to the code.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhellyer View Post
    Off Topic:

    SMF have as a truly awful default theme. phpBB3 has a totally awesome default theme. SMF, WordPress and other related softwares should take a look at phpBB3 for an example of what a default theme should look like/be coded like.
    Off Topic:

    You seem to be forgetting that a lot of the extra code tends to be "hooks" and coders' eye candy (this is what our script can do!).

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Wordpress is really popular among lot of users but I prefer Blogger and presently I have few blogs on blogger.com. I am not much famliar with wordpress but I will try it for my further blog.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot theawristocrat's Avatar
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    What I dont like about wordpress is that the free blogs usually doesnt show up in google unlike blogspot blogs.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz View Post
    True, but a lot of themers base their themes off of Kubrick. Which is a mistake, if you ask me.

    Minimalistic in display, bloated worse than a stuck pig with regard to the code.
    I've always assumed that the code bloat in Kubrick was there to help make it easier for complete noobs to theme it. So they could totally redesign it using just CSS.

    At any rate, anyone who knows what they're doing should be able to rip out the extraneous code pretty quickly which is nice. Some programs I've tried have driven me bonkers with all the code I had to laboriously go through and redo.

  22. #22
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    You'll like what I'm working on then.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theawristocrat View Post
    What I dont like about wordpress is that the free blogs usually doesnt show up in google unlike blogspot blogs.
    I don't believe that is true. I've heard this rumour before, but never from a reliable source.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Schulz
    You'll like what I'm working on then.
    Which is what? Your own example of what a default WordPress theme should be like?

  24. #24
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Exclusive to ryanhellyer: PM me and I'll tell you.

  25. #25
    Web development Company chrisranjana's Avatar
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    wordpress permalinks

    Not sure whether a hack or module is available but
    In permalinks if we choose to use category and a particular post falls in multiple categories, It would have been good if separate links were created for separate categories.
    Chris, Programmer/Developer,
    www.chrisranjana.com


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