Digital consultant Kevin John Gallagher has created a bit of an uproar with his recent post about his company’s decision not to use WordPress anymore.
He raised some points about many areas he feels WordPress is still lacking in such as document management, user management and language support. I love the fact that WordPress gets updated often and is constantly getting improved though Kevin raised a good point about the admin area being redesigned a few times the year making it a pain for companies who want consistently for their clients.
What has concerned me has been the manner of which a few parts of the WordPress community has responded to his post. As usual, a few WordPress fanboys have suggested he has no right to criticise WordPress because he hasn’t contributed to the WordPress core or helped with testing. I received similar criticism when I spoke of my disappointment regarding the slow development of bbPress.
A long discussion has been going on over the last week on WordPress Tavern about the issue (the post could be found here but seems to have been taken down). I was sad to read that Kevin had received threats because of the points he raised in his post:
Sadly in the last 7 days I’ve had 3 ddos attacks, 14 threats (4 “credible”) against myself or my family, multiple requests to have me removed from speaking at WordPress events to which I’m already signed up and personally sponsor, and 31 people roll-back their purchase for Open Source Scotland because I’m involved.
I am strongly against this ‘WordPress fanboy’ mentality that many WordPress users have. Everyone knows how much I love WordPress. I am always recommending it to people who are just starting on the web, helping out other WordPress users whenever I can and I use WordPress on every website I own now. Though I am disappointed with the way that some people react when someone criticises WordPress. Whether you agree with the points that Kevin John Gallagher raised is irrelevant, he has the right to his opinion and needs to do what is right for him and his company.
Surely WordPress users should embrace criticism rather jump on the back foot in a defensive manner any time someone says that WordPress isn’t perfect? I am the first to defend WordPress when someone says something about the platform that is wrong or that I disagree with, however personal insults are not necessary or justified. As adults we should be able to disagree on issues without resorting to a mud slinging match.
I also disagree with the argument that you can’t criticise WordPress if you haven’t released a plugin or theme to the community or contributed to the WordPress core or helped with testing. If a point is valid, it is valid whether it was made by a WordPress developer with several years experience or by someone who has only been using WordPress a few months.
For me, WordPress is the best all round solution available for building websites online. There really is very little you can’t do using the WordPress platform. Don’t get caught get up in the illusion that the script is perfect for though. It’s not. However I believe it is the best platform for 99% of website projects.
If WordPress doesn’t do something you need by default, you should check for a suitable hard coded solution or WordPress plugin. If you still can’t find a solution, do what is right for you and your company and look for an alternative solution to WordPress that suits your project better. Also, don’t be afraid to be vocal on why you left the WordPress platform.
As WordPress users, we shouldn’t be concerned about a backlash if we want to criticise some aspect of the platform. We shouldn’t be chastised for saying that WordPress needs to be improved in some areas or that it could benefit from features used in other scripts like Joomla, Drupal or Tumblr or a commercial script. Bottom line, don’t be afraid to say what is on your mind, regardless of what others perceive as your contribution to WordPress.