I have been using Textpattern as blog software and as a website content management system (CMS) for a few years now but my colleague (who shall remain nameless) is a bit of a WordPress fan. We each argued the case for our favourite but both systems seemed to have advantages and disadvantages depending on the website scenario. In actual fact, neither of us has used the other software 'in anger' so-to-speak. Until now that is.
As part of a little project that started recently, we needed a blog that would be regularly updated with offers from online retailers, product reviews, and product news. This seemed to be an ideal case for one of us (that's me, then) to use the 'other' software, WordPress. So far so good.
After the normal WordPress installation process and a few decisions with regard to blog theme, we have now set-up the Shop Junction Blog. Subsequently, over a few days, we have gradually amended or merged the styles of the existing website and the GlossyBlue WordPress theme so that the two are similar, in order to give a moderately consistent design across the whole website.
The set-up for Textpattern and WordPress is very similar and takes about 5-10 minutes for a default installation. No advantage to either side and credit to both sets of developers for making this as painless as possible.
In terms of the admin interface, I must say that the WordPress system was easier to use from the outset than Textpattern. Both systems are well thought out and make it easy to see how posts, pages, categories, links, and images are organised but WordPress has an advantage here, in my opinion. Everything was very easy to use. It seemed more intuitive.
The WordPress theme manager is also very good. Textpattern does not have this functionality but relies on the developer to create alternative style sheets and switch between them. Nothing wrong with that but the ability to change themes at will is easier with WordPress.
Textpattern does make it easy for the developer to make changes in each section of the website and it is very customisable and extendable. I don't have enough experience to know if this true with WP but the two systems seem quite modular in their approach, which should make them easy to develop and extend.
Textpattern is marketed as a CMS but it comes across as blog software in a lot of cases. Some people have been quite surprised when I say that it can be used for 'normal' websites. I'm not sure why.
On the other hand, WordPress seems to be more focused on its use as blog software. Perhaps it is just a matter of interpretation.
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