WebsiteBaker versus Wordpress

by Boudewijn van den Akker - yze.nl

As we all know Wordpress is the leading cms in the World. Lots of articles are written about that but the truth is…. Why is it so immense popular and even more important; what results are given when comparing to WebsiteBaker?

Before I kick off it’s always easy to burn down the popular guy eventhough you do not know if it’s justly or not. In my case I DO have experience with both systems and therefore I think I can give you some objective comparisment results.

WP started as a blog, was developed as a blog back in the days that there were dozens of scripts that represented blogs. Nowadays they still lean on the same basics as back then; in fact it’s still a blog but since the blog concept lost it from the cms concept they merged it as WP was a full working cms (in fact it is basically a cms). The big difference, and that is where it all went wrong for WP, is that WP intentionally never was developed to work as a fully fledged cms but a a one-page blog which was editable in a backend.

And with that fact in mind even today this is noticable when you login in the backend of WP; it’s one big pile of unlogical implemented and inserted mess of addons and extensions. You cannot overlook the fact that the backend started out as a one-page editable workaround but during the need for a real cms they inserted and implemented dozens of mods, pages and so on, simply to create the workaround as demanded by the users.

But what do you get when you let thousands of users decide what to put in a backend? Right: a mess. And that is what WP is nowadays. Unlogical and slow.

And WB? WB started out with the development of a fully fledged cms from starting point on till now. All good.

Knowing these facts let’s dive into both systems:

First glimp workaround:

WP: After login into WP the First thing you notice is the overkill of buttons on your left. (thanks to all those wp users with their valuable input). Mistake #1: Not developers have to work with a backend, but end-users who pay (big) bucks in order to get a reliable and easy workaround. The average end-user is a n00b, doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing and what you’re saying and when WP comes in with literal dozens and dozens of (sub)menu links you can, no MUST understand that you are not delivering quality for your payed customer.

And WB: just select the menu items which are important for your customer and hide the rest. A handfull menu items is enough in order to let the customer have all the freedom they need.

 

Speed:

Provided: Both systems were tested on the same server with the same specs.

With all those fancy buttons and overkill it’s easy to think that wp is slow. Well…. It is. Everything you change needs time. Too much microtime. But when you add up all those seconds within a few minutes you start to get annoyed fast. You want speed and simplicity and not to annoy yourself after a few minutes. Big nono for end-users.

And WB? Less crap means less loading time and that’s what WB does.

Usability:

With all those buttons in WP there must be something good underneath, somewhere, hidden or so that will declare all the above negative points. But no… creating a page is a very devious and long-breathtaking adventure. In my case I had near 20 (!) fields/positions to fill out before the entire page was correctly setup. Did I mentioned the saving time per page?

In WB just fill out 1 field, save and you’re done.

Media:

Besides all the above WP experiences which truely surprised me in a negative way I reckoned that the Media section was scoring big time. Well….again it didn’t. I can write down a LONG story about the entire media section (which again is highly overkilled) but the main, basic, standard, must-have feature is simply NOT present: create dirs and subdirs in order to structure your media section. I was simply astonished. World’s biggest CMS didn’t have any option to create dirs and subdirs? Yes it doesn’t. I don’t know why this is not possible but It would not surprise me if it has to do with wrong coding from starting point on: when WP was coded as a one-page blog and so without the need of creating dirs in the Media section.

WB: Create all the structures you need with the highest form of simplicity.

SEO:       

Yes! Now WP stands up over the rest because the entire CMS is SEO optimized. Wel again….bad luck. Despite all those fancy widgets, plugins, fields, tabs and seo stuff our average WB created websites are simply higher ranked than WP created websites. Reason? Google likes less -, not more coding. ;)

Nice example; in WB you can SEO all pages in just one page. Easy does it.

Security:

Again: WP is popular and what becomes popular must burn nowadays but let’s look beyond that. I cannot avoid the fact that WP was written back then as a one-page blog, not a cms. They made the mistake not to re-write the entire code from scratch. My guess is that this ended it up in the most hacked cms in the World nowadays. Even the latest bare installations are hackable with just one line of code. Again: you sell this to your customers?

Besides that a website is as strong as the weakest link; and WP features thousands and thousands of widgets and extensions that are used. Most of them are one-time developed by vague developers and highly dangerous. Add this up to the lack of security as mentioned above and you simply DON’T want this to sell this to your customers.

WB? Created thousands and thousands of websites…no hacks known.

Final result:

When checking all the above facts then why is WP so immense popular? There are several answers for that. It’s popular because there are thousands free plugins and widgets available (regardless security issues) and even more free templates (same thing). Knowing this lots of ‘webdesign bureaus’ use this because the overhead is very low and all the tools are available when a client is asking for it.

That said; custom programming isn’t that easy with WP and bureaus who use/sell WP simply have to do with what’s available on the market. That’s why lots of starting bureaus will end within a few years because they aren’t able to grow while their clients demand it. What remains are the professional bureaus who uses WP. And that’s something I don’t understand regarding all of the above. I cannot walk away of the impression that these bureaus are using WP for the benefit of the average end-user because there aren’t any. What’s stays behind is, even for big bureaus the advantage of a giant palace of templates and widgets. Nothing more, nothing less.

And WB? WB was build as a fully fledged CMS with one goal; simplicity. What can be done in WP in 5 steps can be done in WB in just one step. It’s a pure backend CMS what means that you need coding skills in order to create a template and couple this with WB. Yes not even WB is perfect; e.g. the mod section is poor and some mods need a re-write or upgrade.

 

 

This article is tagged with:
Wordpress WebsiteBaker

Comments on this article - Note: comments will be reviewd by a moderator before publishing!

Frank http://plugins.onkel-franky.de
Oct 25, 2015 - 19:58:41

Hi Ruud, good article.
I have not much experience with WordPress, only a little bit. Some for me important things i want add to your points.

Yes, WP is slowly in the backend and all things take more time than necessary. But if you want do these things in your local envoirement, you need + 10 times longer. Absolute cruel.

Moving WP from server A to server B is also not so easy like with WB. You have to migrate the WP-database with a extra plugin. But many users say you have only to edit the config file and 2 entrys in the database. I'm not sure, i do it with the migration-plugin.

Cheers
Frank

Boudi
Apr 15, 2015 - 21:30:29

Hi guys,

Thank you for your contribution on my topic. First.. I totally agree with you both that WB, and especially the forum seems pretty dead. But pretty dead is not really dead. As I speak there are 2 developers busy with a new updated version that will be pre-released soon. The problem with upgrades is that users wants them, needs them... but you can ask yourself: is it really necessary? Look at WP; update after update but still hackable with 1 line of code.

We all know that bringing upgrades too soon will end up in instable versions that must be patched again and again. And we all DON'T want to end up as WP and his hackable and instable versions. And to be honest, even today the core of WB works pretty well. Less coding, fast load, safe, very easy for custom work.

As I mentioned, and you both too, for me the big problem is lack of good addons. But on the other hand, with the few addons we have until today I can provide all my customers needs. (and in the last 11 years of our company it has never been so busy) You don't need thousands of plugins, sounds fun but i'd rather work with a handfull good working, safe addons than download some addon which I don't know the history of. And that's why for me WB and it's tinyness is something I like. I can overlook the entire movement, It's all within a radius that can be overlooked. Here I am Boudi, not some anonymous user.

That said I totally agree with you that some things are really wayyyy too much outdated :) For example the FCKEditor and the standard templates in the setup, the incomprehensible outdated forum, it's template and some mods. It's time to wipe the ancient shit out of this and make some fresh new starts.

There are simple solutions and ideas for that and I will name some here:

- I work with a tweaked standard WB setup. In this setup the CKEditor, some mods, the new admin template and extra custom templates are standard installed. I never download (only when an update is there) the WB setup from the site but simply upload my own customized version and install it. Within 1 minute I have a fully tweaked WB ready. How easy can it be. :)

- I believe in WB and in his future and I'm willing to participate in the board. Shouting from the sideline is not my thing but i'd rather participate. Reason for this is that it's needed. There are still some good folks out there, some good coders but all things must be 'freshed up' big time to get the motivation back from the users. First I want to give the forum a HUGE upgrade and make it responsive so that for the visitors and users there is finally some new life visible! And new life means new motivation, new users, new coders etc..

- I believe in crowdfunding to create new mods. These mods are safe, internal coded by WB programmers (e.g. Ruud) and very customizable because of this.

- Luisehahe and Darkviper are very active at this moment working on a fresh new stable version which is in the last stadium. I strongly believe in quality and if that takes time then so be it. The current WB is still very good to work with till the new version is ready.

- Get rid of what's old and make the addon site more appealing.

- And yes I totally agree with your points. I think it's good to inventory all these comments and discuss them on the next meeting from the board.

WB needs people who wants to help. I offered my help. I hope others will folllow. I'm not a coder but may be that's just a good thing. More diversity means a wider range of point of views. Together we can acchieve the same goal and that is to put WB back on track where it belongs.

Kind regards,

Boudewijn

Robin (nibz)
Apr 14, 2015 - 22:57:04

HI Boudewijn thanks for your nice write-up.
What i like the most about WebsiteBaker is the ease of converting a template to a usable template.
I also make website's using both CMS's and i must say Wordpress is really more difficult in this area.

Also i agree with you; i was a little shocked finding that Wordpress has no good 'media section', when someone is used to Websitebaker (where you can make folders) you really have to adapt to Wordpress with the media sorted by date posted and not in folders you can name yourselfe like WebsiteBaker does, which is in fact a lot easier to find your files (when you have a lot).

BUT and a huge BUT; Though WebsiteBaker is great as it is i also think it laks some necessary things (most of them are being worked on :).
Things i think WebsiteBaker lacks:
- Good module resource + being able to contribute (to work more as a team on modules)
- Good fresh template resouce it's not 1995 but 2015, i will be contributing some templates if i find time on my hands, but my tutorials on this website will help people to be able to create their own template.
- Good tutorials (this website is a good start + the WIKI that i saw is coming is also a really good step in the future)
- A easier download page of the CMS (right now you need to be an expert to only download the right version of WebsiteBaker (i know and believe there is being worked on this).

All-in-all i think we could make WebsiteBaker more a community effort, maybe by also putting the source on github (or something else) so people can contribute. And also by putting modules on github so that everybody can contribute and there is 1 source to keep track of changes of modules. I think most developers know or can learn github to contribute, and this will result in more community effort.
When the github repo is set people can make pull request and a selected group of 'staff' members can check if the pull request are valid and can be added to the source.
This is also a good idea for modules, by putting a WB modules github where people can make pull request and also put their modules on the modules can be checked before releasing.
Currently many of us post snippets, templates, modules in the forum; where nobody checks the source before people can download the module and install it on their website, this is in my eyes a great security threat.

NOTICE this is just my opinion about current running issues, most of them are being handled but i just wanted to say them.

And a nice end: Lets all make WebsiteBaker! and not essentially grow but develop.

Kind regards,

Robin (nibz).

Jurgen
Apr 14, 2015 - 21:26:37

I agree completely with Forian. Boudewijn makes valid points, and I agree with them too. As a very long WB user and WB forum admin I have been supportive of this system as long as possible. But the lack of progress, the lack of core functions (there is not even a decent blog, gallery and form function), the lack of ready to use templates, and last but not least the lack of addons, cause WB to slowly drift away into oblivion.

I use Wordpress now, partly because it is the most used and most popular platform these days (as a website builder I cannot afford to simply ignore it), but also because it is getting better all the time, and the amount of useful themes and addons is superb. Whenever a clients want a function or design element, I can almost certainly do it with WP as a a non coder. But with WB I am stuck with simple core functions, some outdated addons and very few possibilities of creating without coding what I or my client want.

And whatever development is going on with WB, it is done by German coders that spend more time arguing about irrelevant stuff and fighting each other, and not sharing anything with the international community. WB has not seen any real progress for many, many years. It's a dead system. Which is a shame really, because once upon a time it was great.

Maybe it's tiem for a fork by other people. Not a technical fork (the code must be too outdated to build upon I suspect), but a functional fork. A new WB, built from the ground up, but with the same kind of usability and way of working as the current WB. But that would take years I guess, and in the mean time other platforms also progress. To be honest, I think WB is doomed.

Florian
Apr 14, 2015 - 08:12:16

Basically, you're right, but actually a comparison of WB and WP is a comparison of apples and pears.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a long-time user of WB (since 2007), but I'm quite fed up with it. So if I had to start a new project and had to choose which CMS I use, I'm not sure if I still would use WB.

There is only one WB core developer - who often gets into conflict with the community and vice-versa. Many supporters are gone.

In many fields, the development of WB has stopped years ago, e.g. WB is still shipped with FCKEditor, all core modules (News, Form...) still generate table design, the templates shipped with WB have not been developed for 10 years. If there is development progress, it's not "visible", e.g. the end user doesn't notice it.

There are left only a few module authors.
The choice of modules which still work is more than poor, most of them are abandoned or orphaned.

The templates you find in the template repository are merely ugly and/or outdated.

Wordpress sucks in many ways, but it can be tweaked to be less annoying - there are modules to suppress not needed backend functions, the built-in WYSIWYG editor with its poor media management can be replaced by the CKEditor, the amount of fields to be filled in for publishing an article can be reduced, there are ways to speed up and secure the system and so on. And since there is an overwhelming amount of templates and modules you don't need to write any line of code to build an impressive website. So although WP has many disadvantages, it's no coincidence that it is so popular.

So both WB and WP have to be tweaked heavily until you can effectivily work with them, and the advantage of WB is the easiness of building a template. On the other hand: WP has a big community and is continously developed, but nobody knows what the future of WB will look like. WP isn't my first choice, but WB neither.

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