I’ve always used a custom built solution for my blogging, originally just with some custom PHP, then I eventually added the FCK Editor but last month I decided that it was finally time to move on.
Lets Try WordPress
My initial thought was WordPress, I had a bit of experience with it from Shirts That Matter (which I have yet to complete…) so it seemed like the logical choice; However, I just kept running into more and more problems, and needing more and more plugins (which didn’t always work as promised).
Lets Try Textpattern
So I started to think Textpattern, one of my secret mentors (secret as in: I stalk his blog but he doesn’t really know who I am), Nathan Smith, co-authored an amazing book called TextPattern Solutions. I pre-ordered the book through Amazon as soon as he mentioned it but never really got around to reading it until now (now that I needed his TXP wisdom).
It was a bit difficult! I definitely didn’t pick up on Textpattern as quickly as I picked up on WordPress, I spent few late nights staring at my MacBook with a puzzled face. It did however pay off, Textpattern is extremely customizable, The thing I like most is how the “Articles” work, you can post them anywhere—so it took me just a couple minutes to make my resources section completely dynamic, which is huge for me!
The Breakdown (Pros and Cons)
There are a lot of things I like about both, and I always find it easier to compare things with bullet points, so here’s a breakdown of my pros and cons for the two:
- Beautiful! The Admin interface is very intuitive and aesthetically pleasing
- Themes are easy to make and copy
- Easy Plugin Installation
- I can use my favorite HTML editor and just upload the files
- You can only have one blog and post entries to that one blog page
- Very buggy, I ran into several oddities with the navigation and a few other minor things
- A lot of plugins with a lot of false promises and bugs
- Not very flexible
- Amazing Article system, you can post articles anywhere and use Forms to present them as you want them presented
- Very flexible, there’s even a case study in Textpattern Solutions about an entire eCommerce site built off of TXP
- Amazing Plugins – I had no problems installing / using plugins on the fly
- The admin interface is a bit unattractive
- Bigger learning curve
- I’m not a huge fan of Textile yet
Well, I hope you found this helpful – I did not start out to become a Textpattern advocate but I feel that after building my website/blog in WordPress and then in TextPattern I’m sold on it.
Note: Building my site in WordPress and then rebuilding it in Textpattern happened in the span of a month, using WordPress 2.2 and Textpattern 4.05.
Also, if you’re going to use Textpattern, buy Textpattern Solutions.
Note: As of version 2.7 I decided to revisit WordPress and there are definitely a lot of improvements. I am now using WordPress to power this blog.