Basing ourselves largely in the Microsoft camp, we naturally gravitate towards anything .NET. So it was when we were looking for a low-cost CMS-based solution for web publishing. We ended up choosing DotNetNuke, and it was… OK. Actually it always suffered from several things…
- limited hosting availability
- slow page rendering
- appallingly hard to make it look good
- low quality third party plugins at high prices
Gradually things changed on the skinning front, and nice looking skins started to be released. It always felt cumbersome, however, and made sites remarkably uninviting to maintain and update. Core components like the blog and the wiki were never quite as good as you’d get elsewhere. But the worst, and most unforgivable thing about DotNetNuke and its core development team was that when something went ever-so-slightly wrong in an install, or an update, even if nothing significant was logged at the time, it would leave a little ticking timebomb in your DotNetNuke installation which would result in a future major update failing totally – often resulting in the need to restore the site from the last backup. Attempts to get support on the DotNetNuke forums were entirely unsuccessful, and generally resulted in no replies except from other beleaguered DNN users experiencing the same problem, or – even worse – ones from DNN core team members that were so unhelpful, dismissive or even rude that it left us with an increasingly bitter feeling towards the entire shebang. So eventually we gave up even trying to maintain our DNN codebases, and left them running but moribund while we looked for an alternative.
I’d been using WordPress for a couple of blog sites for a while, and it was always nice & easy to maintain, and version by version it was becoming even easier. The wealth of good looking themes and high quality plugins being written for WordPress made it look ever less like a vanilla blog platform and increasingly like a proper CMS platform in the making. It felt like a light, airy place to play, a splendid antidote to the oppressive dark dungeon of DNN. So we took the plunge and tried redeveloping one of our main web sites as a WordPress-based site – and with great success. Then a major customer replatforming project, another huge success. WordPress even downloads and installs its own updates, and updates for its plugins, and none of the automatic updates have ever once failed or hiccuped.
And so here it is. Our brand new lovely web site – a brilliant platform upon which to communicate with our customers and prospective customers – with blogs and news and detailed pages on all our offerings – and above all good looking and ever so easy to maintain and update, so you can probably expect more regular new stuff too.
Sorry DotNetNuke, you had your chance and muffed it. Well done WordPress, you’re going from strength to strength and deserve all the accolades and success. Long live WordPress.