I have been asked by a friend, who has been hosting WordPress blogs on his blogercise.com domain, to investigate the possibility of adapting WordPress and creating some plugins for the network. I have been a big fan of e107 for sometime but I am always open minded about other content management systems, so was happy to have a look.
WordPress vs blogger
WordPress is slightly limited in that it is aimed squarely at the bloggers, but after a quick play around, it was very clear that WordPress really leads the field. It seems that the latest release overcomes a number of criticisms raised by users of Googles super popular blogger.com. There is no longer much doubt when it comes to blogger vs wordpress – for now there is a clear winner!
WordPress is way ahead in functionality and design. The slick interface allows the manager to perform all the tasks required. Great use of AJAX technology ensures an easy ride that looks impressive and feels like a modern day platform. Support of ping backs, gravatars, tags, and a very active plugin community ensures that WordPress is really the only player worth considering right now.
However Im sure Blogger.com will not sit back and a new all singing and dancing version must be on the way. With the entire weight of Google backing Blogger.com no one will suggest that the resources arent there to set a new standard in the future.
Where does this leave e107?
e107 is starting to look a little dated. It is finding it hard to compete with the slick looking Joomla and its active community. This is a shame because I have always found e107 to be far better in terms of usability and out of the box functionality. With no functionality added to e107 for almost a year now it is becoming imperative that a new version of e107 is released soon, and it needs to impress. The developers have been hard at work on e107 0.8 for some time now and the roadmap has some great ideas in it.
To me, it seems that there are some obvious things required to become the leading open source CMS system, and Im sure none of them are that hard to add into the core code base.
CMS must haves:
- Tagging. I have done my best to add tagging to e107, but this needs to become a core feature. If 0.8 doesnt include tags I will work on a new release of my plugin!
- A Web 2 feel. Yes we all hate the term, but we all know what it means. One look at WordPress and it is clear that this is what people want. Releasing with several core Web 2 themes would be a massive win.
- OpenID. There is actually a bounty open for any big project that includes OpenID. Site owners will love this because it will clearly increase accessability
- Gravatar. The universal web wide avatar. Another little feature of WordPress which improves the connected, social feel of the site greatly.
- Ping back. Again, a small feature that quickly improves connectivity between community sites.
- Social bookmarking. Easy access to the Diggs of this world.
I dont think any of these things are that hard to put into excellent e107 framework, but they are all small features that any 21st centuary web site must have as a minimum. The first CMS system that nails all of these things in an out of the box solution will quickly be the envy of all the other systems.
What other must have features are there?