WordPress is the dominant CMS, currently powering more than 30% of all websites (60% of websites built on a CMS); for some perspective, see the chart. As a fork of WordPress, ClassicPress plans to capitalize on what we believe is a misstep for business and professional users in WordPress’s decision to integrate the block editor into core (originally introduced as the Gutenberg plugin).
When deciding on a CMS, I believe businesses and professional organizations should look at the following factors: who owns the platform (open-source vs proprietary); flexibility and extensibility; developer availability; security; SEO support; ease of use; and prospects for longevity.
Open-source vs. Proprietary
Open-source CMS solutions (ie, WordPress, ClassicPress, Joomla, Drupal) offer a great deal of freedom to do what you wish with the software on whatever hosting platform best suits your needs, while proprietary solutions generally allow only their own ready-made solutions on their own hosting platforms. While proprietary solutions (ie, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly) can be a good choice for certain kinds of business websites (eg, brochure-ware), their limitations make them a poor choice for most. It’s no accident that open-source platforms dominate the business CMS market.
Notably, at least until WordPress drops support for Classic Editor (end of 2021?), most plugins that work with WordPress will also work with ClassicPress. Enthusiasm for ClassicPress is growing among developers and we are optimistic that a robust plugin ecosystem will evolve.
Developer availability is something businesses and professional organizations must consider. The more competent developers available, the more likely they can found and hired, and the more affordable their services. Because the block editor is React.js-based, it’s a departure from previous WordPress technology, and relatively few WordPress developers are competent to work with it yet.
The ClassicPress developer pool is actually much larger, because all competent WordPress developers are also competent ClassicPress developers by default (this also bodes well for ClassicPress plugin and theme development).
Ease of Use
It’s worth remembering the original purpose of Content Management Systems: enabling website owners to quickly and easily add and update content on their websites. Historically, WordPress has held an advantage in this area (it’s a major factor in why Drupal fell behind WordPress). In the last few years, however, some of the proprietary platforms have implemented drag-and-drop interfaces that cater to low-end users, and WordPress decided it needed to do something to ‘keep up.’ The Gutenberg plugin (integrated into core as the block editor with the 5.0 release) was the result of those efforts, promising a fun and flexible (layout/design) editing experience. Although it may improve in time, at launch the block editor is buggy and difficult to work with.
Prospects for Longevity
WordPress has an impressive track record, but it started even smaller than ClassicPress — with two developers — in 2003. Intended as a way for its founder to share photos with friends and family, it almost unwittingly became the dominant CMS by developing features that allowed developers to customize it (ie, custom post types, custom fields) and by encouraging and enabling an ecosystem of third-party plugins and themes. ClassicPress intends to build on what we believe WordPress did right, making improvements that make it an even better CMS.