Is WordPress right for us?

Discussion in 'Blogs, Wikis, and other CMP's' started by Lala, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Hey.

    We have XF2 for forums and custom PHP for everything else. We've been using a forum for blogs. It works, sort of, but requires custom coding each time we upgrade forums, it's a hassle, plus I want more features. So I think it's time to move blogs to a different software solution, bridge them with forums (so that blogs would use our users database), but have them run independently otherwise, so that blogs aren't affected/limited by forums software. I'm thinking WordPress, but not really sure why; never used it. Clueless on what the options are, hoping for pointers/suggestions.

    Here's what I want:

    1. Ability to integrate blogs with whatever forums we have. Not looking for an add-on (I saw there's one for XF/Wordpress), looking for a blogs solution that is capable of integration, theoretically, with whatever we do with forums. Maybe we'll switch to IPS in five years, who knows, I want blogs that are theoretically capable of integrating with whatever. I have users' info in PHP (am using it for the rest of the site), so I can pass it along to blogs. I want blogs to be capable of taking it, one way or another. A ready-made add-on is nice, but I need to trust that we'll be able to integrate blogs and forums even if there's no add-on, if we need to custom-code it worst-case scenario.

    2. Ability to export/download/transfer/migrate blogs elsewhere, should we choose to. We're very conservative with software and rarely change anything, believe in not fixing what ain't broke. But I don't want to be stuck without options, should we need to migrate, in some remote future and/or unforeseeable circumstances.

    3. Users belonging to one usergroup should be able to create a blog, post in it, read blogs by other users, and comment on them (but not post in them, and not create more than one blog per user). I don't want them creating a private blog for their personal viewing only, or for friends only; all blogs should be visible to all users belonging to this usergroup. No custom titles, the title of a blog is "username's blog". I don't want other usergroups creating/posting in/commenting on blogs, or reading blogs by other users (but I want them to be able to read their own blog, that they created while they belonged to the usergroup with blogging access).

    4. Ability to limit options of users, what exactly they can do with their blog. E.g. choose/edit theme, language, upload attachments, embed media, change font size, etc. I probably want them to edit nothing, upload nothing, and post text only, but might allow a little more, depending on details.

    5. Report button on every post and every comment. Can custom-code it worst case scenario, but the blogs solution needs to accommodate it.

    6. Ability to moderate, i.e. that admins/mods should be able to edit/delete/move/merge/lock/sticky blogs/posts/comments.

    7. No social networking of any sort. No sharing, no liking, no pinning, etc. I need to be able to block it all, to have no trace of it.

    8. Nice front page, with latest entries, featured blogs, top bloggers, etc.

    9. Would be sweet to use our forums header, footer, css, and user links/menus, without having to manually copy it all. OK if not.

    10. Would be sweet to be able to add some php widgets to sidebar. OK if not.

    11. No clue if it's possible at all, but it would be nice to allow users to transfer their off-site blogs to us, or on-site blog to them. I.e. they had a blog before they created an account with us, now they want their old blog moved to our site, to continue posting in it as our site's user. Or they used to be our user, now cancelled their membership, but want to take their blog and continue it elsewhere. These transfers shouldn't include styling or comments made by other users, and it's OK if it can only be done by admins (e.g. export their blog as csv and email it to them). They definitely shouldn't be able to export/download other users' blogs. It's OK if this whole feature is not possible at all.

    12. SEO is not a concern; blogs will be private, accessible to members of one usergroup only.

    Overall I want the least features possible. We have solutions for other things (like media galleries, articles, etc). All we need is a way for our users to blog comfortably, in plain text, with ability to browse and comment on each others blogs, without it turning into a dialogue (like a thread does), and with a nice front page (unlike a thread list). And I'm sick of trying to make forums do this, because each time we upgrade forums we spend weeks trying to fix blogs, and each time the tech options/solutions are different, so policies keep changing, and it's frustrating to users. I want blogs to use our users database but work independently of forums otherwise.

    Is this possible with WordPress? Is WordPress the right choice? Is there anything I'm missing and should consider?

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. mbordelon

    mbordelon Neophyte

    5
    8
    +3
    You can check out Wpforo addon for WordPress.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • List
  3. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Confused. I don't want to run forums on WordPress. We have forums already, as well as other things (chat, articles, media galleries, etc). I want a blogging software, to integrate with our existing forums.
     
  4. Destroy Repeat

    Destroy Repeat DestroyRepeat.com

    277
    95
    +80
    Since you have XF2.0, wordpress is the way to go. Furthermore, Xpress by themeHouse is what you're looking for, but I'd wait for 2.1 to go gold to get the other half of the ideas you wanted. (REST allows for XF to "talk" to other integrated tech, which your whole thread is about.)

    Most blogging software are trash, nothing comes close to wordpress's level of quality. IPS does integrate blogs with their forum framework, but renewal is costly. Like vbulletin. The difference between IPS and vbulletin is quality. I don't particularly like IPS, but you're looking for options.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  5. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Thanks! I saw Xpress, but at the moment I'm trying to figure out if WordPress is indeed what we need, if it's capable of what we want of it, if some other software might be a better match. Have zero experience with blogs, no idea what to look (out) for. I know XF is good at "talking" to external stuffs - but I don't know if WordPress is good at it too. That's basically my question. That, and also if I can disable all the stuff I want to disable (like social networking or ability to upload/embed media), how much control do I have over their options/features, can they be tweaked through admin CP (or inline, however it works, some sort of interface); if not - can I edit their templates. If WordPress is flexible in this sense, and can comfortably talk to forums (or to my custom PHP) - we can probably make it work, with Xpress add-on or in some other way. At the moment I'm just trying to decide if we're going with WordPress or looking for something different. Hard to choose a blogging software while having zero experience with any of them lol.
     
  6. Destroy Repeat

    Destroy Repeat DestroyRepeat.com

    277
    95
    +80
    Oh, I see.

    Wordpress is both flexible, but also limiting. You can disable features, and whatnot. The problem is the control panel - it's very limited. With xenForo, I can just tick some options, enter fields, and it would do the most basic stuff. Wordpress has a lot of that, but it's limited in scope. The worst part is, there's really not much you can do here. Wordpress >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Joomla, vBulletin CMS, IPS, Drupal, Ghost, Magneto (there's more but I'll just leave it at that). If you googled "Best blogging platforms" you'd be completely confused - because most bloggers mix installable blogs with hosted blogs (*rolleyes*), same can be said for "Best CMS" you will find the same crap. This is because most blogging platforms want you on their service, and not give you freedom to host your own.

    I really wish there was a company like xenForo that does blog/CMS code, so we don't have to put up with the nuances of wordpress. 90% of the time, they want you to extend your blog with your own plugins, your own skin, your own code (ala this thread/your ideas), and it leaves people with no real way to set up a blog, set up a nice skin, and set up the right plugins. You have to do all the work by yourself.

    And the majority of the time, you're forced to find a coder that does wordpress very well, but then when you do - that'll be $1000 or more.

    But there's really nothing you can do about it. Nobody revolutionized blogs yet. Wordpress made it that hard.

    Wordpress is the Microsoft of blogs. Put it that way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  7. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    That's what I was afraid of. It's the impression I was getting, but didn't want to trust my eyes because that won't work for us. Just not worth it. For us forums are an additional feature, not the main content; we add forums to the site, not build a site around forums. And blogs are an additional feature for forum users. I was looking for something light, flexible, bare bones - but didn't want add-ons (existing or custom ones) because content generated through them can be hard to transfer, in case of forum upgrades/migrations. Wanted something independent that I could bridge with forums and call it a day. Solving this need with the Microsoft of blogs would be like trying to kill a mosquito with nuclear weapons...
     
  8. Destroy Repeat

    Destroy Repeat DestroyRepeat.com

    277
    95
    +80
    Wordpress is that. In my opinion, I just wish there was more I could do with the software rather than what it is. As a novice web designer, I feel limited by the software. That's just me.

    You can easily bridge your blog with a forum with xpress/wpforo, I'm just saying that wordpress isn't really extensive as it is with xenForo.

    When I said "Wordpress is the Microsoft (Windows) of blogs," I meant market dominance. Windows is the leader in Operating Systems, Wordpress is the leader in Blogs. I mean, like millions, upon millions of people have it installed. Likewise there's a large userbase of creators for plugins, skins, and whatnot. But with that kind of marketplace, you'll come across shady people who scam you into installing their mods or skins then hurt you later.

    It's free, so you don't need to worry about paying for the software like we do in the Forum world.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  9. Joel R

    Joel R Fan

    568
    257
    +568
    I'm not sure why you wouldn't investigate WordPress? It's the worlds largest blogging platform, and by large, I mean 30% of all sites in the world run on the WordPress now. Some of their plugins (you know, the things you add on to WordPress) have ecosystems that are multiple times larger than Xenforo, IPS or Vbulletin.

    If you want blogging first, then WordPress is by far your best choice for your core platform. Everyone integrates into WordPress, from bbPress to Xenforo to IPS.
     
  10. Ingenious

    Ingenious Fan

    574
    287
    +153
    I've always liked using WP for static content, there's so many plugins to do just about everything, so many themes too all of which can then be tweaked further with some CSS edits. Pay a small bit of $$ and get a page builder like Elementor (might not even need that when Wordpress's Gutenberg block editor thingy matures in the soon to be released v5) and you can easily design virtually anything. And because of its mass use on the web, you can usually find answers to most questions quite quickly.

    With regards to "bare bones", Wordpress is only as complicated as you want to make it. In it's basic installed format it's a front page (which can be anything) and then the content you add. And it's free :)

    Given that it's free, why not install it somewhere (or locally) and test it out?
     
  11. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Thank you for replies. I probably will end up trying it out, just need to rethink my approach. This thread has been helpful - it clarified that forums integrate into WordPress and not vice versa, and confirmed that WordPress is probably the only option. I'll need to think of whether we want this arrangement; not what I had in mind originally.

    We have a functional site with semi-static content, don't need any software for it. Then we have forums for members (about 25-30% of visitors), also happy with our software. And then blogs for about 6-7% of members, 1.75% of visitors, that's what we need software for. So, in terms of priorities, blogs need to get along with forums, not vice versa. It makes no sense to limit/constrain/compromise my forum options based on whether forums would get along with blogs or not. To create a possibility of a scenario where I can't upgrade to a forums software that would benefit majority of my users just because it won't play nicely with blogs that are used by a tiny minority.

    But it looks like that's not how it works, so I need to see if there's anything else we could use WordPress for, to justify its existence, the need to compromise forum choices for it. Something that would benefit majority of my users, enhance the site as a whole. At the moment I can't think of anything like that; I have no use for this software aside from member blogs, a perk we offer to a tiny minority of users. Just means I need to think harder :)
     
  12. Destroy Repeat

    Destroy Repeat DestroyRepeat.com

    277
    95
    +80
    Read this for what I said above (how XF2.1 can "talk" to your external projects like wordpress or custom projects). It's not present in XF2.0, but is coming in XF2.1.
    As I and others said earlier, that can be done with a few plugins available for XF2.0.

    You can both integrate your forum with your blog, and vice versa. That's precisely what REST API aims to solve.
     
  13. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    Right, XF2.1 will do it, but I don't know if XF3 would, or whatever forum software we'll be considering five years down the road, or if WordPress will continue to accommodate third party integrations at all. I was hoping for a blogging software that is meant for third-party integrations, not a core platform that has the market and that everyone else has to dance around. I understand most forums come up with ways to integrate with WordPress, but it's a one-way relationship, WordPress itself has no reason to care if I can integrate with them or not, they are not motivated to do one thing that I want of them. If I were looking for a core platform that would be fine - but I don't want to tie my hands in terms of software choices just so that 1.75% of my users can blog a little more comfortably.

    I might come up with other uses for WordPress, to make it worth it. Just it's not what I originally planned for: instead of "which software do I install for blogs" it's now "what can I use WordPress for". Or I might just custom-code blogs - we already have multiple projects where users post content outside of forums, so blogs could be just another such project.
     
  14. gConverter

    gConverter Aspirant

    44
    13
    +30
    Ok, but most of these would work better and have more features on WordPress. For example "articles" are better for WordPress, "media galleries" can be migrated to some WordPress Gallery plugin, there are dozens of awesome plugins:

    User Profiles can be migrated to WordPress Profile Plugins.

    The chat too:

    In other words, I'd just suggest look on your website from other side. All content can be inserted in WordPress system. I don't think a forum platform can do this better. Forum is good for forum not for multi-purpose website. If you have articles, galleries and other components it's better use WordPress. The forum part can be bridged with XenForo or migrated to WordPress forum plugins:
     
    • Informative! Informative! x 1
    • List
  15. Lala

    Lala Participant

    78
    8
    +26
    I agree with you that forum software is good for forums, not for multipurpose website. That's why I have forums on XF and everything else on custom code. I don't believe that WordPress would work better, for our needs.
     
Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.