I have been using wordpress.com (this site is hosted there) for quite some time, but a while back I got tired of the limited configurability and the need to pay for every little tweak. When I narrowed down my choices of themes to the ones where source code examples, there wasn’t much left to choose from. Since I was just starting a new C++ blog, it was clear to me that I’d need a better platform for my purposes. I’ve become very particular about how my communications present themselves—who am I kidding? I’ve always been particular!—and it just wasn’t going to fly to have the type too small or the code look bad.
I started looking around at other blogging software, such as MovableType. I really thought I was going to want the Motion add-on, but I tried it and couldn’t really figure out what it was buying me. Furthermore I couldn’t stand waiting for MT to regenerate HTML files. I looked into a bunch of other technologies, too, though not in so much depth.
At some point I tried installing WordPress on my own server. It went smoothly, as most php-based installations seem to for me. IIRC, they guide you through the steps in a browser, using WordPress’ own web UI (why don’t more packages work that way?) Configurability has been just incredible; there are scads of free plugins, many of them very slick, and most of which seem to work pretty well. It feels easily as responsive as another site running on the same server using a custom-built Django-based framework.
But the biggest amazement for me has been the gentle learning curve. I don’t even really know PHP, and still I’ve been able to slowly and incrementally push the design towards the site I want it to be, and the frustration I usually feel with most web software systems seems completely missing. Now it seems to me that WordPress could be a good platform for almost any website, blog or otherwise. I’m impressed; can you tell?