Impressions from a Drupal professional new to WordPress

Josh Koenig is a co-founder of Pantheon, the Drupal hosting platform turned Drupal and WordPress hosting platform. I interviewed Josh when they launched their WordPress product in March, and also wrote about their Series B financing round of $21.5 million.

In a recent post on the Pantheon blog, Josh — a ten year veteran of the Drupal community — talked about his experience getting to know the WordPress community so far. He's interacted with a number of developers and agencies since they launched their product, and spent a few days down at WordCamp Miami.

His takeaways are enlightening. He talked about a number of WordPress myths that float in the Drupal community that were pretty easily busted in his mind, but he also talked about some of the things he believes we in the WordPress world should watch out for.

In particular, I appreciated his thoughts about what he calls the WordPress Island.

There are a lot of people who want to solve all the problems of WordPress with WordPress. While an inevitable part of tooling up as a framework is testing the boundaries of what you can do, I've seen this lead to some problems in the Drupal project.

You want to push the limits of your project, but you also want to use the best tools available, and to keep up with what the rest of the internet is doing. There's a concerted effort now in Drupal to “get off the island” and form more alliances with other projects. I wonder if the same will some day be necessary in WordPress.

I certainly know that I live on a WordPress Island. I read news about other technologies and platforms, but I've concentrated so much on specializing with WordPress, that perhaps I've got a bit too strong of tunnel vision for the project. Fortunately, given the current landscape, that's been just fine for my career; but I think his perspective from the Drupal community serves as a great reminder that I should open up my peripheral vision.

A phrase or two in this post made me flinch, but overall I thought it was an incredibly fair take from a self-titled Drupal “believer”. It's worth a read, and some self-analysis by those of us that are solidly in the WordPress “believer” camp.

h/t WP Shout

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3 Comments

  1. I find myself asking the same thing. WordPress has gotten so huge that it has driven my skills to every open source technology. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are going nowhere. As in they will exsist for as long as I live. Two areas where WP will lack in the future is JSON 1st (I hear tell of greatness) , and second; it’s serverside relationship. PHP is solid, but could benefit from Rails and even objective-C and the even newer Swift. It’s possible scope IS the issue. How far can we stretch this PHP puppy? It’s API documentation, with it’s added support from its community has gotten it this far. Are it’s formidable content delivery relationships viable in today’s Hardware market? I’m riding the ship right now. WP can solve most scenarios in a wide angle of marketing situations with today’s media, I trust WordPress. It will only ever fail without its community.

    1. “Stretch” PHP in WordPress?.. WP isn’t even close to filling PHP out.

      It’s not PHP that is lacking, it’s WP’s intentional commitment to obsolete dialect of and resulting rift with rest of PHP ecosystem.

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