Is WordPress Really a CMS?

Blogging is still soaring in the Web 2.0 era and WordPress is easily the most popular engine on the market.  This multipurpose blogging software is used for everything from personal diaries to business applications, helping many achieve online notoriety and even more bring in consistent revenue.  Although WordPress is generally referred to as a weblog publishing tool, some are calling it a CMS.  Do you agree?  We don’t.  And this article will explain why.

In order to determine whether WordPress is a CMS or not, you should first become acquainted with the three main types of content management systems, as outlined below.

Open-source Systems – Software packages like Drupal and Joomla that are becoming more popular for small to medium sized ventures.

Enterprise Systems – Proprietary solutions like Microsoft Content Server.  This type of CMS is geared towards corporate users that require powerful business applications and frequent database interaction.

RELATED:   Joomla or Drupal? Which CMS is for You?

Home Grown Systems – These systems are developed in-house by webmasters who have specific requirements for content management.

When comparing the WordPress platform to the software in these classifications, it falls short as merely an over-hyped content delivery system.  Though it has a tremendous following and a number of benefits, WordPress doesn’t have what it takes to be called a real CMS.   In fact, it lacks several of the necessary protocols the average CMS provides as standard.  This includes update features, security tools, user permissions and more complex content management functionality.  When considering the all the capabilities it is missing, calling WordPress a CMS may be like unfairly moving it up in weight class.

RELATED:   Textpattern: The Text-Friendly CMS

Should WordPress be a CMS?

Perhaps the real issue should be whether or not WordPress needs to be more like a genuine CMS.  While this software gives you a lot, there are limitations and thus disadvantages.  Ask a fan of Mambo or PHP-Nuke and they will probably tell you that WordPress is highly inferior.

Despite the shortcomings, it still is a very efficient tool and rightly embraced by millions of users around the world.  It can also be a nice alternative to some of the more complex and intimidating content management systems.  For the most part, the user community is happy with the functionality and would probably prefer to keep things as they are.  After all, turning the platform into a true CMS would tamper with a relatively clean code and possibly cause the software to lose some of its natural appeal.  Besides, simplicity and ease of use are two of WordPress’ biggest advantages.

RELATED:   An Overview of PHP-Based Content Management Systems Beyond WordPress


There is no denying the capabilities of WordPress.  The overwhelming enthusiasm the community shares for this platform is certainly warranted.   It is very cost effective and makes and ideal tool for small to medium sized operations and can even move up to a larger scale as well.   Be that as it may, tagging WordPress as a content management system is not inherantly accurate.   In order to earn that title, the software would require a major overhaul which would in turn, cause it to lose so much of the qualities that has made it so popular.

5 comments on “Is WordPress Really a CMS?

  • david

    Reading this article almost 10 years after his original release and see how the Web has changed… and WordPress too !

  • Textbox

    Whether or not WP was ever envisioned to be a CMS, it seems to be moving that way. There are a number of word-arounds in order to gain that functionality.

  • Tani dobry Hosting

    Hmmm… It;s interesting

  • Keith Davis

    WordPress 2.8 appears to be moving more and more towards CMS.
    The ability to add static pages gives you all the advantages of a traditional website but with a dashboard that clients can log into.

    I also notice that some of the theme designers out there are making some of their themes CMS focused.

  • Robby

    I believe that Drupal is the best CMS out there…It is very powerful and robust and with all the modules that you can add you can extend its power even more..Customising a drupal site is not that difficult too…Drupal 6 is even more amazing I just cant wait for Drupal 7.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>