Should WordPress Change The Blog Nomenclature Within The Backend?

blogblogblogBeen awhile since we’ve had something to vote on but I’ve finally found a topic where we you can weigh in on one side or the other. Recently, there was a discussion on the WordPress Hackers Mailing list that discussed the idea of changing the blogging nomenclature found within the administration panel of WordPress. The line of thought is that WordPress is constantly being used for more than just blogging but it will never be taken seriously as a powerful CMS until the blog nomenclature is removed in favor for something more generic. As for myself, I’m fine with both sides but I lean slightly more in favor of switching the words to something more generic because by having the word blog splattered everywhere in the backend, it gives the sense that WordPress is only meant for blogging and nothing else. That may have been the case when the project was lifting off the ground but these days, WordPress is powering some pretty hefty sites that blow blogging out of the water. It’s a simple change that I think would have a big impact on the software especially as it relates to perception. What do you think?

[poll id=”30″]

35 responses to “Should WordPress Change The Blog Nomenclature Within The Backend?”

  1. @Spamboy – Yeah, I mean the WordPress showcase does a good job showing what the software is capable of doing so the nomenclature should in no way suggest that WordPress is only meant for blogging but I can understand where that line of thought could come from. Still, I think it would just be good all around for generic terms to be used.

  2. Epic Alex: Do you really think that changing the nomenclature would “prove” anything to those who doubt the ability of WordPress to act as a CMS? I doubt it would. These folks are true unbelievers and no matter how many portfolios of excellently implemented WP-as-CMS we beat them over the head with, they’d never believe us.

    It’s only a small thing, I understand. It’s just within the admin panel, but what about those clients who know how to dig a little code? Won’t they feel the same way when they see function names with *blog in them?

  3. @One Fine Jay – Maybe so. I have no idea. We would be able to have a better answer if we knew what the future was going to be like for WordPress as a platform than just the best blogging engine available. Is the software’s goal to continue to be a kick ass blog publishing system or has it expanded to be much more than that? If it’s supposed to be more, than the nomenclature all around has lagged behind.

  4. Despite being a believer of “WordPress *IS* a CMS”, I’m voting “no”.

    I think labeling it as a CMS will make all the noobs thinking there’s a difference between “blog” and “cms” come and ask for what they think are CMS features, ie what other stuff like Joomla or Drupal make out of the box (most people think “CMS” = “better community management with user profiles”, “blocks” as in Drupal terminology, etc)

    Plus, I always vote against change :)

  5. @Ozh – I don’t want to see WordPress labeled as anything to be honest. That’s why I’m for generic terms providing some flexibility for it to be labeled whatever someone wants to label. I don’t want to make a big issue out of something so small but if there were was a nomenclature change, I think it would have a big impact on the perception front despite the showcase and what have you.

  6. @Jeffro: I want WP to start putting together packages of plugins geared towards content types. I mean, there’s BuddyPress, which turns WPMU into a social networking platform. Why won’t the WP community put together packages of functional changes, so you have a WP-as-flickr-clone, or WP-as-video-blog, etc. The Magazine format that blew up this year was a great thing for themes, but good God so many folks just lack the content for themes like those.

  7. I voted yes becasue it was closer to the option of “make it pluggable”. Then, those who want it changed can do so via plugin.


    because if you change, then what term to use? Site? With MU at the very least the word has different connotations.

  8. I could go either way on this issue. However, the few places where it says blog are configured by me before I turn over a site to a client, so its never come up. I know I can make WP do wonderful things that aren’t provided for out of the box, and the clients pay for those wonderful things and not for what I call them.

    However, If it said ‘Site Name’ instead of ‘Blog Name’, that’d be fine to me too.

  9. YES, YES, YES! I use WordPress for any site I create for my clients whether they want to blog or not. I have bought into WordPress being a easy CMS tool for clients to maintain their website. Reducing “Blog” references would help reduce the resistance to clients not wanting to blog.

  10. Just as we now have people ignorantly saying that WordPress isn’t a good CMS tool because it’s more of a blog, we would then have people saying it isn’t a good blog tool. Personally, I agree with SpamBoy. Most people should be able to figure out that WordPress will serve their content management needs just fine. I doubt we’d introduce many great members to the community by changing the back-end blog references.

  11. I vote yes.

    Not because of the CMS issue, per se. Most non-tech people don’t know or care about the term “CMS” and good tech people will look at what a tool does rather than what it’s called. A blog is a CMS, a wiki is a CMS, a handcoded news engine is a CMS, Drupal is a CMS, SharePoint is a CMS, Documentum is a CMS, etc.

    What we build with them is sites.

  12. I have building sites with WordPress for several years now (including one in the showcase that uses WordPress as a CMS with hundreds of pages of content) and I have to say that I still don’t think that WordPress is ready to be an industrial-strength CMS. To be fair, I also don’t think that’s what the WordPress team is trying to achieve, which is why things settings like “Blog Title” still persist.

    WordPress is an amazing blogging platform, and provides some great light-weight CMS capabilities along with the vast array of plugins and functions. But simple CMS functionality like page and file management are still weak and neglected. Some of this functionality is available through plugins, but these can often be out of date or incompatible with other plugins. (Example: WP-Table breaks my cForms). To top it off, I have to install dozens of plugins for each WordPress install to get some of these features that I consider “basic” CMS functionality. Until these tools become more robust, and part of the WordPress core, WordPress will continue to be blog software that has some great CMS capabilities.

  13. No, absolutely not. This is a worthless bikeshed issue that just causes argument. It won’t have any actual impact in the real world.

    If somebody wants to make a translation file with better text, then let them do that first, and we’ll see how much traction it gets among the “it’s a CMS” crowd. My prediction: It won’t get any, because it’s a stupid issue and only stupid people care about it.

    Yes, I mean you. :-P

  14. @David Coveney – I think it’s a bit different when it’s in person, because I always give the same kind of unfiltered opinion when asked IRL too, and people don’t tend to get as annoyed as when I do it online.

    Maybe it’s because I tend to smile while telling people why they’re wrong (and should be committed into an insane aslyum until such time as they find a cure for idiocy).. Could soften the blow a bit, I suppose. :)

  15. One source of confusion is that there are two different definitions of CMS running around. The first is more literal, where pieces of content are managed as content separated from form or design. In this sense, every WordPress installation, blog or not, is a CMS. Most blogs in general, unless each entry’s design is hand-coded, are instances of a CMS.

    The second definition, which a lot of recent wordcamps have gotten at, is operational. WordPress as a CMS is being taken to mean a larger installation that is not centered around a reverse-chronological blog. This usually involves a greater variety of moving parts: a larger entity or organization than one blogger, more types of pages along a continuum from fixed to dynamic, a theme friendly to menus and maybe more plugins/widgets, and more end users than the web designer. There are already many solutions to changing the admin interfaces for various user roles so that some of them don’t necessarily have to see the word “blog.”

    Note that this is much more than “WordPress, Debloggified.” Either a blog or posts reused as “articles” often remain in this second use/definition.

    The phrase “content management system” is a mouthful of awkward, but hard to replace. Sites like cmswire, cmsreport, cmsmyth, cmswatch, and cms critic really do like to talk about WordPress. We should be glad that we’re talking about WordPress and not “WordBlog.”

  16. Entirely off-topic: Otto’s unfiltered opinions are terrific! Ozh isn’t too shabby on the critique front either. We may not agree with their opinions (particularly Otto’s silly obsession with never modifying HTML no matter how dementedly convoluted and hackish it may make the CSS) but extensive constructive criticism is vital to everyone’s development (unless you are perfect like me of course!).


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