To Be a CMS, WCMS, or WMS, That is the Question


So I’ve said that that WordPress isn’t a Content Management System (CMS).  My point was more than semantics as it isn’t a Web CMS (WCMS) either.  That said, I have never said that WordPress is anything but a great tool.

So the question remains, if WordPress isn’t a WCMS, what is it? Maybe we need a new term….how about “Website Management System”?

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What is a CMS? Really…


image There is continuing debate about whether or not WordPress is a CMS, which I have participated in already.  There are two things fueling the debate:

  1. Lots of WordPress users seem to take the attack personally.  This has allowed vocal supporters to drown-out those few with rational arguments.
  2. The more traditional, non-web, Content Management crowd say that WordPress isn’t feature rich enough to qualify.  Of course, nobody has actually provided a comprehensive definition of CMS or a list of features.

So the fight continues.  While I am in no way trying to resolve the argument in this post, I am trying to solve the crux of a matter….What is a CMS?

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What Makes a CMS a CMS?


There has been a lot of debate of late on Twitter about whether or not WordPress is a CMS (ignoring the “WCM v CMS v ???” issue for now).  Peter Monks is an proponent against the concept [Edit: He isn’t, see comments], as is Irina Guseva, a senior editor for CMS Wire.  Ron Miller over at Fierce Content Management says that WordPress is a CMS and Tony Byrne at CMS Watch says it is for a simple reason: Many organizations are using WordPress as a CMS. That makes it a CMS.

That is a fallacious argument.  I’ll explain why in a second, but some important facts.  This blog, Word of Pie, is hosted by WordPress.com and I love it.  If I decided to host the blog personally, I would use WordPress.  For my blogging needs, it is perfect.

So do not read into any of this as an indictment against WordPress.

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