WordPress Functionality I Wished Plone Had

If someone were to ask me what features out of the box made WordPress (3) my preferred application over Plone (4), the list would include:

  • hierarchical categories.  My category list in Plone was an alphabetical order, flat list of topics.  It worked well for relating content but was unwieldy;
  • add on products.  Plone has a huge library of available products and some are particularly good.  Plone also does more than WordPress before either have any add-on products.  But WordPress 3 has made the installation of plug-ins easy through the Dashboard and the number of plug-ins available is much greater than for Plone.  One frustration I returned to constantly – and for which I take full responsibility as a dabbler – was that you could install products for Plone and Zope from multiple locations:  Site Setup and the ZMI.  Depending on the product, you had to install it in different ways.  That can be confusing if you think you’ve installed it properly from one location only to find that you needed to do it from another.
  • theming.  In the last 6 months, I finally got a handle on the Sunburst theme.  But, while there are other themes available, they all required more knowledge than CSS to tweak, and some require access to the file system.  I like being able to make edits from within the WordPress environment, although I’m sure experts also use the file system.

An organization with the right resources would still want to take a look at Plone, because it’s a phenomenal system.  It just requires a technical skillset I don’t foresee acquiring.  It’s certainly better than many of the commercial enterprise content management systems I recently reviewed at work, even before you take into account that acquiring the software and user licenses is free.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.