Having worked with Textpattern 4.0.8 and Wordpress 2.7 back to back within the last two months, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the biggest differences I noticed between the two content management systems.
I hate to say this, but I think Wordpress beats Textpattern as far as functionality goes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Textpattern’s simplicity, but it does seem to miss alot of features that come standard with Wordpress like versioning, WYSIWYG editing, and public user registration which may not be needed (or can be added with plugins), but are nice to have out of the box.
I used Textpattern more heavily for organizing content than I did Wordpress, but I’d hazard to guess they’d be pretty close in this regard with just differences in implementation.
Textpattern uses its own txp markup for creating templates which works surprisingly well. While initially a little more difficult, once you pick up how things work, it’s a lot of fun to work with. One sore point is that the templates are stored in the database so you need to work from within the Textpattern backend to make changes rather than with plain files like Wordpress.
Wordpress uses PHP for it’s templating which can be a double edged sword. Yes, PHP is easy to use and offers infinite options for templating, it does end up getting kind of messy if you’re not careful.
Both support plugins, but have slightly different methods for plugin installation. I only used one plugin for Textpattern (hak_tinymce) while I ended up using several more for Wordpress (Contact Form 7, Theme my login, and a few others). I found many plugins for Wordpress to be either buggy or unsupported while a few plain did not work at all.
Wordpress takes the cake here with new releases available almost quarterly which include useful features and advancements. Unfortunately, Textpattern seems to be a standstill in terms of development. I hope this isn’t a sign of trouble within the development team over at Textpattern, but rather a sign of mature product.
My preference is still lies with Texpattern for blogs and simple websites just because it’s so simple and easy to use. If I need more flexibility and functionality I’ll consider Wordpress, but be more inclined to use MODx, Drupal, or Joomla as there really isn’t alot that differentiates Textpattern and Wordpress in most cases.