Textpattern is approaching its 20th anniversary this year. In this blog, learn everything you need to know about Textpattern and how it compares to the industry-leading competitor, WordPress.

In a sea of endless content management systems (CMS) options, Textpattern stands out as user-friendly, free open-source software suitable for a range of skill levels. Designed to be both simple and elegant, Textpattern caters to the needs of web designers, developers, publishers, and bloggers. Its straightforward nature allows for flexibility and sophistication, allowing you to be in control.

Whether you prefer simplicity or advanced features, Textpattern accommodates both ends of the spectrum. The administration interface provides options to control HTML and CSS, and plugins are available for added functionality. Users can also implement built-in language tags as placeholders to determine how dynamic content is retrieved and displayed.

Unlike its competitors, Textpattern focuses on simplifying content management. It follows four key concepts that set it apart:

  1. Focus on writing the content and let the ease of the Textpattern layout do the rest.
  2. A small framework that allows it to be beautiful, elegant, and fast.
  3. Its powerful core eliminates the need to build more than necessary.
  4. Use flexible tags as dynamic content placeholders in your site templates instead of coding PHP.

Join us as we take a closer look into Textpattern and see how it compares to WordPress.


History of Textpattern

Textpattern had humble beginnings. Dean Allen originally crafted the groundbreaking idea as an informal means to publish his personal site, Textism, in 2001. The formal announcement of Textpattern followed in 2003, followed by a series of beta and gamma releases aimed at expanding and refining its capabilities.

In September 2004, the much-anticipated Release Candidate 1 for Textpattern 1.0 marked its official debut, paving the way for a second, third, fourth, and fifth release. During this period, Textpattern sought to strengthen its development team by welcoming Alex Shiels, Pedro Palazón, and Sencer Yurdagül. Despite its growing team and expanding releases, it wasn’t until August 2005 that the first stable version, Textpattern 4.0, saw the light of day.

Over the next few years, Textpattern continued its improvement, introducing administrative plugins, themes, enhanced core code, and changes to expand its functionality and capabilities. Tragically, in January 2018, creator Dean Allen passed away. In May 2018, Textpattern CMS 4.7.0 was released as a tribute to his legacy. Today, Team Textpattern carries the torch for the ongoing development of Textpattern.


Well-Known Companies That Use Textpattern

The CMS industry is highly competitive and dominated by the same leading platforms. While Textpattern may not boast the same widespread popularity as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, it has carved a niche in the CMS landscape. Though not as prevalent among well-known companies, Textpattern remains a capable choice for CMS services.

Textpattern, however, excels in the blogging industry. It primarily focuses on simplifying content production, attracting bloggers seeking an easy and straightforward platform. Their website boldly states, “Textpattern is built for content publishers to Just Write. Whether you’re writing for a corporation or for your own blog, Textpattern lets your words take center stage.” This claim shows their commitment to providing a space where writers can focus on content creation rather than development and coding.

This unique approach sets Textpattern apart from competitors, as many CMS platforms emphasize web development, catering to users of all skill levels. Despite its user-friendly interface, Textpattern may not be the first choice for companies seeking an all-encompassing CMS platform. Notable companies and blogs using Textpattern include:

While these websites may not be the most trafficked or widely recognized, they represent a segment of users who value Textpattern’s emphasis on ease of use. It’s essential to note that Textpattern cannot promise the same level of SEO results and web traffic as more popular CMS platforms like WordPress.


Textpattern vs. WordPress Comparison

While Textpattern is known to be a favorite in the blogging community, it often doesn’t share the spotlight with other popular CMS platforms. Stacked against industry giants like WordPress, Textpattern is playing catch-up in releasing new versions and features. While Textpattern serves as an excellent entry point for those venturing into web development without prior experience, it falls short of achieving the level of success and versatility that WordPress effortlessly provides.

With WordPress’s decades of popularity and demonstrating its capability to design sophisticated websites, comparing the two CMS platforms effortlessly seems almost unjust. Nonetheless, we strive to present a fair and unbiased comparison between Textpattern and WordPress. Despite both platforms aiming to fulfill the same function, they have distinct characteristics, each with standout features and areas where they may not excel. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each CMS in a thorough comparison:

Textpattern Pros:

  • Streamlined content organization
  • The administrative interface prioritizes writing content
  • Insert dynamic content using a tag builder instead of needing to know HTML and CSS
  • Great for bloggers

Textpattern Cons:

  • Lack of distinction between posts and pages (they’re both articles)
  • Only one template can be installed at any time
  • Limited support for constructing sets of tags needed for responsive images, with only one supported thumbnail size
  • Plugins are underdeveloped and unstable without an auto-update system
  • Small development team and support team

WordPress Pros:

  • User-friendly dashboard featuring various menu options in the sidebar
  • Regular core updates for WordPress, as well as updates for plugins and themes
  • Completely customizable for all levels
  • A plugin available for every need
  • WordPress websites often achieve higher search engine rankings
  • Reliable and extensive support team

WordPress Cons:

  • Special features may require an additional plugin
  • Frequent updates due to continuous improvement
  • Overloading with plugins can potentially slow down a website
  • WordPress websites need constant maintenance, which can be costly


Reviews and Testimonials

While we offer a comprehensive perspective on Textpattern, it’s essential to examine both its merits and drawbacks. Despite Textpattern’s relatively modest online presence compared to more widely known CMS platforms, we recognize the significance of incorporating a range of reviews to maintain an impartial viewpoint. Gathering opinions and experiences from users can offer valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of Textpattern.

  • “The user interface is easy. One won’t have a hard time removing date fields and so on. However, for WordPress, operations like removing a date field among other modifications need some knowledge of PHP language.” Review by Knownhost Blog
  • “Textpattern is starting to show its age and needs to step up on performance and scalability work. It needs to get on top of better image and multimedia management to stay on top of the needs of today’s creative publishers and the multitude of form factors site-visitors can be expected to use.” Review by Daniel Aleksandersen


Textpattern Training Resources


Websults | SEO Agency Located in Clearwater, FL

At Websults, we primarily develop our clients’ websites through WordPress, but we can offer support for Textpattern websites depending on the situation. We enjoy working directly with our clients and allowing them to learn about the process along the way.

If you are having trouble updating an old Textpattern website or want to transfer/convert your website over to WordPress, then please let us help you out! Websults wants to help you have the best experience possible when it comes to everything in the web design, hosting, SEO, and digital marketing world. As an experienced web development, SEO, and eCommerce agency, Websults will listen to your needs, ask probing questions to help identify opportunities and risks, and will work hard to give you a competitive advantage in your industry. Contact Websults for a free website consultation.

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