Is Wordpress a CMS? Who cares.
This type of title is always going to attract a polarized audience. On one side of the fence, you have a gigantic community of Wordpress fan boys. The mere mention of Wordpress’ limitations for any web application scenario ignites a plethora of comment crossfire from its devout followers. On the other side of the fence, you seem to have the CMS “true bloods” who insist that anything which doesn’t also double as a content management framework can’t be considered a “true” CMS. However, I’m going to offer up a third possible answer to this question...
It doesn’t matter whether you call it a CMS, a blogging platform, or a toaster. Wordpress is an excellent, easy to use, popular and freely available publishing platform that does certain things very well. Anyone who’s ever used it can’t really argue this fact. That being said, it’s an excellent choice for projects that need such a tool.
But at the end of the day, there’s one thing that Wordpress fans have to keep in mind. Wordpress is merely a single tool, in a massive ecosystem of amazing commercial and open source products. It has limitations, pros and cons like any other piece of software. I’ve encountered many a developer who suffers from Wordpress tunnel vision. They feel it’s the ultimate tool, and seem to want to answer any and all CMS related questions with it. But as the adage goes:
“When the only tool you keep in your box is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail”.
A primary function of any good designer or developer is to deliver the optimal solution for their clients. If you’ve chosen the “Wordpress is really only good for blogging” stance, you’re taking an extremely useful tool out of your box for no good reason. Conversely, if you’ve chosen the path of “Wordpress will soon supplant 42 as the answer to everything”, you’ve removed everything but your hammer.
Neither path is the right choice. Like a good journalist, a designer/developer has to remain as unbiased as possible, and focus on the ultimate task at hand… finding the right solution based on the needs and capabilities of the client.