Now That We Have the Full ClassicPress Release

Thankfully, the world is still here. The WordPress project continues unabated. Some really cool stuff is being rolled out in the WordPress community with regard to plugins. And ClassicPress (I will probably often refer to it as “CP”) has finally released their full version 1.0.0 with a WordPress-like security release v.1.0.1 almost immediately following.

Okay, on to the good stuff. What can one make of the CP project now?

Well, out of 70+ websites manually updated (because I don’t like forced updates), fewer than 10% of those sites didn’t go as smoothly as I would expect.  That can be caused by a number of things. From my experience, plugins are usually one of the biggest issues with updates, which is a good reason for making a backup of a website prior to updating. It’s also a justifiable reason why forced remote updates are not the best idea in the world. But I digress.

What can one expect when things don’t go so well on a CP update? Depending on the situation, the answer to that could actually cost you money.  A lot of money. However, in the cases I experienced, it wasn’t such a desperate situation. If you are manually doing an update and it stops midway through, which is what I noticed, it wasn’t a big deal. I found that clicking to check for updates again will usually bring back the update button.

If you click on the update button and a message shows that there is a previous update that hasn’t finished, and advice is given to wait 15 minutes, just wait the 15 minutes and try again. In every case the update then went smoothly. Quite quickly, in fact.

What I want to convey here is, if an update doesn’t go smoothly and stops for some reason, don’t panic. Go to the ClassicPress forums and have a look around. If there are serious issues with the update process there will be someone making a report of issues. However, I do actually believe most issues can be resolved with a little patience and retries.

What I have observed with the CP software has been that the update process seems to need a little work. With CP v.1.0.1, updating plugins from the updates page in the dashboard can be a little confusing, maybe even a little scary. In my experience, since the latest release there seems to be a fairly consistent blank screen after you check the plugins that need updating and then use the drop-down to update, then click “Apply”. Not to worry though, unlike the progress you might be used to seeing with WordPress, the update screen with CP just stays blank until the updates are completed. Then the screen returns with the updates completed. I call attention to this because it is not something I was used to seeing happen with the pre-fork version of WordPress.

Until they figure out this is happening, I would suggest that if you have updates to do, go to the plugins page and update using the “Available Updates” tab. You will get to watch the updates as they happen on that page.

Overall, I give ClassicPress v.1.0.1 a B+ for what they have accomplished. Given their limited team size at this point in time, they are doing great. But I can’t give them too much because they are claiming to be THE answer for businesses. I believe that if you are claiming something you shouldn’t get the best grades until you actually become what you promise or better. In order to take on WordPress, I believe you must do things smarter and better. I don’t see that in CP yet.

Having said all that, if you have questions in your mind about how difficult it shouldn’t be to put out a re-branded version of WordPress, take a look at some of the conversations that take place over at WordPress. I’ve seen conversations where claims were that there is code in core people are afraid to touch. I’m talking about seasoned developers being afraid to touch it. Or that is my understanding of what I have read. That is enough alone to cause the average person to reconsider. Of course, I’m just a user so I don’t really understand all that stuff. (wink)

One more small issue I have with the CP project right now is when the core update is finished, the “About” page reveals more of a plugin developer approach to things. Join our forums, Slack and all that stuff. Then all you see is basically WordPress releases and the usual uninformative WordPress babble about previous updates. I didn’t find anything related to the CP update that addressed security vulnerabilities. Nothing telling me why they issued an unannounced update. Just the same old WordPress stuff. I hope CP will soon begin to identify their own work and take ownership of their own path forward.

If someone doesn’t know ClassicPress is WordPress, re-branded & suspended in time, they should. Because right now, that’s pretty much what it is from the average user experience. It doesn’t have Gutenberg.

I think the project is coming along. There are a few developers adapting their plugins and themes to work with both CP and WordPress newest versions. At some point that may require maintaining separate versions of the plugins and themes, but right now it doesn’t. My own experience talking with developers I have purchased from, worked with and consulted with is still mixed. ClassicPress has a ways to go before it’s widely accepted. Hopefully, CP will gain enough support from developers to insure that many people will be able to continue with CP, without having to learn how to code and develop plugins to continue delivering a website the way they are used to.

I am rather disappointed that the fork of WooCommerce hasn’t seen any movement since the declaration by the person who forked it & was reportedly going to call it ClassicCommerce. I think it is important for something like ClassicPress to find an eCommerce solution. Especially when they are marketing very heavily with the message that the project is focusing on businesses and that their project is “Powerful. Versatile. Predictable.”

So far, that’s pretty easy. Pretty much all WordPress assets work with CP. A reliable platform for tried and true WordPress users will require some sort of eCommerce plugin. Time passes very fast. Is there enough time for ClassicPress to garner the support necessary to fulfill their promises? I do hope so, I’m riding with them with my own sites.