Nucleus vs WordPress

I started blogging with Nucleus six years ago, and saying goodbye to it to switch to WordPress has been harder than I’d anticipated. Granted, a lot of that could have something to do with the rather painful conversion process — and I definitely had my reasons for switching to WordPress or I wouldn’t have put myself through that.  But here are ten things I love about Nucleus, and why I’m now opting for WordPress anyway.

Be forewarned, there’s a reason I’m filing this under Geek & Nerd. If you’re here because you need help actually converting Nucleus to WordPress (or possibly visa versa?) drop me a note and I’ll see if I can help.

On to the reasons I’ll miss Nucleus:

  1. It never changes. While nucleus never was much for keeping up with the latest and greatest trends, sometimes it’s nice to know you can count on an admin panel that will always stay the same. Particularly if you’re writing up how-to for clients who don’t have much technical intuition, and you don’t want to have to re-write those articles with each new update.
  2. Its documentation is solid. The people who document the ins, outs, wherefores, and whys of Nucleus have done an excellent job, no doubt because they don’t have to rewrite their articles either. Still waters run deep, even if they can get a little stagnant.
  3. It’s the CMS that knows what’s best. You don’t break Nucleus, you only break yourself against it. It just takes hacks, tricks, and all kinds of manipulation to get it to do anything extra. Things an eager-to-please WordPress is dying to do for you with its hands tied behind its back… things that unfortunately make WordPress far less idiot-proof. Things I really wanted, that eventually led me to make the switch. Like hiding private posts from a public feeds… I’d tried and tried to stop Nucleus from spilling my secret monoblogging guts all over the net; eventually I had to go in and purposely butcher the code, and now that I’m ready to try RSS again, it won’t budge. If code could talk, I’m sure Nucleus would be telling me to make up my mind.
  4. Hackers don’t notice Nucleus. Not nearly as often, anyway. Running Nucleus is a bit like being married to Sarah, Plain and Tall… the jerks out there whose goal in life is to make others’ blogs their own usually don’t even have Nucleus on their radar. And as long as you keep it up to date, Nucleus doesn’t seem to notice the hackers, either. Which brings me to the next thing I love about Nucleus…
  5. It’s terribly easy to update. Actually, Nucleus’s update process is similar to many programs out there. But despite heavy customization to various nucleus blogs, I’ve never once had trouble updating it. Wish I could say the same for 99% of the other scripts my clients have used 🙂
  6. It keeps things separated. You know those people who freak out if their syrup touches their sausage links? They really don’t know what they’re missing. But when it comes to managing a blog, sometimes it IS nice to keep up some solid partitions. After all, not everyone likes getting php all over their articles. Nucleus takes a step or two further by separating templates, skins, and styles as well. Which actually comes in handy every now and then.
  7. Multiple blogs, one installation. WordPressMu also allows for multiple blogs with one installation too, but Mu is a bit on the tricksy side; Nucleus handles this nicely by its plain and simple self.
  8. Nucleus forums are the friendliest. Don’t get me wrong, one thing that sold me on WordPress is its strong sense of community… but Nucleus’s support forums seriously put wordpress.org’s forums to shame. I doubt it’s that WordPress users are unfriendly, so much that its harder to find and follow threads, so people give up on helping each other AND helping themselves. And really, the moderators and other frequenters at the Nucleus forums are great to work with.
  9. I just like underdogs. Somehow I can’t get the song out of my head, so I’ll just say it: Nucleus reminds me a bit of Particle Man… small and seemingly insignificant, but a great little thing anyway. I’m going to keep using it wherever it makes sense, and I sincerely hope it won’t be destroyed by the bigger players out there.
  10. It was my first blog. What can I say. Even though I’m ready for the freedom and features of WordPress, I’ll look back on Nucleus with fond memories. And I’ll hope it will never change.