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CuteNews vs. WordPress

One debate that has been going on in the world of website-making, especially for fansites, is which CMS is better: CuteNews or WordPress? Both scripts have their pros and cons, but nobody has come to real clear conclusion. Why is that? Read on to find out! I'll discuss the pros and cons of both scripts. From that, I'll draw my own conclusion - and you can draw yours as well.

CuteNews

The first thing people will say to defend CuteNews is rather obvious: it's easier. This is usually enough to convince the newbies. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. A new webmaster should start of using something easier because they do need the time to get used to running a website before they bother worrying about other things. Almost everything is easier in CuteNews to be honest - installation, template coding, and implementation.

The backend is also pretty easy to manage. This is also where you edit the templates and create the implementation codes. You change everything here, and it all loads pretty fast. Even better? It's all done with flat-file databases, so if you forget your email or whatever it is you need to enter to retrieve a forgotten password - you can directly change the password through FTP or cPanel.

CuteNews has always been popular with new webmasters because it allows for a bit more creativity with how posts are formatted. Those with personal blogs probably like how easy it is to insert smileys and add an icon to their post. It's a bit shallow, but for some people - appearance is everything. If it looks good, they're happy. If it doesn't, they aren't.

Unfortunately, the ease of CuteNews comes with a price. Users of CuteNews are very vulnerable to hackers, and, unless they disable comments completely, their posts usually get cluttered with SPAM even with a captcha or required registration. This still doesn't fix the hacking problem, though.

EDIT - 07/01/2014: There seems to have been some upgrades made to CuteNews that most fansite owners appear to be unaware of. Unfortunately, though, upgrading may or may not erase your news.

WordPress

Ah, WordPress! This is the favorite for most fansite owners - and it's not surprising when one compares the pros and cons of it to those of CuteNews.

The first benefit of WordPress is that it is a full CMS. What do I mean by that? I mean that it allows you to manage your entire website through the dashboard. Once installed, you might never have to login to your cPanel or FTP again unless it's to upload images that will be included on website pages. It makes actual content management easier than ever before.

WordPress, although still vulnerable to hacking and viruses, is much more secure than the alternative CuteNews. The script is frequently updated for security - so unless somebody never upgrades, they're usually safe. Security should be the most important thing to (aspiring) fansite owners. If their CMS isn't secure, they could easily lose all of their hard work - and recovering it isn't always so easy, especially for people who self-host their fansites. The WordPress development team fixes vulnerabilities quite often so you can usually rest easy knowing that your website is secure.

For the more vain people, WordPress allows you to customize how your page and post links look like. This allows for cleaner URLs which makes it a lot easier for people to refer acquaitances to specific posts and pages that you've made in the past. Nobody will want to search through dozens of pages to find one post that might have been made two years ago. The custom permalinks made by WordPress will make things that much easier.

Another benefit of WordPress is that you have several plugins to choose from. These can make your posts and pages a lot more versatile(?). It also means that people don't have to downgrade if they want to use certain scripts on their page that need to have PHP embedded into a page. For example, most people would resort to using a less secure CMS to use a script like Affiliationally because they think WordPress wouldn't parse it correctly. With a plugin such as Run-PHP or Exec-PHP, they'd easily be able to embed the script into their pages.

It's managed by a MySQL database. Some people may think that makes it just as insecure, but it really doesn't. The fact that it's managed by MySQL means that it's not using as much space on the server as it would if it were stored in CuteNews. With WordPress, the load is placed on the MySQL server rather than the server hosting your website.

Speaking of MySQL, there's also a downside to having all the content stored in MySQL databases. If the MySQL server goes down or malfunctions, your website will experience downtime as well. This problem is usually temporary and doesn't happen often unless you mess around in phpMyAdmin without knowing what you're doing.

Another downside is that installing WordPress is much harder. Uploading all of the files is actually the easy part. Unless somebody knows how to make MySQL databases and modify the permissions for them - WordPress is useless.

Conclusion

I said earlier that I would be drawing my own conclusion - and I'm pretty sure that you've read enough to know which one I think is better, without me telling it to you. I will tell you this, though - don't base your conclusion strictly on what I've said. Try out BOTH scripts before deciding anything. Deciding which one you like better is easy after that.