WordPress is a great blog engine. I don’t have exact statistics in front of me, but I would wager that WordPress is one of the most prolific blog engines on the net. I myself have set up several sites over the years for family, friends, and such using it. Its quick and easy, there’s a gabillion themes to pick from, more than a lot of plugins (I would say a “plethora” of plugins) available, and with PHP hosting pretty cheap, its often a no-brainer when you just need to get something up and running. It has a very strong community, many of which contribute to the plethora of widgets, gadgets, and plugins to be found, and there is a fair amount of awareness about what it is. These things contribute to its (imo) well-deserved reputation.
Now enter Mango Blog stage left. Everyone that listens to me rant (so like two people) knows that I’m a big fan of Mango Blog. Its a beautifully written blog engine with a really usable plugin architecture, and it lends itself well to re-skinning (themes). It has one of the most simplest and intelligent setup wizards I’ve seen in a web-based application. Its also written in ColdFusion, my development language of choice. To name drop, Ben Forta commented back in February that the code behind Mango Blog is some of the best ColdFusion code he’d seen to date. That’s pretty impressive coming from the ColdFusion man himself. And I am inclined to agree with him. At the very least, its some of the most impressive work with custom tags I’ve come across. Anyway, all these things are what make Mango Blog my blog engine of choice. And naturally, when you find something you like, you want to promote and share it so that other people can see the good that you see in the thing. So my disclaimer for the following statement is that this is completely my opinion based solely on my own whimsical perspective:
I think Mango Blog has the potential to be for ColdFusion what WordPress is for PHP. Now, granted Mango Blog is much younger than WordPress in development, community, and in volume of contributed work, but imo all the right qualities are in place. Obviously this being the internet, I’m sure opinions vary, but I see its value having the capacity to stretch far beyond the venue of ColdFusion developers which, judging by the list of who uses it, seems to be the predominant demographic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all because there isn’t (I’m one of them), but when the average non-technical person goes looking to set up a new blog, Mango Blog is probably not as high on their radar as it could be. And until recently, there’s enough reason that it might not have made it to the list of options for the average plotting blogger, given the typically moderate increase of costs for decent ColdFusion hosting (I said “decent”) over that of PHP, and also given the fact that most netizens start off by looking for what’s free, and ColdFusion just wasn’t.
But the landscape is changing. CFML isn’t proprietary anymore. Between Railo and [Open BlueDragon] and the emerging CFML Advisory Committee, the platform is widening. The fact is there are now lower cost options for those looking to platform ColdFusion applications (I’m of course currently referring to Mango Blog, but its true across the board). These other options can open up the previously proprietary world that ColdFusion development was locked into, and can more easily serve to contribute to the non-technical user base at large. It is an opportunity to step onto a more level playing field in terms of accessibility. That’s a bit of a rant but my point is that as this trend continues, cost becomes less and less an obstacle to the use of ColdFusion, which in turn can garner a more positive role in application selection (“Hmm, WordPress? or how about this Mango Blog?” says Joe Blogger.).
Given these things I ask you, the reader, does Mango Blog have the potential to be WordPress for ColdFusion in terms of adoption rate and community? What obstacles keep that from occurring? Is it already the case in your opinion or is this a ridiculous sentiment?