Squiz MySource Matrix vs. WordPress
In this article I will give a quick review of both Squiz MySource Matrix and WordPress, two content management systems that I have experience with, and will attempt to compare them.
Squiz MySource Matrix
I won’t try to hide the fact that my livelihood currently depends on Matrix. As a former Squiz employee, I learnt basically all there is to know about implementing websites with Matrix. I transferred these skills to my current job with the Victorian government, where I work as their lead Matrix developer.
Squiz MySource Matrix is powerful. Very powerful. As an enterprise level CMS, Matrix offers features and functionality that simply don’t exist in most popular content management systems. Matrix offers highly customisable websites with extensive integration with other software (with web services for example). Matrix is the CMS of choice for many high traffic websites, including much of the Australian government and universities. There is little you can’t do with Matrix.
It isn’t all good for Matrix though, with several severe pitfalls in its offering. To me, the most prominent of these is the reliance on Squiz for server set up and support. While Matrix is downloadable for free from the Squiz website, it is a bugger to set up and configure. Not impossible, but you won’t be running Matrix on standard CPanel hosting. Matrix is also highly resource intensive – something that Squiz has been addressing in recent updates, but still an issue. If you anticipate a decent amount of traffic, make sure you have the hardware to back it up, because Matrix is going to need it.
Important note: Do not expect to be able to use Matrix in any useful way if you have little web development skills. Matrix requires a good understanding of HTML, and basic programming knowledge would be a big help.
Again, I must be honest about my experience – I have only made one website in WordPress…this one. Although I lack extensive experience with WordPress, I still feel confident to give it a brief review and comparison to Matrix.
My initial impressions of WordPress was that it was severely limited, and this is absolutely true. What springs to mind while thinking about this is the iPad. WordPress, like the iPad, may be very limited compared to other offerings, but what it does to, it does extremely well. WordPress is first and foremost a blogging tool. Plugins may exist to extend the basic functionality of WordPress, but don’t be fooled by these, you will end up with a half baked CMS that is trying to be something it is not.
If your intent is to create a blog, then I absolutely recommend WordPress. It is ridiculously easy, even for someone with little to no technical knowledge. There is a fantastic community supporting WordPress, a large advantage over Matrix, and it is a breeze to install.
So which is better? That is a bad question. Tools should be used for their purpose, and this is especially true when comparing these two CMS offerings. WordPress blows Matrix away as a blogging tool (why do you think I made the switch?), and rightfully so – that is what it was designed for. When it comes to full, large-scale websites however, it is no contest. WordPress simply does not have anywhere near the functionality that Matrix has. I would not hesitate to deploy Matrix for a large website, but would for WordPress.
I hope this sheds some light on these two content management systems. If you have any questions about either, please leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.