Not to be an alarmist, but I have been wondering for a couple of years now what we'd use if Automattic pulled the plug on WordPress.org and only allowed WordPress to be used on their .com platform?
[Edit: I have been assured that this would never happen. So, alternative, a frustrated user is granted a wish and they wish that WordPress would vanish! What would you use?]
It turns out, I'm not the only one who has been wondering this. (Let's be honest, there are few unique thoughts in the world.)
It's one thing to predict the fall of an empire, but it's another to be prepared for it.
WordPress dominates the CMS market but it isn't the only solution out there.
If the next two popular CMSs were to battle it out, we'd likely see Joomla and Drupal going toe-to-toe in the ring. I could see WordPress developers moving to those two because at least they're still PHP-based.
I should probably also mention a fun CMS called Perch. Perch, by itself, is a great solution for smaller sites. Perch isn't a CMS system it's more like, hmm... a content management tool. It's a great solution for smaller sites that still run on PHP. I haven't checked out Perch Runway, yet, which seems to be intended for larger sites, and I hear there is a Perch Shop? I haven't used Perch for years but I felt I'd be remiss not mentioning it because I think it is a neat little system!
For myself? I'd be abandoning PHP-based CMSs entirely and hopping over to a static site solution.
Hugo is fast to generate static files. If I had an enormous news site with a deep archive, I'd rebuild it in Hugo with probably Netlify to handle deployments because I'm more of a Link than a Mario when it comes to pipelines.
I've used Forestry.io in the early days and liked what I saw. It's Hugo-based with a CMS. (At least, it was when I first tested it out. I should really revisit and see what's happened in the past year!) This would be a pretty good solution for Agencies and teams where developers aren't the ones populating content.
You could build your own CMS. I've worked with many clients who have been on custom CMS systems and as such I beg you not to build one. It's such a pain in the arse to try to migrate sites or get content from a custom CMS. I've even seen situations where a company decides to fold and there go all of their sites.
There are so many solutions for ways to build websites than with WordPress right now, that I don't think I'd be too pressed if I suddenly couldn't use it anymore, but I know this isn't the case for everyone!
If WordPress.org were to suddenly vanish, what would YOU be using as an alternative for your clients?