At my current position, I work primarily in Joomla. In fact, I’d never worked in Joomla before this job.

It was a bit of a shock to the system, to put it mildly.

Though I’ve grown to appreciate many things about it as a CMS, such as the module system it uses for adding content, the more familiar I get with it, the more things drive me up the wall. But this post isn’t about Joomla.

You see, my first love is WordPress. I cut my teeth on the system, mucking around in the free version. WordPress was where I built my first ‘serious’ blog. I prototyped projects in the free version, before I had much of an idea what else it was capable of.

And, when I finished my Masters, my very first job building a website used WordPress.

I was mesmerized by the ability to branch off child theme and dive straight into the CSS. It prompted me to take a course to learn how to do it properly, and that cinched it. I was utterly delighted by the power of tweaking page templates, of manipulating The Loop, of sticking little custom widgets wherever it suited me, of being able to experiment to my heart’s content on my local machine only to upload it to the web for all to see.

As hugely satisfying as it was to build my Masters case study website from scratch in direct code, it didn’t compare to the outright FUN of learning WordPress. It left a mark on me, inspiring the passion for web development that landed me my current job.

I mention all this because my work delivered me an unexpected gift this week: the company needed a small, one-page site for a marketing campaign, and our marketing lead specifically requested it be built in WordPress.

It’s been a breath of fresh air. In the space of a day, I had a MAMP instance up and running, a theme chosen, and had thrown together a layout to meet the wireframe specs. I’ve been slicing and dicing, hard-coding new bits into the site, and removing what I didn’t need. I’ve installed and configured plugins, tidied CSS, and tweaked content.

All in all, I was able to deliver a launchable site in the space of three days. In fact, it should be up and running now if all else is in order.

It felt so good.

It felt so good that my mind is whirring. I have a personal project I’ve been stalled on for about a month, and a host of new ideas about what to do with it. What’s more, it’s reinvigorated my confidence as a CMS developer.

Sorry, Joomla. You just can’t compare.