Is Wordpress to Plone for a non-developer a bad idea?

I am what you'd call an end-user, and have basically no developer skills. Having said that, I did manage to build my own Wordpess site (even though it took ages) which was a huge accomplishment for me.

I have grown tired of the constant WP updates and maintenance, etc. I did some Googling for an alternative CMS and found Plone, and somewhat enjoyed using the various Plone demo's that are available to play with.

As much as I've grown tired of Wordpress, I have to say that my site has been pretty resilient against my newbie admin skills, and has so far withstood all of my bonehead mistakes, bad plugin installations, etc. My site is very important to me, and I can't afford downtime.

So, the million dollar question: should someone with no real developer skills consider switching to Plone if I will be going down this rabbit hole alone and have only "the Internet" to go to for help?

Without real developer skills, yes (a lot of Plone can still be customized from browser and its database allows rolling back immediate mistakes), without real system administration skills, no (running Plone smoothly and without downtime requires clustered setup with caching proxy like Varnish and related understanding).

What are your requirements in terms of functionality and usage (i.e. lots of users, or a handful, lots of editors or just yourself)?

Plone's complexity boils down somehow in:

  • installation and maintenance (install security patches)
  • how many plugins do you want to enable
  • customizations to be done on core functionality or the addons

If you are happy with changing the theme and tweaking settings through the web, probably Plone can be good/better than what you have, at the end, Plone is a CMS with batteries included in this regard, but as @datakurre mentions, the maintenance part is probably what is more out of your league.

This forum, as you see, are quite active, but if you have a business-like website that requires no downtime rather than a personal website that can be occasionally down, I would strongly suggest to look at and get someone to administrate the maintenance of your website, it will be pay off in the long run.

Thank you both for the thoughtful feedback.

It would be just for myself to simply display inventory/products.

I use currently Woocommerce to display products but have disabled the entire 'cart' functionality, so there are no user accounts or logins, and no checkout, add to cart, or even product prices.

Truth be told, I am totally fine with the default Plone theme, so there wouldn't be much tweaking. And, I would be ok with paying someone to do things I cannot figure out. For example, I used the Calculated Fields plugin to create my calculator, but doubt I could replicate it in Plone without a plugin, so would likely source that out to a 3rd party.

I will take a closer look at after I've spent some more time familiarizing myself with the CMS. I wish there was a Plone one-click installer on Digitalocean. I will look into installing Plone on my Mac or maybe attempting a DO Droplet installation.

There are official Plone images for docker, that may help?

There are relatively inexpensive hosting options too if you check with the listing; they can get you going even more easily.

There is a Heroku one-button Plone installer, and there is at least one Amazon image available.