Textpattern is similar in concept to ExpressionEngine and is aimed at the tech-savvy Blogger. TextPattern is a flexible, powerful blogging tool you install on your own servers. It’s particularly easy to configure the look of your blog via HTML, as TextPattern’s interface includes wizards to build all the custom syntax you’ll need to reference posts. Technical novices may be intimidated by the post formatting interface, which includes a set of simple but custom formatting tags (for example, you need to put asterisks around text to bold it). The tool is somewhat limited by its documentation, which is not as clear as other tools. The best part is Textpattern is free and open source.
Textpattern is written in PHP using a MySQL database backend. As of the date of this post, the current stable version is Textpattern 4.2.0. With its built-in simplicity, a blogger can start publishing in minutes. Designers and developers appreciate the ability to control all aspects of XHTML and CSS from the Admin interface, and with hundreds of plugins available, the power of Textpattern is easily extended. While I’ll stop short of calling it an equal to that of WordPress, I think the comparison is easy to see.
Textpattern uses built-in tags to determine how dynamic content should be retrieved and displayed. You have complete control over the content and presentation, making the CMS both simple and elegant to use.
The admin interface is minimalist, efficient and clearly labeled. Designers can quickly produce well-structured, standards-compliant websites while authors can get on with publishing and editing content. Textile, which uses just a few markers to nudge plain text into fully-formatted web content, is built-in.
The core features are greatly extended through the use of plugins. You can find the plugin needed right on the website, 658 as of this post, copy and paste it into the plugin field and activate. Simple as that! And I know that I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but support is important and is provided by the usual means. Forums, Wiki, Online Manual instead of the usually named “documentation”. You will find plenty of templates on the website as well!
Over the past couple of weeks I have reviewed a number of CMS (Content Management Systems) and it looks like Textpattern is the closest match to WordPress.