Can you use WordPress for DAM lite?

There's more news from WordPress land. This time around, customers are wondering whether WordPress can be used as a lightweight digital asset management (DAM) system, given Automattic’s (the makers of WordPress) acquisition of file-sharing startup CloudUp.

The theme of true DAM vs. DAM lite from non-DAM systems (very often, WCM systems) is not new: we published an advisory paper for subscribers on this topic that goes into all the pros and cons of choosing either approach.

What’s interesting in this particular case with WordPress and CloudUp is that WP’s current Media Library functionality has often been the cause of customer complaints. Unlike many of WordPress’ rivals, the WP Media Library has only rudimentary asset management functionality.

CloudUp is not a true DAM system, but they do offer some functionality that will provide WordPress customers more options (once integrated) for asset manipulation and management, starting with supporting file uploads in multiple formats, with automatic thumbnail creation.

However, CloudUp puts a lot of emphasis on sharing and streaming of user-generated assets (e.g., with clients for work, or with family for fun) through their hosted infrastructure. Here, it comes off as less DAM-y and more Content-Delivery-Network-y. There’s a big difference between the use cases those two technologies address.

In summary, WordPress may someday provide an extended set of asset management facilities via this acquisition, but it is unclear when and if this will happen. CloudUp shouldn’t be considered a DAM system, but does occupy a very niche segment of the marketplace for asset streaming and, therefore, can be an interesting candidate if you’re looking to do just that: simple and light streaming and file sharing.

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