Craft CMS vs WordPress

Why do we pre­fer Craft CMS instead of WordPress?

The five reasons why we prefer Craft CMS to WordPress

1. Speed

Word­Press has become an entan­gled mess of open source code, and the amount of trash that is cre­at­ed with Word­Press has expo­nen­tial­ly increased over the years. Junk plu­g­ins, junk themes, junky hacked web­sites, junky apps that don’t work any­more because they fell out of ver­sion­ing like so many do.

Craft CMS is much, much faster to load than Word­Press — both the front-end (i.e. the site that your vis­i­tors see), and the back-end (the con­trol pan­el). Word­Press has a LOT of code over­head. The core code base has been worked on for years with­out any major updates. Most of the enhance­ments are to do with a seem­ing­ly nev­er-end­ing series of secu­ri­ty patches.

In order to com­bat slow load speeds, Craft CMS adopt­ed the cut­ting-edge MVC design pat­tern for their code. You might be think­ing: What the heck does MVC stand for?” Well, it stands for Mod­el-View-Con­troller, and this design pat­tern for code is incred­i­bly intel­li­gent. This enables Craft to be selec­tive and use only the spe­cif­ic resources it needs for each job, where­as Word­Press has to run through every option before it can choose the right one. That makes Word­Press inher­ent­ly slow­er than Craft.

2. Usabil­i­ty

As a default, Word­press CMS comes with many pre-set com­po­nents. The prob­lem with this off-the-shelf approach is that often, a high num­ber of these are unwant­ed and unnec­es­sary for most busi­ness­es, only com­pli­cat­ing the inter­face view.

Craft CMS on the oth­er hand, is con­sid­ered a high­ly user friend­ly CMS plat­form. The inter­face is a sim­ple, more stripped back ver­sion of Word­press, built and tai­lored to the needs and require­ments of the busi­ness. This sim­ple view makes updat­ing and adding con­tent a much more seam­less experience.

Craft CMS also has a great Live Pre­view’ tool that allows your screen to split into two views: the CMS pan­el on the left and the page pre­view on the right. As you make changes to your copy and images, the changes show up in real-time on the right side of the screen. You don’t need to have loads of tabs open, you can add con­tent in less time whilst pre­view­ing changes on the same page.

3. Stand­ing out from the crowd

When it comes to the choice of off-the-shelf tem­plates and plu­g­in options avail­able, Word­Press CMS takes the lead, espe­cial­ly since it has a larg­er devel­op­ment com­mu­ni­ty. This makes the plat­form a rea­son­ably flex­i­ble option for pro­vid­ing busi­ness­es with all the required func­tion­al­i­ty they need, in order to achieve their basic goals. But the down­side is that many Word­Press sites end up look­ing very alike, mean­ing busi­ness­es lose out on the oppor­tu­ni­ty to stand out from the crowd!

There’s also the issue of quan­ti­ty over qual­i­ty. Despite the vast choice of plu­g­ins avail­able on Word­Press, a frus­trat­ing­ly high vol­ume of these are actu­al­ly extreme­ly bug­gy and unus­able, cre­at­ing a poten­tial mine­field of issues.

In com­par­i­son, Craft CMS takes a much more con­tent-first approach, with sites built com­plete­ly bespoke and cus­tomised to the busi­ness needs rather than using pre-defined templates.

The way in which Craft is built also allows users to have much more flex­i­bil­i­ty when it comes to adding new ele­ments or rear­rang­ing exist­ing ele­ments on a web page — some­thing which is often lack­ing from the Word­Press experience.

4. Secu­ri­ty & Stability

We have yet to get a call from a con­fused cus­tomer ask­ing us how ads for Russ­ian glam­our mod­els end­ed up on the home­page of their Craft web­site. But Word­Press is infa­mous for secu­ri­ty vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties, and most of the updates they release are secu­ri­ty patches.

In 2019, it’s esti­mat­ed that Word­press pow­ers over 35% of all web­sites on the inter­net. From a secu­ri­ty point of view, this enor­mous Word­Press user base means the plat­form is much more heav­i­ly tar­get­ed by hack­ers, with every plu­g­in added pos­ing an entry point and there­fore secu­ri­ty risk to its site.

There are a lot of self taught devel­op­ers out there who cre­ate Word­Press web­sites. Some­one might even call them­selves a devel­op­er, but real­ly all they are doing is installing Word­Press on a serv­er (with the touch of a but­ton through the host­ing com­pa­ny), and per­haps con­fig­ur­ing a pre-built (free or pur­chased) theme’ for their cus­tomer. At times, they might even hack away at the theme so much that they make it unsta­ble and it breaks at the next update (and there are many junk Word­Press themes out there that aren’t being prop­er­ly sup­port­ed, and there are thou­sands of un-reg­u­lat­ed plu­g­ins out there that can also cause big prob­lems for your site).

But in the Craft devel­op­ment ecosys­tem, you can’t be a theme installer, you actu­al­ly need to know what you’re doing! Whilst they are a new­er CMS plat­form com­pared with Word­press, Craft is well known for hav­ing a high­er-skilled devel­op­er community.

Both secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty is tak­en extreme­ly seri­ous by Craft, with bugs updat­ed quick­ly and effi­cient­ly using their rapid update cycle set up. Third par­ty plu­g­ins are cen­tral­ly man­aged by Craft them­selves, both for secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty — this is a vast improve­ment on how Word­Press deals with both plu­g­ins & themes’.

5. No such thing as a free lunch!

But Word­Press is FREE, and a sin­gle com­mer­cial web­site license for craft is $299!’ You prob­a­bly like the sound of FREE’. But pur­chas­ing a code base means that there is great expert tech­ni­cal sup­port, and the com­pa­ny holds them­selves account­able for a cer­tain lev­el of ser­vice because there was an exchange of mon­ey for a product. 

We get direct devel­op­er sup­port from the peo­ple that build Craft, if we have a com­plex tech­ni­cal ques­tion we can ask them and get a quick response. But with Word­Press we might need to spend hours trawl­ing inter­net forums look­ing for an answer we can trust.

Craft CMS does have a much small­er range of plu­g­ins, but they are all audit­ed and approved by Craft, some require an extra invest­ment, but the ones we may rec­om­mend add exten­sive func­tion­al­i­ty for a mod­est price. With Word­Press, you can search Insta­gram Plu­g­in’ and a thou­sand choic­es will come up for you to look through, and many of them will be free. 

But there are a ton of garbage Word­Press plu­g­ins out there, so sift­ing through them all and choos­ing the right one can be daunt­ing. You also run the risk of your entire web­site being destroyed as you acti­vate an unsup­port­ed plu­g­in that was writ­ten 10 years and 120 Word­Press ver­sions ago.

Our con­clu­sion?

The future of con­tent man­age­ment is in Craft CMS. It’s pow­er­ful, it’s built in a more intel­li­gent fash­ion, it loads faster, and it is build­ing a com­mu­ni­ty of real­ly skilled web devel­op­ers. We look for­ward to using Craft for years to come, and we hope you decide to utilise it for your next web­site build.

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