Craft CMS and WordPress are two of the most popular content management systems used across the internet. If you had to choose one, which should you use? First of all, lets dive into the core differences between the two platforms:
Craft CMS is known for its flexible and powerful content modeling capabilities. It allows you to define custom fields and create flexible content blocks with ease. Craft CMS is a great choice when you require a highly customisable content model or if you've got a simple website structure and want the capabilities to grow in the future.
On the other hand, WordPress first started out as a blogging platform and has a simpler content structure out of the box, focusing on posts and pages. While WordPress does offer some flexibility through custom post types and taxonomies, it may not be as robust as Craft CMS for complex content modeling, making it difficult to expand your website as time goes on.
WordPress is the larger CMS platform with a great community boasting a huge number of plugins and themes, available for almost any functionality you might need. With WordPress, you can find plugins to add e-commerce functionality, SEO optimisation, custom block elements, and much more. However, the large number of themes and plugins has led to low-quality products that have caused a large amount of security issues and errors affecting the user experience.
Craft CMS, being a more niche platform in comparison to WordPress, has a growing community and a more curated plugin ecosystem. The plugins available for Craft CMS often have a higher level of quality and are developed with a more focused purpose. An example of this is Craft CMS Commerce, an e-commerce platform that combines flexibility and versatility which you can read more about here.
Craft CMS is favored by developers due to its developer-friendly platform. It has a more modern architecture and uses the Twig templating which has a simple separation of logic and presentation making it easier for developers to use. Craft CMS follows a code-first approach, where developers have greater control over the codebase, making it easier to maintain and extend. WordPress, on the other hand, uses plain PHP for a more traditional templating system, making it more accessible to developers familiar with the language but comes with its limitations. Due to starting off as a blogging platform, developers are always fighting against the core architecture to extend its simple functionality, making it harder to maintain and extend.
Now we've got a greater understanding of both platforms, ultimately choosing between Craft CMS and WordPress depends on your specific needs and requirements:
If you require customised content structures, intricate data relationships, or a more advanced content modeling approach, Craft CMS is a better fit. Craft CMS excels when you need to build bespoke websites with complex data architectures, such as e-commerce platforms, portfolios, or membership sites.
If you prioritise simplicity, especially for non-technical users or clients, WordPress is a strong contender. Its user-friendly interface and large plugin ecosystem make it accessible to beginners. WordPress is an excellent choice for blogs, small business websites, and simpler content-driven sites.
Both Craft CMS and WordPress can handle websites of various sizes, but Craft CMS is often considered more scalable and performs well under heavy loads. Craft CMS's architecture allows for a higher leve of control over caching, database optimisation, and page speed, making it suitable for large-scale projects that demand high performance. WordPress, with its larger community, has been optimised over the years and can handle a significant amount of traffic, but it may require additional work for very high-traffic or resource-intensive websites or if you are after greater page speeds for SEO.
If you're looking to set up an online store and want a powerful and user-friendly e-commerce solution, look no further than Craft CMS Commerce. It's a dedicated add-on Craft offer that comes with everything you need right out of the box, from site localisation to custom checkout changes. This does come at an extra cost, but offers everything you'll need to create a powerful personalised shopping experience, who doesn't want that?
WordPress doesn't offer a solution like this but don't fear there is a popular plugin called WooCommerce that extends the functionality of WordPress to offer an e-commerce experience. Due to having to use a third-party plugin, it does come with its limitations and costly add-ons to achieve what users expend from an e-commerce website. Scalability will become an issue if your shop grows meaning a grueling platform switch will be required at a big cost.
If you're after greater flexibility Craft CMS is the one for you, with its ability to define custom fields, relationships, and content types allows you to create unique and complex websites tailored to any specific requirements. WordPress offers flexibility through custom post types and taxonomies, but it doesn't match the level of customisation and flexibility provided by Craft CMS.
Craft CMS is often praised for its performance, especially under heavy loads. Its modern architecture and control over caching, database queries, and other optimizations make it a solid choice for performance-critical projects. WordPress has made significant performance improvements over the years, but it may require additional optimizations, caching plugins, or server configurations to achieve the same level of performance as Craft CMS, particularly for high-traffic or resource-intensive websites.
Ultimately, the choice between Craft CMS and WordPress depends on the specific needs of your project, your technical expertise, and the level of customisation and performance required. Hopefully after reading this blog, you'll be able to make a definitive choice.
Alright, *Spoiler alert*... in our opinion that is always Craft!