Reviewed: Wordpress vs. Craft CMS 2020

Blue Mantis

If you’re about to embark on getting a new website built, or plan on upgrading your current site, it’s worth researching which CMS is most suitable.

What you really want to know is: will it be easy enough to use? Will it offer flexibility for the future? And does it have the tools to allow you to be easily found on Google?

To make this decision a little easier for you, we’ve compared the benefits of probably the most well-known (and often default CMS of choice) Wordpress, with the slightly less well know (but highly regarded) Craft CMS.

Craft CMS or Wordpress? 5 Key Comparisons

1. 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. This can make it harder for website managers to find and edit specific content easily (stealing valuable time in your working day!). It also makes training clients in using their new CMS a much more involved process.

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.

A further advantage is the handy live preview feature Craft CMS offers. Admin users can view the content edit section and a live preview next to each other at the same time - allowing you to see your edits in real time, which makes updating content even easier!

2. Flexibility

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. 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.

3. Search Engine Visibility

Wordpress is an extremely SEO friendly platform. There are plenty of well-reviewed and effective SEO plugins that will easily guide you when it comes to things like filling in metadata correctly and managing your basic SEO requirements.

Whilst Craft also offers a basic but equally effective SEO plugin (one which is actually used by SEO experts MOZ on their own site!) the build flexibility means there’s also a greater opportunity to simplify and streamline your SEO efforts, particularly through things like a metadata auto generator. This is especially useful for larger sites that regularly add new pages.

4. Security & Stability

In 2019, Wordpress powers over 27% of all websites on the internet. From a stability point of view, this makes Wordpress a strong contender for CMS of the year, since there’s a strong development community to support users who run into issues, plus plenty of experienced wordpress developers around.

From a security point of view, the 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.

Both security and stability is taken extremely serious by Craft, with bugs updated quickly and efficiently using their rapid update cycle set up. Whilst they are a newer CMS platform compared with Wordpress, Craft is known for having a higher-skilled developer community.

5. Website speed

Due to the way Wordpress is built to provide as many options as possible in their out-of-the-box templates, this technique often results in ‘heavy’ and unorganised code which can make even small websites run slower than they should.

Craft on the other hand has an exceptionally lightweight code, which tends to result in much faster site speeds. Why should you care about site speed? Aside from improving the user experience, site speed plays an important role in how websites are ranked in search engines. This means a faster site can be the difference between gaining that top of page search having your website on no-mans land (aka page 2!).

Craft Vs Wordpress: The final verdict

So which CMS is best for your business?

We’ve worked with various CMS platforms over our 20+ years of building websites for clients, big and small. Some of our team have even been coding before the internet was around (hard to imagine such a thing, we know!). It’s therefore fair to say we know a thing or two about what makes a good CMS.

Our verdict on Craft vs Wordpress? If you’re looking for a quick fix solution (such as a minimum viable product to test out a new business offering), an off-the-shelf Wordpress template may be the best CMS solution for you.

If however, you’re keen to have a sleek and flexible website solution which is tailored around your current and future business offerings, we’d recommend Craft CMS every time.

Thanks for reading our review of Craft vs Wordpress. Check back to receive future insightful articles from the Blue Mantis team. Read more about the benefits of Craft CMS and why we're the craft agency of choice!