Craft CMS vs. Wordpress: A Comparison

Just because something is popular doesn’t mean that there’s not anything better available. Wordpress may be the most popular CMS platform, but Craft CMS is making its way up the rankings for its innovative approach to web content management.

21 June, 2021
Craft CMS vs. Wordpress: A Comparison
(Source: CSS Tricks)


The primary purpose of a Content Management System (CMS) is to manage website content. Both Wordpress and Craft CMS allows users to do exactly that.

Wordpress may be the most popular platform and CMS for websites. But just because something is popular doesn’t mean that there’s not anything better available.


The History of Wordpress

Wordpress is one of the most popular CMS’ in the world. 34% of all websites are built with Wordpress, and 60% of websites using a CMS use Wordpress.

From a simple blogging platform to a large platform for building websites of various sizes, Wordpress has come a long way since being introduced in 2003.

Over the years, Wordpress has gained users. And lost them. Wordpress is well known for security breaches, basic templates and clunky code.


The Uprising of Craft CMS

Craft CMS began in 2011 to help web leaders design, develop and maintain better websites. As a digital agency based in Queenstown, our team consists of content creators, web developers and marketing specialists, and we have experienced the benefits of Craft CMS of ourselves.

Craft is a top CMS for web developers and agencies due to its innovative approach to website content management. It is an open-source content management system developed in PHP.

In 2015, Craft CMS won the Best CMS for Developers award from CMSCritics – which speaks volumes, considering there are a variety of top CMS platforms to choose from. Craft CMS was selected as the Best WordPress Alternative in CMS Critic's 2017 People's Choice Awards – making it the perfect option for businesses seeking a reliable CMS.


Comparing Craft CMS and Wordpress: The Pros and Cons

Is Craft CMS or Wordpress right for you? The answer depends on your business’s goals, needs and budget. When comparing Craft CMS and Wordpress for your business’s eCommerce, content or management options, we’ve explored the following features of each platform:


  1. Content Creation and Management

  2. Search Engine Optimisation

  3. Functionality

  4. Plugins

  5. Speed

  6. Security

  7. eCommerce

  8. Pricing


Content Creation and Management

Content Creation and Management

Wordpress continues to add new features and options – resulting in a cluttered mess. While experienced Wordpress developers and users have learnt how to navigate the site without constant confusion, they’ve suffered enough from the headaches that a messy CMS can cause.

Craft CMS makes managing website content a lot less frustrating. Building from the ground up, Craft CMS has created an excellent experience for content creators and managers – making everyone’s life easier. Features including the Matrix, Live Preview, and Page Building Tools make using Craft CMS a great experience for clients.


Search Engine Optimisation

Search Engine Optimisation

Wordpress has one of the best SEO plugins, which has been evident for a while. Yoast SEO is considered #1 in the industry of CMS SEO Wordpress plugins. Yoast SEO comes with all the basics of an SEO tool, including high-performing keyword research, SEO courses, readability checker and more.

Craft CMS has its own elite SEO plugin, SEOmatic. The plugin provides beyond basic tools, like alt attribute and link title attribute fields. It goes further – rendering metadata and creating sitemaps for Google automatically. Craft CMS also has an advantage over Wordpress in areas that benefit SEO performance, including page load speed and site security.


Functionality

Functionality

Wordpress has better built-in functionality for people with the do-it-yourself approach, with various templates and plugins available. Some features are included, like the new page editor, Gutenberg. However, Wordpress doesn’t go beyond the basics – multiple plugins would need to be installed to bring it up to Craft CMS’s functionality.

Craft CMS has a huge advantage in functionality – it didn’t begin as a blogging platform. With this approach, Craft CMS includes powerful features, such as matrix fields (to build flexible pages easily) and categories and tags (for keeping content organised).


Plugins

Plugins

Wordpress has been in the game a lot longer, so it’s only common sense to know that it offers more plugins than Craft CMS. While some plugins are outdated, glitchy, or just broken, several beneficial and maintained plugins are available.

Craft CMS planned to be disadvantaged in the category of plugins. The creators made creating new plugins easy for developers. If you, your client, or your digital agency use Craft CMS, the options of Craft CMS’ capabilities are limitless – you just may have to download a plugin.


Speed

Speed

Wordpress doesn’t use the standard Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. The MVC ensures that necessary components of a website are delivered only when they are needed. So while Wordpress and Craft CMS are quite even when it comes to performance, load speed is different.

Craft CMS uses the MVC framework. With MVC, elements are only delivered when needed – making a website faster, more responsive and overall appealing. The result of Craft CMS’s performance and speed means a better experience for developers and visitors, which also helps improve your Google SEO rankings.


Security

Security

Wordpress is a widely used platform, but it has also become an easy target for hackers. Third-party integrations, themes and plugins are a vulnerable entry point for hackers to access data from Wordpress sites.

Craft CMS comes with a cost of $99 per year, but it’s well worth it. The simple updates keep sites safe and secure. In addition, Craft does a great job of preventing SQL injection hacks, which is often a point of vulnerability when using Wordpress themes and third-party integrations.


eCommerce

eCommerce

Wordpress offers eCommerce solutions through a popular plugin called Woocommerce. In one instance, Wordpress provides more options in the area of plugins, as primary plugins integrate seamlessly with BigCommerce and Shopify. But the eCommerce solution is still plugins and are not built into Wordpress natively.

Craft CMS offers an eCommerce product called Craft Commerce. Craft Commerce was built to improve the lives of content managers, and anyone involved in the eCommerce ordering and fulfilling processes. With Craft Commerce, content and eCommerce fit together seamlessly in one system – with the benefits of flexibility, scalability, and built-in features making Craft an easy choice for businesses.


Pricing

Pricing

Wordpress is flexible in price. You can develop a Wordpress site with a lower budget. But when it comes to customisation, costs can quickly rise. Most hosting companies have a simple setup, making it easy to get your Wordpress site up and running in minutes. However, a provider that manages updates, security and plugin compatibility is ideal and will cost more.

Craft CMS costs $299 per project, which includes a year of updates, and after that, it’s $59 a year. However, if you need eCommerce functionality, pricing varies from $199 per smaller project with a $39 yearly fee, to $999 and upwards per larger project, with a $199 yearly fee.


Why We Recommend Craft CMS

While your needs, goals, and budget play a part in your platform choice, it’s important to think long term when making a business decision. Wordpress can be ideal for smaller projects and budgets. But Craft CMS is the solution for flexibility, speed and security.

Choosing the right platform is a crucial factor for any new website project or CMS solution – investing $300 or $1,000 in a reliable platform is an easy decision for many businesses to make. As we’ve learnt in our experience, free and cheap online services always come at a cost to us further down the line.

We're a Queenstown based Craft website developer agency, servicing New Zealand and Australia. If you're looking for a Craft CMS partner, contact us today.