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WordPress vs the Rest: 7 Key Differences and Advantages

WordPress vs the rest

There’s not a single ounce of a doubt who leads the pack when it comes to CMS (Content Management System) market share. There are other content management systems available, but, there’s nothing like – WordPress!

With WordPress, it’s never been easier to create a website for your business, and even more complex solutions such as larger multisite platforms, SaaS systems, CRM, and server infrastructures as well. The project that you want to create will determine how complex the process will be, and if and why you should choose WordPress as your CMS platform.

However, since we’re talking about “versus the rest”, let’s discuss all things WordPress, its competitors, and advantages, and disadvantages in order to help you make an informed decision on which one to use for your business.

Why Is WordPress the Perfect CMS?

Yes, WordPress started as a blogging platform, and it is still the best solution if you want to kickstart your blog. But, with respect to other CMS platforms, WordPress evolved into something that is so much more than a blogging platform!

Today, WordPress is an all-encompassing CMS that we use to develop powerful solutions for enterprises!

Among the most notable features of WordPress are:

  • Easy Administration: The installation process alone doesn’t take more than 5 minutes, and you don’t need to be a technical expert to develop and publish content on the platform. With some community help, you can easily access and modify your pages, monitor, and install plugins.
  • Lots of Plugins and Add-Ons: Many excellent plugins and widgets that you can use on your WordPress system are free. These add-ons help you customize your website, and they’re brilliant to use for both small to midsize business pages, and more complex solutions that require much more technical development work.
  • SEO-Friendliness: WordPress is especially good for deploying SEO best practices. With the power of quality content, keywords, and plugins, you can further analyze and optimize your content.
  • Flexibility: The possibilities of scaling your website is one of the key aspects that make WordPress what it is! The development work is helped by over 54,000 plugins! The number of add-ons is staggering, and perhaps more than any other CMS. Whatever you need on your WordPress site, it can be done, and whatever you think can’t be done, just get in touch and watch the masters at work!
  • It’s Secure: With the right set of security plans, which should include keeping the WP core up to date, keeping plugins updated, using a WordPress managed hosting from a reliable company with top-notch support, making sure that the custom code is written following the best practices, etc – WordPress is as secure as any other CMS out there.
  • Community: WordPress is built from and for the community, and we at DevriX are constantly giving back to its improvement, whether to our own contributions or running WordCamp workshops! There are over 75 million websites built with WordPress, which is proof of a strong community and commitment to take open source technology to new heights.

However, we aren’t saying WordPress is perfect, and there are a few setbacks in the platform, such as:

  • Need of Complex Modifications: Sure, you can find tons of ready-made snippets and templates, but hey, if you really want a sleek and unique solution, you need to have at least PHP and CSS support on hand.
  • Plugin Aggravation: Plugins are what makes WordPress so competitive in the CMS marketplace. However, too many plugins and you can significantly damage the performance of your website.
  • Safety Issues: Its open-source nature means that your code is not as protected as you think. Additionally, there are also badly-formatted plugins that can be easily cracked by hackers if they have weak points.

However, apart from these few disadvantages mentioned above, brands such as Xerox, Sony, Walt Disney Company, and most of the Fortune 500 companies are powered thanks to WordPress! As a matter of fact, the most powerful institution in the world, the White House is powered by WordPress!

Image source: The White House

Image source: Sony

Image source: Xerox

These examples alone are enough to convince you of what is the ideal CMS choice for multinational and big corporations.

WordPress is the forerunner in the marketplace, however, there are other content management systems that can compete on several levels.

Picking One CMS over the Others

Choosing your content management system is the foundation of your web presence. In a nutshell, you need a platform that will meet each of your requirements while scaling your business in the process. Here are the most important criteria that you´ll need to consider when comparing different CMS solutions:

  • Cost: The end cost will depend on your demands, and the CMS needed to bring you the best ROI (Return on Investment) for your money.
  • Simplicity: The platform should be simple enough for flawless content management.
  • Layout: Your CMS should help you stand out among your competitors, refrain from using generic layouts like the rest of them.
  • Adaptability: Adding as many features as you like should be effortless, as well as using different plugins and add-ons.
  • E-commerce: If you want to sell through your website, eCommerce integration is a must for your CMS.
  • Security: Again, every website out there is liable for safety risks, however, your CMS needs to protect you from every impact.
  • Community: The CMS that has a busy and energetic community means that you’ll have 24/7 support and your CMS will constantly be up-to-date.

Who Are the Competitors?

Let’s have a quick look at the top CMS competitors. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, and features that make them distinctive between each other.

Joomla

Image source: Joomlaschack

Joomla started back in 2005 as a CMS called Mambo. Currently, it’s the second most popular CMS behind WordPress with 5.4% of the market share. Joomla is based on PHP and also utilizes SQL databases.

There are paid and free add-ons and extensions, as well as available themes. However, not all are in its directory.

Joomla is mobile-friendly, multilingual, and with solid SEO features.

However, it is also substantially more complex than WordPress, and creating content is not as customized. Even posting an article can get difficult here, considering the number of options and categories that you have to set first before you even start writing it.

Drupal

Image source: Drupal

Drupal was first introduced in 2001 and it’s currently the 3rd most popular CMS with 3.5% of the market share. It’s built with PHP, and guess what, it’s even more complex than Joomla!

With even more options and controls that you need to surpass to create your content, Drupal needs a sturdy technical knowledge of HTML, PHP, and additional programming languages so you can customize your content.

It’s also multilingual and good for SEO, and Drupal can be faster than WordPress because it uses fewer resources to run. However, considering how complex it is, Drupal can be difficult, especially for novice content managers who want to publish regularly via their site.

Squarespace

Squarespace is a SaaS web builder that you pay per month to use, and you’re provided with all sorts of templates, hosting, support, and a domain name for your money. Currently, Squarespace captures 2.7% of the content management marketplace.

Image source: Squarespace

There is a Standard version which is a lot easier for someone without technical knowledge, and there’s also the Developer version which is the techy one that allows you to alter your website code.

The idea behind Squarespace is that anyone can make a website without coding knowledge. However, this doesn’t mean that you can build an enterprise system with it.

WordPress definitely offers you more configuration options, more add-ons, customizations, and flexibility to build whatever you want, compared to the limited options of a free website builder like Squarespace.

Wix

Image source: WebsiteToolTester

Wix is a website builder similar to Squarespace that lets you build your website from scratch with a drag-and-drop feature. At the moment of writing, Wix holds only 1.9% of the CMS marketplace. The websites built with Wix are hosted on the platform, but, there are additional costs that are involved in each of the more advanced plans, something that we will discuss later in this article.

Bottom line, Wix is user-friendly and pretty easy to understand, however, you’re not in full control of your content, the designs and templates that are available are not perfect.

Craft CMS

In comparison with WordPress and other platforms, Craft is the new kid on the CMS block. The content management interface is simple.

Image source: Envato Tuts+

Plugins are not required, and all the necessary options for development are present, except for the advanced features that WordPress already has.
Of course, being a young entrant means that its community is still not big enough yet. The functionality of Craft is also a bit complicated and this increases the projects’ development time.

WordPress vs WordPress

What?

Yes, it’s really WordPress versus WordPress, you got that right!

There are actually two different WordPress platforms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Because choosing the best possible platform is important for the success of your business. Let’s highlight the differences between the two.

Hosting Contrasts

The WordPress software that you want to use is situated in WordPress.org. In order to use it, you need to set it up on a web server. So, if you download WordPress.org, you host it yourself. You’ll choose your own hosting provider for your WordPress site, which provides you with a ton of flexibility as well.

With WordPress.com, you get a website that is only based on the WordPress.org open-source software, and you just sign up for an account and you have a functional website immediately.

When it comes to a managed hosting solution for your WordPress website, in our experience there’s no better in the marketplace than Pagely.

Their enterprise hosting platform offers you a scalable solution with multi-region redundancy and enterprise grade-security.

The Genuine WordPress

WordPress.org is the one, or “the genuine WordPress” that we love to work with!

With WordPress.org, you have total control of your web solution, and you can build and customize on top of it as many times as you like. The following are the reasons why WordPress.org is the finer WordPress:

  • Free and effortless to use as a CMS.
  • You own your website and you own its data.
  • Free and premium add-ons, over 54,000 of them.
  • Customizable on the go. Completely custom modifications on every component.
  • You can run ads on your website and make more money in the process.
  • Custom analytics and tracking
  • Easy to create an online store to sell products or services, accept payments, and schedule products for shipping.
  • You can create multisite and membership site systems for premium publishers and service providers, and build an online community that will be hosted on your website.

Here’s the deal, if you’re just a blogger that doesn’t care about scaling a business and making more money, WordPress.com might be enough for you. However, if you’re a serious company that wants to invest in its web presence, WordPress.org provides you with the options and flexibility that you need.

WordPress vs Drupal

Drupal has been around longer than WordPress, and it’s more complex to use than WordPress, but does that mean that it’s better? Let’s analyze the core differences, shall we?

WordPress Is Easier to Grasp

The interface of WordPress is much more straightforward and intuitive than the one on Drupal, and with the latest additions in the form of Gutenberg Editor, managing your components is even simpler.

On the other hand, Drupal is the complete antagonist! For users that don’t understand programming languages and technical aspects, Drupal’s interface is way too complicated for content management. If you want something new, you need assistance from a developer. Even Drupal themselves are aware of this:

“In general people expect a much richer user experience around content creation than Drupal offers, much of the functionality that people consider standard for a CMS is simply missing.”

Safety Nuances

It seems that Drupal is slightly more superior when it comes to security. While the core of WordPress is protected, if you rely on too many third-party extensions, hackers can easily find vulnerabilities and attack them.

According to a study conducted by WordFence, in more than 50% of all hacker attacks, plugins are to blame! If you really want to protect your WordPress system, we encourage you to limit the number of plugins and choose them wisely.

On the other hand, security is probably the biggest advantage of Drupal. Even though everything is not perfect in the Drupal world, the platform has faced fewer security issues than any other CMS.

Bottom line, both of them have their advantages and flaws. WordPress has an easier learning curve, more flexibility, and scalability, yet, slightly less secure than Drupal. However, Drupal requires much more of the technical expertise, and may not be the best choice for a publisher that needs to produce content on a regular basis.

WordPress vs Joomla

The most basic difference between WordPress and Joomla is that Joomla started as a CMS specifically designed for portal websites, while WordPress started out as a blogging platform.

Fast forward, today, both of these content management systems can be used for every type of website. Let’s see what are their core differences.

Subtle SEO Differences

If you take a bare WordPress and Joomla and compare their SEO capabilities, in the beginning, Joomla looks like a better option. It enables you to optimize your meta description without any coding work.

Image source: ThemeXpert

However, the SEO capabilities can be shown only when you take full advantage of every option that the CMS provides you with. The full WordPress SEO powers can be discovered and achieved through the mighty Yoast SEO plugin.

With Yoast, you can optimize different areas of your content for SEO, and get guidelines in real time on how to optimize while you create your content. This is practically unbeatable compared with the sole option of Joomla where you need to optimize the meta description yourself without any pointers at all.

Each WordPress Site Is Uniquely-Secure

Along with its popularity, come the vulnerabilities. Out of the millions of WordPress sites that are live, each of them is unique in its safety and security measurements. This makes poorly designed WordPress sites a favorite target for hackers!

The good thing is that each WordPress site that runs on version 3.7 and above can be maintained and updated automatically. The WordPress core couldn’t be safer than it is today, and most of the security issues are related to plugins, not to the core.

Another weakness that pops up from time to time is the user aka unsafe user login information, and that part of the safety is totally up to you as the web owner.

The security of Joomla sites is also up to the user, and Joomla even provides you with a security checklist that covers everything from hosting to running your website and protecting it from cyber attacks.

Bottom line, WordPress is better for content management, customization options, and SEO, and this is why it’s much better all around than Joomla.

WordPress vs Squarespace

Squarespace, as a website builder is pretty straightforward, however, it’s extremely limited compared to the features that WordPress has. However, to be completely transparent, let’s review the crucial differences that set them apart.

Designs and Layouts? WordPress Is Limitless

WordPress and Squarespace both offer ready-made themes and templates and tools that you can utilize to individualize your page.

As a matter of fact, WordPress provides you with thousands of free and paid website templates that are extremely customizable. Most of the high-quality themes come with various layouts, and drag and drop builders that already provide you with more of the features that Squarespace has.

It really doesn’t matter what type of website you want, WordPress has you covered.

Squarespace also allows you to use pre-designed themes and layouts for your website. However, the number of templates available to kick-start is limited, as well as the customization options.

It’s clear that WordPress again is the better option in terms of customization and layout flexibility.

Unlimited in Integrations as Well

The secret of WordPress lies in the community and the powerful plugins and extensions that developers have made to make sure that no CMS gets near in terms of quality and options for different integrations. In essence, there’s not a feature that comes to your mind that is not available in the form of a robust plugin.

You have essential plugins such as Sucuri, OptinMonster, and Yoast, then if you want to open an eCommerce, WooCommerce, and much more. As a matter of fact, each of the most powerful tools for email, live chat, lead generation, and more already have a plugin that makes the tool ready for WordPress integration.

On the other hand, Squarespace can’t get even close to the integration possibilities of WordPress and on top of data, Squarespace can’t provide devs with powerful APIs to build on such as WordPress does.

Additionally, Squarespace lacks the customization options for opening an online store, and if you want to do so, you have to do it their way, instead of your own idea and scaling path.

The possibility of growing your website and customizing it however you like and on the go is something that you invest in and you can only get it through a platform such as WordPress.

WordPress vs Wix

Of course, Wix is another option that you can use to create your website. Our CEO and Chief WordPress Architect Mario Peshev got to try Wix, and according to him when it comes to developing complex projects:

“Bloggers, solopreneurs, small businesses running a 5-page business website may pick Wix for their needs. And that’s fine – they rarely need to stand out when they just start out.

The more they keep growing, the more likely it is to outgrow the platform. Think of integrating a modern marketing automation platform, a CRM, a powerful eCommerce platform handling shipping across different countries – anything that a slightly larger website has to support.”

Wix Is Easy but Expensive

Let’s see, you’re getting the WordPress core for free, and you only need to pay for your hosting services. Elseways, with Wix you need to pay for additional options that are not included in their free plan, and if you want to grow things further.

On top of that, even the paid plans are somehow vague and without unlimited data storage for its users. If users don’t pay for the hosting, but they overpay for using the website builder, how is that viable in the long run?

What you pay to use Wix, you get it for free by using WordPress, it is as simple as that!

WordPress vs Craft

Let’s look at some of the differentiating factors when it comes to WordPress vs Craft CMS.

WordPress is a Stability God for Craft

Of course, there are a few bugs here and there, but other than some “deprecated” APIs that are still in the codebase, WordPress doesn’t have too many problems when it comes to system stability.

The WordPress core team is laser-focused on compatibility, and in comparison, Craft is still quite young and feels really unstable compared to WordPress. We don’t say that Craft breaks all the time, but compared to WordPress, there have been bigger changes for cracking between major versions.

Basically, Craft is still a new area to be explored, while WordPress has dedicated years to stability issues.

WordPress has a RESTful API built-in and Craft doesn’t have a REST API in the core, but for the easier content jobs, there’s the first party Element API plugin.

WordPress Multisite is Superior

The Multisite feature makes installing WordPress and managing different sites separately unnecessary. For example, let’s say that you want to build a platform and scale it, but you also want a separate one where you’ll bring in additional users to convert. Instead of installing WordPress one more time, you can use the same username and dashboard to manage them both.

Multisite networks share the same plugins, themes, and database, but, they don’t have their own server directory, while they do have individual media directories and tables in the database.

Craft 3 also has multi-site, although it’s less equipped to completely run separate sites under the same CMS install.

Wrapping It Up

There you have it, our take on the key differences and advantages of WordPress over other CMS platforms and web builders. There are lots of content management systems to choose from for your business, but only one among them is ace!

It’s easy to see why WordPress holds the majority of the CMS market share. It is the best option for enterprises in so many ways: it is user-friendly, extremely flexible and customizable, suitable for a simple blog, eCommerce sites, to multisite publishing and SaaS systems, and can be additionally reinforced by expert contributors and the community that we’re part of.

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