These 2 platforms are often pitted against each other and there are countless debates and discussions that will argue which is best. Ultimately the solution that is best depends on what you need from your CMS.
Why are these two often pitted against each other? They’re both popular, easy-to-use and open source. But which one is the right one?
With this article, I will outline the Pros and Cons of each platform and leave the decision with you.
What is WordPress?
WordPress began as an open source blogging platform in 2003. As its popularity grew, it evolved into something more, a content management system. WordPress is written in PHP and utilises a huge array of plugins.
What is Umbraco?
Umbraco official started in 2003 with v1.0, but it is widely considered that Umbraco v2.0 is when it all started as it was in 2004 that Umbraco was 100% .NET based. From its inception, Umbraco was designed to be a CMS and this is the key difference. Umbraco is designed to give you all the freedom and functionality you would expect from a CMS, without the large licensing fees you see from other purpose-built solutions.
WordPress: Pros and Cons
If you are looking to get a new website live and don’t want to have the ‘hassle’ or ‘costs’ involved with ‘complicated’ coding, WordPress is a good option. However, it’s worth remembering that WordPress wasn’t built to be a CMS so for anything more complicated than a basic brochure website, WordPress won’t be the best option.
Easy to use. Due to its humble beginnings as a blogging platform, it is easy to navigate and manage content without much website management experience. With a host of pre-designed templates available you can have a professional feel to your website in a matter of days.
SEO friendly. Due to its huge popularity amongst bloggers and small businesses across the world it is trusted by Google. Additionally, you will find a host of plugins that can boost your SEO performance with some work.
Security. Dependant on your businesses requirements this can prove to be all it takes to discount WordPress as the platform for you. WordPress, as mentioned earlier, isn’t a purpose-built CMS. For this reason, it requires many plug-ins to fill the functionality gaps. These plug-ins are especially vulnerable to hacking. Here is a recent article from Security Week that discusses one such exploit.
Speed. There are hundreds upon thousands of themes available and many of those contain unnecessary coding, this can slow your site down. WordPress sites are especially slow.
Updates. Potentially a surprising one for most but can cause issues. It is important for all software to be kept up to date. Unfortunately, there are some plugins or layout of your site that are not compatible with the latest upgrade, meaning you’ll have to revert to the old version of WordPress. This can obviously cause issues for security and speed.
Umbraco: the pros and cons
Free. There are no recurring licensing fees or hidden charges for the platform itself, there are however costs associated with hosting and developing the website, like with WordPress.
Open Source. What this means is that the software for which the original source code is made freely available may be redistributed and modified. This means that developers all over the world are constantly working to improve the platform.
Flexible. Umbraco is a purpose-built CMS and when you combine that with its Open Source code it can be customised to you and your needs. If you need your website to do it, Umbraco can be configured to do it.
Secure. Umbraco is built on Microsoft’s .NET, and uses a security firm to run penetration tests every 6 months, so there’s no need to worry about the security of your site.
Developers’ platform. To get the most out of Umbraco you will need an internal development team or the support of an agency to build the platform. Once built the user interface is easy to use to upload new content, and refresh videos and imagery, but for any ‘major’ changes you will need to utilise the skills of a developer.
So which option is best?
As I said at the start of the blog it depends wholly on what you need for your website. If you need a simple ‘brochure’ website, where you have a limited number of visitors, and security isn’t important for you, then WordPress is likely the right option.
If you need a robust, reliable and secure site then Umbraco is the right choice.