Craft CMS vs. WordPress: Why We Recommend Craft

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February 14, 2020

One question we're asked time and time again is why we use Craft and not WordPress as our CMS of choice. If you're reading this article, it might be because you asked a similar question and we sent you this! Or, maybe you're just one of the many people also interested in this topic and want a fresh perspective.

I know these types of articles can get people fired up, so let me mention a few obligatory caveats.

First, this article is not an exhaustive list of the differences between Craft CMS and Wordpress. It's simply the major differences we find important to our team. And, in reality, the core reasons we recommend it to most all of our clients.

Second, we're well aware many choose WordPress and will continue to do so far into the future. That's great! I'm not saying WordPress is a bad tool, or that you're doing something wrong if you're using it! It's simply our perspective on why Craft CMS is a better tool for our clients.

With that said, let's dive into the reasons why we recommend Craft Instead of WordPress.

1. Craft is more flexible than WordPress

You can argue that WordPress is a content management system, but in reality it's more of a blogging platform.

WordPress was created back in 2003 as a tool for bloggers to create and post content online. Over the years it's become the de-facto tool for easily building websites, with the latest figures attributing it to over 30% of the internet. Wow!

However, at the end of the day, WordPress is still a blog tool.

Unless you're building a traditional blog, Craft is going to be a much more flexible tool that can organize and mange any types of content: pages, events, products, venues, categories, users, files, widgets, doo-dads; anything really.

With WordPress, building a site that goes above and beyond a blog always feels "hacky" and against the grain.

The majority of the sites we build aren't solely blogs, and many have a level of complexity that requires a more robust tool than WordPress.

2. Craft is better for custom design

If you're familiar with WordPress, you're probably familiar with the term Templates. When you're building a site with WordPress, the process usually involves customizing pre-built templates, where you squeeze your site's design and functionality into a template someone else has already built.

If you're looking to launch a site quickly, and don't need a design that's your own, the WordPress template approach might be a good fit.

At Authentic, we design and build our partner websites based on the unique needs of each project. Being pigeon-held into pre-built templates hinders more than it helps!

Craft CMS, on the other hand, doesn't use pre-built templates. Craft allows you to design and build your site from the ground up, removing constraints and providing more design and technical freedom.

3. Craft is more secure than WordPress

WordPress is notorious for being vulnerable to security exploits. Thus, this is a very important item to consider.

Why is WordPress so vulnerable? A major reason for this goes back how prevalent it is across the web. When one tool powers 30% of the internet, you're going to be the #1 choice of hackers and people looking to exploit a widely adopted platform.

Another contributor is that WordPress itself is a very old platform. Over the years, PHP—the language both WordPress and Craft are built on—has seen many advances. Frameworks like Laravel and Yii have pushed PHP forward and made it a more reliable and scaleable ecosystem for developers. (In fact, we've been saying it for years.)

WordPress, though, still runs outdated code that doesn't take advantage of these improvements, and is still vulnerable to exploits.

Craft is built on the Yii frame I mentioned above, which offers very strong modern security features out of the box. Additionally, it also benefits from security through obscurity, and isn't nearly as targeted as WordPress.

4. Craft is easier for clients to use

This might sound like I'm making it up, but every client we've transitioned from WordPress to Craft has been completely blown away with how much easier Craft was to use. Seriously, send me an email and I will give you references.

The design of Craft's interface is simple and easy to understand. We always do hand-off calls with clients after our projects launch, and 9 out of 10 times, people are able to pick up and start working immediately.

With WordPress, the UI of the control panel is often confusing and clunky for clients. Again, WordPress is a blogging tool at its core. When your needs go beyond publishing blog articles, the control panel becomes clogged with workarounds and gotchas that are challenging to remember and hard to teach to new employees.

5. Craft is a better long-term tool

This last point is really the culmination of all the others.

For our team at Authentic, we want to build strong relationships with our clients, helping them grow their site, app, or product over the long term. In order to do this, we need to use a platform that's not one-and-done. We need a tool that can flex as the needs of the project change, and grow along with the size of their team.

For all these reasons we find that Craft CMS is a much better long-term tool for our clients as compared to WordPress. It's one that can evolve with their needs as their business evolves.

Bonus reasons to consider

These bonus reasons don't require a long explanation, but are worthy of a mention!

Craft has a great community of developers.

Checkout the Partners page on the Craft website or Craft's discord channel. There are tons of Craft teams and developers out there working on the platform.

The Craft plugin store is robust and well-built.

If you've used WordPress in the past, managing plugins can be a nightmare. Craft's plugin ecosystem is much smaller, but it's much more well built. Every week new plugins are being related extending Craft's functionality and making it a more capable tool.

Craft continues to evolve and innovate.

Pixel & Tonic - the team behind Craft - are truly amazing. They're at the forefront of helping to define how modern content management systems should function, and they're always aligning Craft's roadmap with the ever-changing landscape of modern web development.

Final thoughts to consider

If you want to dig even deeper, check out a few of these other Craft vs, WordPress articles. They touch on a variety of points you might be interested in learning about:

Please don't hesitate to contact us and ask questions that come to mind. Let's discuss!

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