Your CMS is the hub of your online activity, the resource which controls every aspect of your website, so deciding which one to choose is a huge responsibility and can have an impact on the future capabilities of your site.
Sitecore and WordPress are two popular CMS platforms respectively built for distinct types of businesses, and we’re often asked about the differences between the two, so we’re here to break it down and help you make an informed decision on which is right for your business.
But before we do, what key things make for a great CMS system?
Ease to Use: Your CMS must be simple to understand and use. Its interface shouldn't be complicated. If it's easy to use, you'll work faster, save time, and increase productivity. It will also allow you to keep your website up to date with rich and timely content.
Flexibility: Your CMS should be flexible, allowing your website to evolve and deal with high levels of traffic. It’s important that the CMS allows for collaboration and design freedom to really cement your brand in the industry.
Marketing functions: Extended capabilities can make your CMS an important marketing tool. Through various integrations, you can use your CMS to create opportunities for visitor engagement, break down customer insights with data analysis, and reach prospects on any device, along with tailoring your on-page copy to suit their wants and needs. When choosing a CMS you want to ensure you get everything you need from it.
Security: It’s important that your website isn’t prone to vulnerabilities that could put your website and users in danger. That's why it’s important to choose a CMS which is robust and secure, especially if you are receiving high volumes of traffic or an e-commerce site.
If you’re looking for a quick set up, then you can have a website in less than an hour with WordPress. It’s really simple too, all you have to do is pick a theme, throw some content in and go live. That being said, while it is very easy to deploy, it’s overall functionality is reduced as we will find out later.
Sitecore takes a lot longer to deploy due to its bespoke design and build. Everything about Sitecore websites is unique to the organisation, meaning everything is custom and tailor-made. This can result in the deployment time being considerably higher than that we’d typically see from WordPress. However, Sitecore websites are robust, versatile and deliver a high level of functionality and security, which is something to bear in mind, if you aren’t in a rush.
Ease of Use
WordPress has excelled as a blogging platform for over a decade mainly because it is easy to use, and anyone can access and manage the site using its templated themes. While this is brilliant, for those that are not that tech-savvy, it is also one of WordPress’ biggest limitations.
If you are looking to really cement a unique brand identity for your brand, then you’ll want your website to capture who you are as a company. This will mean using custom fonts and imagery to help you stand out and truly represent your brand, instead of being restricted to using set themes. While WordPress is simple to use, if you decide you want to start customising your website, you might find that you need to buy an endless amount of plugins to do so. This can be costly, depending on the number of plugins you decide to buy and use.
Whereas, Sitecore boasts a lot more functionality and customisability while remaining easy to use. When you have a Sitecore license, users receive training to ensure that they can get the most of it, using all applicable features. In the Sitecore vs WordPress battle, Sitecore wins for businesses looking to grow and become unique while establishing within their own brand identity.
Integration with other tools
While integrating WordPress with other systems is possible, it will likely require some development support which you may or may not have at hand. And unfortunately, using user information from external systems is beyond WordPress core functionality. Meaning you are unlikely to be able to use insights to inform your marketing activity. This can really limit the learnings you will gain from your site/
On the other hand, the integration features of Sitecore are really comprehensive. With Sitecore, you can integrate many popular third-party platforms straight away. Sitecore enables marketers to personalise digital messaging to audiences based on information taken from third-party systems. Integration is the key to part of Sitecore’s offering. And using it unlocks its true potential to offer your users a unique and tailor-made experience.
Sitecore is well equipped for marketers and business owners alike. Its marketing tools are far superior to WordPress’ which relies heavily on third-party plug-ins the majority of the time. Sitecore offers the option to use personalisation on your site, which in turn can help improve user experience as well as overall conversion rates.
This sets Sitecore way ahead of WordPress and highlights that WordPress was developed for blogging predominately, with functionality being minimum most of the time. The newest version of Sitecore 9 sees the software adding some brilliant new functionalities that will help users create seamless customer journeys. This will ensure that your users stay on site for a longer period of time, and if often the deciding factor or whether users buy a product or service or not.
An important part of marketing is testing. It’s crucial to test what’s work and what’s not, in order for educated changes to be made to improve future activity.
So, what do Sitecore and WordPress have to offer? As we mentioned above, WordPress at its core is really a content hosting platform that can add plugins to extend its capabilities and functions. This is the same for testing. While WordPress doesn’t allow users to natively test the performance of the content, there are plugins available which will allow for testing.
Whereas, Sitecore doesn’t require any additional budget nor plugins. The testing functions are built into the platform from the start. Marketers can use A/B or multivariate testing with ease in Sitecore without needing to pull in any extra help from third parties tools or applications. This ensures that their users' experience is easy and streamlined with everything they need being in one place.
A key selling point for WordPress is that it can be managed in-house. That’s brilliant. Until you decide to scale up the website, in which you’ll need a developer to assist the project.
And due to the platform’s reliance on third-party plugins produced by hundreds of unknown vendors, there’s a lot of different technologies that need to be kept up to date. If they’re not all closely monitored, then there’s a serious risk of hacking, which is something to bear in mind.
However, Sitecore offers a variety of scalability options, while its architecture allows websites to cope with sudden changes in traffic volumes and perform better by adapting the environment. Whether organisations require scaling capabilities for multi-territory or multilingual websites, Sitecore’s got the architecture and power on its side. Sitecore is also extremely robust when it comes to security, with most features being integrated within Sitecore itself, making it less vulnerable to attacks when compared to WordPress.
So, we’ve already covered the differences between Sitecore and WordPress, in terms of what they offer and how they work, but cost and support are important to cover too.
The first main difference is licenses. WordPress doesn’t require a license and is free - until you begin adding plugins to expand the functionality and capabilities of the platform. In a nutshell, WordPress offers no fee, no license, but also no support. However, if you have the time and resources, there are plenty of video tutorials and self-help forums online which you can immerse yourself in.
Sitecore comes with a license and a price that’s based on the scope of the project. If you needed 30 websites for different regions, then this would be one Sitecore project vs 30 WordPress sites. Customers will also have on-going support from Sitecore allowing them to reach their true potential with the help from their specialist team.
Choosing a CMS isn't a simple decision. You have to consider how easy it is to use, its flexibility, marketing support, security and the associated cost factors.
If you're choosing between Sitecore and WordPress, there are a few important distinctions that can help you make a decision. Generally, Sitecore is an enterprise-level platform typically used by mid-sized to large enterprises. Especially if your website is central to your businesses offering, and you’re embarking on a long-term digital transformation project, security is a priority and so Sitecore would be most suitable. In addition to this, if you’re receiving a high volume of traffic through your site then Sitecore is again your champion for its huge security benefits and its scalability options.
However, if you're a small business, freelancer or non-profit, WordPress may be more suitable depending on your overall objectives and growth trajectory. Especially if your website receives low levels of traffic, and you’re keen to deploy a simple website quickly and you’re not bothered by risk then WordPress is best suited for your business.
We hope you now have a better understanding of what CMS’s can offer and have a better idea of which one is right for you and your business.
Contact us today to find out how your organisation would benefit from harnessing the power of Sitecore. Don’t forget to follow us on socials too for regular industry updates and insightful information - you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.