Even though many open-source, productive CMSs are out there, there are two platforms that stand out brilliantly among the herd and can be compared directly: Craft vs WordPress. In fact, the subject “WordPress vs. Craft” has been the center of various online arguments and debates for some time now. Both content management systems are widely-used and well-liked for their extensive customization opportunities, online virtual active communities, and their quality of being easily accessible. Not to mention, Craft CMS is known as the best WordPress alternative and has won several awards like best CMS for developers and best CMS for small to midsize businesses.
While both Craft and WordPress are employed to design advanced, cutting-edge websites, they come with their respective positives and negatives. To help you understand which platform is right for your web design or development project, we are going to dig deeper into each CMS and provide you with a better idea of their pros and cons.
Ease-of-Use and Themes
Any web developer working in the web industry must have built sites with the most renowned CMS “WordPress.” Initially started out as a blog-focused platform, this dynamic system has evolved over the past 14 years, and now offers a vast, impressive ecosystem of plugins and themes, in both paid and free forms. Its usability feature makes it easier for both professional developers and non-tech-savvy users to install WordPress on a web server and configure pre-built themes, extensions, and plugins effortlessly. If your aim is to create a blog or small site with standard features and static content, it takes only a few hours to set up and run something that is not just good looking but also reliable and functional.
In a nutshell, WordPress CMS proposes a more beginner-friendly, user-friendly, and uber-easy approach to get started your business journey with it.
Craft CMS lacks pre-packed template or theme support, which means almost everything needs to be built from the ground up. The theme-less nature of Craft platform especially suggests that many of less technical-minded consumers will have a hard time writing their themes and installing them as well. And if you want a functional, responsive site, it’s critical to code everything with utmost care since Craft is like a blank canvas, and a small error in coding can break your site entirely, so watch out!
Design and Code
Throughout the years, WordPress, due to its open-source nature, has become an entangled, messed mesh of open-source code and cheap design. Since the marketplace of WordPress is significantly massive than other relative platforms, the amount of JUNK formed with this CMS has also increased exponentially. That means it has amounted to the sheer amount of TRASH like junk themes/plugins, cloned and hacked sites, and garbagy apps.
Since Craft website development ecosystem doesn’t have theme-based nature like WordPress, it drives developers to bring their best work and “A” game to the table. Enabling them to hand-code custom templates means no poor-quality products, minimal junk plugins, easier-to-manage content, and better performance. For each different, unique template, you create a clone-free, fast loading website with improved functionality and user experience, entirely catered to your business and individual needs. Therefore, no integral templates and extensions can be considered as an advantage.
Learning Curve and Technical Knowledge
As for the learning curve, it’s said that anyone with little coding knowledge or no technical background can easily install a template and call themselves a WordPress Developer. However, choosing a theme and installing it doesn’t necessarily mean all of the developers are competent. Programmers need to make lots of modifications in the theme to craft a full-fledged website. And if they remove some critical feature, it can make their entire theme and design collapse during versioning and launching the next update.
Compared to WordPress, developers and web development companies building sites with Craft are, by necessity, technically proficient and experts at what they do. Since everything in Craft is designed by hand from the very first step, there’s no need to tweak or retool the code unnecessarily, which improves the quality and productivity of each theme drastically. Additionally, when using Craft CMS, you aren’t obliged to stick to Joomla content structure or WP loop as to perform some basic functionality, like other platforms. Considering this, rather than investing your time and efforts in tweaking lines of HTML code and removing unnecessary features, crafting your website from scratch is indeed a better option.
As said by Thomas Reid, “an organization is only as strong or powerful as its weakest person.” And when it comes to online security, any extensible software or system is bound to have certain security issues. And its overall security is only as strong or sturdy as its weakest links. So, the most critical question is which CMS is safer and offers the maximum protection against cyber-attacks?
While there’s no second thought about WordPress being the most popular CMS and blogging platform, it’s also accounted for 83 percent of the hacked website, as for 2019. WordPress, due to the large, active user-base, has become a frequent, vulnerable target for hackers to access your data and essentially damage your brand name. Also, its third-party integrations, plugins, or themes capability offers an effective entry point for clunky, copied code and persistent security breaches, not doing its users any favors. To make things worse, a number of WordPress websites are consisting of outdated software and plugins without proper safety standards. That empowers attackers to gain unrestricted access to your website, business, and even financial data.
For instance, someone can execute a piece of malware and contaminate your entire site with it. As for today, WordPress has taken strict actions to apply appropriate security updates and improve maintenance, but most updates and releases are basically just Band-Aids, not a complete solution. Not to mention, third-party plugins are still a complete nightmare.
Looking at Craft CMS, it’s not wrong to say that this platform effectively bears as well as sustains the burden for keeping your website safe and sound. The public CVE (security vulnerabilities & exposures) database displays 1412 exploits for WordPress. To compare, Craft has encountered only 8 minor exploits. Unlike Drupal and WordPress, Craft doesn’t use any third-party plugins and templates, which makes it much less susceptible and exposed to any potential and dangerous security vulnerabilities. The Craft CMS follows the Monitor-View-Controller design paradigm to write clean code and fight slow loading speed issues.
WordPress vs. Craft: Which is Winner?
Before deciding on any CMS, it’s significant to understand that both WordPress and Craft platforms have their respective sets of benefits and neither is superior or inferior in 100 percent of all the web development situations. Apart from the above-mentioned points, there are some additional key factors like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), online community, and price that you should take into consideration when making your final choice.
1. Online Community: Craft has a small but the highest-quality growing user-base and an active online community. The online developer community for WordPress platform is huge.
2. SEO: WordPress uses SEO plugins like Yoast to help you manage all your site’s content whereas Craft offers a rapidly growing collection of plugins such as SEOmatic to design around the content, build your store, and manage your entire site.
3. Price: Craft isn’t free to use. WordPress is free and also offers an extensive collection of free themes.
Businesses using WordPress for a long time might think that Craft has a few drawbacks, however, none of the content management systems can compare with the flexibility and freedom that Craft delivers. In point of fact, these shortcomings actually give Craft platform a better competitive edge over other comparative CMSs.
While WordPress usually disconnects users from their front-end and advanced extensive features, Craft enables you to easily customize and compose your front-end to be it more lightweight, expressive, and constructive. Its simple and user-friendly interface allows to set up the exact entry types within different sections and create specific custom fields you require for each element. In addition, Craft employs the powerful, blazing fast templating engine ‘Twig’ to parse your templates without having to figure out View Data being correctly set in the includes or partials, thereby skyrocketing your reusability, workflow, and productivity significantly.
In a nutshell, the decision of choosing between Craft and WordPress technically comes down to your individual as well as business requirements, budget, and other factors. However, one thing that you need to remember is that Craft platform certainly is not for everyone.
If you are one of those alleged ‘WordPress Developers’ who just tweak and slap things together with the anticipation of full-fledged product, you possibly won’t consider Craft a great fit initially. However, after successfully learning to swim in Craft and working out around this CMS, you couldn’t help but notice the outstanding benefits immediately.
If you are looking for a reputable web design company to make a change or need more information on how Craft could be a better solution, drop us a line.