Umbraco vs WordPress

If you’ve ever considered re-platforming your website, you’ll know the endless discussion around which content management system (CMS) to go for. This blog will put to bed the endless discussion on which CMS is better: Umbraco or WordPress

These two are often pitted against each other. They’re both popular, easy to use and open source. But which one is the champion? This blog will discuss just that.

What is WordPress?

WordPress appeared way back in 2003 as an open-source blogging platform. As its popularity grew, it morphed into a content management system, with WordPress catering by supporting a huge array of plugins. It is written in PhP. 

What is Umbraco?

Umbraco was released a year after WordPress, but the key difference is that its function was always to be a CMS. Umbraco provides users with all the freedom and functionality they’d expect from a proprietary CMS but without the hefty licensing fees. It is written in Microsoft .NET.

WordPress: the pros and cons

If you want to get your new website live without getting involved in any 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.

Pros:

  • It’s straightforward to use. Its origins as a blogging platform make it easy to navigate and manage content without much website management experience. The pre-designed templates mean you can have a professional-looking website ready within a day. 

  • It's also incredibly customisable and easy to add new functionality by simply searching for whatever plugin you need on its vast plugin library. With 58,000 free plugins and thousands of premium plugins, chances are you will find what you are looking for!
  • It’s SEO-friendly. Being one of the most popular platforms in the world, it’s well-trusted by Google. There are also many plugins available to boost your site’s SEO performance.

Cons:

  • Security is an issue. It's the most hacked CMS globally because of its immense popularity.

  •  As WordPress wasn’t built as a CMS, many plug-ins have been created to fill in the gaps. And while its vast library of plugins means you can create any website you want, it's also the reason why there are so many security breaches and attacks.

  • It’s not the fastest. Some themes contain lots of unnecessary coding, which can slow your site down. WordPress sites are usually especially slow. 

  • Updates can cause problems. Keeping up to date with the latest  WordPress version is important for your site’s health. Sometimes, your site's plugins or layout are incompatible with the latest upgrade, meaning you’ll have to revert to the old version of WordPress. This can cause issues for security and speed. 

Umbraco: the pros and cons

Umbraco is trusted by the biggest brands: Barclays, Warner Bros, Reebok, Heineken, Carlsberg and even Microsoft. With names like these, we realised it's quality over quantity.

Pros:

  • Umbraco’s core is open-source and free, with no licensing fees, which can be a cost-effective solution for many businesses, especially when considering the customizability and features it offers.

  • Umbraco tends to have a reputation for handling large-scale, high-traffic websites more efficiently. It's often chosen for enterprise-level applications due to its robust performance and scalability.
  • It’s open-source. This means that developers all over the world are constantly working to improve this already great platform. While WordPress has a larger community, Umbraco’s community is known for being highly professional, supportive, and geared towards developers. Umbraco also offers official support, which can be a significant business advantage.

  • It’s very flexible. Unlike WordPress, which restricts what you can do with your website, Umbraco can be customised to meet your specific needs. Whatever you want your website to do, Umbraco can be manipulated to do it. It's particularly well-suited for complex websites requiring custom workflows, data types, or integrations.

  • It’s secure. Umbraco is built on Microsoft’s .NET, and uses a security firm to run penetration tests every 6 months, so there are no worries about the security of your site. This makes it a preferred choice for businesses already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. It seamlessly integrates with other .NET-based systems and applications, offering robustness and security.

Cons:

  • It’s a developers’ platform, which means it can take a little longer to get used to how it works. It’s still very user-friendly, but it’s slightly more technical than WordPress. 

  • There are no plugins. All expansion of the Umbraco platform has to be done through coding. 

So which option is best? 

Honestly, this depends on the role of your website. If your website is simply a brochure website, with limited visitors, then WordPress will work for you.

But if you want anything robust and reliable, you’ve got to go with Umbraco. WordPress is not famed for its security or functionality, so any professional company looking to engage visitors through its website should look to build its website on the Umbraco platform. 

Want to learn more about Umbraco?

At ClerksWell, we know how to get the best out of Umbraco functionality. As an Umbraco Gold Partner and Gold Contributing Partner, our team can walk you through the entire re-platforming process. So if you fancy a change of CMS or just need an Umbraco health check, please get in touch here.

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