Craft CMS – WordPress Alternative for Businesses

May 26, 2020 Business Comments

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Business, Web Design, Web Development,

A content management system (CMS) is designed to empower content publishers and marketing professionals by enabling them to manage their web content via an intuitive interface. With a CMS, you need minimal HTML or CSS knowledge. There are numerous CMS options currently available, but the two leading ones are WordPress and Craft CMS.

The majority of the websites on the internet use WordPress as their content management system, since WordPress powers up approximately 33% of the entire internet.

The reason for that is because it was among the first CMS available to users. Craft CMS, on the other hand, is a decent WordPress alternative. It has sparked a serious debate, with many people regarding it as the best there is in current times. Both platforms require moderate knowledge of programming which utilize the web stack. These two content management systems are some of the best in the industry. WordPress out of the box, is one of the best content management systems out there for creating a blog. There is no needs to download plugins to create a blog on WordPress, WordPress can handle blogging straight out of the box. You can also create a blog with Craft CMS, as it is one of the most flexible content management systems out there.

Comparison of Features Between WordPress and Craft CMS

The User Interface Behind Craft CMS

The user interface offered by Craft CMS is intuitive and user-friendly. The appearance is a lot more aesthetically impressive and modern compared to that of WordPress. Even someone new to it can easily edit content and do it fast. You can create a fully custom-built site with both WordPress and Craft CMS . Craft CMS, however, makes the entire process a lot easier by making use of matrix fields. Using the matrix fields, you can create multiple content blocks using a single field.

Craft CMS Has Generally Faster Load Speeds than WordPress

The WordPress software offers relatively d load speeds. That is despite it having a lot of code overhead and with no regular significant updates which are designed to improve speeds. It mainly relies on some light enhancements and heavy security patches to keep it in play. Craft CMS, on the other hand, combats slow speeds by using the Model-View-Controller design pattern. The design pattern for code is impressively intelligent and speeds up everything.

Live Previews that Let You See What You're Editing in Real-Time and Content Modules

With WordPress, you might end up with numerous tabs on your browser. In such a case, it will be difficult to differentiate which the preview tabs are against those with the original edits. Craft CMS solves the issue with an incredible Live Preview tool. The tool works by splitting the screen into two different views. On the left, you will have the CMS panel, and on the right, you will have the preview.

Superior SEO for Craft CMS with SEOmatic

SEO is an important factor to consider when trying to establish a blog. Craft offers superior SEO compared to WordPress. The SEOmatic plugin is similar to the SEO Yoast plugin from WordPress. However, SEOmatic is a powerful plugin that handles a wide variety of technical SEO, including JSON-LD schema markup, which gives your website more information for Google to understand.

Plugins in both Content Management Systems

WordPress has a wide plethora of plugins available, meaning you can probably find the exact plugin you are looking for. Some plugins are kept up to date some are out of date and are not being maintained. Craft CMS has fewer plugins than WordPress, however, most of them are of higher quality which are maintained by the developers, typically at a cost. In some cases, custom development will need to be implemented to integrate Craft CMS into other software.

Page Builders in WordPress that Allow for Easy Website Creation

These page builders allow a web designer to edit the content on a WordPress page and start adding to it and changing it using drag and drop methods.

The best and most popular website builders for WordPress include Divi, Elementor, and our personal favorite, Beaver Builder.

These methods of building pages make WordPress an easier tool than Craft CMS since you can edit the website's content without necessarily having to code anything in HTML and CSS. You will see ads on YouTube talking about this all the time, coming from the famous Elementor Page Builder. We personally like Beaver Builder because it is considered one of the best WordPress page builders for developers because it writes semantically well written code, unlike other page builders such as Visual Composer just to name one we personally would not recommend.

E-Commerce with WooCommerce

In the previous section we talked about page builders. Where these page builders come in really handy, is when working with WooCommerce in WordPress. WooCommerce is a plugin in WordPress that gives a first-party extension to turn WordPress into an E-Commerce online store. WooCommerce has a set of files that are pre-configured and assorted in a way where they need to be customized to suit the brand of the website. While WoCommerce makes it a bit difficult to edit WooCommerce files directly and keep them constantly updated if working with a completely custom design. With the assistance of page builders such as Beaver Builder and Elementor, customizing WooCommerce becomes a lot easier.

The beauty of using these page builders to customize WooCommerce is that the page builder plugin will stay up to date with the custom WooCommerce changes.

So this means you don't have to update the WooCommerce files yourself, you can rely on the plugin to stay up to date with WooCommerce for you. As long as you're using a popular and established plugin such as Beaver Builder, Elementor, or Divi, you should be fine. One of the best WordPress themes on the market today that intagrates well with Beaver Builder and Elementor, is the Astra theme for WordPress. Purchasing the Astra theme with Beaver builder for WordPress is a good investment when building custom WooCommerce sites with page builders.

E-Commerce with Craft Commerce and Snipcart

Craft CMS offers e-commerce as well. The difference is that it is a lot easier to create completely besboke fully custom e-commerce solutions with Craft CMS. Craft CMS offers more expensive e-commerce solutions and the price tag is higher than WooCommrce plugins. With that said, if you're on a budget with Craft CMS, you can always use Snipcart that can integrate with Craft CMS and save some money that way. You ill still get a fully custom designed e-commerce experience, with a lighter price tag.

In general unless the client has the budget for Craft Commerce, for E-Commerce with Craft CMS we tend to recommend Snipcart instead.

Software Architecture Behind Craft and WordPress

Craft CMS is a very good piece of software that handles content management very well. Pixel and Tonic created Craft CMS 3 with the Yii 2 php framework which uses the model view controller architecture. This makes the content management system load content quickly into the browser. Developers will use the web stack, html5, css3, and JavaScript, to create and develop websites with the platform. Craft CMS is one of the best content management systems out there that was very intelligently designed. WordPress on the other hand, handles everything as a post, which can be pretty frustrating sometimes. However the big advantage with WordPress is that it's open source and free to set up. Craft is also initially free if you use the solo package.

The main difference behind how Craft implements content as opposed to WordPress, is that it uses a very flexible software architecture. WordPress uses the template hierarchy which forces you to implement content in the "WordPress Way" of doing things. While Craft CMS uses a very flexible style of creating the information architecture.

Craft doesn't limit you in any way as to how you implement the website's content. You can structure it any way you would like.

Content planning with Craft CMS is very flexible and powerful as Craft CMS uses custom fields for every piece of content. While WordPress uses a single content block that is then divided up with the Gutenberg block editing system. With WordPress you are also forced to adapt to the WordPress template hierarchy which forces you to structure your content in a specific way. Craft CMS is different and doesn't limit you in that way.

Security Behind Both CMS Platforms

A note about WordPress security: WordPress, being the most widely used platform, does have good security, however, it is also the most targeted by hackers. Each of WordPress themes, integration, and plugin is a vulnerable entry point that a hacker can use to access data. With Craft CMS, you will enjoy annual security updates that ensure your site remains safe and secure at all times.

Due to the incredible popularity of WordPress, it is a frequent target for hackers and malicious scripts. Since Craft is less known than WordPress, it is a more secure platform than WordPress.

The updates come at a cost, but they are usually worth it for any business looking to protect their data. Craft CMS also does have many plugins, but not anywhere near as many as those of WordPress. Most of the integrations are charged, while the rest are built in-house to guarantee security.

Shared Hosting vs Using a Virtual Private Server

Hosting with Craft CMS is more expensive than WordPress and requires a more modern hosting platform that can accommodate the software's requirements. These services usually require the use of a virtual private server. Craft requires PHP version 7.4 and is typically hosted on a virtual private server that costs a bit more, such as Digital Ocean with Laravel Forge. WordPress can use most traditional shared hosting providers that run PHP 7.2 at the bare minimum.

Cost Between Both WordPress and Craft CMS

Since WordPress is open-source, the platform does have lower initial costs compared to Craft CMS. Most plugins on WordPress can be installed for free. Generally the initial startup costs with WordPress are much lower. However, when you consider the long-term, Craft CMS will be a lot more cost-effective for any growing business. Your business will easily scale when using Craft CMS for your website. You will also not have to spend too much money and time when it comes to customization. With Craft CMS most plugins do cost some money, though the advantage of Craft CMS is that it scales much easier than WordPress, and it is generally easier to rank a website with Craft CMS.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Craft CMS and WordPress are in my personal opinion, two of the best content management systems on the market. Both offer the ability to use custom fields to develop flexible website content. Craft uses fields built into the software, and WordPress uses both Gutenberg, page builders, and the advanced custom fields plugin to manage snippets of content. Craft CMS is more flexible and easier to manage than WordPress. This includes superior search engine optimization and dependable customer support. All that is in addition to being a fresh breath of air for most content creators and marketers to use. With that said, Craft CMS does require real technical knowledge to set up and use, while WordPress will be easier to set up for non-technical folks. WordPress allows for easier addition of functionality since its so popular, while Craft gives an overall easier ability to manage the entire website's content.

Craft CMS does require real technical knowledge to set up and use, while WordPress will be easier to set up for non-technical folks.

So to conclude: If your website requires more functionality from existing plugins and the client doesn't have the budget to build out this functionality from scratch, go with WordPress. If however, the client wants to focus on overall content control, and marketing of the entire website as a whole with superb SEO capability, go with Craft CMS.