Sitecore vs WordPress: Which CMS Platform Is Right For You?
Enterprises often have unique expectations of their CMS. When purchasing a new CMS, making the wrong choice can have a devastating effect. Sitecore and WordPress represent two of the most popular CMS platforms on the market.
In this article, we compare their performances across various features so it’s easier to decide which CMS is best for you.
The Qualities of an Ideal Enterprise CMS Solution
Here are the qualities you need in an enterprise-grade CMS:
- Ease of Use: Every enterprise wants a simple, intuitive CMS with an interface that isn’t overwhelming or confusing. For this reason, the CMS has to provide native features such as drag and drop, WYSIWYG, content workflows, and templates.
- Flexibility: An ideal CMS should provide the flexibility required to accomplish a number of business-related tasks beyond managing content. This can include additional marketing solutions such as email marketing, personalization, A/B testing, and campaign management. You have to be flexible in order to meet the needs of your customers.
- Scalability: As with many businesses, there is a desire to grow beyond the initial user base and draw in customers from other regions across the globe. The CMS should be able to tailor content, languages, and even domains to specific sets of customers. It should include features for managing spikes in traffic, launching in different regions, localization/multi-language, and CDNs.
- Native marketing tools: For your CMS to be an effective marketing tool in today’s multifaceted digital environment, it must offer advanced functionalities beyond just the CMS. It should incorporate features for commerce, personalization, analytics, asset management, email automation, and more.
- Maximum security: Having a CMS with poor security can jeopardize customer relationships, resulting in revenue loss and reputation damage.
- Training, documentation, and support: There’s no technology solution that doesn’t come with its own issues, however, it’s good if you know you can quickly resolve the problem as soon as possible. The best CMS should offer hands-on support and training to help you through any problems you may encounter.
Sitecore vs WordPress: A Comparison
WordPress and Sitecore are both popular digital platforms, but which is better for your business if you’re looking for a CMS? Differentiating between both platforms makes it easy to pinpoint which features are most suitable for your business.
Sitecore is an enterprise-grade CMS that’s been tried and tested by organizations looking for high levels of security and functionality out of the box. It is specifically designed to help enterprises meet their individual needs without limiting them to generic branding themes and templates.
On the other hand, WordPress is the most popular CMS platform in the world, and has attracted many users due to its broad set of plugins and features that help to extend its functionality. However, its plugin ecosystem is sometimes less secure and bloated as you attempt to add extra functions, leading to poorer site performance over time.
Read more: Is WordPress Good For Enterprise?
Ease Of Use
Sitecore and WordPress provide enterprises with the basic features required for content management. Users can leverage their content creation, editing, preview, and deployment capabilities. While both platforms boast a robust content editor, versioning, and WYSIWYG feature, it can be difficult and time-consuming to populate content on all areas of WordPress.
In its normal form, WordPress is a basic content management system that can be extended via third-party plugins. You’ll need plugins for eCommerce, SEO, personalization, analytics, email automation, and more. In contrast, enterprises using Sitecore can leverage many out-of-box solutions and also have the opportunity to extend the platform’s functionalities through add-ons.. Additionally, it allows for content reuse and multi-site deployment to help reduce costs and save time.
However, Sitecore is a powerful and complex solution that isn’t easy to manage without having the required expertise or partner. As one G2 reviewer puts it, “You absolutely can’t implement this yourself. You’ll need a partner. It’s also got an extremely steep learning curve”.
Verdict:WordPress is an easier-to-use platform for technical and non-technical users to get started with its generic themes, templates, and functionalities. Sitecore is specifically geared towards large enterprises with custom needs.
Flexibility and Customization
Enterprises need a platform that enables them to tailor products to address their needs. On top of that, they need a solution that provides complete control over the CMS. In Sitecore, enterprises can leverage advanced functionalities and features that allow them to create different access and permission levels.
Having this level of control ensures managers can audit, trace, review and approve content changes before publishing. Beyond its CMS capabilities, Sitecore is investing heavily and continually embracing composability and MACH architecture by acquiring and integrating several API-first solutions such as Boxever, Moosend, and Four51. This leads to greater flexibility and extensibility with best-of-breed solutions.
By comparison, WordPress is a monolithic CMS that provides themes and templates for users to manage the platform. However, it can be a struggle for enterprises to customize them to meet their brand requirements. Companies without technical resources run the risk of being restricted by the themes. This pushes you to explore third-party plugins, which, if not managed properly, end up cluttering or slowing down your site.
Furthermore, WordPress can also be difficult to scale. A G2 reviewer has this to say about its scalability, “Although the advantages over this software are good, I have to emphasize that its potential is primarily limited by its nature. It can create many things, but it is challenging to scale for large businesses.”
Verdict:Sitecore is a good choice if you are looking for a custom solution and have the technical capacity and team to build and manage it. Meanwhile, WordPress works best for simple solutions that do not require significant technical expertise.
Sitecore is an enterprise solution with a competitive annual license fee while WordPress is a free open source solution, but that’s not the full story. To customize and extend the functionality of WordPress, you need plugins and extensions which are licensed separately by their authors. You may also need to pay for themes and templates as well as additional costs for hosting. Moreover, if you truly want to customize WordPress to suit your enterprise needs, you’ll have to hire expert developers familiar with the platform.
Investing in Sitecore provides you with options to leverage many of its features and solutions. They include eCommerce, email marketing, digital asset management, customer data platform, personalization, and more. While the platform is highly customizable, some of the add-on modules carry a fee, and enterprises may need to invest a considerable sum to customize it during and after implementation. It’s crucial to note that you will need to budget for agency costs to help with the implementation and maintenance of Sitecore.
Verdict: WordPress is a great solution for businesses on a budget, without the resources to invest in a custom-designed website. For businesses with unique requirements and the budget to execute them, Sitecore is a better choice.
For most enterprises, security is a crucial, non-negotiable attribute of a strong platform. Sitecore is a proprietary platform built on the .NET core, making it safer and more secure than open-source solutions like WordPress. Moreover, it is an all-in-one platform with features that have been vetted and approved by expert developers. Because of this, it is a highly secure platform compared to WordPress.
WordPress’s open-source nature and its reliance on plugins make it particularly vulnerable to hacking and security breaches. It comes as no surprise that 90% of all hacked CMS fixed by Sucuri in 2018 were WordPress sites.
Verdict: Sitecore is the platform of choice if data security and privacy are important to your company.
Relying solely on a CMS is not enough; you need a digital experience platform (DXP). Sitecore is a DXP with features for content management, commerce, SEO, data management, personalization, site optimization, and marketing automation.
Choosing Sitecore as your CMS enables you to take advantage of many of these solutions right out of the box albeit with greater complexity. Moreover, it continues to push the boundaries of its platform by integrating API-first, modular solutions that enterprises can leverage independently and integrate with third-party solutions.
With WordPress, you can integrate several third-party plugins to serve specific marketing solutions. Examples include leveraging Yoast for SEO, WooCommerce for eCommerce, Jetpack, contact forms, and Google Analytics for WordPress. Having too many of these plugins without the necessary technical expertise to manage them can lead to security breaches, lagging, and downtime.
Verdict: Sitecore is a more sophisticated solution than WordPress for your digital experience and marketing capabilities. It contains a suite of solutions to cater to all marketing needs without losing the performance or integrity of your site.
Training and Certifications
Sitecore provides many free resources such as documentation, blogs, and videos. What’s more, developers, marketers, and designers can explore its paid training programs and receive certifications. Without this knowledge and education, it will be almost impossible to get the most out of Sitecore. Learn more about the most effective Sitecore training.
WordPress users can access free resources and content across blogs, videos, and forums created by other users. However, official certification courses are not available.
Verdict:Your choice in this instance may vary depending on your need for certifications or not.
Sitecore is a robust platform with many powerful features that are difficult to manage without platform-specific knowledge. In that case, you’ll need certified Sitecore partners to help you get the most out of your investment—and they don’t come cheap. Leveraging a partner ensures you select the best solutions for particular business needs.
Conversely, WordPress doesn’t require a partner for basic platform usage and setup. WordPress is easy to use and fast to develop, requiring minimal technical expertise to get things up and running. This makes it the best solution for businesses that have little to no complex requirements for their websites. However, for you to customize the platform to deliver an enterprise-grade digital experience, you’ll need to hire expert developers or agencies.
Verdict: While you require an external partner agency to help you get the most out of Sitecore, WordPress is the best option if you’re running a tight budget and have minimal custom needs.
Sitecore vs WordPress: Making the Right CMS Decision
One recurring theme when comparing Sitecore and WordPress is their target audience. WordPress is an ideal platform to easily and quickly set up sites with little to no technical expertise or budgetary requirements. However, this can present limitations down the line, especially when you have custom requirements.
Sitecore is a powerful enterprise platform for high-traffic, customer-centric enterprises. It contains many secure and reliable solutions to build the best digital experience platform. Having a Sitecore partner can help you make the most out of your investment by selecting the right Sitecore solutions to address your problems.
Oshyn is a certified Sitecore partner with several successful projects and implementations under its belt across multiple industries and regions across the globe. It comes with a team of over 25 certified Sitecore developers, designers, trainers, and analysts that have worked with many brands including Volkswagen, Brandman University, Dole, 72andSunny, and many more.
Reach out to Oshyn for more information on how to implement Sitecore.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sitecore similar to WordPress?
While both have content management at their core, WordPress is open source, while Sitecore is a proprietary platform geared towards high-traffic, customer centric brands with unique demands.
What is the difference between Sitecore and WordPress?
While WordPress is a traditional CMS for users of all budgets—technical and non-technical, Sitecore is an enterprise CMS that’s built to address specific business demands. On top of that, it is leading the charge towards embracing MACH architecture and composability in a way that WordPress cannot.
What is Sitecore used for?
Sitecore is an all-in-one suite of solutions that can be used to build your digital experience platform using solutions that include a CMS, analytics, commerce, personalization, DAM, CDP, and more.
Why is Sitecore popular?
Sitecore stands out from other CMS platforms thanks to its focus on delivering business value and addressing specific enterprise needs. It comes with a robust arsenal of features to deliver top-of-the-line marketing capabilities and digital experiences.
What companies are Sitecore and WordPress best suited for?
Sitecore is suitable for large enterprises with brand-specific needs and the budget to invest in building the best digital experiences for their sites. While WordPress can serve many purposes, it’s best suited for companies with limited technical requirements or custom needs.
What platforms or technology is Sitecore and Wordpress based on?
Sitecore is an enterprise-grade platform built on ASP.NET. On the other hand, WordPress is built on MySQL and PHP.
Why is Sitecore better than WordPress for enterprises?
Sitecore offers better flexibility, customization, and scalability over WordPress for large enterprises to deliver the best digital experiences.