Sitecore vs. WordPress: Which CMS is Best for Your Business?

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Maddy Osman
Maddy Osman


Are you looking for a content management system (CMS) to power the backend of your business’s website? In this article, we cover two of the most popular CMS platforms: Sitecore vs WordPress, to help you decide which is right for you and your business.

woman choosing between sitecore vs wordpress to start her own website

If you're in the market for a CMS, you might wonder which option suits your needs. When considering Sitecore versus WordPress (or other CMS alternatives), it’s important to know how they compare and what you should look for to determine the right fit for your business.

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The 4 Qualities of Great CMS Solutions

To add value to your business operations, your CMS should have the following qualities:

  • Ease of Use: Your CMS must be simple to understand and use. Its interface should be uncomplicated. If it's easy to use, you'll work faster, save time, and increase productivity.
  • Flexibility: A CMS can handle multifaceted aspects of business administration — not just your business website content storage needs. Top CMS solutions have plenty of flexibility in terms of function and customization. Ultimately, you want a tool that allows for collaboration and design freedom.
  • Marketing Tools: 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.
  • Security: With many businesses relying on online utilities, preventing hacking is more important than ever (ask any of these companies).  Hackers look for vulnerabilities in the system, and access to any critical tool, if exposed, could be used to take down the business. You don't want to use a CMS that will leave your business vulnerable to an attack.

Sitecore vs. WordPress: CMS Showdown

  1. Ease of Use
  2. Flexibility
  3. Marketing Tools & SEO
  4. Security

When choosing a CMS, it's important to consider what your business needs. The features offered should directly relate to your goals. If they don’t, keep looking — there are many solutions on the market built to address even the most niche needs.

Sitecore and WordPress are two of the most robust CMS tools on the web. However, they are fundamentally different.

First, WordPress is significantly more popular than Sitecore. It's used for more websites, under all categories, across the globe.

wordpress usage over the last 20 years

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Second, Sitecore involves a managed platform, while WordPress is built on open-source software that can be used on your choice of platforms. In essence, you need a paid license to use Sitecore, while WordPress is free to use (plus any costs associated with the platform where you host WordPress).

Despite these disparities, the platforms can be compared across the four principal CMS qualities. Let's use these qualities to determine which option is right for you.

1. Sitecore vs. WordPress Ease of Use

Two major factors affect how easy it is to use a CMS: the core software functionality and the content editor. In other words, we’re looking at how easy it is to manage and create content on the respective platform.

Sitecore is an enterprise-level platform that powers over 130,000 businesses in many industries, including sports, banking, and travel. It's a robust, standalone, commercial software.

WordPress powers 35% of the internet. It is a more basic CMS platform that uses plugins to extend its core functionality. While you don't pay for the platform itself, the theme designs and plugins will usually come at a cost.

Sitecore makes it easy to update your site content using features such as content reusing. In WordPress, populating various site locations with content requires manual action that can be time-consuming.

Versioning, also called revisions in WordPress, lets you create a version of your website and preview your updates before publishing. Both platforms offer similar value in this area.

Both platforms provide robust content editors with WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) capabilities. This is an important feature for modern CMS tools because it allows users to create content without the need for coding skills and preview pages. Here's a look at WordPress's WYSIWYG editor.

WordPress WYSIWYG editor open to default "Hello world!" post

Now here’s a look at Sitecore’s

sitecore content editor optionsImage Source

2. Sitecore vs. WordPress Flexibility

When we say flexibility, we mean the level of control the CMS gives you in terms of both administration and customization features. The former makes it easy for users to access and work on your site, and the latter is concerned with design freedom.

Both platforms have great workflow functionality. Sitecore is more advanced and intuitive. Sitecore creates a hierarchy of users and permissions, allowing members to make changes and managers to review and approve content before publishing. Site changes can be traced back to the user who made them.

For out-of-the-box solutions, Sitecore offers the Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA). The feature allows teams to work simultaneously by reusing templates, layouts, and components across many sites. This speeds up production because everyone can get started on the project once a basic user experience (UX) plan has been set up. Here's a look at the toolbox with reusable renderings. 

SXA toolbox

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For custom solutions, you have to do your custom development. If you want to deploy the CMS on Azure, you'll need a small team to help with the launch and ongoing maintenance.

By comparison, WordPress is easier to use and empowers you to get started more quickly. This is made possible by ready-to-use themes and cloud-based hosting. However, most themes must be customized to your branding and website goals to convert visitors to customers effectively.

As a general rule, Sitecore is ideal if your business is looking for a custom solution and has the team capacity to build it. WordPress works if you need a simple solution that doesn't require much technical effort.

3. Sitecore vs. WordPress Marketing Support: SEO & Integrations

A good website marketing plan in 2023 has to include SEO. So, a CMS with built-in search engine optimization (SEO) tools improves your marketing efforts by helping you address various aspects of on-page SEO, including URLs, meta descriptions, alt tags, page titles, compliance, authentication, and duplicate content.

For what it doesn't provide, the CMS should allow integration with third-party tools, including social media, analytics, and marketing automation tools.

Sitecore is well-equipped to handle various digital marketing needs. It has superior marketing features, including content personalization which improves UX and influences conversions. Other relevant marketing tools help with testing, e-commerce, and email marketing.

Sitecore email experience manager

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Sitecore 9 adds more marketing capabilities, including machine learning and marketing automation.

On the other hand, WordPress doesn't have much marketing support built in. It relies on third-party tools for basic marketing capabilities, and some key integrations are likely to require some development support. Sitecore allows out-of-box integration with popular CRM and Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) tools.

4. Sitecore vs. WordPress Security: Scalability & Protection from Attacks

Sitecore's architecture is built with Microsoft .NET Framework. It’s backed by a community of top developers and is reputed for stability. The architecture allows your site to cope with sudden changes in traffic volume and scale seamlessly. Additionally, this scalability helps you adapt your websites to multiple territories and languages.

Having the most valuable security features built in, Sitecore ensures you won't be exposed to attacks associated with potential vulnerabilities from third-party options. Furthermore, the platform offers built-in security tools to keep your database safe. These are the types of precautions all businesses need to take.

Here's an example of the security editor built into Sitecore's platform

sitecore security editorImage Source

WordPress works well for small businesses because most ongoing updates can be managed in-house. This saves your company money in maintenance fees.

In the event of a data breach or a sudden need to scale quickly, a lack of development help on standby could expose your company to potential losses (unless you have a dedicated PHP developer to help during one of these instances).

Because extending the functionality of WordPress relies on third-party tools developed by hundreds of people, many aspects of website maintenance need to be constantly monitored.

The platform reduces risk through frequent updates. However, an over-reliance on third-party tools and add-ons to fill the gaps is still a threat to sites using the WordPress CMS.

Sitecore vs. WordPress: Making a Decision

Choosing a CMS is a tough decision. You have to consider how easy it is to use, its flexibility, marketing support, and security. Because there are so many tools, comparing the best options is a great way to figure out what you need.

If you're choosing between Sitecore vs 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 that need greater customizability. 

If you're a small business, freelancer non-profit, or can get by customizing your website through themes, WordPress may be the choice for you.

If you're still looking for your perfect solution, consider Content Hub.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 


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