Founded in 2003 initially as a blogging platform, WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). An estimation of over 40% of the web runs on WordPress, including the online homes of industry leaders such as Sony Music and The New York Times. Although the platform is still the go-to for countless companies and bloggers globally, within the web development community, its ageing technology begs the question: is WordPress still relevant in 2021?

For individuals with websites with few landing pages and limited features, such as small business owners and bloggers, it’s safe to assume that moving from WordPress to another platform isn’t a priority. For companies looking to modernise their services or rebrand entirely, however, the notion of making the switch sounds that bit more appealing.

Here at Lightflows, we’ve built products aplenty using WordPress. There’s no denying that it can be a powerful tool for creating a well-presented, easy-to-navigate website or application. However, many other CMS platforms on the market have arguably helped us make even more beautiful digital experiences.

In particular, for clients seeking to optimise our legacy software modernisation service, WordPress has gradually moved further down the line as a contender for developing modern websites and applications due to its difficulty to maintain over time.

Of late, we’ve taken a particular liking to Statamic, a flat-file CMS dynamically powered by PHP and Laravel. Its flat-file nature means that it stores all content, assets and settings in files rather than a database, allowing for excellent customisation, version control and long-term maintenance.

Essentially, compared to WordPress, Statamic is incredibly easy to manage; no more plugin after plugin to further complicate the system!

If you’re still using WordPress but are keen to bring your services into the modern era by leveraging a contemporary CMS platform, we outline the pros and cons of both WordPress and Statamic to determine whether migrating platforms is the right move for your business below. Let’s start with WordPress:

Screenshot of WordPress hovering over Plugins tab

Pros of WordPress

  • Themes. WordPress comes with multiple themes, from which you can simply use as they appear or draw inspiration when conceptualising the look of your website. These themes are great for small business owners and bloggers beginning their CMS journeys.
  • Mobile-friendly. Nowadays, mobile-friendliness is paramount to developers and mobile users alike. The built-in WordPress themes are designed for mobile, web and tablet devices, ensuring the website appears as it should on whichever device your customer may use.
  • Plugins. There are hundreds of plugins available for WordPress that cater to various needs. Be it search engine optimisation (SEO) tips, a fast caching engine or a spam comment cleaner, you can be sure to find relevant plugins for your website.

Cons of WordPress

  • Speed. Although WordPress themes are generally highly accessible, their extensive databases make for slow response times. In an age of social media and online shopping, your customers have no time to wait; a slow website will force them to go elsewhere.
  • Vulnerability. The fact that such a large portion of the web runs on WordPress is common knowledge. For this reason, WordPress is a hub for hackers and spammers, especially if your website allows blog comments or has a contact form. The more susceptible your website is to spam, the more likely it can pose a virus threat.
  • Plugins. Yes, we listed plugins as an advantage. No, this isn’t a mistake as plugins are alternatively the platform’s biggest downfall. For every new feature you want on your website, you most likely need to add another plugin. What’s more, not all plugins are free, nor do they last forever, so your website will need to be updated constantly.

And, now, for Statamic:

Screenshot of Statamic CMS
Credit: Statamic.com

Pros of Statamic

  • Flat-file. As mentioned, Statamic’s flat-file database is hugely desirable for web developers, content creators and anybody else who accesses the platform. The fact that no database exists between your application and your content means there is no room for bugs, allowing for a smooth user experience both on the front and back ends.
  • Speed. Unlike WordPress, Statamic doesn’t have to query an extensive database for content as it runs on Laravel, one of the most well-maintained PHP frameworks today. Therefore, the platform has incredibly fast response times, further enhancing the user experience.
  • Security. The hacking and spamming of WordPress websites mainly occurs through SQL Injection, a code injection technique used to insert malicious code into entry fields. Again, the fact that Statamic has no database means that it is less susceptible to such attacks, increasing the overall security of your website.

Cons of Statamic

  • Developer-oriented. If you’re unfamiliar with the likes of WordPress or Drupal, Statamic might be difficult to grasp. While it looks and feels like a traditional CMS, it has its differences; the main being its flat-first nature. Namely, the more experience you have, the easier it will be to learn – but that goes for anything.
  • Price. Statamic isn’t free; unlike WordPress, it doesn’t even have a free version. Nonetheless, it costs a one-time fee of $259 (just over £190). Compared to paying a yearly fee for multiple WordPress plugins on top of developer maintenance, the one-time payment is extremely worthwhile.
  • Maturity. We’ve established that WordPress is the pioneer of CMSs. Because Statamic is so young, it is nowhere near as well-known among businesses. However, its connections to the Laravel community mean that it is fast becoming the CMS of choice for developers worldwide to align with modern technologies.

In summary, if you’re looking to grow your business and enhance the operational efficiency of its online presence, then look no further than Statamic. Granted, WordPress has been the foundation of many excellent websites but, as technology is ever-advancing, so is the need for a contemporary, easy-to-manage CMS.

One of our most recent projects – Brookworth Homes – was built on Statamic. The results speak for themselves; the backend is easily manageable and the frontend clean, modern and aesthetically pleasing, creating an enjoyable experience for our client and their customers. We are currently building more beautiful applications using the platform and plan to use it for the foreseeable; this could include you.

Want to learn more about how we use Statamic and how it can enhance your business? Get in touch today, and a member of our team will be happy to arrange a discussion. Let’s make something incredible.

Categories: Digital Strategy, Insights