This week we are going to cover some of the differences between two Content Management Systems, WordPress and Craft .

What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!

Over the years we have talked about Content Management System a couple of times. Most business owners don’t care which CMS an agency uses, they trust the agency to make the decision and deliver the end result. But for that small percentage of business owner that knows a little bit about CMSs, this video is for you.

In 2013 I wrote an article on WordPress vs Drupal vs Joomla vs ExpressionEngine. The article was based on a talk I gave at a conference highlighting some of the differences between the different systems. This article was the #1 search result when a search was performed asking for a comparison of any of these CMSs. Needless to say it was a popular post. Fortunately for you, I am not going to do a 45 minute long talk on the differences between the CMSs. If you want to have that discussion you can buy me coffee. In this video I am just going to discuss WordPress and our CMS of choice Craft.

Most people have heard of WordPress. It is a free CMS that is developed by volunteers and paid developers both. There is a huge community surrounding WordPress. One of the major benefits to WordPress is that you do not really have to have a technical knowledge to set up a site. If you know how to upload some files you can easily set up a WordPress site, select one of the thousands of themes that are available, click a few buttons to install some of your favorite plugins, insert your content, and go. A good looking WordPress site can be set up inside of an hour.

Some of the downsides to WordPress is that the plugins are often abandoned by developers as new releases are shipped. This means that if you want to keep WordPress current, you may have to find a new plugin to provide that bit of functionality. The code for the front end of the site is also not as clean as I would like to see. Each plugin installs additional files with lots of unnecessary code which can slow the site down. It can also affect your Pagespeed Insights score. WordPress has to be kept current because there are security issues. Granted, I think this has more to do with the amount of people submitting code and also the size of its userbase. If I was a hacker, I would certainly target the CMS with the largest userbase and WordPress is it.My biggest problem with WordPress is how it handles content. It does not really have the ability to section off content into different channels like a more mature CMS. At least not without a lot of customization. And that customization would come with a hefty price tag.

But if you need a simple site, have a limited budget, and just want to get started, WordPress may be a reasonable choice.

Craft CMS is a highly customizable CMS. It was created by Brandon Kelly of Pixel and Tonic due to some of the limitations BRandon saw in the then current lineup of CMSs. It does not have a community the size of WordPress but it is highly used by thousands of developers around the world. There are a lot of plugins. Craft currently costs $299. But what you get is a massively flexible platform that can be made to do many things.

The main difference between WordPress and Craft is that Craft stores content in Channels. Channels can be made to contain any type of content. And they are customizable to the content. The example I usually give is a staff section could have fields for first name, last name, email address, phone number, bio, photo, and more. Because each of these is broken out into it’s own field, they can be used in a much powerful way. If you want to use information from the Staff channel in the bylines of the blog section you can by using a relationship field. If you want to use the Staff info in a directory that is sortable so people can find a phone number, then you can. Each field is a building block that can be used in many different ways. And this is out of the box, without any plugins.

Just to illustrate how flexible this system is, we’ve created a web-based inventory management system for a local manufacturer that tracks valves and the maintenance of those valves as well as any other associated information. And we have created multiple views with varying levels of information displayed depending on the permissions the user has. And creating APIs that can communicate with outside systems is way easier with Craft than with other systems.

Craft is extremely secure. It does have plugins that add massive functionality to the system. It also gives you massive freedom when it comes to the design of the site and how the content is laid out, but instead of pulling in a lot of unnecessary files, you can choose to include just the code you need on the page you need which makes the site much faster.

The downsides to Craft? It requires real technical knowledge. There are no downloadable themes for Craft… .yet. But if you need a robust system that can handle just about anything you can throw at it, and don’t want to create a custom system, then Craft might be the right system for you. Custom comes at a price though. I think we are the only agency offering low cost Craft websites. But we also regularly work on 5 figure websites that have Craft as their CMS.

So what does this have to do with running a business? If you are fighting with your content management system you will not want to update your website or it will take you a lot longer than it should to make updates to your website. I would also argue that getting a site to rank is easier with a system like Craft than a system like WordPress, but that is just my decade plus of experience talking...

Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!