SilverStripe vs Wordpress

A developer comparison between two popular CMS and when to choose one or the other.

Wordpress and SilverStripe are two of many popular Content Management Systems that powers websites around the world today, Wordpress being the most popular with 60% of the market. Does popularity equal quality though? In this article I will compare SilverStripe and Wordpress, and hopefully give you some insights to when to choose one or the other.

Dashboard/Admin

As a developer, I can really appreciate how SilverStripe differentiates from Wordpress. One of the differences is how SilverStripe separates the CMS-editors content and the developers content. In a base installation of Wordpress, an admin-user can edit and update the active themes core-files directly from within the CMS, if the admin is not an experienced developer, there is a big risk of breaking things. Changing theme-files from the dashboard is not possible in SilverStripe, which you could argue makes it less customizable, but at the same time much safer to use seeing it as the only things the admin/editor can change is the websites actual content, which in my mind is the purpose of a CMS.

Plugins/Modules

In Wordpress, it is also possible to add and remove plugins directly from the dashboard, you could have a fully functional e-commerce or add more complexity to your website with a few clicks.  The problem with using plugins is that they need to be updated from time to time, most “premium plugins” updates just after a new release of Wordpress, while smaller plugins could take longer before being updated, if updated at all. If you are updating to the latest version of Wordpress, unsupported plugins could break your website. Just remember to always backup your websites files and database if you are going to update to a newer version of Wordpress, or better yet, try it out on your local/test-environment first.

SilverStripe also comes with the ability to add plugins (called modules), but compared to Wordpress-plugins, a SilverStripe module is often customizable, which makes it easier to adapt it’s functionality to fit a clients needs, whereas most of the time, a Wordpress-plugin is not customizable, meaning it has to fit the clients need out of the box.

So? Tell me already? Which one is best!

Which of the two CMS’s should you choose? It all depends on your needs and preferences. If you are on a tight budget and want to get up and running quickly, and at the same time be able to customize the layout and design yourself, Wordpress could be a good solution for you.

If you are looking for a website with more longevity, complex functionality, or with unique functionality - I would highly recommend SilverStripe! This does not mean that a website built with SilverStripe is more expensive than a Wordpress website, quite the contrary. Building a website with custom functionality and design goes a lot quicker with SilverStripe compared to Wordpress.


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