Web Development

Umbraco vs WordPress: Which CMS is Best for You?

Jun 30, 2023

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For a wide range of individuals and businesses, such as small to large enterprises, website administrators, and dedicated bloggers, it’s of utmost importance to select the most appropriate content management system that aligns effectively with their specific needs and goals. An efficient content management system can greatly streamline the process of creating, organising, and managing digital content on your website.

Among the multitude of content management systems available in the digital landscape, Umbraco and WordPress have managed to carve a niche for themselves, owing to their unique features and functionalities. They are often the go-to choices for many.

However, each of these systems presents a unique set of features, benefits, and challenges. As such, the question that arises is, what distinguishes Umbraco from WordPress, and how do you determine which content management system will best serve your specific needs and objectives?


What is a Content Management System?

A content management system (CMS) is basically a piece of software that lets you create, modify and manage content on a website without needing to know how to code. In essence, it is the platform that turns your thoughts, ideas, words and images into the content that visitors will experience when they visit your website.

Beyond that, there are plenty of different functions and features in the various content management systems available on the market, including WordPress and Umbraco. This means that one may be more suited than the other for different purposes, tasks and users.


What Are the Differences Between Umbraco and WordPress?

Umbraco and WordPress both emerged in the early 2000s. They are two of the most popular CMSs in the world, but they each have their own feel and different core audiences. In general terms, WordPress is a simpler platform that appeals to bloggers, small businesses running their own websites and marketers looking for a relatively simple and versatile way to manage content. Umbraco is more commonly used by developers who appreciate the additional features and flexibility that the CMS provides.

Key points about WordPress

  • Built on the general-purpose scripting language PHP.
  • Blog-focused, great for easy content management.
  • Relies on third-party plug-ins for much of its functionality.
  • Uses WYSIWYG (‘what you see is what you get) editor.
  • Lots of existing templates.

Key points about Umbraco

  • Built on the .NET Framework developed by Microsoft
  • More suited to web designers who need extra functionality
  • Most functionality built-in, not reliant on third-party plug-ins
  • Mainly uses a drag-and-drop content block editor
  • Presents a ‘blank canvas’ rather than templates


How Much Do Umbraco and WordPress Cost?

Umbraco and WordPress both offer free core services with additional packages and features available for subscription.

Umbraco says that its core open-source CMS is ‘free forever’, but it’s worth remembering that this doesn’t include hosting. Umbraco Cloud is the Umbraco CMS hosted on Microsoft Azure and is currently available for £32/month. Umbraco Heartcore is a headless CMS built on top of the core model, that is friendly for editors and flexible for developers. Prices start at £35/month.

WordPress also has a free basic offering with additional features being added at various price points. The Personal plan costs £3/month and offers an ad-free experience with hosting. You can also opt for Premium (£7/month), Business (£20/month) and Commerce (£36/month), and there is an option for an Enterprise package for larger organisations.


Umbraco vs WordPress: Which CMS is Best for You? - an image of a computer screen with WordPress open in a tab


Advantages and Disadvantages of Umbraco vs WordPress

We’ve considered some of the main differences between Umbraco and WordPress, including the demographics and general suitability of each for different use cases. Now we’ll take a closer look at some of the key features and functionalities of the two platforms.

Ease of Use and User Interface

WordPress is certainly the easiest product to use ‘out of the box’.

It is designed so that even beginners can use themes and templates to create a good-looking and functional basic website without the need for designers. The ‘what you see is what you get’ editor essentially lets you see how the content will appear and edit it onscreen. This makes it very easy to get started and achieve a lot of the most common tasks.

Umbraco uses a library of content blocks with a range of options to give users more control over individual content blocks rather than specific areas on a page. The interface is still relatively easy to use but does not come with loads of pre-made templates the way WordPress does.

Customisation and Flexibility

Both platforms are customisable, but Umbraco has the edge in this category as the website is largely constructed from the ground up. It requires a bit more work and expertise to get started but then presents a blank canvas that can be made into anything you envision.

WordPress has a host of templates and plug-ins. This also allows a great deal of flexibility but is not quite as open and customisable as Umbraco.

Scalability and Performance

Both platforms are designed to scale and improve performance as your website and content grow.

Both have API layers built-in, allowing you to take advantage of third-party offerings. As the most popular CMS in the world, WordPress has a host of such resources, and there are loads of plug-ins that can handle increasing complexity simply. One disadvantage is that too many plug-ins can slow a site and potentially impact security.

Umbraco is also scalable and developer-friendly and can be perfect for working with lots of pages and content. It does take more work, however, meaning that bringing new features and functionality online can take longer and potentially cost more in developer fees.

SEO Capabilities

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital for any website – there’s little point in having the most beautifully designed and constructed website if no one ever sees it. WordPress might just have the edge here as it has a long history of SEO-friendly design. In particular, there are plenty of plug-ins designed specifically to help you optimise your pages, with Yoast being the most popular.

Umbraco has its own in-built tools to help developers boost SEO, including elements such as the ability to edit onsite page elements and to mark up pages as needed. It’s certainly possible to achieve great SEO results with Umbraco, but it is not quite as simple and intuitive as WordPress with its choice of plug-ins.

So, Which CMS Is Better?

There’s no simple answer as to which CMS is best, but Umbraco and WordPress both have pros and cons for different circumstances. WordPress is designed to be simple and is perfect for bloggers and businesses that are looking for ease of use and content optimisation.

Umbraco takes a little more work and knowledge, but that gives you more control over every aspect of your CMS and, ultimately, your website. Umbraco and WordPress are both great products, but the CMS for you will depend on your own circumstances and what you want to achieve with your website.

Reach Out Today

At Maxweb, we don’t just develop websites, we craft a digital experience. Our team of experienced developers is dedicated to creating custom management systems, tailored to meet your unique needs. We excel in offering bespoke WordPress websites, freeing you from the limitations of third-party templates, and embracing the flexibility that comes with custom design.

But our expertise doesn’t stop there. We also have extensive experience across a broad range of alternative CMS systems, such as Magento, Woocommerce, OpenCart, Joomla, and Shopify, a renowned e-commerce-based CMS.

Reach out to us today on 0151 652 4777 or fill out our contact form.

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