WordPress vs Silverstripe

wordpress vs silverstripe

The top digital agencies in Australia have definitely started to use and promote Silverstripe over the well established WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System) of choice. Although slightly detached from the rest of the world down here in Melbourne, I think that nerdin’ it websites and hanging out with other super geeks at the office gives me some credibility here!

Let’s not argue about technical requirements & features, there are plenty of charts that compare the two. The simple way to think of this do you prefer frozen meals ready from the freezer or do you like cooking your own meal? The easy way to understand WordPress vs Silverstripe 2013 style.

frozen vs groceries

WordPress – a developer’s frozen meal

Just like the pre-made frozen meals that we throw in the microwave, WordPress is a huge time saver for even veteran developers.

WordPress is likely the most famous and popular content management system in the world. If you wanted to compare usage statistics then WordPress is definitely the choice of the masses. There are many reasons for this, but the obvious ones are definitely the simplicity and ease for the developer whilst maintaining a professional and very user friendly CMS for the client.

We are huge fans of WordPress, when it comes to websites that do not require any “fancy” functionality or unusual design. The ease of access to the code and astonishing amount of  support from the web design and development community it definitely reduces the amount of hours spent crawling code.

Key advantages of using WordPress:

  • Over 20,000 plugins and modules available
  • World’s biggest blogging platform
  • Used by millions of websites world wide
  • Search engine optimised out of the box
  • Integratation with social networking
  • Open source platform
  • Admin dashboard simple and easy for users
  • Simple PHP framework
  • Large development following
  • E-commerce modules available
  • User friendly interface

Key disadvantages of using WordPress:

  • Lots of updates
  • Some themes and plugins are insecure
  • A popular platform also means a more popular target for hackers
  • Could be outgrown (possibly more suitable platforms for larger projects and e-commerce sites)

Silverstripe – Coding up a storm

Cooking up that special dish that is perfect for you clients’ taste buds will always be a challenge. Short of developing a custom CMS platform, SilverStripe delivers a powerful and flexible platform for adept PHP developers.

SilverStripe headquarters is in New Zealand and is gaining ground particularly for larger corporates and in the public sector. SilverStripe’s interface is simple and easy to use out of the box, but most of the power and functionality of this CMS is hidden away for developers to customise.

We like to think of SilverStripe more as a PHP development framework than WordPress. Users and clients should not be afraid of this CMS however, as the content management interface is completely user friendly.

Key Advantages of using SilverStripe:

  • Open source platform
  • SilverStripe direct support
  • Highly active developer community
  • Ajax site tree
  • Effective integration with other software and platforms
  • Very malleable CMS
  • Highly flexible for development
  • Search engine friendly
  • User friendly interface
  • Simple version control
  • Constant improvements to e-commerce functionality

Key disadvantages of using SilverStripe:

  • Relatively new compared to most CMS
  • Lack of available resources and documentation online
  • Limited number of developed plugins and modules
  • Require a higher amount of development time and/or resources

Conclusion – Who’re you cooking for?

If I ever have to cook for one of those judges on the MasterChef TV series, there’s no way I’d pull out my frozen meal like I would for my wife! As with any web project, the choice of platform depends completely on the clients’ needs. Are they after an engaging e-business card or an interactive multi-site crowd sourcing website or a complex e-commerce store?

My choice for sites with basic information architecture has always been WordPress, at times it is almost like being supported by the rest of the world due to it’s popularity. While SilverStripe is simply overkill for basic websites, it is definitely a better choice as the level of complexity for a project increases.

There are so many choices out there, these two are definitely two of our favourites along with Magento for e-commerce. Choosing the perfect CMS can be a real pain, this article has comments from many more web geeks that might help you.

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Senior Digital Specialist at Chromatix
Josh Chan - our local digital specialist @ Chromatix. Basically he lives and breathes awesome designs, web innovation, online marketing and does a bit of break-dancing on the side.

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12 thoughts on “WordPress vs Silverstripe

  1. Great stuff! I’ll definitely be looking at this CMS in greater detail. Currently, I’m utilising concrete5 for smaller websites. However, I’ve kept my eye out for a replacement for heavy-content sites. Looks good.

  2. How’s concrete5 working out for you? We’ve also been looking at Express Engine a little bit, but SilverStripe seems to be better in combination with solid PHP/CSS skills.

  3. Love the food analogy! All in all, client needs will always be number 1, but within that, considerations of timeline in implementation and overall scalability play a big part in the choice too. It’s a challenge all web designers and developers will face when finding the “perfect” CMS for their clients.

  4. Pingback: Wordpress vs Silverstripe 2013 | silverstripe | Scoop.it

  5. If you chose to step over to the dark side (.net) Kentico is a pretty awesome CMS with lots of Aussie design houses picking it up.

  6. I’m not a Web developer but I’ve been using “basic” WordPress for a couple of months now and i love it, so for now there’s no way changing it. I love the food comparison you did on your blog though. Thanks for the additional knowledge!

  7. My wife uses WordPress for her blog site (www.ez2use.biz). She is not at all a technical person, and she needs me to handle coding, updates, and other such things for her. I am a scientist working 10-12 hours / day. I really don’t have lots of time to invest in learning, writing, and debugging code. I’ll take the frozen meals and microwave them, thank you. They may be bad for my health in the long run, but they save my time and my sanity in the short run.

    I really did like the food analogy, and your points were well-made and well-taken. As I said, though, WordPress is the way to go for me, simply because it saves time not to have to fiddle with code very much.

  8. Seems like a PR article. You don’t know from where they got their statistics.
    And the pros of WordPress and Silver-stripe are almost the same.
    The cons of WordPress are not really cons.
    The amount of major corporates using wordpress is proof that there are no issues as such and it scalable.
    The food analogy does not really apply.
    The huge number of professional (enterprise level) developers for wordpress who create a lot of readymade and customizable plugins is like going to a gourmet restaurant and ordering a fresh hot meal. Its only prepared by someone else.
    If you wanted something simply you go to a “hot dog” stand, that is the metaphorical equal of getting an inexpensive freelance developer to create a typical wordpress website.
    You get to choose what relish and pickles you want 😉
    You get a wordpress development company to do the job for you is like going to a gourmet restaurant.
    And in WordPress you can do anything if you have the time and money. Its like getting a team of chefs to cook something is only exclusive to you.

    And if you want you can do it yourself too.

    With silverstripe you have to do it yourself too and there are very few recipes online for you to refer ;-).

    With wordpress has been almost “everywhere” and done “everything”.

    BTW I work on Joomla If I am working on an opensource CMS WordPress is my third preference unless someone wants a “hot dog” ;-)

  9. thanks for your comments!
    Wordpress is definitely the preference for majority of the web right now, this is just our opinion and hopefully will open up some eyes to a wider selection of CMS.

  10. Interesting article- I have never heard of Silver-stripe before but will look into it. I am a WordPress fanatic but I never want to ‘stand still’ or ‘rest on my laurels’ so I should really look into this. My coding skills aren’t great (which is why I find WordPress so easy to work with) so I’m not sure how easy I would find Silver-stripe but there’s always value in going outside my comfort zone so I will definitely look into this.

  11. Great stuff! I don’t know anything about Silverstripe to be honest but this is something for me to check this weekend.

    Thanks for sharing! :-)

  12. Great post Josh, I love the food analogy you have used here… I completely agree that no framework or CMS is right in every situation (or budget) and that it always depends of as you say…. who are you cooking for. For me SilverStripe has always struck the right balance of a commoditised CMS product with the ability to customise the heck out of it if you need to.

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