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.
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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