Published Date: 12 July 2024

Selecting the right Content Management System (CMS) is critical for a business’s online presence. The right CMS will ensure a seamless user experience, facilitate efficient content management and profoundly influence a website’s overall performance.

In this article, we'll compare two of the biggest CMS platforms available: WordPress and Umbraco.

Both are free platforms and both serve different user and business needs. We’ll outline the pros and cons to each, helping you decide which CMS is the right fit for your website and will deliver on your business goals.


What is Umbraco?

Umbraco is an open-source CMS known for its flexibility, customisable architecture, ability to easily scale, and robust measures for ensuring platform security.

Built on the .NET (ASP.NET Core) framework, Umbraco caters to businesses of all sizes that need a reliable content management solution to support their operations.

The platform’s flexibility allows developers to design and build websites according to specific needs, making it a particularly attractive choice for customers seeking a customisable site that delivers on their unique requirements.


Key Features of Umbraco

  1. Flexibility and Customisation: Umbraco's open-source nature and .NET foundation provide extensive flexibility and rich integration capabilities, catering to diverse project requirements and enabling the creation of customised solutions
  2. Content Management Capabilities: Umbraco stands out in content management, through its tailored and intuitive user interface, designed specifically for content editors. It provides a structured and efficient platform for handling simple and complex websites, with essential built-in capability such as its integrated media library.
  3. Integrate with anything: Built on the Microsoft technology stack, it offers seamless integration with both the Microsoft stack and any third party system. This includes payment providers, CRMs, newsletter platforms and bespoke business applications.


What is WordPress?

Originally created as a blogging platform, WordPress provides a plug and play approach to website development. It’s known for its simplicity, making it suitable for users with varying technical expertise, including beginners.

The CMS was not developed with business websites in minds – historically, it was used for blogs and e-commerce sites – so website owners must make use of the platform’s extensive collection of community-built plugins to extend the available functionality.

Its extensive plugin ecosystem allows users to add diverse functionalities without the requirement for any intricate coding. This makes WordPress a versatile choice for smaller or more simple websites that do not require much customisation.


Key Features of WordPress

  1. Plugin Ecosystem: A vast library of third-party plugins allows users to extend and enhance the functionality of their WordPress websites.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive and easy-to-use, it’s an accessible option for beginners while offering some advanced functionality for experienced users.
  1. Multifunctional Content Editor: WordPress provides a versatile, block-based content editor that allows users to create, edit and format content easily.


Things to consider when choosing a CMS platform

There are many factors to consider when choosing a content management system. Each platform has its own benefits, and you should choose the one that aligns best with your specific needs and goals.

Here is a feature breakdown of WordPress vs Umbraco:


  • Easy to Use

While Umbraco is user-friendly, WordPress is often the preferred choice for beginners due to its simple interface. It also has a plug-and-play functionality, which makes it available to use without developer assistance.


  • Customisation

Umbraco offers advanced customisation options, making it a preferred choice for organisations with distinctive needs. For developers, Umbraco provides complete control over the design and functionality of a website – there are no restrictions. In contrast, WordPress limits capabilities to a predefined set of plugins and themes, resulting in a less unique website appearance.


  • Scalability

Both platforms are scalable, but Umbraco’s exceptional flexibility allows developers to effortlessly code scalable websites that offer businesses greater control as they grow.

Scaling on WordPress can be costlier, you are reliant on the quality of the plugin code for scale. It often requires continuous maintenance, support and updates to protect against security vulnerabilities.


  • Performance

Umbraco’s .NET architecture contributes to robust performance, which is particularly beneficial for complex and dynamic websites.

In WordPress, code quality depends on individual contributors and enables anyone to introduce new capabilities. However, too many plugins will impact a website’s site speed, and often this is due to code bloat, poor coding, or conflicts between plugins.


  • Technology Stack Compatibility

Umbraco leverages the .NET technology stack – a trusted technology framework that governs principles such as security, quality, scale and performance. It will seamlessly integrate with any Microsoft products already in use, such as Office 365.

With WordPress, all integrations are limited to the capability provided by third-party plugins.


  • Security and Accessibility

Umbraco’s .NET foundation will appeal to businesses with highly regulated security and accessibility standards, such as the public sector and financial services. Here at I-Finity, we take accessibility very seriously, book your website accessibility review to understand whether your website is accessible.

Umbraco HQ also provide strong governance for accepting new capabilities for its platform. All new contributions from the community are fully vetted to meet security, quality and performance standards. If they meet Umbraco’s requirements, the new capability then becomes available for use in your own time. These updates are not automatically pushed to live websites.

On WordPress, however, there is no managed change process. If you have an external plugin installed on your website, any new changes are implemented directly on your live site – putting it at risk of breaking.

Used by millions of people across the world, WordPress is also more susceptible to hackers. If a security issue can be found on one WordPress website, it can most likely be found in many others – which poses a significant security risk.


  • SEO Features

Both platforms offer SEO capabilities, but WordPress relies heavily on third-party plugins, limiting the potential for optimisation.

In contrast, Umbraco includes built-in SEO features for technical and on-page optimisation, eliminating the need for additional plugins and ensuring better website performance and speed.


  • Ongoing Costs and Updates

To stay current with WordPress, you may need to hire a technical expert to review your website whenever a new change is released. These automatic updates are out of your control and can also potentially disrupt and break your site, leading to additional ongoing expenses for maintenance.

In contrast, Umbraco offers a more controlled and predictable environment. After the initial build, your bespoke Umbraco website will remain fully operational and secure without automatic changes.

While Umbraco does release security and CMS updates, these are well-documented and controlled, providing reliability and predictability. Any potential breaking changes, especially during technology framework version transitions, are known in advance, which allows for more accurate estimations of time and cost.


WordPress to Umbraco migrations

Migrating your existing WordPress website to Umbraco will require a re-build, but it’s a strategic long-term investment for businesses that are seeking a more powerful, secure and adaptable CMS.

While WordPress is renowned for its ease of use and quick initial set-up, Umbraco offers the flexibility to adapt and grow along with your organisation. It seamlessly integrates additional business systems as your company expands, providing a versatile platform for ongoing scale and development.

As an Umbraco Registered Partner, I-Finity’s technical expertise includes migration of WordPress sites to Umbraco providing a seamless migration process that prioritises the preservation of data and content integrity. All WordPress content, including imagery, can be programmatically transferred to Umbraco, while preserving search presence through managed URL redirects.

Whether you’re looking to improve an existing website or laying the groundwork for digital expansion, we’ll ensure every step of your WordPress migration is carefully managed and controlled with minimal downtime.

We build high-performance Umbraco websites that deliver strong content architecture and ensure a positive customer experience. Get in touch to discuss your needs and explore our catalogue of successful migrations from WordPress to Umbraco.

Talk to us today about your WordPress to Umbraco migration project.