WordPress has a simple and easy-to-use content editor. Anyone with basic computer skills can have a website up and running within a few hours.
All they need is a web hosting platform and purchased a domain name. No coding is necessary for a user to build a basic site.
But the more features a user wants on their website, the more technical WordPress becomes. Installing custom themes and plugins could become overwhelming for the average user. And understanding deeper-level settings can be daunting.
Luckily, users who have a tough time navigating the nooks and crannies of WordPress have help. There is a vast community of WordPress users who teach others how to use the CMS to its fullest potential.
These people write blogs and make videos dedicated to WordPress. Any information you want to know about the platform exists somewhere here. All you need is to find a creator whose style fits you. Then, whenever you need help, use their content as a resource.
Umbraco is a platform for web developers who know their way around creating a website. These users are likely to have knowledge of programming languages and have previous experience coding websites.
However, the content editor for the platform is still friendly for the average person. In style it is not unlike WordPress, featuring a main dashboard that branches off into the various functions of the website. A client who needed to update a page or blog article could do so quickly and easily.
The challenging part would be if the client wanted to explore more advanced features. Umbraco is a lesser known brand with a smaller community of users. So reference information about the ins and outs of Umbraco is not as common as it is with WordPress. Thus, a client may need to call upon an outside developer more often than they might with WordPress.
WordPress has the largest market share of any CMS on the internet. According to usage statistics collected by W3Techs, WordPress software powers 40% of all websites on the internet, and 64% of all websites that use a content management system.
Having over a third of websites on the internet use their software makes WordPress the most dominant content management system of them all. No other system comes close to its numbers, with the 3 next best software being Joomla at 2.6%, Drupal at 1.7%, and Squarespace at 1.5% market share, respectively.
This huge market share is no accident, and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Data shows that WordPress's market share has been growing at a rate of ~1-4% overall for the last 8 years. If this rate of growth continues, we will soon find that WordPress powers over half of all websites on the internet.
Umbraco has a far smaller market share than WordPress or even other content management systems. Data shows that Umbraco's market share is less than .1%. Which makes the platform one of the least-used content management systems available online.
Translated to the number of websites, it is estimated that Umbraco powers around 19,000 websites. Comparatively, WordPress is estimated to power around 8 million. That being said, there are many websites that run on Umbraco that bring in millions of monthly visitors.
This large gap between the two platforms can be attributed to the relatively unknown status that Umbraco has among the public due to it being targeted at the web developer community. WordPress's original target customer was individuals who wanted a free and easy way to start a website. So it makes sense why one experienced massive growth over the other.
Unlike newer content management systems like Squarespace which feature drag-and-drop page builders, WordPress does not natively support page builder functionality. A new user with a fresh WordPress install on their website will be met with only a simple dashboard that creates simple pages.
Anyone who wants to use a page builder will have to install plugins for their website. WordPress has a wide library of plugins that include various page builders with higher and lower degrees of functionality for the user to choose from. But, installing and utilizing these plugins can be difficult for users new to the platform.
To rectify this issue and catch up with the competition, designers at WordPress have been working on an updated version of the dashboard. Called Gutenberg, after the inventor of the printing press Johannes Gutenberg, the new page builder gives new WordPress users looking for a drag-and-drop website experience exactly what they want.
Umbraco is very similar to WordPress in this respect. A new user with a fresh install of Umbraco on their website will be met with the same blank canvas that they would be with classic WordPress. Creating pages is easy, but they come out basic due to a rich page builder not being pre-programmed into the platform.
And just as with classic WordPress, before their switch to Gutenberg, plugins are the answer for those who want a page builder for their Umbraco website. The marketplace for such programs is smaller than that of WordPress, but users won't have any trouble finding a page builder that suits their needs.
That is, if those users even need a page builder in the first place. The users of Umbraco are far more likely to use their skills in web development to create beautiful, media dense pages from scratch than to use a page builder. It's for this reason that Umbraco has not jumped on the drag and drop bandwagon as WordPress has.
Despite having a great reputation in almost every other respect, WordPress is notorious for not being the best with security. Detractors of the CMS cite frequent updates of the core software as the primary cause of security mishaps. They point to other platforms like Umbraco for more secure alternatives.
While there may be a grain of truth to those criticisms, the full picture is more nuanced. For one, the sheer number of websites that run WordPress compared to other systems make security breaches more likely to happen. And according to data, almost all of those security breaches result from user error, not holes in the core software. In other words, most breaches are entirely preventable.
If a user follows best practices and keeps their website fully up-to-date across all dimensions, from core WordPress to their themes, plugins, and even hosting, a security breach is very unlikely to happen. But if it does, WordPress has a security team of 50 experts who constantly comb the platform for security holes that users can call upon when in need.
With the foundation of their open-source platform resting upon Microsoft's .Net, Umbraco is enjoying a reputation of being a secure content management system that WordPress would envy. Large brands with the capital to hire professional web developers to choose Umbraco to run their websites for this very reason.
Along with its strong and secure technological foundation, the team at Umbraco keeps a third-party internet security firm on retainer to run penetration tests of its platform every six months. This happens alongside the numerous internal tests which the team runs for the platform on a regular basis.
Ultimately, though, Umbraco nor WordPress is 100% secure. And even if they were, security breaches would still happen due to users not following best practices for keeping their websites secure. Here is a small list of best practices, which are the most important to abide by in order to maintain your website's security:
Finding a suitable hosting platform for your website is just as important as choosing a content management system. As WordPress has been around since 2003 and Umbraco since even longer, a large number of options to choose from when it comes to hosting have been built up. For someone new to building websites, picking a provider isn't easy.
To help with this problem, the team at WordPress has a shortlist of reputable hosting platforms that they recommend for new users. These platforms all meet the minimum requirements hosting services need to run WordPress. They have also built a working relationship with the WordPress team.
WordPress also has an in-house hosting platform of the same name. Users can opt for this if they don't want to spend the time browsing offers by other platforms. This service is popular among WordPress users, as the majority websites which run WordPress are hosted in-house.
Similarly, Umbraco offers its own hosting service called Umbraco Cloud. Just as with their content management system, Umbraco's hosting runs off the back of Microsoft software, the Azure Cloud in this case. Thus, any user who chooses their platform would have their website backed up by what some consider the best server infrastructure in the world.
Umbraco Cloud also has unique features that other hosting platforms don't have. Chief of which is their Content Flow system. Content Flow allows for new features and bug fixes to be released without interrupting the work of those creating content. That way, both development, and creation can happen at the same time.
In either case, the hosting of your website is up to you. Both WordPress and Umbraco offer in-house hosting services that are designed for their respective CMS. So if you're looking for an easy choice, those are the best to pick. On the other hand, if you have specific needs for a hosting service, shopping around for alternatives is a good idea.
Customization for any content management system is as simple as the user wants it to be. Advanced users can dig deep into systems options and fine-tune them to their liking, or even write custom code that brings their ideas into reality. Users who aren't so tech-savvy inclined can make do with other methods to create the look they desire.
The most common way to customize websites on both Umbraco and WordPress is through downloadable themes or templates. Similar to a page builder, these plugins make it simple for anyone to give their website the look they want. Some are simple and free, others are costly and more intricate, so it is up to the user to decide what is right for them.
WordPress users almost all use themes to customize their websites. Umbraco users more often customize their websites from scratch. As in many cases that we've seen so far, this difference comes down to who the average user for each platform is. Umbraco users are developers that can use programming languages to implement their vision. So they don't need to rely on themes as much as WordPress users do.
In terms of backend customization, Umbraco runs circles around WordPress. Developers find the process of customizing the backend of Umbraco websites to be easy and flexible. For all they try, WordPress is far more rigid when it comes to what they allow their users to tweak in the backend.
This difference likely comes down to the initial purpose of the WordPress system itself. At its inception back in 2003, WordPress was meant to be a blogging platform and nothing more. It was only years later that it morphed into the all-encompassing content management system that we know it as today.
In Umbraco's case, being a robust content management system was the goal from the outset. So the platform was designed accordingly. That being said, nothing which can be accomplished by a user of Umbraco is out of reach for a user of WordPress. Both platforms can be customized to your liking in one way or another.
In terms of licensing, WordPress operates under the GNU Public License, or GPL. Simply speaking, all that this license means is that WordPress is open-source software that can be used, modified, and distributed for free by anyone that is interested. All software derived from WordPress also falls under this license.
Many attribute the massive success of the WordPress platform directly to this choice in licensing. Because the source code of the software is available for anyone to see, developers were able to create plugins and themes for the platform much quicker and of higher quality. And users are able to use the software at zero cost.
Umbraco, while also open source, operates under a different license than WordPress. The MIT license, named after the famous Boston university it was developed at, allows for much of the same behavior as the GPL license. Users are free to use and distribute versions of the Umbraco as they please.
The key difference between the two kinds of licensing is how they treat derivatives of the software. With GPL, any software that is derived from another GPL software and then distributed must also inherit the parent software GPL license. In other words, if you make something new from an open-source GPL software and distribute it, your software will be open source also.
This is not the case with MIT licensing. Software derived from one with an MIT license can be private and proprietary if the user wishes, regardless of whether it is distributed or not. In this way, many consider the GPL license to be more restrictive than the MIT license.
When it comes to deciding between using WordPress or Umbraco as a CMS, these differences are not that important. Both platforms allow their users to do as they please with the software without issue, for the most part. But for those who want a little bit more freedom in terms of what they can do with the software, Umbraco has the edge.
The biggest advantage of both WordPress and Umbraco being open-source software is that they are both entirely free to use. Neither software imposes costs on its users in any way. However, building a website off of these platforms is impossible without paying some sort of fees.
Hosting, domain names, plugins, themes, and other adjacent software to the CMS all impose costs to the user. And those looking for premium features will likely have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for a subscription to the platforms.
When these other costs are accounted for, the average price of running
WordPress on a basic website is around 11 dollars every month. But as you get more complicated in terms of features and customization, this cost can rise dramatically. It can cost you over $1000 to build your website if you want all the bells and whistles.
The same is true for Umbraco. Adjacent services will make running a basic website cost you a small penny every month. And the more you add, the more that cost will grow. However, there is one major difference that separates Umbraco from WordPress when it comes to price.
The free version of Umbraco is completely unsupported. Users must resort to the community or the documentation to resolve most technical issues they may have with the platform. Those who want direct support from the Umbraco team will have to purchase one of their premium subscriptions. The cheapest of which is billed at $7,250 per year.
WordPress does offer limited technical support for its free version. And higher levels of support are available for a fraction of the price, which Umbraco demands. In fact, the overall pricing scheme of all WordPress premium plans are much more flexible and affordable than Umbraco's. Which is another reason why WordPress is far more popular.
To wrap this guide up, here is exactly what you need to know to pick between WordPress and Umbraco for your content management system:
WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world with a 40% market share, completely crushing Umbraco's .1% share
Umbraco is suited for developers who know their way around web development, while WordPress is suited for the average user
Both platforms are open source and free to use, but WordPress's premium plans are far more flexible and affordable than Umbraco's
Umbraco is backed by Microsoft's infrastructure, and has a reputation of being more secure than WordPress
WordPress is more rigid than Umbraco on the backend, but both can be customized to your liking
Umbraco does not have a built in page builder, whereas WordPress does
WordPress is based on PHP, while Umbraco is based on C#
At the end of the day, the deciding factor for which system you should use for your website comes down to how much you want to spend. For those with bigger pockets that can hire professional help, Umbraco's security gives it an edge over WordPress. But for anyone on a budget, WordPress is the better choice.
But what about other content management systems?
Aside from the Umbraco vs WordPress battle, other platforms are competing with each other for your business. If you want quick, clear, and direct answers to which platform would suit the needs of your company the best, book a consultation with our team today.
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