In today’s digital landscape, the choice of a content management system can be a make-or-break decision for your business. With over 40% of websites powered by WordPress[i] (according to a survey held in 2023 by W3Techs), it is clear that this platform has captured the attention of entrepreneurs and marketers alike. But the question lingers – what makes WordPress so popular and is this the right fit for your unique business needs? Or is there a more comprehensive solution able to help you achieve your digital goals? At Infinity Group, we understand that selecting the most suitable toolset is not a decision to be taken lightly. “Isn’t WordPress better for my business than, for example, Kentico?” is a question we often hear from our prospect partners and the answer is never simple. In this article, we are going to compare these two platforms to help you solve your dilemma. Keep reading, to learn which of these systems – Kentico or WordPress – aligns best with your business goals.
What is WordPress?
WordPress, launched in 2003 as a free, open-source blog publishing tool, has undergone a significant transformation. Through years of development and refinement, it has evolved into a web content management system capable of supporting landing pages, portfolios, business websites, mailing lists, discussion forums and even simple online stores. This platform is based on PHP scripting language and distinguishes itself through two major features: support of themes (templates) and the presence of plugin architecture.
When WordPress may be a better choice than Kentico?
WordPress stands as an attractive option for businesses, particularly small enterprises, due to its open-source nature, which means it is available for free. However, even within this cost-effective framework, certain expenses are unavoidable – for instance, you will need to pay for web hosting and domain registration. What is more, while basic templates are available free of charge, businesses aiming for a website with a unique look and features may have to invest in professional templates and their customization. Maintaining a website with well-kept templates and plugins often involves ongoing costs, typically amounting to hundreds of dollars annually.
Speaking of plugins, installing these external widgets is sometimes the only way to extend your WordPress environment with new features and functionalities. Plugin installation is often required even in case of the most typical needs, like search engine optimization. And the more complicated your requirements are, the more plugins you will have to use. Hence, WordPress is the right choice for simple services – blogs, product landing pages or websites being just a business card. In case of trying to build a more complicated website, it’s better to consider a more comprehensive tool, which already comes with a pre-built set of necessary features.
Why is Kentico better than WordPress?
WordPress may be a better choice for small and relatively simple webpages, but if your business needs are bigger and you aim at achieving more, then you should seriously consider Kentico.
Digital marketing features
While WordPress (with additional plugins) serves as a content management system (CMS), Kentico Xperience is a digital experience platform (DXP), which means it not only encompasses the functionalities of a CMS but also seamlessly integrates a broad set of marketing and e-commerce features into one unified platform. These features cooperate without the necessity of developing dedicated data-transferring APIs. For example, Kentico enables using behavioural segmentation both in web content personalization and in e-mail marketing. Kentico DXP offers multiple out-of-the-box features like content personalization, contact management, dynamic visitor segmentation, lead scoring, A/B testing, web analytics and e-mail marketing. What is more, Kentico comes with an advanced marketing automation module providing top-notch functionalities.
While none of the individual features offered by Kentico are considered standalone “market leaders”, their cohesive usability and seamless integration allow us to satisfy even the most complex marketing needs of our partners without relying on external services or platforms. Some of the features offered by Kentico may also be available through WordPress plugins. However, using multiple plugins from different vendors can pose challenges, including potential security breaches and the need to integrate incompatible plugins.
WordPress can be considered a CMS due to the possibility of using various plugins but this adaptability introduces potential vulnerabilities. The reliance on third-party add-ons can provide diverse functionalities to meet various business needs but exposes the site to security risks. WordPress undergoes frequent updates to address potential vulnerabilities, given the constant development and updates of plugins. However, its security is only as robust as its weakest component. As some plugins are community-developed freeware software, there’s a risk they may be not patched as often as necessary, posing a serious security threat. According to Securi’s Hacked website report published in 2022[ii], 96,2% of detected infections happened on WordPress-based pages. Maintaining the security of a WordPress site, including its templates and plugins, incurs additional fixed costs. Neglecting updates resembles playing Russian roulette with security.
While WordPress may be a suitable choice for websites that don’t handle customer data, it’s essential to weigh the associated security considerations. In contrast, security is one of the key features of the Kentico Xperience platform. All elements of the system are updated simultaneously, and the platform undergoes regular security tests. Kentico supports multiple security layers, anti-CSRF tokens, and various authentication methods, allows defining user roles and permissions and, last but not least, supports reCAPTCHA and double opt-in processes.
WordPress proves to be a wise choice for static webpages that don’t require frequent modifications or extensions in functionality, but it comes with its set of challenges in the long run. Meanwhile, Kentico Xperience offers mechanisms for seamless content migration between environments as well as transitioning to new domains.
In the WordPress ecosystem proper implementation of WordPress itself, templates and plugins can yield optimal results. The whole system usually operates effectively for about a year or a bit longer. However, issues arise when the authors of one of the elements, such as a template or plugin, discontinue their support or development. Users may or may not be informed about that fact, and the lack of proper support might only become apparent after a security breach. Transitioning from an abandoned template to a new one often requires changing the content management method, essentially restarting the development process. This challenge arises from variations in page builders preferred by template authors, with popular builders like Gutenberg, Elementor, and WPBakery lacking full compatibility with each other.
Last but not least, a crucial aspect of WordPress maintenance involves making daily backups, primarily due to the frequent updates of WordPress and plugins. Each update may introduce some incompatibilities and functionality problems, making it advisable to create backups as frequently as possible. Naturally, this approach increases the overall maintenance cost.
WordPress enables fast creation of standard and ordinary webpages, yet its out-of-the-box functionalities appear somewhat limited. As mentioned before, you have to install plugins for almost every additional feature such as form support or content personalization. What is more, WordPress themes have their own unique limitations, making them difficult to modify to satisfy unique business needs. In contrast, Kentico offers much more out-of-the-box functionalities and features than WordPress. It also provides an API interface for quick and cost-effective integration with external systems and services.
WordPress has gained a reputation for being a bit buggy, contributing to the frequency of updates it receives. While this open-source platform benefits from a great community support system, it may not be categorized as fully professional — you never know whether the person resolving your issue is a professional programmer or a 13-year-old passionate. Complicating matters further, plugins and themes are provided by different vendors.
For commercial themes, technical support is initially free, but getting timely responses may be challenging due to the typically small teams of developers behind the themes, and high theme popularity can strain their response capabilities. Fixing theme issues often requires granting access to websites for unknown people, as direct modification of template code is a popular method of introducing ad hoc fixes. In practice, addressing a single problem may take weeks and yield ineffective solutions, especially when the author of one WordPress addon neglects responsibility for conflicts with another addon’s code.
At Infinity Group, we have experience with technical support of various systems. From our perspective, the technical support provided by Kentico proves to be faster and more helpful than of other digital platforms. That is not only our opinion — just look at G2 reviews[iii], where the quality of Kentico support is rated at 8.7, while the quality of WordPress support is rated at 7.8.
In conclusion, WordPress and Kentico are both great platforms, each well-suited to distinct market segments and varying business needs. Choosing between them necessitates a thorough analysis of your company’s needs, weighing the pros and cons to determine the most cost-effective solution. Such analyses require experience in deploying and supporting digital projects, an area where Infinity Group excels. We are ready to help you in undertaking such important business decisions, guiding you toward digital maturity through successful digital transformation with the implementation of a suitable CMS.