What is the difference between Wagtail CMS and WordPress?
WordPress and Wagtail CMS both solve problems. They do this in a similar way, but the systems are still very different and excel in specific areas. They each have their own specialty. Below is the comparison between these two content management systems based on a number of important components.
The first important difference is the language in which both CMS's are written. Wagtail runs on the Django framework which is written in the Python programming language. WordPress is written in PHP. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
PHP has a pretty bad reputation because it is often associated with websites that are created in 'by your little nephew' and are full of security holes and badly written code. In recent years with the arrival of PHP 7 this has already improved a lot but for us personally it is still not our first choice. At webconexus we always opt for Django, unless the customer wishes otherwise or the budget is not sufficient.
WordPress dates back to 2003 and has been running for more than 15 years. During this time the platform has proven several times that it offers good support for expandability and further development. One of the biggest plus points of WordPress is the plugin options. This can add extra functionalities to websites without adding significant additional development costs. The disadvantage is the huge number of updates and the bloat ware that often come with plugins.
Wagtail was released in 2013 and is therefore 10 years younger than WordPress. There are no plugins in Wagtail, but all django packages that are available for Django can be used. Wagtail == Django and therefore everything is almost fully compatible . These extensions are then built in by the developer. Because these packages are often built in at a lower level, there is less 'magic' than with a WordPress plugin. Delays due to django packages are minimal, unlike WordPress plugins that make the website considerably slower.
WordPress is a popular target for hackers. One of the main reasons for this is the plugins, which were also discussed in the previous section. Although they are very useful on the one hand, you have to be very careful what you install. There are a lot of plugins that are unprofessional and can cause major security issues.
Wagtail CMS runs on Django and this is one of the safest frameworks that exist. This is also a reason that a number of very large and serious companies have adopted this framework. Django itself also puts safety as one of the primary reasons for using Django on their website. Therefore, a lot is invested in the safety of the system.
The requirements of website visitors are becoming increasingly higher. Nowadays, a loading time of less than 2 seconds can be called slow. In addition to the user, the speed of your website is also an important ranking factor in Google.
WordPress was originally a blog system but nowadays you see a lot of people installing dozens of plugins to get the functionalities of a customized web application. This significantly slows down the website. In addition to the plugins, the themes are also important, there are a lot of bad themes that make unnecessary requests and database queries.
Wagtail CMS runs on Django, which is initially much faster than the PHP language of WordPress. With this system you are less likely to suffer from large bottlenecks . Because you do not use external plugins or themes, the optimization of the website is immediately done by the developers while building the website. This gives you much more control than when you depend on third parties.
We deliver our websites built with Wagtail CMS as standard with a redis cache back-end and this makes even the heaviest dynamic web pages super fast. Caching is the temporary storage of files for quick access. Caching takes place at different levels and in different programs. Your internet browser, for example, caches internet files that are frequently requested. A processor temporarily stores information that is widely used in the operating system.
Our current website achieves an average loading time of 700ms (0.7s), which is very fast for a dynamically created website.
WordPress has an extensive administration system at the back-end. Things like managing users, creating and building pages and managing portfolio items in your website. When you see this dashboard for the first time it can be quite overwhelming.
In our opinion, Wagtail CMS is much more user-friendly. Because the dashboard contains only the options that have been built in by the developer, it is much cleaner and easier for the end user to understand.
Of course the costs are also an important part. Because WordPress is written in PHP, it has lower hosting costs than Wagtail. This is because it requires a bit more work to deploy a Django website in comparison with with WordPress (PHP). The development costs of a WordPress website are also a lot lower than those of a website with Wagtail. This is because there is more customization and it simply takes more time.
Do I have to choose Wagtail CMS or WordPress?
This choice is of course different per situation . Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. Wagtail CMS performs much better than WordPress on a lot of key areas. Mainly in the areas of speed, safety and general professionalism that it entails (large companies and professional developers). But with those advantages also the disadvantage of higher development has to be taken into account.
The final choice is therefore up to the user. Do you prefer a somewhat simpler website and accept the shortcomings of WordPress for a lower price? Then choose WordPress. Do you find user-friendliness, speed and safety important and are you willing to pay a little extra for this? Then Wagtail CMS is an excellent choice.