Choosing a content management system (CMS) for your upcoming development project can feel daunting. After all, this system can define the parameters of your project and how your company will update it moving forward. The stakes are also high because whatever CMS you invest in will likely stick around for years to come.
Today we’ll be doing a deep dive into two leading CMS platforms: Umbraco vs. CraftCMS. While both are top systems, the choice between them will depend on the priorities of your project. We’ll tease out key factors for each system so you have a better idea of which may be best for you.
Pro tip: just because a company you admire used a specific CMS, doesn’t mean you should select the same one. Your project needs are unique. Be sure to put your priorities first and seek expert advice from your development team.
Umbraco is overall a more popular option – plus, it’s completely free for commercial use. It gives your site an excellent technical backbone, including top-rated features such as an admin set-up, plugin compatibility, built-in templates, SEO, API integration and content repository.
On the downside, Umbraco may require a more technical hand, as it can be challenging for those with little development experience. Its support and community forums are also lackluster.
Great for: multilingual sites, sites with complex admin roles, sites with numerous plugin needs, sites that want great SEO.
- FOREVER free for commercial use (cloud services are extra)
- Excellent technical foundation:
- admin set-up
- plugin compatibility
- built-in templates
- API integration
- content repository
- Robust user stats
- Lackluster support and community forums
- A few clumsy features:
- Contact forms
- Update process
- Migration between development environments
While CraftCMS is a more up-and-coming choice, it’s the mainstay for content-first companies. If content – both appearance and structure – is your #1 priority, CraftCMS is a great choice. This platform is also highly customizable and has robust support and community forums.
Great for: highly customized sites, sites with content as a priority (lifestyle, arts, etc.), sites that require robust support.
- Content-first features:
- Content approval process
- Top-rated content authoring
- Easy-to-use admin
- Great internal search
- Content versioning and queue
- Highly customizable
- Robust support and community forums
- The entry-level price is $299 for business.
- Clumsy integration for technical features such as plugins, API, multilingual elements.
- Some branding elements are a bit complex for a typical user.
In addition to the pros and cons, both CMS platforms share certain areas of excellence. For example, both Umbraco and CraftCMS are known to be:
- Reliable and secure
- Have a top Rich Text Editor
- Have good statistic reporting
- Allow solid mobile integration
In this sense, you can be sure that both platforms perform well in these areas. In fact, Umbraco and CraftCMS never rate low in any key feature category. Both are stellar choices, with different pros and cons depending on your project needs.
As you can see, these CMS platforms are quite distinct. While both are high-quality, Umbraco is a free tool that will give you an excellent technical backbone for your site. On the other hand, CraftCMS is content-first and customizable to boot, though it’s expensive and certain integrations are more complex.
There’s plenty of options in the CMS market. In fact, this market is set to reach $123 billion by 2026. To ensure your new site is a success, select a CMS with care. Think through all the must-have features for your site. You should also consult your development team, as they might have make-or-break opinions to lean you one way or the other.
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