Umbraco vs WordPress

Umbraco and WordPress are two of the main platforms that you can use to run your website. We are frequently asked why we use Umbraco over WordPress. Here is that explanation...


WordPress is an online publishing platform, whereas Umbraco is a Content Management System - or CMS for short. These systems give developers full control over the system, whilst allowing users to create and edit content without having in-depth technical knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

In Umbraco, all pages on the website are fully customisable, with each page being built from scratch and unique to the website it is built for.

With WordPress, however, there are a huge number of free templates available, with limited customisation options. This means that a large number of WordPress sites will look very similar to one another.


WordPress is mainly used by small companies that are not able to employ a developer to create and maintain their website. This also means that the people who set up a WordPress website may not know how to ensure that their site is set up correctly, and more importantly, safely. This results in giving hackers easy access via vulnerabilities often included in template and plugin files. Most of the headline website security breaches you hear in the news are through WordPress sites. Cite:

Umbraco, on the other hand, is one of the most secure CMSs available, again due to how customisable the framework is. Even a standard Umbraco installation is very secure and will alert you to any potential problems with the site's configuration, but developers are also able to access the core code for Umbraco and can modify the way that the site is able to deal with any issues.


Plugins enable functionality within a CMS that is not included in the core installation of the website. Usually intended for less technical users, plugins range in scope from simple functions like an image gallery to more complex features such as collating information submitted via a contact form.

Both Umbraco and WordPress have a large library of plugins that can be installed via the content management systems, however many WordPress plugins - especially ones for simple and essential functions - are not free. A lot of these plugins, such as ones for SEO management, are extremely simple to implement in Umbraco without the need for premium plugins by any competent developer. The cost of these plugins for WordPress versus the equivalent implementation in Umbraco can greatly increase the cost of a WordPress website.

Additionally, WordPress plugins need to be constantly updated in order to remain secure, and if the plugin developer ceases their updates you will either have to pay for an alternate version of the plugin or be at the mercy of potential hackers.

Basic WordPress installation requires a theme and at least a few plugins to work effectively. This isn’t much of a problem but the more WordPress plugins you install the slower your website becomes.

Customer Base

WordPress was initially designed as a blogging platform. This is reflected in their client base with some big name sites still using today. They do not, however, use WordPress for the entire site - only for the blog section. Examples include names such as BlackBerry and Staples.

Umbraco, on the other hand, is used by some of the biggest companies in the world to manage entire websites, including:

  • Microsoft
  • Heinz
  • Costa Coffee

In conclusion, both of these sites are good at where they were created for but remember they were created for different purposes. WordPress is a blogging platform that can have non-blog pages, while Umbraco is a CMS (Content Management System) for building custom websites. WordPress is a CMS as much as Umbraco is a blogging platform.

Let me make it even easier:

If you had £100k, would you buy a Ferrari or a Tractor?
What exactly do you want to do?
Do you want to do the Cannonball Run or plough a field?
Each has its own merits - just don’t try to pull a plough with a Ferrari…

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