WordPress vs Kentico
You’re ready for a new website, and you’re trying to decide if you should switch from Kentico to WordPress. We’ve built lots of sites in each platform, and we’d love to help you make the best choice. WordPress is easy to use, easy to customize, very extensible, and easy to optimize for search engines. The most common complaint about WordPress is that is vulnerable to security threats. Kentico is a very stable and secure platform. The most common complaints about it are that it’s harder to customize and not especially intuitive to use. Let’s break things down by categories.
Full disclosure: This article was written by Keystone’s WordPress Developer.
Ease of Use
WordPress provides a very straightforward user experience for editing content. Once you log in, there’s a simple menu on the left that controls your settings and content. You can even start a new blog post from the dashboard. You’ll see that our menu features some custom items (Websites, Case Studies, etc.) that I’ve created to simplify the process of adding content. (More on that next.) I don’t feel that Kentico is as easy to use, especially out of the box. In addition, it has a much smaller user base, which means that there aren’t many support forums or tutorials.
Easy to Customize
As a developer, I love how I can customize the WordPress admin panel to allow users to add content that looks great. By “great,” I mean that it isn’t just a page full of text. For example, on our company website, we have an individual page for each employee. We wanted these pages to be visually appealing, but we wanted all of our employees to be able to edit and add content, and obviously not everyone is fluent in the HTML and CSS code that is required to make the pages look nice. We set up this form in the admin panel (see the image on the left) so any user can easily add this information without writing any code. If you look on the right side of the image, you can see how it looks on the “front end” of the site.
We build these custom templates for all kinds of clients. For example, a builder might have a custom template for houses, so they can add all of the details and specs and have them show up in an attractive layout once they save the changes. Not only does this look great, but it helps to keep content more consistent in appearance. We can customize Kentico to do similar things, but it doesn’t look as user-friendly. An employee with a basic familiarity with WordPress could log into the aforementioned builder’s site and figure out how to add a new house, but doing that in Kentico would probably require some basic instructions.
There are add-ons called “plugins” that extend functionality of WordPress, and we use those for creating contact forms, search engine optimization, site performance improvements, and more. And if we don’t like the way a particular plugin does things, we can create our own, because WordPress is built in PHP, the most popular programming language on the internet, and that means we can do just about any kind of custom programming we want. Kentico has infinite customization possibilities, too, but because its user base is small and it’s not open source software, there aren’t any off-the-shelf plugins that can quickly add functionality. However, Kentico includes more features out of the box than WordPress.
Search Engine Optimization
WordPress make SEO really easy. We use an add-on called “Yoast SEO” that tells us how to optimize each page. Yoast is free, too! (We’re using a premium version in this screenshot, but most clients don’t need those extra features.) You can see that it shows us how our page will look in Google’s search results and lets us edit that information. It also outlines a few issues that we should address on this specific blog post, like keyword density and placement. You can do SEO in any platform, but we haven’t seen any platform with a tool as good as Yoast. And we find that it’s much faster to do SEO in WordPress, because almost everything is in one place. In Kentico, meta descriptions and titles are edited on a different tab than the content, and those extra clicks take time.
Security is an issue in WordPress, just like it’s an issue with any platform. We hear about security issues with WordPress sites more frequently than Kentico sites, but that’s partially because there are millions of WordPress sites on the web, compared to thousands of Kentico sites. In fact, that popularity works to the advantage of WordPress, because security issues are discovered and addressed very quickly. Most security issues with WordPress result from users not doing basic maintenance on their site, and a lot of that can be set up to be automatic. (We take care of those updates for our hosting clients, and we also take a number of steps to “harden” our sites against the most common threats. We also have lots of different add-ons that we can use to extend WordPress security. What we use varies by client need, but we can do things like enforcing better passwords, built-in security scans, two-factor login authorization, restricting logins from certain countries, and more.
We have to give the security edge to Kentico, but that doesn’t dissuade us from recommending WordPress as a secure, stable platform.
We have a large manufacturing client whose website integrates with their internal .NET (a programming framework) servers. Kentico is a .NET platform, so it’s a better fit for them. For cases like that, we recommend Kentico. For content-based sites where extensibility and ease-of-use are important, we recommend WordPress. The good news is that it’s hard to go wrong with either platform.