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99-wordpress-problems

99 WordPress problems, but Enonic got none

What problems does WordPress pose for your organization’s professional needs, and how does Enonic solve them?

Just like the eponymous Jay-Z classic, there are several problems with WordPress from an enterprise point of view in regard to digital experiences. But not so with Enonic.

We stress that WordPress is a good CMS for bloggers, private individuals, and smaller organisations—but if your website, app, or other kind of digital experience is business critical, you should listen closely.

Here are some important issues with WordPress, and where Enonic excels in comparison.

Blogs vs. mission critical websites

Due to its blog beginnings, WordPress is unsurprisingly still used as a blog by most of its users. Over 50% of the sites powered by WordPress are on the free WordPress.com platform, while the remaining sites are a mixture of blogs, personal homepages, and regular websites.

Enonic is not primarily meant for blogs or personal home pages, but for mission critical websites and digital experiences by mid-size to large businesses and enterprises. Although requiring developers to set up, Enonic is a user-friendly content platform for editors. Also, the emphasis on a developer-driven process and other best practices ensures that Enonic is a reliable, secure, stable, and predictable platform for its clients.

Manual image cropping vs. focal point 

In WordPress you can rotate, flip, and crop images in the default image editing tool—just like with the editing tool in Enonic. But there are two main differences between WordPress and Enonic in this matter.

Enonic’s image handling tool is—like the rest of the UI—touch-friendly, meaning you can edit the images as easily from a phone as from your desktop computer. Secondly, Enonic includes a focal point feature. Whereas in WordPress you have to manually crop images into different versions to emphasise e.g. a face in a larger picture, all you’ve got to do in Enonic is to assign the face as a focal point—and then the CMS renders the image as you want it no matter the size.

Read more: WordPress vs. Enonic »

Translations vs. layers for multilingual sites and localization

Localization and keeping a multilingual site can pose a challenge for anyone, and neither WordPress nor Enonic is an exception. The difference comes with how the different platforms solve the localization issue.

WordPress adheres to a fairly traditional method in this respect—of course with the help of plugins. Most of the translation plugins simply introduces a language field for all content types, and then you can copy the original item—e.g. a post or a page—change the language, and start translating all other fields. While this method seems easy enough, it introduces several challenges: there is no intuitive method to select content for different markets, it will quickly add to content noise, and managing access rights is difficult.

Enonic, on the other hand, uses layering. With this approach, the entire content structure can be separated into different layers. Content produced for a parent layer will be inherited by child layers, for instance the content from an English parent layer is inherited by French and German child layers. Also, you can have different teams working only within their own layer thanks to Enonic’s access rights management. The editorial teams will have full control in their respective layers, as e.g. publishing a blog post in a parent layer will not affect the publishing status of the inherited post in the child layer.

Content layers children

Third-party vs. integrated search engine

WordPress features a so-called relational database. It is possible to make queries—primarily via third-party tools—but on the other hand they are slow. Furthermore, the search has limited functionality, with no facets and no aggregations of data.

Enonic includes the powerful search engine Elasticsearch at its core. The integrated search in Enonic is fast, delivering results instantly from across your database. It also makes it easy to apply filters, facets, and aggregations. Additionally, Enonic offers enterprise search capabilitites through Enonic Explorer.

Plugins vs. platform

WordPress started out as a pure blogging platform. As a result, the core is pretty slim when it comes to functionality and content types, thus requiring plugins for anything from SEO and performance optimization to database prefixes and form builders. Aside from raising risk concerns, plugins create more dependencies and less overview in the overall platform.

Enonic features more functions in the core from the onset—including a search engine, customisable content types, and advanced image handling. For anything not present in the core, Enonic Market allows you to download and install applications. The Market has better overview and fewer, but thoroughly tested apps—for good or bad.

How-to: Integrating Enonic with your design system »

Separated content menus vs. hierarchical content structure 

The content in WordPress is organised in several separate menu points and lists—posts are e.g. in a completely separate list from pages. And although pages can be ordered numerically and be assigned as sub pages under parent pages, it is difficult to get a neat overview—especially if you have a sizeable number of content items. This may be possible to fix with a plugin, but as always with plugins this poses a security and performance risk in the long run.

Enonic offers a logical tree structure of all your content, which can mirror your web structure if you would like to. The sorting of elements in the structure can be manual, alphabetical, chronological, and more. Also, the integrated search function allows you to retrieve content immediately.

Hard-coded content types vs. flexible content type definitions 

As mentioned, WordPress began as a blogging tool, which is evident when you take a closer look at the core platform’s fairly limited content types. Default content types in WordPress include users, taxonomies, comments, and post types—whereas the latter include the familiar post and page. As detailed by Nelio Software, you can build Custom Post Types (CPTs), like testimonials, movie reviews, services, recipes, and podcasts. However, these are really just modified versions of the hard-coded post type, which developers can release as a plugin or as part of a theme.

Enonic is a content-oriented CMS. Everything is a content by an XML definition, and every piece of content has a dedicated content type which is easy to reuse and maintain. You can reuse the contents of a post or a testimonial to completely different channels, as it is separated from any page theme or presentation—ready to be used in a pure form wherever you want.

Video: A short introduction to Enonic »

PHP vs. server-side JavaScript

WordPress is based on the programming language PHP. While PHP does have some major flaws, our main point here is that only PHP developers know PHP—it is a specialised language requiring more study than for instance JavaScript (JS).

Enonic uses server-side JavaScript. Developers can start to use the platform without any problem, because every web developer already knows JavaScript. The reason for this is that—together with HTML and CSS—JavaScript is one of the core technologies of the World Wide Web. JavaScript enables interactive web pages and is an essential part of web applications. The vast majority of websites use JS, and the major web browsers have a dedicated JavaScript engine to execute the programming language.

Client-side only vs. server-side React 

React is a JavaScript user interface (UI) library for building UI components, created by Facebook. Any Javascript developer can understand the basics of React and start developing an awesome web application after only a couple of days reading tutorials.

In WordPress, the execution of React occurs on the client-side only—the browser—which basically means a longer loading time and delays in the user experience. In addition, you must use other server-side templating languages to get ready-rendered front-ends, and then you have twice the work and maintenance.

Enonic renders React applications server-side and delivers them to client-side React in order to optimize the user experience. This results in an instant experience—e.g. instant loading of services on a booking site—which is user-friendly.

Read also: 7 signs Enonic is powering a website »

PHP security vs. enterprise Java security 

In WordPress, there are many users who run their WP installation on several different versions—some supported and others blatantly obsolete. In addition to this, security holes can be introduced via plugins—which may or may not be safe and/or compatible with your particular version. Still worse, WordPress supports old PHP versions, and many non-technical users run WordPress without skills in security, being practically “citizen developers.” All of these elements combined result in a potentially less secure website.

Enonic is an ISO certified organization with a strict emphasis on orderly routines, transparent source code, and periodic testing of its software. Enonic thoroughly and meticulously tests each version for security and performance, and enacts Java security best practices.

***

Again, we think WordPress can be great for its purposes. But if your purpose is to deliver digital experiences with an enterprise level of security, stability, scalability, and flexibility for the future, Enonic is most likely the better option.

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First published 9 July 2019, updated 30 March 2022.

Topics: 
change cms
Enonic XP
wordpress
image handling
search function