99 WordPress problems, but Enonic ain't oneMorten Eriksen on
What problems does WordPress pose for your organisation’s professional needs, and how does Enonic solve them?
We stress that WordPress is an excellent CMS for bloggers, private persons, and smaller organisations—but if your website, app, or other kind of digital experience is business critical, you should listen closely.
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Here are some important issues with WordPress, and where Enonic XP 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 XP 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 web 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 XP. But there are two main differences between WordPress and Enonic in this matter.
Enonic XP’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 sizes.
Read more: WordPress vs. Enonic XP »
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 XP 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.
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 optimisation to database prefixes and form builders. Aside from raising risk concerns, plugins create more dependencies and less overview in the overall platform.
Enonic XP 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.
Separated content menus vs. hierarchical content structure
The content in WordPress are 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 pages. 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 XP 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 XP 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.
Client-side only vs. server-side React
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 an 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 optimise 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 organisation 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 XP is most likely the better option.