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Umbraco vs Wordpress: What's the difference?

You’ve heard they’re both outstanding. You’re keen to pick the best CMS for your situation, your business, and its future. But which is going to be the best – Wordpress or Umbraco? If you’re delving deep into the similarities and differences between Umbraco vs Wordpress, this article is for you. As a highly experienced B2B website design agency with extensive expertise in Umbraco website design, we know the score. By the end of this article you’ll know which content management system to go for.

What is Wordpress?

Let’s begin with the essentials. First in our exploration of the Umbraco CMS vs Wordpress, let’s look into exactly what Wordpress is.

Wordpress is an open source content management system or CMS, which means it’s free for anyone to use. Anyone can view, change and share the code for the Wordpress CMS in any way they like. It uses established PHP + MySQL technology and was originally launched in 2003 as a blogging platform. These days it has expanded to include every kind of functionality, everything from complex ecommerce sites with thousands of products to basic brochure-ware, membership sites, communities and everything in between.

There’s an enormous variety of plugins to give you every kind of functionality imaginable. It is incredibly popular, used by more than 43% of all websites. The WordPress community of literally thousands of voluntary developers updates the code keeps the functionality up to date. 

What is Umbraco?

Next in our adventure into Umbraco CMS vs Wordpress, what is Umbraco? Like Wordpress, it’s a popular open source content management system or CMS. The platform uses Microsoft technology rather than the PHP programming language and MySQL database management system used by WordPress. It was first launched back in 2005, primarily to compete with other dynamic website development platforms like Joomla and Drupal.

Umbraco has become very popular since 2005. Now it’s known as the most flexible and fastest-growing ASP.NET CMS on the market, respected by developers and designers thanks to its flexibility and ease of customisation, user-friendly enough for non-technical users with some code experience.

Umbraco has a much smaller market share than Wordpress with around 1.75% of the world’s top 10,000 websites using the Umbraco platform. It also comes with a strong support community and ongoing development so it’s always fresh and current, secure and relevant.  Microsoft itself uses Umbraco, as do big brands like Carlsberg, Heinz and Peugeot.

Wordpress Pros and Cons

So let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of Wordpress. First the pros.

Ease of Use

Wordpress is famously easy to use with a very simple and intuitive user-friendly interface. People with absolutely no coding knowledge or experience can dive right in and easily create a professional looking Wordpress-based website, fast. At the same time Wordpress sites are also highly customisable, easy to make unique with your own branding and imagery. 

Versatile Customisation

The Wordpress theme-based system is user friendly, letting you change the look, feel and layout of your pages quickly and easily, and amend the way it works. The abundance of excellent Wordpress plugins, a collection of at least 55,000 to choose from, enables you to achieve whatever you like with the CMS. Everything from ecommerce to blogs, portfolio websites and much more. Because Wordpress is built to integrate simply with other web technologies, you should be able to do absolutely everything you want to within the platform.


Wordpress is widely recognised as one of the best CMS platforms for SEO, in other words for structuring and formatting your content so it gives search engines what they need to rank, rate and classify the content accurately.

The basic offering comes with popular inbuilt SEO features like custom permalinks, easy page title customisation, and simple meta descriptions. And there’s a huge collection of excellent and useful SEO-related plugins to carry out essential work like image optimisation, making life so much easier and saving you loads of time. The same goes for essentials like the Yoast SEO and Google analytics plugins, both of which do the hard work for you.

Huge Support Community

The enormous WordPress user base means you’re never short of online help and guidance, covering everything from the most complex code customisation to the simplest site usage and content creation.

Every good Umbraco vs Wordpress comparison also involves the cons of using WordPress. Here they are.

Frequent Updates

Because it’s an open source project, Wordpress updates are frequent. At the same time it’s vital to keep your site up to date to stay secure and safe, with the latest software releases. This is something you need to keep an eye on, and it can be a challenge. Your host might automatically update WordPress for you if you tick the right box, so consider that. Otherwise check daily to see if there’s a fresh version to update to.

Customisation Challenges

Because it’s all about the plugins, which are essential for many functions, you’ll also need to update your plugins whenever you get an alert.

Business size

Wordpress is great for smaller businesses while Umbraco’s functionality is often more suited to big businesses. 

Website Security Vulnerabilities

Wordpress is the most widely hacked CMS of all thanks to its popularity and widespread use. You need to be hot on site maintenance and it’s possible to fall foul of dodgy plugins coded to create mischief. The site updates and security configuration are your responsibility as the site owner. To be more secure, avoid installing too many third-party plugins and themes.

Umbraco Pros and Cons

Next, the pros and cons of Umbraco.

Ease of Use

Umbraco is easy for experienced web developers to use. The user interface for experienced content creators is recognised as user-friendly, providing a host of excellent content creation features that are simple to use with great results.


Umbraco is highly customisable and comes with an abundance of excellent third party plugins. The plugins can be modified and fully customised to meet your specific requirements – and this involves web developer skills. You can tap into customisable Umbraco templates, also nice and simple to use when you know your stuff.

Website Security

Umbraco is one of the most secure CMS platforms available, regularly tested and validated by people who know what’s what. The Microsoft .NET framework it sits on means Umbraco sites benefit from security features that aren’t usually available in PHP-based CMS platforms like Wordpress. In a world where cyber crime can trash a site, leaving you unable to do business, it matters.

Umbraco’s built-in security measures include automated security updates and hashed passwords, automated HTTPS certificates and the opportunity to create your own password rules. You can even easily  implement two-factor authentication. There’s built-in support for the OAuth login system, support for HTTPS, and a handy built-in site health check.

Performance and Scalability

Umbraco sites are typically well built and optimally hosted, which means they often outperform Wordpress sites in speed and reliability. If your site attracts high volumes of users or visitors, you’ll appreciate its easy, fast scalability. 

What about the downsides for Umbraco vs Wordpress?

Complex for average users

While beginners can find WordPress super-easy to drive, Umbraco is easier for site developers. Umbraco can take non-technical users some time and effort to grasp.

Complex customisation for beginners

The same goes for customisation. You need to be familiar with code to get the best out of Umbraco’s excellent customisation capabilities. This means it’s best left to experienced website developers.

SEO is more complex

While Umbraco websites can be highly optimised for search, SEO optimisation is more complicated than WordPress and takes more effort. Any SEO tools and capabilities you need are best added by experienced site developers, who will code what’s needed into the back end for you.

Umbraco or Wordpress - Which is Right for You?

Choosing between Umbraco and Wordpress can be tricky. If you’re still lost in space, you can always talk to the friendly team at Intuitiv, who will be pleased to chat. Your key considerations are:

  • Wordpress is great for quickly creating simple websites – it doesn’t require much technical know-how
  • On the other hand WordPress sites can suffer from security vulnerabilities, leaving you responsible for continuous updates and maintenance
  • Umbraco lets you build highly secure, flexible websites but you need some coding knowledge to find your way around and get things done
  • Wordpress comes with the choice of thousands of great plugins to do everything from designing a webform to making sure every piece of content is optimised for SEO
  • For Umbraco, there are fewer plugins
  • Wordpress scalability is limited but Umbraco’s scalability is unlimited
  • Umbraco sites are fast and efficient while Wordpress sites can be slower, often simply because of all the code used for the plugins you upload
  • WordPress is mostly used for blogs and news sites, Umbraco is often used for big enterprises rather than small businesses 

Are you ready to choose the ideal CMS? 

It’s obviously important to carefully consider the choice of website CMS before you start designing and building your online presence. As a popular and respected Umbraco agency, we tend to recommend Umbraco to our web development Oxford and web design Oxford clients, and to the many clients we work with beyond our region. 

Can we help you make the best Umbraco CMS vs Wordpress decision?  How about great Umbraco hosting?

Get in touch with us by phone on 01844 888 777 the, by email at or fill in our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.