22 February 2022 / Episerver Back to blogs

Episerver vs WordPress - which is the best investment for ambitious brands?

There will be some people scratching their heads at why Episerver and WordPress would be up for comparison, surely a .NET enterprise-level platform like Episerver is a completely different breed of technology to the most-used open source platform, WordPress? Yet search data tells us that many people are weighing up the pros and cons of both platforms when they’re looking for a new website platform. We’re going to pit Episerver vs WordPress and see which returns the best value.

Accessibility and UI

Accessibility is a strength for both platforms as they both have an easy to use interface. WordPress is an open-source platform, which means it's available to anyone with access to the internet to build a website. This is great for smaller businesses, sole traders or bloggers that want a simple site that they can manage themselves, using a variety of free templates. 

Episerver also has set templates for pages or blocks which can be adjusted or copied, giving users the flexibility to create a site that is tailored to their brand identity that sets them apart from the crowd.

Overall, both Episerver and WordPress offer an attractive, easy to use interface for users to go to market with at speed. The core difference is that Episerver is a different calibre of technology that is designed for brands to create sophisticated digital experiences with a portfolio of tools. WordPress websites can be ready-to-go in minutes, however this is representative of it’s self-publishing heritage and target market.

Security and scalability

WordPress accounts for the majority of vulnerable platforms, with 90% of hacked websites using the platform. This goes hand in hand with scalability. Ambitious organisations require sophisticated solutions that aren’t going to be easily compromised and can keep customer data secure. This is where Episerver thrives. 

Unlike WordPress, Episerver is a closed-source platform that uses the .NET framework. This means that by design it is configured to be a robust and secure platform that provides the highest security standards for enterprise-level solutions. Some of Episerver’s (now Optimizely) key features to boost security include various code access restrictions and code signing parameters. Episerver users also benefit from Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF), this is a prevention mechanism that automatically detects forged requests for system pages, virus protection and much more.

When it comes to scaling, Episerver and WordPress differ again. WordPress is the most used platform in the world, this means that the plugins available are endless to help shape the platform to your business’ requirements. However, whilst that is a benefit, the reliance on third-party technology and being based on a MySQL database can be a hindering factor for scaling. For smaller traffic volumes WordPress’ scaling options are satisfactory, however for global organisations the technology isn’t in the same league as Episerver.

Episerver is a cloud-based technology and has an incredibly agile API capability which allows organisations to integrate with their other technologies, for instance, Episerver Commerce seamlessly connects with ERP systems, but has a broad tool portfolio all within the one platform, keeping security risks low and scalability easily manageable.

Content

WordPress and Episerver both have content at their core. WordPress grew in popularity for being a self-publishing platform that's quick and easy to use and has user-friendly publishing tools. Extending content capabilities beyond editing and publishing is all possible, but relies on third-party plugins and can sometimes rack up some costs. Episerver CMS on the other hand or Episerver Content Cloud is just one product in Episerver DXC.

Episerver and WordPress have all the essential features in common and available through easy to use interfaces on both platforms, but where Episerver takes the lead is for larger, ambitious organisations that are looking to create sophisticated content-driven experiences using personalisation. Personalisation and automated content recommendations are available in Episerver, as well as approval workflows and a long list of features that suit teams that need to collaborate across different offices or countries.

Innovation

The Episerver Digital Experience Platform has been recognised for its excellence in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant since 2015, and since Episerver and Optimizely united under, ‘Optimizely’ is only evolving further as a world class technology.

Comparing Episerver vs WordPress for innovation is a quick job. WordPress is supported by a community of volunteers, it's great for basic solutions, but it’s position in the market isn’t to be pioneering innovative solutions. Episerver, however, is a visionary that is constantly creating new ways to unlock digital potential through connected experiences at a global scale. 

Cost

The cost of Episerver and WordPress are reflective of the calibre of the technology and ROI for your organisation. WordPress CMS is free to use, but the platform does offer a tiered pricing plan that covers their target demographics of freelancers, small businesses and online stores. It’s important to note that due to the reliance on plugins for extra functionality, users can quickly find themselves with lots of additional costs as each plugin is priced separately.

Episerver pricing is in line with enterprise level technology pricing scales and the value that its features bring to organisations. Unlike WordPress, where plans can be purchased at a click, organisation’s are required to speak to an Episerver Partner to get a bespoke quote that is tailored to their requirements, rather than a one size fits all model.

Which will benefit your organisation most, Episerver or WordPress?

If your organisation has ambitious growth plans, is customer centric and is forward thinking when it comes to customer experience, then Episerver (Optimizely) is a better option. It’s a top-tier, professional solution provider that has the power to elevate and transform your organisation.

If your organisation is at the very beginning of its journey and you’re restricted by budget, but are keen to kickstart your brand’s digital footprint - WordPress is a great place to start.

We are Ultimedia, an accredited Episerver / Optimizely Partner, that’s been working with organisations around the world since 1995 to transform and thrive digitally. Contact us today to see how we can help your organisation.

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