Silverstripe CMS vs. Wordpress

It's no secret that Wordpress is a very popular CMS (Content Management System) and has been around for many years. And choosing the right CMS is crucial for businesses and organizations of all sizes.

In this article, i'll delve into a comprehensive comparison of these systems, addressing the needs of marketers, content authors and developers.


Ok, there is no list of features in this article. Comparing any CMS with Wordpress in terms of "features" would be a pointless venture - there is a plugin for every conceivable requirement in the Wordpress ecosystem.

What is interesting, however, is how these features are created, how they can be customized and how they fit into the user interface.

Wordpress is fundamentally designed as a blogging platform. This has not changed for many years and it is always a kind of small "workaround" when creating a classic corporate website (where blog articles may not be the main focus). By using plugins, content types, customized fields etc. can be added.

Silverstripe is designed as a content management framework and offers a set of solid core features and also extensions via modules.
Due to the strict architecture and coding standards, however, these fit better into the user interface and can be adapted to individual requirements if necessary.

Ease of Use

As content management systems, both platforms offer content authors the opportunity to edit website content quickly and easily.

Wordpress also offers countless options (via plugins and themes) for managing and changing content and its presentation. At first glance, this offers a lot of flexibility, control and possibilities. Free and paid plugins promise a quick remedy for all requirements.
At the same time, the interface can quickly become overcrowded and difficult to use - depending on how many plugins and which themes are in use.

Of course, this primarily depends on the know-how of the website developer as to which plugins etc. are used - and therefore applies to all CMS-based websites.
With Wordpress it usually happens sooner rather than later that you might get lost in the backend. There are countless ways to edit content: via Page Builder, Gutenberg Blocks, Classic Editor and hybrid versions. If you haven't used the CMS in a while, you may find yourself needing to search for the correct location within the page or page builder block. Or maybe in the Customizer? Or was it in the theme settings?

Silverstripe CMS, on the other hand, has always offered a user-friendly interface that requires hardly any acclimatization time.
While extensions and modules are also used here, the authoring experience remains consistent and at a high level, even for larger sites. This is partly due to

  • the code standardization and high quality standards
  • the clear separation of content and design
  • the ability to create simple interfaces for individual content types and processes

Customization & Flexibility

Every website comes to a point where individual functions, customisations or specific content types come into play. And the challenge is whether and how these can be implemented. Ideally in a sustainable and cost-effective way.

These extensions can usually be implemented via extensions (in the case of Wordpress "plugins", in the case of Silverstripe CMS "modules") or custom development.

Wordpress is the system with the largest selection of plugins and themes worldwide - produced and supported by numerous programmers or companies.
Wordpress plugins can be installed and configured with just a few clicks - and if the range of functions meets the requirements, the system can be easily expanded step by step. Originally designed as a blogging tool, a Wordpress website can quickly be turned into a multilingual corporate website with many features.

In addition to first-class themes and plugins, there are also many extensions available with poor code quality or which code is hardly or not at all based on modern coding standards. If several plugins are in use - and this is usually the case - this can lead to problems. In the worst-case scenario, a supposed one-click installation can result in having to work "around" various plugins.

Compared to Wordpress, the number of extensions for Silverstripe CMS is smaller. Silverstripe CMS is based on a solid PHP framework and can be quickly customized for individual needs. Either through ready-made modules or custom development.
Due to better coding standards, the quality of Silverstripe modules is generally higher, as is the ability to customize them for individual requirements. 

However, a direct comparison with Wordpress is difficult in this context, as the two systems take a very different approach.

Extending Wordpress with plugins/themes is easy and can be done quickly by users without any technical knowledge. Customizations in Silverstripe CMS, on the other hand, require a higher level of knowledge from experienced developers. This results in streamlined and efficient solutions that can be quickly adjusted to meet future needs.

Many Wordpress plugins and themes are chargeable, Silverstripe CMS modules are mostly open source and therefore "free".


Scalability is an important factor for many company websites: can the website cope with growing requirements over time (e.g. visitors, further developments)? Or do you have to invest in cost-intensive relaunch projects every 2 years?

Wordpress is well suited for small sites or blogs - but if the demands on the system grow, it can sometimes become problematic. This is not uncommon with Wordpress sites, especially when themes and plugins of different origins are combined with sometimes inadequate code quality.

Silverstripe CMS is based on a robust PHP framework and its technical architecture is designed for performance and scalability, especially for sites and applications in the enterprise segment. Silverstripe CMS can also be integrated into or with other platforms or larger architectures.


Of course, we should talk about security here.
The popularity of Wordpress is both a curse and a blessing: it naturally makes Wordpress a very popular target for attackers. At least that's what the statistics say: 94% of hacked sites are running on Wordpress (2019) or estimated 13.000 Wordpress sites hacked per day (2023).

Apart from that, inadequate coding standards for plugins and themes can be a problem - especially if they are no longer maintained, their licence model changes or their code is difficult or impossible to adapt.
While every CMS-based website should receive regular updates, this is especially true for Wordpress: the updates for CMS, plugins, etc. must be carried out much more frequently here than with other platforms.

With Silverstripe CMS, security is a core aspect of the architecture. The strict separation between code and content as well as ongoing security audits make Silverstripe CMS a comparatively "secure" platform.
This is one of the reasons why government websites and enterprise applications rely on Silverstripe CMS.


Where can I get help if there are problems and what are the long-term prospects for a web solution?

The Wordpress community is of course huge - you will find several solutions (or plugins) on the web for every imaginable topic. With paid plugins, you have to rely on support from the respective manufacturer.

The Silverstripe CMS community is smaller than that of Wordpress - but it is active and helpful worldwide. There is also (paid) support from the manufacturer, Silverstripe Ltd. The best of both worlds, so to say.

CMS for Agencies and Developers

Every web agency and every web developer has certain preferences, technical experience and different clients to serve.

With its large number of themes and plugins, Wordpress is not only aimed at professional agencies or web developers, but also at marketers and people who do not have a technical background. For quick and small solutions, you can quickly achieve respectable results with Wordpress.

Silverstripe CMS, on the other hand, takes a different, more "rigid" approach to the concept of role allocation: Content authors and marketers are responsible for content (and its coordination, publication, etc.), developers for functionality, security and further development.

For developers, the learning curve with Silverstripe CMS is steeper. Once you have overcome this hurdle, however, you will find yourself in a system that offers developers

  • good coding guidelines and processes
  • opportunities to implement complex requirements very quickly
  • control over the code
  • customized solutions for specific requirements

SEO (Search engine Optimization)

SEO is actually a "feature" that every CMS can handle to a greater or lesser extent. But for many marketers it is a very important feature and more than just customizing the title and description of a page.

Both CMSs offer a variety of tools to easily manage content-related SEO work.
When it comes to the "technical" aspects of SEO, however, many typical WordPress websites cannot sufficiently fulfill the current requirements (Core Web Vitals, etc.). Especially when purchased themes or page builders are used, the quality of the front-end code (e.g. Markup, CSS, JS) is often very bloated and the performance of the site is inadequate.

Full code control gives Silverstripe developers the ability to respond quickly and specifically to the ever-growing SEO requirements - creating lean, accessible and performant sites.


Both CMS are comprehensive platforms for creating and managing content on the web, with strengths and weaknesses. The selection of the appropriate system hinges upon several factors including project requirements, long-term objectives, and the proficiency and inclinations of the web developer.
Additionally, financial considerations are also decisive. Beyond the initial expenses associated with website development, ongoing costs for operation, maintenance, and updates necessitate careful evaluation.

Wordpress is suitable for small websites and for marketers who want to manage many aspects of a website without code and can (or must) be satisfied with limited flexibility.

Silverstripe CMS, on the other hand, offers more flexibility, security and performance and is better suited to custom project requirements.
Silverstripe CMS is designed from the ground up for larger web projects - but smaller sites will also benefit in the long term from the scalability and customizability that can be achieved with comparatively little effort.