Gatsby vs WordPress

Published on September 9, 2020 by Brant Robbins

Many in the web industry are familiar with WordPress. WordPress, a free and open-source content management system (or CMS,) has evolved from being a program primarily used for creating blogs into a full-blown, easy to use website creator. It’s the go-to for many inexperienced users as well as professionals providing web development services today. Despite its popularity, WordPress is beginning to show its age. Ask any silicon valley engineer what they consider the best tool to build modern websites and you will overwhelmingly hear one name, GatsbyJS.

GatsbyJS is a new framework for building websites that has gained lots of traction in the past several years due to its versatility and performance. According to a recent W3Techs Technology Report, it is the fastest growing framework in the world. It is based off of the highly popular React.js JavaScript library and powered by the GraphQL query language. In layman’s terms, Gatsby combines the power of some of the best front-end tools to create an experience web developers as well as end-users will love. In this article, we will talk about how Gatsby is a better platform than WordPress for both users and developers.

Before we review what sets Gatsby apart from WordPress, we need to understand what separates a server hosted website from a static website. A server hosted website is dynamic, meaning it works by first processing who is visiting your site and subsequently building your page based upon that specific user by fetching data from a database …. A static site generator works by returning a static page to the user, without having to rely on any databases. What does this mean for performance? SSGs cut down heavily on load times by not relying on a database to build the site in real time every time a user visits the site. Efficient loading times generally lead to increased search engine optimization, or SEO. This difference also ensures greater reliability, as also relying on a connection to the database increases site complexity. Static sites provide far greater security since hackers cannot tamper with static files. Not only that, but WordPress itself is known to have a lot of plugins with security vulnerabilities, and each plugin you add to your site adds a new layer of exploitability as well.

Just recently, a vulnerability was found in the Elementor WordPress plugin that could allow an authenticated user to enable Safe Mode which could then allow them to disable all plugins, which could include security plugins, weakening the overall security of the site. To really drive home how much better Gatsby security is, go to Google and search for “recent wordpress hacks” and compare that to a search for “recent gatsbyjs hacks”.

For those interested in having someone else develop their website, Swirl Creative stands apart from the crowd by utilizing Gatsby instead of WordPress like many competitors. For inexperienced developers interested in building their own website, you may find that WordPress is easier to use at first, but the slight learning curve will make Gatsby worth the initial extra effort. Lastly, for developers looking for further data on what sets Gatsby apart from WordPress, visit Gatsby’s own feature comparison here. Gatsby holds superior to WordPress in performance, reliability, security, … and is helping set a new standard for the internet of tomorrow.

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