Insight

Laravel vs WordPress

Oisin Wood

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28.09.2021

Laravel vs WordPress

Both Laravel and WordPress are great digital platforms, but which one is better to help your brand achieve its goals? Finding the right website platform for your brand’s website is an important decision. Laravel and WordPress are two popular open-source content management systems (CMS) used by organisations across the globe. We’ve created a Laravel vs WordPress guide to help you identify which CMS is best for your business, 

What are Laravel and WordPress?

Laravel and WordPress are open-source platforms. This simply means that it is software that is publicly accessible and doesn’t require a fee-based licence to use it such as other software like, Adobe or Sitecore. WordPress is one of the best known content management systems (CMS), whereas Laravel is best described as a framework. They both are based on the programming language PHP and are fast, flexible technologies making them great for a wide range of sectors with different digital goals.

Laravel is based on a Model View Controller (MVC) design pattern, which makes Laravel a highly efficient web development tool:

  • Model – The central component of the pattern. This is the application’s dynamic data structure, independent of the user interface. It directly manages the data, logic, and rules of the application 
  • View – Any representation of information such as web pages, charts, diagrams or tables. This is commonly known as the User Interface (UI) 
  • Controller – Accepts inputs and converts it to commands for the model or view 

Whilst both platforms have been on the market for decades, WordPress holds the title for the most used platform globally, boasting over 64 millions websites using the software, making up 42% of all websites. Making it a strong and reliable contender for many businesses.

But when it comes to performance, how do Laravel and WordPress compare?

Speed and scalability 

An important part of any website is for visitors to be able to access your brand’s content with ease. In a world where consumers have information at their fingertips across any device, loading speed is key. Google recommends that a good loading speed is under two seconds, so brands that don’t want to risk their audience growing impatient and choosing a competitor would be wise to ensure their site is built on a platform that is quick to load.

The Laravel framework is designed to deliver in this aspect. Dubbed as ‘The PHP Framework for Artisans’ it was created to make the development of web-apps easier, faster and cleaner through elegant design and with well-documented built-in features. Laravel is used for big brands too, including Vogue in their portfolio, demonstrating that scalability is no problem either.

Being the most used platform in the world, WordPress naturally doesn’t shy away from being agile when it comes to scaling up. Whether you’re an ambitious SME or a huge household name, WordPress has the capabilities to support growth. WordPress has been adopted by some of the biggest brands internationally, from Disney, through to IBM and Sony Music making it a strong contender in terms of scale. 

Although it’s available in 57 different languages and there are over 50,000 plugins to help make your website look unique and stand out from the crowd, the use of plugins can sometimes be a downfall and slow some sites down. However, if designed and built by a team of experts this is easily overcome.

Cost and support

Laravel and WordPress are very similar when looking at cost and support. Being open-sourced platforms, both Laravel and WordPress users dodge the often heavy licence fees that come with other platforms.

Being the most used platform globally, WordPress has a huge support network and there’s endless resources users can leverage. However, this can take hours – if you have that to spare, no problem. But like most busy organisations, simply outsourcing support through a web development specialist is the easier, more efficient option.

Although not as large as the WordPress community, Laravel also has a strong forum of users, with websites such as Laracasts, Laravel.io and the Laravel subreddit community page all providing useful tips and information on how to best use Laravel. 

In terms of cost, this is really dependent on the project and goals. For instance, a start-up or a blogger could ‘build’ a basic WordPress site out of the box and use their pre-designed templates free of charge. However, for a professional, enterprise standard site this approach will likely overlook the level of expertise required for building an optimised site for user experience, search visibility and importantly security. And perhaps most importantly, the knowledge and experience needed to create a website in-line with the quality of your brand. 

If you’d like to learn more about the costs involved with a WordPress or Laravel website project you can get in-touch with some experts here.

Content

If you are looking to design a website with a lot of blog content, WordPress should tick all your boxes, as it was built with content sharing in mind.  

WordPress has dedicated plugins and prebuilt features that allow you to create your blog within minutes, and WordPress provides an accessible user interface with dedicated tabs for uploading media content and posting directly to your blog. 

WordPress also provides many design options you can choose to help make your blog visually appealing, while plugins such as Yoast can help take care of SEO for you. This is not to say Laravel would not be able to complete the above actions, but WordPress certainly excels when it comes to content.

Laravel or WordPress for builds?
Web Application 

Both WordPress and Laravel are capable of creating web applications, but the more complex a project becomes, the more beneficial using an MVC framework over a CMS becomes. Using Laravel helps makes complicated projects, simpler, allowing complex designs to be developed easier. Laravel also allows applications to scale up or down easily, according to your changing needs. 

eCommerce Store 

When building an eCommerce store, you may need a storefront page building, product details page, checkout pages, shopping cart pages etc. This is where WordPress comes in very handy, in that for whatever page you need for your eCommerce page, there will likely be a plug-in designed to cover it, with one of the most popular plug-ins being Woocommerce. This can save you tons of time and allow you to have your eCommerce store up and running as quickly as possible, after all you won’t be making any sales if you don’t have your website live! 

A point to note with regards to Woocommerce, that can often be overlooked, is that it is not easy to manipulate. If your eCommerce site includes a number or complex discount systems or item pairings, this may not be the best route to take. 

With Laravel, you will have to custom build all the functionality of your eCommerce store from scratch. This allows for opportunities to be more creative and works well if you are fluent in the PHP language or have access to a development team, but not as useful for those that do not have a programming background.  

The overview
Similarities

  • Include free open-source web technologies 
  • Based on the PHP programming language 
  • Fast, reliable and pragmatic 
  • Run on an object-orient structure  

Differences 

  • WordPress requires less developer experience than Laravel to get a simple site up and running 
  • WordPress depends on plugins for most of its functionality, while Laravel provides more tools to let you develop the functionality you need 
  • Too many plugins can slow down a WordPress site, while Laravel generally loads faster due to easily manageable automated tasks 
  • WordPress has proven to be more efficient with frequent content updates on the website, while Laravel is often a better solution for custom web design, dealing with data management and large-scale systems 
  • Wordpress has built-in tools for creating and editing content, but you’ll need to add these to Laravel yourself 

Choosing between Laravel and WordPress for your brand 

Both Laravel and WordPress are effective solutions to website development. The decision to choose which one to use can be based on developer experience, what you are intending to build and the growth of the website in the future. 

For ambitious brands that are looking for a larger, more expansive website that isn’t as susceptible to site speed and security challenges, we would suggest either building it from the ground up using Laravel or combining the two!

Can you use both?

Yes. This is an option. With the right knowledge of both technologies, it’s possible to leverage the advantages of both Laravel’s performance benefits and the content strengths of WordPress. This route would definitely benefit from experienced architects that could build a powerful combined solution to maximise ROI.

We are BBI, an integrated marketing agency that’s been helping brands to grow since 2011 using a whole range of strategic, technical and creative approaches. Learn more about us and our services here, or if you’d like to have a chat – contact us today. We’d love to help.