Gatsby JS Vs WordPress

By Ten Squared, posted on the 2nd of August, 2021 · 4 minute read

Performance

Based purely on performance there is an obvious winner. Gatsby JS is faster to load when compared to WordPress, content layout shift can also be removed from Gatsby JS websites allowing you to supercharge the user experience. In general, you can also expect better page load speed scores for Gatsby JS sites than on WordPress websites.

Winner = Gatsby JS

WebP Images

WebP images can be implemented on both sites, however, this is a lot easier to do on Gatsby and the implementation is simply better. What does this mean? If you have a page with a lot of content, the optimisation on Gatsby JS sites will cause the gap in load times to grow exponentially. What does this mean? A better user experience.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Hosting Costs

Hosting costs for WordPress can be obtained at a range of price points. Personally, we would never pay less than $20 for hosting as $20 is the bare minimum you can pay and still receive good site speeds and a reliable website. Because Gatsby JS sites are static sites, it means that the cost to host for providers is far smaller in comparison. These savings are passed onto you, the website owner. At the time of writing, hosting for a small to medium Gatsby JS website is free.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Ease of Use

If you are not going to get a developer involved to get your website up and running, WordPress is the best option. However, if you are going to pay a Web Developer, agencies like Ten Squared charge similar prices for Gatsby JS sites as they do for WordPress sites. A good developer will develop your website in parallel to a content management system. The end result is a user-friendly editor for your website that will allow you to change everything. The CMS might be the same as the CMS used for WordPress or some agencies use improved CMS's that are even easier to use.

In essence for a DIY project choose WordPress, if you are paying someone else to create your website Gatsby JS is the obvious choice. Based purely on the assumption you will be getting an external party to create your website Gatsby JS will be easier to manage over time.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Themes

At the time of writing, there are many hundred more themes for WordPress than there are for Gatsby JS. However, Gatsby JS has more themes being created every single week. Soon there will be many more quality themes for Gatsby JS than there are quality themes for WordPress (the keyword here is quality). In essence, it is far easier to find a quality starting point for Gatsby JS than it is to find a quality starting point for WordPress.

Winner = WordPress

Security

WordPress uses MySQL which means that it is vulnerable to attacks like SQL injection, this is the process of inserting malicious data into a database. Security vulnerabilities like this and many others are greatly minimised by using a static site like Gatsby JS. Additionally, there are fewer static sites on the internet making them a less popular target (attack methods cannot be recycled as many times).

Winner = Gatsby JS

Speed

Static sites are always going to be faster when compared to WordPress sites. This is because the amount of work performed at the user level is reduced drastically. Less data to load means faster speeds.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Maintenance

WordPress is like a troubled child, it requires constant attention. This ongoing maintenance becomes incredible time-consuming, if you neglect it for too long your site will eventually break. With Gatsby JS the amount of maintenance required is far less, there is not constant conflicting updates with plugins and everything should run smoothly for a long time.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Traffic

Both platforms can handle traffic. However, WordPress sites will require more nurturing to be able to handle large amounts of traffic. WordPress sites will also cost a lot more in regards to the number of servers required as traffic increases when compared to a static site.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Set Up Cost

You will be able to set up a WordPress site without a developer quite easily, it is not a complicated platform and anyone can create a "website", these websites, however, are not always good. . However, if you want custom features and a developer to work on your project the costs can climb. Gatsby JS is a newer platform and hence fewer developers exist that work with the platform. This also means there can be greater risks for developers taking on board projects which can cause a slight price increase. However, at Ten Squared we are familiar with both platforms and calculate pricing the same way for either platform (although we avoid working with WordPress where ever possible). Given the Millions of developers working with WordPress, it can be a more affordable option.

Winner = WordPress

Ongoing Costs

Between maintenance, hosting and SSL certificate the costs for WordPress sites are monthly. With Gatsby JS there are no hosting costs for small scale websites and the security is all managed. This means you are $50 better off every single month. Over 5 years of running a business you will save thousands of dollars.

Winner = Gatsby JS

Community

The WordPress community is huge, whilst the Gatsby JS community is newer and only just beginning to grow. Hence, one community has been growing for 20 years and the other has only just begun. For this reason, there are is a lot more support available for WordPress than there is for Gatsby JS.

Winner = WordPress

Plugins

WordPress has more plugins, however, many of the thousands of plugins are nothing more than trash resulting in security issues, viruses or a complete website shut down. Having said that, with an experienced developer the thousands of plugins can be used in combination to create extremely powerful websites. Gatsby JS has all the plugins you need, they work pretty well if not perfectly. Hence, going off the number of plugins available the winner is WordPress.

Winner = WordPress

The results

Gastby JS = 9

WordPress = 4

With a generous score of 4 WordPress comes in second place. All of its strength comes from it being a legacy product, because it has existed now for two decades it of course gives them strength. In my opinion, this is the ONLY strength of WordPress. Gatsby JS, on the other hand, has real scores on the board, these wins don't come from the fact that it has been around for years, it hasn't. These wins come from Gatsby JS being a fundamentally better product. Does this mean WordPress is fundamentally flawed? No, this simply means that WordPress has become outdated, it needs to be left in 2020 and make way for new technologies. Will you be a leader? or will you be a follower?