WordPress vs. Django – competing CMSes or different tools for different jobs?

WordPress and Django are two popular platforms that come with powerful features that allow you to build powerful websites and high performing applications quickly.

WordPress is used by 14.7% of the top 1 million websites and it manages 22% of all new websites. It is also the most popular blogging system and now surpasses Blogger and powers over 60 million websites around the globe.

Django, on the other hand, is a Python web framework that encourages quick development and clean, pragmatic design. It was designed to meet the challenges of the intensive deadlines of a newsroom and for the strict requirements of experienced developers. It allows you to build powerful and elegant web apps quickly.

The question to ask is whether WordPress is a competing CMS with Django or are they different tools doing different jobs? To answer that question effectively, we have to understand the uses of both platforms and determine if they do the same job or are of a totally different nature.

One of the major differences between the two is that Django is not a Content Management System (CMS) and it can’t do everything that WordPress can do right out of the box. Although it has a pretty smart admin, configuring it isn’t as easy as a standard CMS.

Another big hurdle with Django compared to WordPress is that as a new user you will likely find it difficult to configure your local environment for Django. It takes longer to install the framework locally and it can be tricky if you are not familiar with concepts like symlinks.

WordPress, as many will testify, is a very good CMS, however it is known to be a little slow and needs a little TLC to operate at any significant level.

With WordPress you can achieve the same frontend as Django but you may not be able to achieve the scale and speed and the maintainability of a more application-oriented architecture like Django. Django is a toolset that helps you build rich apps whereas WordPress is an app itself, built without a framework in PHP from scratch. If you are sure your app falls within the boundaries of what is possible with WordPress then by all means go for it. However, if you step outside of these limits, then it would be worthwhile to use Django.

Overall, WordPress and Django have many similar functions and your choice between the two depends on the project you are undertaking. As a new user, you’re likely to find WordPress sufficient for your needs.