Choosing the right platform to build your website is a huge decision, and many have regretted it. Both Django and WordPress have made names for themselves as versatile CMS platforms that make website creation easy, but which one is right for you?
Today, I plan to answer that very question by pitting them against each other in this comparison.
Django vs WordPress: Overview
However, before we start looking at these platforms in individual categories, let’s take a look at what they are at their core. Understanding how they operate is critical in understanding if the platform is right for you.
Django is an open-source CMS written in Python and allows users to customize content from the front of your website, or without having to log into an admin panel. However, it does require you to learn the Python language, which can be a barrier to entry.
The good news is that Pythons is an incredibly simple language to learn. In fact, many beginners start with Python before moving up to more powerful languages. The bad news is that the platform isn’t usable unless you know your way around Python.
The end result is a platform that allows you to easily customize your content at a moment’s notice if you know Python. The framework of Django is extremely intuitive when designing, which makes creating a website a quick process.
WordPress is an open-source CMS platform that does not require any coding knowledge. Due to the low learning curve and the high level of customization, it has become the most popular CMS on the market with a market share that exceeds 40%.
So the real question is, why is it so easy? Well, that’s all thanks to its huge library of plugins and themes. Plugins are small software packages that add a specific feature to your website. Just like an app for your smartphone, you install it and set it up for use.
Themes are how you change the appearance of your website. They are a collection of stylesheets and templates that you can edit. Both plugins and themes have thousands of options to choose from, so there’s something for everyone.
So, What’s the Difference?
Both Django and WordPress are open-source CMS platforms, but the core difference is their accessibility. Django requires users to know and write in the Python language, whereas WordPress doesn’t require any coding knowledge.
Instead, users can just go through the settings to achieve similar results, but it is worth noting that you can code in WordPress.
Ease of Use
One of the most important factors that should go into choosing a platform is how easy it is to use. Choosing a platform that is out of your skill range or just overly complicated makes the creation process troublesome.
Due to how different these platforms are at their core, there is a clear winner.
Django requires a thorough understanding of the Python coding language to create a website. While it is certainly one of the easiest coding languages to learn, it’s still a coding language nonetheless.
That means you need to understand how variables, loops, and functions work, which are not exclusive to Python. Yet, this isn’t everything you need. You should also know basic HTML and CSS to customize your site’s appearance and be able to use terminal commands.
In most cases, the barrier to entry is too high for the average small business owner looking to do it themselves. But if you already have that knowledge, the Django CMS is pretty straightforward.
WordPress Accessibility: WordPress
WordPress does not require any previous coding knowledge. Instead, almost everything you interact with is a series of settings (checkboxes, drop-downs, radio switches, etc.) that you just have to select for the best option for your website.
As a result, it has gained widespread popularity because anyone can build a website using WordPress. If you need a specific feature, you just need to install a plugin that has the ability you need. Want to change the appearance of your website, choose a new theme.
Even creating content is a cinch thanks to the Gutenberg editor. It is a block-based editor that allows you to create any type of post or page. It’s straightforward to use.
Need to place an image? No problem, add an image block. Want to add a paragraph? Use a paragraph block. It’s that easy.
Without a doubt, WordPress is an easier CMS to use when compared to Django. Most people who want to build a website in 2023 have no coding experience. And that’s a big factor that has led WordPress to dominate the CMS industry.
There’s really no comparison here. If you want an easier platform to create and maintain, choose WordPress.
In the past, if a website worked, most breathed a sigh of relief, but that’s not enough in 2023. Instead, your website doesn’t just need to be functional, it needs to look stylish. Thus, you need a platform that gives you creative freedom.
Let’s see if Django or WordPress gives you more customization options to work with.
Django has a lot to offer users in the way of design, assuming that you know how to create what you want. You see, unlike most modern CMS, there isn’t a catalog of templates or themes to take advantage of.
This means you need to create what you want from scratch.
Now, to be fair, there are some templates that exist online for Django. Though, none are in an official capacity. However, let’s not focus on that. Using an object-oriented language, and with the help of CSS, you can create any kind of website design in Django.
One of the best parts of Django is that it reduces redundant code by having the header, footer, and other coding areas in one location. A common beginner mistake is to add the same code throughout the website, but that is not possible in Django due to smart design.
WordPress Design: Winner
WordPress supports over 40% of the internet, but due to the almost infinite design options at your disposal, you would never know. This is all thanks to the huge library of themes you can choose from.
At the time of writing this, there are over 4,000 free themes.
And there are thousands of more premium themes you can choose from. Each theme is fully customizable, but that’s just half of the equation. You can also utilize page-building plugins to create custom pages and designs that seamlessly integrate with your theme.
With themes, page builders, the Gutenberg editor, and even custom CSS code, you can create anything in WordPress. Most importantly, you have a ton of options to choose from.
Other CMS may only offer one option to users, instead, you can choose what you want in WordPress.
In reality, both Django and WordPress can create just about anything, but there are two things that make WordPress the winner. Accessibility and being able to choose the toolset you want to use.
With Django, you have one option: coding.
With WordPress, you can build and design your website using the toolset you are most comfortable with.
A lot of websites are built with the sole purpose of selling services or products to customers. This is known as eCommerce and not every platform supports this. But in this case, both Django and WordPress can build an online shop.
Yet, there are quite a few differences that you should be aware of, so let’s see what’s right for you.
Django is a great option for any website looking to build an eCommerce website. It has multiple eCommerce framework solutions to choose from, but like everything else, you are going to need a fair amount of coding knowledge to utilize them.
Yet, if you do have it, Django is great. It can easily scale up to meet your business’s needs, create stunning product pages, support multiple vendors, and much more.
With all of this said, Django is overkill for anyone that wants to build a simple store.
The amount of work and effort you would need to invest to build a small store is not worth it most of the time. Django really shines when you are building medium or large storefronts because that is what it was built for.
WordPress eCommerce: Winner
By default, WordPress is a blogging platform. But thanks to its secret weapon, WooCommerce, it is the most popular eCommerce option. This platform excels at creating online stores of any size while remaining simple to use.
While there is a slight learning curve, everything is just a series of options and settings to configure. After that, all you need to do is begin adding product information and choose a payment method. And fear not, WooCommemrce supports all of the major ones.
It even has its own payment method called WooCommerce Payments. Now you may be wondering, how much does this cost?
WooCommerce is free to use. The only fees you will need to pay are the transaction fees determined by the payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, etc.), which makes it a great option for beginners.
This is a close one because both of these can build beautiful online shops, but I believe WordPress has the edge over Django. First off, it’s much easier to learn and use, which is the most important aspect for beginners.
And secondly, it has a ton of tools that are ready for use. In Django, you are going to need to create many of those tools yourself. WordPress wins, in my opinion.
Many web developers rely on third-party tools to do specific features. For instance, you might use an email marketing company, like Mailchimp, to create and send promotional materials to customers. However, not every platform supports the same tools.
Let’s take a look at how Django and WordPress stack up against each other in terms of integrations.
Django is built for coding, so the intention is for you to build them yourself. Yet, it is possible to integrate a lot of third-party tools with Django with coding. In most cases, you just need to be able to add a few lines to your website’s header.
In terms of official third-party tools, there are none, or at the very least, not many. This makes setting up some tools very complicated. For example, I talked about MailChimp before, it’s completely possible to set it up in Django.
As long as you can create your own marketing app.
The good news is that there are a lot of example snippets for the popular tools. In many cases, you could copy and paste the code and make small alterations to it.
WordPress Integrations: Winner
As the most popular CMS in the world, WordPress users get to enjoy the largest catalog of third-party integrations. Most major services have a dedicated plugin you can install on your website. And yes, it does all of the work itself.
Like most things in WordPress, you just need to add your information into the settings. Sticking with our MailChimp example, there are multiple plugins that help you integrate it into WordPress specifically for the email platform. So, you can choose the tool you find easiest.
And because WordPress is so dominant, most services will launch with WordPress support. Thus, it’s often the first platform to receive support.
WordPress has the largest library of third-party integrations, and it’s easy to take advantage of them.
Django is no slouch when it comes to integrations, but since you often have to write a lot of additional code to get them to work, WordPress is the clear winner. It has a larger library of integrations to choose from, and they are easier to use.
Django vs WordPress: Final Results
WordPress has made a clean sweep and shows us why it is the most popular CMS option available. While Django can get a similar result, the amount of work that goes into it is far too high. Not to mention that beginners without coding experience can’t use the platform.
WordPress is versatile, easy to use, and free. It checks all of the boxes and continues to get better.
Which platform do you prefer?