Static CMS versus WordPress

Compare the features of a static content management system and WordPress plus the benefits of de-coupling your content. 

Considering switching from WordPress to a static site or headless WordPress hosting to take advantage of the additional speed and security of a JAMstack website? We compare the features and benefits of YouDoCMS static CMS vs WordPress. Using a plain vanilla business marketing blog site as the use case, our comparison table highlights the features, benefits and cost of each platform.

Comparison table static CMS vs WordPress. 

Static CMS
Content Management
GUI Editor
Permalink URL
Free Hosting
Self Hosted
Site Backup
301 Redirect
Multiple Sites
Free Templates
Web Log Analytics


What is a static CMS?

A static CMS is similar to WordPress. Both provide administration and content creation To enable the creation of a website. However when you edit and publish content of WordPress the WordPress server is exposed to the internet and used to deliver content to the visitor dynamically. When editing and publishing using the static  CMS renders a static HTML page from a template and this is saved and deployed to a content delivery network. The headless CMS is remote from Internet which is why JAMstack websites are secure.

What is a decoupled CMS?

A decoupled CMS refers to separating the back-end of the content management system from the server that delivers the content to the end-user. Decoupling the back-end from the customer facing server offers significant benefits. Firstly by separating the presentation layer from the administration back-end gives developers flexibility when updating and redesigning a site. A decoupled CMS can build the website to different targets whereas with traditional WordPress a staging server would have been required.

Speed Matters?

Faster speed is known metric for Google particularly for content-focused websites. WordPress and CMS in general score badly on the Lighthouse performance metric with a score of 26% compared to this page on GTMetrix which is 100%. Using headless WordPress hosting combined with a static site generator will improve speed but is it the right tool for the job?

Secure by design?

WordPress is the most popular content management system and is a target for hackers. Version 5 of WordPress has been updated 80+ times since the original release of version 5.0. The majority of the updates are security releases to prevent hackers gaining access to a site. Static websites generated off-line by a static CMS are secure by default and cannot be hacked.

Can I use Yoast for my SEO?

Yoast is possibly the most popular plug-in within the WordPress ecosystem. Yoast enables you to optimise your content, check your Flesch reading ease score, key phrases and synonyms plus automatic 301 redirects if you change a permalink. YouDoCMS static CMS incorporates similar functionality and if you are migrating all Yoast data is imported so your Google search ranking will not be affected.

Can I keep my existing content?

The simple answer is yes. YouDoCMS static CMS and some static site generators such as Hugo and Jekyll offer import from WordPress to migrate to a static HTML. In some cases the static CMS will include a familiar HTML editor such as TinyMCE which is the same as the WordPress classic editor. So if you are migrating you can be confident that you can edit manage content just like WordPress.

Can I use permalink URL routing?

YouDoCMS static CMS supports Permalink's and pretty URLs when migrating from WordPress. In addition there is the option to append the.html extension to your URL. The Permalink prefixes for categories and tags are migrated and all WordPress URLs remain in the same format. 

Hosted vs Deployment

WordPress is hosted on a server which is exposed to the Internet this is the big security risk and WordPress is the number one target for hackers. Whereas YouDoCMS and static cms in general  deploy to a content delivery network which is like a read-only server and therefore secure.

Hosting Cost vs Build Costs

Traditional or headless WordPress require a server for hosting and there are also many hosted headless CMS such as ButterCMS. WordPress will always incur a hosting fee and many headless CMS incur both hosting and build fees while the server compiles static pages. YouDoCMS static CMS runs on your local computer therefore you do not pay any hosting or build fees.

Plug-in Costs

The Yoast Seo and UpdraftPlus site backup plug-ins are two of the most popular upgrades in the WordPress ecosystem. Yoast currently costs £99 pa and UpdraftPlus is £70 pa. With these plug-ins enabled plus hosting with Digital Ocean droplets  the annual cost for basic WordPress site is in the region of £300 per year. 

Web Server Logs

AWS CloudFront and Azure both offer server logs included in the free plan. Cloudflare also supports logs (paid). YouDoCMS integrates with CloudFront to download and import the logs on demand. Server logs offer a number of benefits compared to JavaScript site analytics because they cannot be blocked by trackers in the browser. Server logs inc 404 errors occurring due to missing content for example when you update or rename a page. YouDoCMS includes automatic deployment of rewrite rules to avoid 404 errors from old non-existent url requests. 

Site Analytics

YouDoCMS includes server log analytics which is linked to your content to provide common metrics such as entry and exit pages, bounce rate, visitor geolocation and search engine crawl monitoring. AWS CloudFront and Azure both offer analysis via the server logs which means you do not need JavaScript tracking. Firebase is reliant upon Google analytics which can be blocked by browser extensions. However if you are an existing Google analytics user then Firebase is the best option. Cloudflare also provides JavaScript analytics (paid). See site analytics.

Site Backup

A static CMS inherently includes redundancy because you build a static version of the site therefore you always have the most recent copy available both locally and in the cloud. YouDoCMS also includes a whole site backup of the static pages, images, template's and the database. This functionality is included in both the free and paid for versions.

Site Search

By default WordPress incorporates fulltext search of the entire site. This is achieved by indexing pages and posts and dynamically searching the database. Together with the ability to login this is the feature most frequently targeted by hackers. Static CMS incorporate site search with a prebuilt index such as the service provided by Algolia. YouDoCMS integrates with with Algolia instant search to update the search index every time you build pages and deploy the site.


Speed and Security

Faster speed is known metric for Google particularly for content-focused websites. The visitor is less likely to spend time reading your content the longer they have to wait for the page to load. For example the BBC has released information showing that every 1 second delay equates to 10% fewer visitors. 

  • Sites load 50% faster.
  • Faster sites have a higher search ranking.
  • 100% lighthouse score.
  • 100% secure cannot be hacked.
Go Serverless

Lower Cost

For hosting a website with the basic advertising free site with analytics is £84pa.  If SEO and site backup plug-ins are included the cost is £240. Using Digital Ocean droplets plus plugins the cost is over £300pa. Both these options will be slow with a poor lighthouse score due to JavaScript included in pages. A typical hosted headless CMS such as ButterCMS will cost approximately £500+ pa.  

  • YouDoCMS free or £30pa
  • Free cloud deployment
  • Multiple sites
  • SEO and backup included
Compare Hosting

Switch to headless cms

YouDoCMS combines the flexibility of WordPress with the speed and security benefits of a static site generator. In addition the built-in search engine optimisation features, web log import and site analytics together provide the tools you need to build, manage and deploy a static site to a CDN.

  • Free and paid options.
  • GUI HTML editor.
  • No hosting fees.
  • Cloud CDN integration.
  • Algolia Site Search.
  • SEO key phrase and readability.

“If you need multiple users and prefer to use a hosted system then WordPress is a great option.

If you are maintaining two or three non e-commerce websites and would like to reduce your hosting costs then YouDoCMS headless CMS can save you £200 per year per site.

If you are a WordPress user converting an existing website to a static site and use WordPress plug-ins such as Yoast to provide search engine optimisation then YouDoCMS can import your site and simplify the transition to JAMstack.”

Paul Dennis