Why choose ProcessWire over WordPress?

Let’s admit it, WordPress is the most popular blogging platform ever. I use it to power this blog. Aside from security issues, which always haunt any popular system/app/platform, there are very few reasons not to love it. It is actively maintained, supported by huge and dedicated community, great UI, and the list goes on and on.

When it comes to using it as CMS though, I always struggle to justify it as the way to go. Despite its evolution in complying the demand, it is still far from perfect. In more than one occasion, client would come to me with very specific request to use WordPress to manage their website. If the website needs to come with a blog, then yes it is a good option, but sometimes it is only a company, personal or product profile which content needs to be manageable from CMS.

For years, I had been trying to find the right platform/framework with just enough features and functions to allow me to build a website without having to take more time on integrating it with the CMS. Then I found ProcessWire. Learning about for ProcessWire works was not the easiest, but all the time used has been very well paid off after a couple of projects built using it.

What makes ProcessWire a better CMS than WordPress? For starter, you can define your own fields to be used throughout the system. No plugins or custom functions required, which have always been a real turn off for me. I can list all the goods and bads between these platforms, but in short with ProcessWire you can set it up to go with your site’s structure, while with WordPress I feel it is more about adjusting your site to fit as a template.

So, why should you use it?

  1. You prefer to build your own CMS but also knows the pain in making one
  2. You hate the idea of installing half a dozen plugins to create that simple customization
  3. You are not that good in making custom functions in WordPress
  4. You prefer not to have all the long navigation items on the left side of the admin panel
  5. You want to it to be super easy to change the template of the admin
  6. You need to manipulate lots of images and they have to be easy to manage
  7. You want to make sure the user will enter the right input into the fields
  8. You do not need to change the front-end template (theme) that often or ever; update: I was referring to WordPress’ manage theme functions which is very rarely used
  9. You like to explore new platforms
  10. You have worked on a PHP framework and love it

No platform is perfect by all means, and I am pretty sure ProcessWire is not the only one that was built on the idea to make as flexible CMS as possible. But for me it is the first one that really clicked, and it is free! So, kudos to Ryan Cramer and thank you for building and constantly improving this great platform.

9 Comments Why choose ProcessWire over WordPress?

  1. Lukas

    ProcessWire is such a powerfull CMS and this is just a great article that highlights all the benefits and reasons, why to choose ProcessWire.

    I have worked a lot with PW but always had the problem to start each project from scratch because of missing high quality templates/themes. And the limitation to easily have a Blog-structured website.

    Thus I decided to combine the work I’ve done and prepare a couple of premium, flexible templates and offer them at https://pwtemplates.de

    Have a look at the demos and I you like them, you can purchase them for a small expense allowance. Hope you like it!

  2. Pwired

    That´s right. With processwire you can make your own (any) template with your own html and css.
    Then put php with processwire api between the tags and pull anything you want from the database
    that you have entered with the admin of processwire. The admin uses a page and field system to enter,
    edit, and setup content and data with your own types. Most people use it´s potential for a flexible and
    scalable cms but internally it is more of an engine that can drive a cms, cmf, interfaces, applications, etc.

  3. organizedfellowOrganizedFellow

    Regarding the themeability and templating nature of WordPress and ProcessWire …

    ProcessWire doesn’t have one.
    If you know html/css/js well enough, you can create you own totally custom site. This is far different than WordPress and does not even warrant a comparison. Simply checkout all the various html template websites. WordPress themes/templates are always offered separate from the similar html/css offerings.
    WordPress is tough to theme, HTML is always simpler. That’s part of the immense beauty that is ProcessWire.
    You design it how you want. Custom fields galore!

  4. Ian

    @maykel, maybe not 1 click, but you can swap the templates via FTP using 2 commands: rename the folder “templates” to “templates-old” and “templates-another” to “templates. Piece of cake! 😀

    1. maykel

      @Ian yes, I was aware of that and did not see it as a problem on PW. But WP still have this feature on by default as if all users would want to switch themes every week or so.

      I may need to rephrase that point to avoid misunderstanding 🙂

  5. Rasmus Schultz

    I’m puzzled by number 8 – what do you mean by that?

    Having complete freedom and flexibility on the front-end is one of the biggest selling points for ProcessWire for me – unlike other platforms like WordPress or Drupal (or really almost any other CMS/blog platform) nothing is set in stone when it comes to the presentation/front-end.

    To me, this is one of the most brilliant things about ProcessWire – it’s the only CMS (or platform at large) where I never have to tell the designer, “we can’t do that”, when it comes to the front-end. Where most other platforms use some kind of theme framework for rendering, ProcessWire simply provides building blocks, gets out of the way, and lets you do whatever you want.

    On my personal top 10, that would be number 1. 🙂

    1. maykel

      What I meant with #8 was that you do not need “one-click to change the theme” feature and have folders of different themes on the working directory.

      I have worked with few WordPress specialists over different projects and to my astonishment they always could bend over backwards to make the design work. Long documentation was required though to make the user know to update it, which is why I feel it is still not ideal.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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