Statamic Vs WordPress for Very Customised Sites

Which should you choose for your site?

We have used various CMS in the past and we’re fairly open to building beautiful sites on almost anything. But for the last few projects we’ve chosen Statamic CMS for larger clients and for our own Hotel Website project. Why have we done this? And what benefits does Statamic have over WordPress?

Comparing Statamic and WordPress

Having used both systems extensively, these are our findings on when Statamic may be a better fit:


For a standard small-business website WordPress have everything out of the box, but most of our websites are a front-end onto a larger platform. Building WordPress tended to put the site to one side of the platform, rather than working from the same base. We have also built on our own project APIs. Where this happens, using Statamic and Laravel we’ve had a cleaner connection and simpler integration than building the connection in WordPress. Unit tests, tooling and manipulation of the data from APIs has been simpler with the toolset that Statamic and Laravel provide.

For our own hotel project, writing better connections to Hotel APIs and building booking masks has been easier using Statamic and Laravel as a base.

Where we have built platforms and customer account areas, having a single site including a Statamic CMS has meant that the experience a customer sees is more consistent. Rather than being handed from a WordPress front end to an account area, the two can be combined to let the customer move between both sections seamlessly.

Plugins and Themes

When WordPress needs extending, reach for a plugin! Some are excellent, some are diabolical, some are just plain awkward. The great thing about plugins is that anybody can install one. The terrible thing about plugins is that anybody can install one. With the WordPress sites we manage we frequently have update problems that can be traced back to an issue with the plugins.

It’s similar with Themes. Purchased themes selected by the clients have worked nicely to start with, but modifying and customising them has been challenging, especially as the sites we make are deeply integrated with a back office system.

Statamic has been easy to theme with Tailwind. Breaking the design into components means it’s consistent and easy to update. It’s can be tailored precisely to the needs of a client and can be deeply integrated into your back office systems and customer account areas so the style is consistent throughout the customer experience.

Customer Input

It’s fair to say that it’s not hard to find someone in a business who has at least some familiarity with creating pages on WordPress. Even so, the experience can vary greatly depending on the method used. There are page builders, Gutenberg sites, and sites using the classic editors. It feels (and is) disjointed. It’s even more noticeable when adding custom fields (which tend the be through a plugin).

Statamic uses the “Bard” editor to add blocks which create the page. A well designed structure in Statamic can be simple to use and no barrier to handing content management to the business.

Data Storage

WordPress relies on a database (normally a MySQL database) to store pages and more. This means there are files and database required for a backup. By default Statamic is a flat-file CMS which means that the whole of the site can be stored in the files only. This is a benefit when working with versions in git. It means that we can roll a site backwards or forwards through the history of git commits. Statamic has git integration, allowing us to push changes to a git repository regularly.

Speed & Resources

There are a lot of ways to speed up a site, and they normally include making a flat version which is accessed by a customer and generated from the CMS. For WordPress this is normally a plugin, but for Statamic it’s available out of the box. It offers two levels of caching, and uses “glide” to compress images. We have a site with over 7000 pages which runs quickly and efficiently with minimal server resource and high traffic.

The SEO benefits for a fast site are clear, but where a site has high traffic, reducing server costs is an important factor in choosing the right CMS. In Statamic it’s also easy to hand off the images to a CDN like an S3 Bucket, which again improves the speed of the site. Compressed flat pages, full control over the layout and elements and cleaver caching means that it’s easy to get a site scoring in the top 90’s on Google’s Page Speed Checker.


Even so, there are some areas where WordPress is stronger. Some plugins for WordPress are excellent at adding complex functionality quickly. One example is WooCommerce which is excellent to get an ecommerce store up and running quickly. Laravel does have similar support from packages such as Lunar, but they are much more complex to set up than a simple plugin. Statamic is also not free, but the small licence fee does pay for support. Statamic make this clear in their own comparison of the two platforms here.

This looks like we’ve come down hard on WordPress, and that’s not the case. It is a very capable CMS and can provide quick, reliable websites, but there are clear benefits to using Statamic which is making it our go-to CMS for larger, more complex and deeply integrated sites.