The biggest sticking point at the beginning of any content related activities is the serious choice:
What will play the best: Blog Extension OR standalone Wordpress?
I’ll try to summarize all pros and cons of using both those solution by picturing 8 key characteristics concerning every store owner while making their choice for content marketing tool:
- Installation process difficulties.
- Store integration issues.
- Features Set and functionality.
- SEO features.
- Plugins potential.
- Customers registration differences.
- Code special aspects.
- Posting frequency possibilities.
The first concern of both store owners and developers is how smooth and easy the installation process is. Most of Magento 2 blog extensions might be installed on-the-go ? fast and easy, just like any other module (OOTB feature ? Out Of The Box). Moreover, it can simply integrate with your store current template, which gives you a variety of additional opportunities. As a result you get solid product: Store Blog extension = Content Marketing solution. This might be the strong pros #1 of Magento 2 blog module.
Regarding Wordpress, everybody understands it’s a stand-alone entity and experienced developer should deal with its installation. Then your store developer should configure your WP blog and create a database. As a result you get two different entities: Magento 2 Store + Wordpress Blog = Content Marketing Solution. I guess, we may consider this as a cons #1 of Wordpress.
1:0 for Blog extension!
2. Store integration
Now it’s time to talk about the store integration process and issues for both solutions since it’s the second concern of developers and store owners.
Like I previously said, Magento 2 blog extension not only might be installed quite easy but also integrates with your current store templates, which gives you a variety of additional opportunities:
- blog articles can be displayed with related products;
- the last post can be displayed on the desired store page etc.
Moreover, you don’t need to customize your blog design, since most blog extensions adopt your store theme look automatically. Let’s score this as Magento 2 blog extension pros #2!
What about Wordpress? I’m afraid, it’s not that simple, like with any extension. Since Wordpress works as a stand-alone entity, it has very tiny integration options. Furthermore, you’ll need to adapt its design to fit your store theme, since Wordpress doesn’t provide you with this feature.
To tell a long story short, everything is possible with Wordpress, but you’ll have to do it manually. I guess, this is cons #2 of Wordpress.
2:0 for Blog extension!
3. Features Set and functionality
Since Wordpress is currently losing, let’s give it a chance and talk about its advantages. Wordpress is winning in functionality and features set and this is not in debate here! Pros #1 of WP!
Magento 2 blog extension in its turn has basic necessary features set. You may create posts without any issues, but a lot of extended possibilities are not available. Your store developer can bring them to life manually, but it would cost you additional time and money. Cons #1 of Magento 2 blog extension!
2:1 for Blog extension!
4. SEO features and possibilities
Getting the most out of your content, you should consider SEO functionality of your blog solution.
Wordpress, as you probably know, has advanced SEO features set. You may be confident your store blog it fully optimized and all its content is available in the most of the search engines SERPs. It’s a pros#2 of Wordpress!
In return, Magento 2 blog extension has basic SEO features, which helps your store blog content get to search engines SERPs with the same probability. And providing Wordpress is believed to have the extended SEO features, let’s give it a head start and count SEO stuff as cons#2 of Magento 2 blog extension!
2:2 Tied Score!
5. Plugins potential
Probably you’ll need some additional features for your blog, like image gallery or captcha or any other. What possibilities could you reach using each of suggested solutions?
I believe, you heard about a huge amount of Wordpress plugins? Who didn’t! You may even extend your store blog to a new website using them! Wordpress plugins set is limited only by your imagination ? you may find almost any add-on you wish! +1 pros to WP!
Magento 2 blog extension in its turn doesn’t have any plugins, but your store developers can always fix this. Manually, of course. +1 cons to M2 blog extension!
2:3 for Wordpress!
6. Customers registration differences
The fight thickens! Let’s talk about your store and blog customers experience. All in all, it’s all about their experience and convenience!
If you choose Magento 2 blog extension, you’ve got it right! Since blog module builds in your store template, your customers can register just once and access both shop and blog accounts, using the same login and password. Let’s score pros #3 for blog extension!
Wordpress is not so flexible as any Magento extension. And since it’s a standalone entity, as I’ve already mentioned above, your store customers should register and access their blog and shop accounts separately. So, it’s an absolute con of Wordpress blog solution!
3:3 Tied Score again!
7. Code concerns
And now let’s take a closer look at the code special aspects. This might be the main concern of every Magento 2 developer: what’s inside?
Installing the Magento 2 blog extension, you get the common visible open-source code. Your store developers can enjoy and easily extend it any time! Besides, it’s really stable and simple. +1 pros to extensions!
If you choose Wordpress as a blog solution for your Magento 2 store, you get open-source, but uncommon to your developers code. They should spend some time handling and customizing it. But it’s not the worst: the code structure and style in WP is absolutely different comparing to Magento! So, every developer should work hard to solve even the tiny task within Wordpress. code pieces. +1 serious cons to Wordpress!
4:3 for Blog Extension
8. Posting frequency factor
Seems, we’ve got a winner! But, wait ? there’s the last point to make a decision! It’s your posting frequency. Simple, but decisive factor! Think before making a choice, how frequently would you plan to post to your store blog?
If your answer is 1-3 times per week or even fewer, safely choose any blog extension for your store.
If your answer is more than 5 posts a week, you should consider installing Wordpress. It has a wide range of team work options: your store editors can edit post drafts at once and view editions history, for instance.
So, what’s your score? I’ve counted 5:3 for blog extension (+1 cons to the extension, since I decided to post approximately 1-2 publications a week) considering the main concerns of every Magento 2 store owner and developer. Of course, every shop is unique and it has its own business model, which is followed every day. And it’s totally up to you whether to install Magento 2 Blog Extension or Wordpress as your store blog solution.
There are several decent blog extensions on the market, so you’ve got options choosing them (another one pros, as for me). Some of the blog modules for Magento 2 stores are FREE and you can safely drive testing of them with no charge!
Get the most out of the blog with the extension or Wordpress, it depends on you and your shop business goals and content marketing strategy!
Below is a kind of matrix, helping you make a decision and choose the perfect solution for your store. Feel free to print and extend it with your own factors any time.
|PLAYS BOTH ENDS|
|Magento 2 Blog Extension||Wordpress|
|Easy, no complications. Integrates with the current store template.||Developer’s help might be required. As a result, you get 2 different entities, not related to each other.|
|Customers can register just once and log in to the store account and their blog profile.||Customers should register twice: both in the store and in the blog.|
|Features Set & Functionality|
|Quite decent, but humble features set. Just the most necessary functions added.||Wide range of functions.|
|No plugins||A huge amount of plugins. You may extend your blog to a new website using them.|
|Integrates easily. Has broad functionality: can be displayed with related products, also, it’s possible to display the last post on the desired store pages.||Tiny integration opportunities. Works as a stand-alone entity.|
|Clean and open-source code. Your developers may extend it any time. Simple and stable.||Too much junk code. Pretty hard to edit.|
|Basic SEO features.||Wide and advanced SEO functionality.There’s an opinion that WP posts are the fastest to index by search crawlers (because WP is faster then most Magento stores).|
|Fits for a moderate number of posts (1-2 per week).||Will do its best for a store with 5+ posts a week and several editors.|