A major sticking point when beginning any content related activities often manifests in the following dilemma:
What will be more effective: Blog Extension OR standalone Wordpress?
I’ll try to summarize all the pros and cons of using both of these solution by picturing 8 key characteristics that concern every store owner as they select a 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 for both store owners and developers is whether there is a smooth and easy the installation process. Most of the Magento 2 blog extensions can 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's current template, which presents you with a variety of additional opportunities to consider. As a result, you get a 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 an experienced developer is required to deal with its installation. Next, your store developer needs to configure your WP blog and create a database. As a result, you get two different entities: Magento 2 Store + Wordpress Blog = Content Marketing Solution. For now, let's 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 potential issues for both solutions since it’s the second main concern of developers and store owners.
As we discussed above, the Magento 2 blog extension is not only quite easy to install, but also integrates with your current store templates, giving 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, as is the case with any extension. Since Wordpress works as a stand-alone entity, it has very little in terms of 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 make a long story short, everything is possible with Wordpress, but you’ll have to do it manually. I guess, this is con #2 of Wordpress.
2:0 for Blog extension!
3. Features Set and functionality
Since Wordpress is currently losing, let’s take a moment to talk about its advantages. Wordpress is winning in its functionality and features set--this fact is not up for debate! Pros #1 of WP!
The Magento 2 blog extension in its turn has a features set which covers the basic necessities. You can create posts hassle-free, but not many extended possibilities are 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
To get the most out of your content, you should consider the SEO functionality of your blog solution.
Wordpress, as you probably know, has an 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. Given that Wordpress is believed to have 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
PYou're likely to need some additional features for your blog, like an image gallery or captcha, etc. What possibilities can you reach using each of suggested solutions?
You've probably already heard a ton about Wordpress plugins...who hasn't?! You may even already be using them to extend your store blog to a new website! 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 race gets closer! Let’s talk about your store and blog's customer experience. At the end of the day, it’s all about their experience and convenience!
If you chosen the Magento 2 blog extension, you’ve made the right choice! Since blog module builds in your store template, your customers only needs to register just once to 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. Since it’s a standalone entity, as we've seen above, your store customers should register and access their blog and shop accounts separately. It's safe to say this is 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 a common visible open-source code that your store developers can enjoy and easily extend at 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 an open-source, but unfamiliar code to your developers. They will have to spend some time handling and customizing it. But that’s not the worst part: the code structure and style in WP is completely different from that of Magento! So, every developer needs to work hard to solve even the tiniest of tasks within Wordpress code pieces. +1 serious cons to Wordpress!
4:3 for Blog Extension
8. Posting frequency factor
Well, it seems we’ve got a winner! But, wait – there’s still one more point to consider before making your big decision, and that’s your posting frequency. It's a simple, but decisive factor! Consider 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, you can 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 immediately 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) when considering the main concerns of every Magento 2 store owner and developer. Of course, every shop is unique and has its own business model, which is followed every day. Plus, it’s totally up to you whether to install the Magento 2 Blog Extension or Wordpress as your store's blog solution.
There are several decent blog extensions on the market, so you’ve got options when choosing them (another point on the pro side, as for me). Some of the blog modules for Magento 2 stores are FREE and you can safely conduct test drives at no charge!
Get the most out of your blog with the extension or Wordpress, depending on you, 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 with a 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.||Minimal 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 work best for a store with 5+ posts a week and several editors.|