WordPress vs Orchard Core and when do they make sense

Posted by admin on 30.10.2023

WordPress is a de facto standard for today’s modern content management system, capturing 40% of the total market. So why would anyone use anything else? We will explore in this article some of the reasons why alternatives, and especially Orchard Core, could make sense for your use case.

What is Orchard Core?

As the official site says, Orchard Core is a free, open-source, modular, and extensible Content Management System (CMS) framework built on the ASP.NET Core framework. It provides a robust and flexible platform for developing websites, web applications, etc. It also supports headless CMS capabilities, enabling content to be easily delivered to various applications (web or mobile). Orchard Core emphasizes security, scalability, and modern development practices, making it an excellent choice for building dynamic and high-performance web solutions.

Our development team loves using Orchard as a starting point not just for building websites, but also for building various applications because of its excellent free modules and ease of integration with other software.

What makes Orchard better than WordPress?

Base functionality

Both Orchard Core WordPress are free, but the base functionality is very different: WordPress without plugins is a very simple blogging platform: to make WP a functional modern website, users need to install (and potentially pay and maintain!) several different plugins. These costs can quickly add up! Orchard Core comes with everything you need for a modern website - multilanguage and multitenant support, SEO, block editing (like Elementor) – and it’s all free and open source.


By holding 40% of the website market, WordPress is naturally the biggest and most popular target for malware and hacker attacks. Three of the top 10 plugins for WordPress are dedicated to mitigating WordPress website abuse and they require regular maintenance and payment. A vulnerable website is not only a risk for your website but a risk for your domain and email: hacked websites are often used for sending spam or abuse emails, which can put your domain on blacklist and make your regular emails end up in spam folder. Orchard Core by virtue of being less popular is already a more secure option. It’s also more secure by design: it’s harder to “insert” malicious code since base code is precompiled and must be deployed by a developer. You can be fairly certain that your website will work as expected in years to come with minimal maintenance.


Speed is extremely important for your website’s user ranking and your users’ satisfaction. WordPress sites usually require some help to maintain their speed after content starts to pile up. If your theme is not optimized, which is often the case, it can also affect your page ranking and that can be costly to fix. The quickest solution to better performing sites is caching your pages: two of the 10 most popular WP plugins are dedicated to improving speed and they offer paid options. But there are real limitations in what can be achieved with caching. Orchard Core is made with speed as its top priority, and it was one of the main reasons why our team chose Orchard Core as our tool of choice.

Cost of ownership

WordPress is free and open source, but as I mentioned previously, it needs plugins that are usually commercial products and require some sort of paid subscription. WordPress also requires constant security updates and manual upgrades, but it doesn’t stop there. WordPress plugin upgrades can break your site in subtle ways and can conflict with each other. If that happens, you’ll probably need a developer or a WordPress expert to get your site up and running. A lot of WordPress owners just don’t do any upgrades because of this, which then leaves the site vulnerable to attacks and can compromise your business’ online operations.

So why do people use WordPress at all, or put differently…

What makes WordPress better than Orchard Core?


WordPress is unparalleled in size of the ecosystem. There’s a plugin for whatever you can think of and it’s easy to quickly test and deploy a new functionality. It’s quick to integrate with whatever other system you use; there is either an official plugin which connects the 2 or an unofficial one from a person who had the same problem as you. .

Time to market

A huge ecosystem of plugins means quick development and low cost for getting something out the door. An ocean of different themes provides you with some great starting options for your website with just a few clicks. The downside of that though is that you don’t really know how good and performant a certain theme is until you start running into problems, usually in production.

A huge community that can help you with your issues.

For whatever problem you have, there’s probably someone who has a solution. There’s also a sea of developers who can help you with any problem you can think of. Orchard has a much smaller community, but since Orchard is based on ASP.NET, any .NET developer should be able to help you with your issue, and there are plenty of those - .NET is in top 5 of most popular tools for building applications.

Cost of production

A large ecosystem with low time to market equals a very cost-effective way of building websites. You don’t even have to be a developer to build your site, and there’s plenty of tutorials on how to make your own. It’s even cheap if you hire someone else to do it for you, because of the same reason.

So, when to choose Orchard over WordPress?

In general, Orchard Core is a better option for following cases:

Small and medium business websites – if your business needs a corporate website and your website is not your primary source of income, but source of information for your customers, Orchard is a very good option: slightly higher initial cost will result in a reliable and secure investment which will require minimal maintenance.

General web application development – if you need an application developed which also has some CMS functionalities, Orchard is a fantastic option: Orchard is very happy to sit next to the rest of your code and provide what it can without getting in the way, or it can provide a very high starting point for your future applications. Our team loves to use it for projects because you get so much out-of-the-box: user management, admin panel, workflows, templating, multitenancy etc. which all considerably lower the cost of development for our customers.

If you have or are a .NET developer – Orchard is an obvious choice. You can leverage your in-house skills to create and maintain your website.

For everything else (eCommerce, blogging, self-made websites etc.) WordPress is probably a better option, but do note that all of the above is very much supported by Orchard too. But let’s talk! Contact us and we can help you make your choice.