Industry Insights

ButterCMS Giving WordPress a Run for Its Money?

Recently, I came across an article by Jake Lumetta, CEO of ButterCMS comparing his CMS platform with that of WordPress. So I decided to dive deeper and learn more about the company and its offerings. Founded in 2014, Chicago-based ButterCMS serves up two products: a full headless CMS and standalone headless blog engine which can integrate with any framework.

Originally built as an alternative to WordPress as a blogging platform, ButterCMS is now a full-fledged CMS that integrates with existing websites and apps to deliver content headlessly, decoupling content from the website itself. It also boasts custom content types, WYSIWYG editing, webhooks and localization features.

ButterCMS, is a Software as a Service for headless CMS it minimize/eliminates the needs for setup, configuration, and hosting of the CMS backend. Offering client libraries for most of the popular programming languages and frameworks used for web development. Using these client libraries, you can easily integrate managed content into your app. And if ButterCMS doesn't support your preferred language or framework, it offers an easy-to-use REST API along with a clean and simple user interface for content editors.

Earlier this week I reached out to Jake, since I wanted to find out more about the company and discuss the comparison that he mentioned in the article along with others.

What was the need in the market that you felt needed to be fulfilled, when ButterCMS was born?

Jake: "ButterCMS was born after I had been tasked with adding a blog to an existing website that was built using a modern tech-stack (In my case it was Django but this applies to any stack: Ruby on Rails, Node, React, Vue.js, etc). My team and I went down the path we thought everyone went down which is, "Let's use WordPress, it's free".  Worst. Experience. Ever. It took months to get our custom WordPress blog set up the way we wanted (i.e. make it match our branding and live on a subdirectory for optimal SEO). That translates to $10,000's to launch a blog.  

Any developer who has ever tried to add WordPress to a modern stack has experienced this pain.
I looked back at this experience and thought, "this is nuts, there has to be a better way to add a blog to my app". So I designed ButterCMS with these five core goals that every company wants: 

  1. Fast to setup (as in 5 minutes to have a fully working blog).

  2. Don’t have to spin up an entire PHP stack or any new hardware.

  3. Results in a fully themed blog that exactly matches the existing company brand.

  4. Beautiful blog post editor that is enjoyable to use.

  5. Has fantastic SEO because it's incredibly fast and your blog can reside at instead of resorting to a subdomain.

And ButterCMS was born - a CMS that's designed from the ground up to be integrated into whatever tech stack you have running. Our goal is to let you launch CMS capability faster so you can move onto more interesting problems."

What are the benefits of a headless CMS over the traditional CMS?

Jake: "I'm glad you asked :). I just recently wrote an entire 3 article series that dives into exactly this question:  ButterCMS vs WordPress: Headless CMS vs Traditional CMS . It's important to first understand what the differences between the two are and what a typical project journey looks like depending on which one you choose. ButterCMS isn't always the right choice but as more and more developers use modern technologies to build websites and applications, our headless API-based approach makes a lot of sense."

I noticed that you did a comparison with WordPress, Contentful, and Medium, what makes ButterCMS platform the better solution? Can you tell me what are some of the benefits of using your platform?

Jake: "The Butter puns of course!  Imagine what you and your team can slack about when discussing your CMS project. "Have we Butter-ized that page?",  This CMS is so smooth",  "Let's whip up another landing page." Everything is better with Butter :)
In terms of those platforms, they are all very different and used for different reasons and use cases. As I previously mentioned, I did a deep dive on comparing to WordPress and invite you to check out that series for an in-depth understanding of Butter compares to WordPress. Medium used to be growing in popularity for company blogs but we've seen a migration off of Medium for many reasons, one being it's suboptimal for SEO. Another is that you basically have no control over your blog and content; very disconnected from your main website.
Contentful seem to handle unique CMS cases well, Internet of Things type stuff. If you want to build an Apple Watch or Smart-TV app, they seem like they cater to those use cases well. You can do the same thing with ButterCMS but we're more focused on websites and blogs and support those use cases well and we'll get you up and running very quickly."

WordPress is usually the common choice when companies want to implement a blog, what’s and why should users look to Butters Blog Engine?

Jake: "I'd direct you to this article ButterCMS vs WordPress.

In short, if your entire website is built on WordPress, use WordPress for your blog. Otherwise don't try to make WordPress work with that you have already in place. ButterCMS exists exactly for this scenario, to save your team from the pain and torture I've experienced. As a side note, if you already went down the WordPress route and are tired of dealing with the maintenance, bugs, and slowness - let us know and we'll get your entire WordPress blog imported into Butter for you."

Ending Notes

Headless content management systems are now the norm, but headless blogging is still in its infancy. ButterCMS is really turning things around and you can see that they are truly passionate about what they do. They also have a great support and from comments from their users, they are very responsive to questions. ButterCMS is really helping companies bridge the gap between the marketing teams and understanding this technology. As a blogging platform, I’m eager to see how this company will do against the other industry giants. So stay tuned as I follow their growth.

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.

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