Strapi & NextJS: Web Dev Game-Changers Outdoing WordPress

written by Julian Kurgoth, Jonathan Moore, Justus Bartlewski2023-04-13T13:09:39.425Z

It's never been easier to build a website than it is today. With countless solutions such as Wordpress, Wix and others, available at the click of a button, it's tempting to think that building a professional-looking site is a simple task. However, there are a few reasons why you might want to think twice before using one of these builders. From limited functionality to poor SEO performance, there are a number of drawbacks that can ultimately cost you more in the long run. In this article, we'll delve into some of the reasons why hiring a professional agency is often the better choice.

But first, let’s get the terminology straight: There are several solutions all promising you the same: Your very own website. Just the way you imagine it. But there are two widely used technologies we can identify. On the one hand, there are page builders like Wix, on the other one: Monolithic CMS (content management systems). A popular example would be WordPress. 

So what is WordPress? 

It's a popular monolithic content management system (CMS), that traces its roots back to 2003. Designed to be a blogging platform it  has since evolved into a comprehensive website management tool. The term "monolithic CMS" refers to the fact that these platforms typically offer an all-in-one solution for website building, combining the frontend, backend, and database into a single, cohesive system. Monolithic CMSs have been the backbone of the internet for many years, powering millions of websites and providing users with a relatively straightforward way to create and manage web content.

What are page builders then? 

Page builder or site builder SaaS tools have gained significant traction in recent years. These tools, such as Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace, offer a more streamlined approach to website creation, with drag-and-drop interfaces that allow users to visually design their websites without any coding knowledge. The popularity of these site builders can be attributed to their ease of use, quick setup, and a range of pre-built templates that enable even the most novice users to create aesthetically pleasing websites with minimal effort.

So, while monolithic CMSs like WordPress have dominated the web development landscape for many years, the rise of page builder and site builder SaaS tools has democratized website creation, making it more accessible to a wider range of users. However both solutions have a number of drawbacks and struggles that will hinder you in the creation of your state of the art website. This is why our team has created a CMS based on Strapi and NextJS.

Strapi and NextJS

And what is this technology exactly? Strapi is a headless content management system that offers developers complete flexibility and customization options, while NextJS provides a powerful framework for building fast, secure, and scalable websites and applications. NextJS is widely popular among developers due to its powerful features and ease of use. It has been praised for simplifying the development process and helping developers build high-quality applications that are well-indexed in search engines.

Lets do a side by side comparison of the crucial aspects of a website.

Monolithic CMS and page builders on the left and our CMS based on Strapi and NextJS on the right.

1. Design (in)flexibility

Most page builders promote excellent design but fall short in terms of flexibility. While they provide many pre-designed templates, customization can be challenging. To achieve a unique look that reflects your brand, you may have to use custom code or hire a developer. However, modifying templates can be complicated, leading to functional issues, security concerns, and additional expenses.

N3XTCODERs Website Builder offers full customization options, allowing you to create a unique website that aligns with your brand guidelines. Strapi and NextJS enable developers to modify and extend the design without any restrictions, eliminating the need for custom code or reliance on rigid templates.

2. User-friendliness

Page builders are beginner-friendly but often have a complex interface with a plethora of options. Minor changes can take a lot of time and effort, and the learning curve can be frustrating when trying to build a website quickly. Professional developers may not be able to customize or extend your site due to technology limitations, which can be built into a fragile system, leading to less resilience and reliability.

The N3XTCODERs solution provides a streamlined interface that is easy to navigate, even for beginners. The Strapi and NextJS frameworks simplify the website creation process, making it easier for users to manage their content and customize their site without getting overwhelmed by excessive options.

3. Performance Issues

One of the biggest issues with site builders is performance. While they might be easy to use, they often generate bloated code that can slow your website down – sites often cannot reach the golden rule of usability (<2 sec loading time). This can be especially problematic if you're looking to run a complex website with a lot of features. Professional agencies have the knowledge and experience to create lean, efficient code that will keep your website running smoothly.

NextJS is known for its efficient code and fast-loading pages, ensuring your website adheres to the golden rule of usability (<2 sec loading time). This results in a better user experience and a higher-performing site compared to traditional site builders or monolithic CMS platforms.

4. SEO

Page builders often fall short in terms of SEO compared to custom-built websites or those built on more advanced technologies. Besides slow page loading times that affect your SEO efforts negatively, many page builders do not allow you to fully customise your website's meta tags. That can significantly impact your search engine rankings. Additionally, some page builders may not offer features like schema markup, which can help search engines better understand your website's content.

With Strapi and NextJS, N3XTCODERs Website Builder allows for full customization of meta tags and supports features like schema markup, which helps search engines better understand your website's content. It is also full crawlable due to its ability to render content both clientside or serverside. This boosts your site's SEO performance and increases its visibility in search engine rankings.

5. Lack of Scalability

Another issue with site builders is scalability. As your website grows and your needs change, you may find that your site builder can't keep up. This can result in a lot of headaches down the road as you try to adapt your site to your changing needs. Customizable websites are scalable – so they can grow and evolve with you.

The Strapi and NextJS frameworks are designed to be highly scalable, enabling your website to grow and adapt to your changing needs without limitations. This ensures your online presence remains relevant and up-to-date as your business evolves. Javascript is both one of the most popular languages amongst new developers, so finding support is easy.

6. Security Vulnerabilities

Site builders are often targeted by hackers due to their widespread use and the fact that they often use out-of-date software. This can leave your website vulnerable to attacks, too. Worst case it could even compromise your customers' data. The development team building your individualized website is well-versed in security best practices and can create websites that are much less susceptible to attacks.

N3XTCODERs Website Builder places a strong emphasis on security, utilizing the latest technologies and best practices to protect your site from cyber threats. Through a streamlined CI/CD process, security patches and upgrades can quickly be applied allowing us to react to threats confidently.

7. Cowboy Plugins

Many site builders rely heavily on plugins to add functionality to your website. Those plugins add yet another security risk to your page as these plugins often are created by underskilled developers and can cause more harm than good. The plugins may be outdated, incompatible with other plugins, or contain security vulnerabilities. Customizable sites rely less on plugins for their functionality, and once you decide to integrate a third-party tool, the experience of the development team will ensure that they're properly maintained and updated.

By relying on Strapi and NextJS for added functionality, N3XTCODERs Website Builder minimises the need for third-party plugins, however, the plugins that do exist, are strictly monitored via npm vulnerability tracking and screening. All plugin and core code follows industry best practices for modern software development and the source code is fully accessible for review.

When it comes to building a top-quality website, there's no substitute for the right technology. That's why our development team has professionalised the use of Strapi and NextJS in the past few years. They are not alone, in fact, this technology is now one of the industry standards – designed to handle large and complex websites, making them ideal for businesses and individuals who want to build scalable online presences. Giants likeNetflix, Airbnb, OpenAI orThe Washington Post use these applications extensively.

Speak to one of our experts to figure out the best solution for your buisness!