WordPress vs Next.js: Which one is better for website development?

Reda Alhourani
5 min readJun 6, 2021


Are you thinking of starting a new website or updating an existing one? The industry has changed considerably in a few years. A lot of new development programs allow users without any technical skills to build a decent website for their business or service. However, serious users are often restricted to either traditional WordPress or a headless CMS like Next.js.

As a web developer, I often come across clients who ask about the pros and cons of WordPress and Next.js. There is no straight answer. In many applications, WordPress may be the better choice compared to Next.js and vice versa.

This article will examine the differences between the two frameworks and compare their performance to help you make an informed decision for your website. But before that, let’s take a brief look at the basics of WordPress and Next.js.


WordPress entered the market in the early 2000s and proved to be a gamechanger. Today a major percentage of all the websites in the world rely on WordPress as it allows non-developers to create websites without any coding or other technical skills.

The content management system of WordPress is based on PHPbut allows anyone to make edits and modifications from the back end. To make the most out of the platform, you need to install plug-ins and other third-party add-ons that allow you to further simplify the development process and incorporate key features by a simple drag-and-drop action.

Nevertheless, there are still multiple areas where WordPress does not perform up to the mark. You’ll also need some technical expertise to navigate the framework, update the add-ons, troubleshoot, and ensure the best results. Furthermore, WordPress is still restricted because of its PHP infrastructure. It’s not fluid and may lead to some performance issues.


Next.js is one of the most popular web-development frameworks under the React umbrella. True to its name, the React platform was introduced in the market as a reaction to the shortcomings of WordPress and other traditional website development methodologies.

Next.js and other web development frameworks under React use JavaScript to operate. Unlike WordPress, Next.js is highly customizable, fluid, and versatile. The content management system of Next.js is often deemed as the most significant difference between WordPress and Next.js, which uses a separated model from the website’s front end. The term for this system is headless CMS. It uses an interface to modify content and displays it on demand.

WordPress vs Next.js

While there are numerous fundamental differences between WordPress and Next.js. One uses PHP and the other relies on JavaScript. There are other technical differences as well, but they are not important for this discussion. In this article, we’ll restrict to the 5 key performance parameters that determine the performance and capabilities of your website.

Those 5 key parameters are the following:

1 — Customization and additional features

To some extent, both WordPress and Next.js allow you to customize your website according to your requirements. WordPress is quite popular because it can cater to several types of content without any complicated setup. The development process is also quite straightforward, and you can add many attractive features on a page.

However, WordPress is limited by the use of plug-ins and add-ons. Adding too many plug-ins on a website would result in a clunky website that takes ages to load.

On the other hand, Next.js delivers endless customization options, and that too without compromising the loading speed and other performances. The integration capability and interactive features of Next.js are also top of the line.

If you need a regular website for a blog or a few services page, WordPress can easily fulfill your requirements. Next.js is a better choice if you need something dynamic and loads of interactive features.

2 — Page speed

Next.js is hands down a winner when it comes to loading speed. WordPress can’t compete with it because of its fundamental drawbacks and the inability to handle large data files. Using plug0ins further slows down a WordPress website and may also cause some inexplainable glitches.

Next.js can handle any kind of data and deliver fast results with consistency. The reason behind this speed is Next.js’ headless CMS and the Content Delivery Network (CDN), which loads the data on thousands of storage systems globally and delivers it from the closes source to cut loading times.

3 — SEO

WordPress’s main selling point is its exceptional SEO compatibility. SEO is an essential parameter for businesses and WordPress helps with its incredible tool and code to keep your website on the top. There is however a drawback. Maintaining SEO needs experience and up to date information, so you’ll need help from an expert.

All React frameworks are fundamentally weaker in SEO when compared with WordPress. However, Next.js is the most SEO friendly website development platform in React. With an expert and some focus, you might achieve the same or better SEO results on this platform as well.

4 — Security from hackers

WordPress is the most used web development platform in the market. This means that it is quite vulnerable to hackers and spammers. The plug-ins you use can also give hackers a potential ‘in’ which hackers can exploit. While WordPress continuously updates its security protocols and curbs the potential vulnerabilities of its systems. You are still vulnerable because of the open-source nature of the framework.

WordPress is also notorious for frequent crashes and other glitches that can ruin the experience of your customer and may affect business.

Next.js is theoretically more secure and invulnerable to crashes. The platform relies on a global CDN. In case of a glitch or crash, the website would simply shift to the other storage system. It’s also more difficult for hackers to crack and have a few reported security issues.

5 — The learning curve

Another selling point of the WordPress platform is its simplicity. You don’t need any technical know-how to create a stunning website because of its intuitive nature and user-friendly settings. The idea has been so well-received, that numerous other platforms in the market started to offer no-code solutions to citizen developers for other industrial areas like procurement, marketing, project management, etc.

On the other hand, Next.js has a steeper learning curve and offers low user-accessibility. Next.js also needs additional libraries and other intricate demands. If you are not a JavaScript expert and don’t plan to hire an expert web developer, then Next.js would be too hard for you to manage effectively.

The Verdict

According to the consensus in the industry, static websites with a basic interface for blogs, service pages, and business services prefer WordPress because of its user-friendliness. Contrarily, businesses needing an interactive website with a lot of bells and whistles should choose Next.js. However, this is not a final verdict, as various other considerations dictate the better choice for a specific application.

As stated before, there is no clear winner in WordPress vs Next.js. Both platforms are incredible and come with their advantages and disadvantages. As a business owner, you must decide the qualities and features of your website and decide between the two options.



Reda Alhourani

I am Reda a freelance full stack web developer bases in Germany. with years of experience in software development.