Adobe Experience Manager vs. Liferay: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Adobe Experience Manager vs. Liferay: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and Liferay, two leading content management systems (CMS) in the market. As digital leaders and decision-makers, it's crucial to evaluate the features and capabilities of each CMS to determine which one is the best fit for your organization. In this guide, we will delve into various aspects of AEM and Liferay, providing you with detailed insights to make an informed decision.

Foundations of CMS

Both AEM and Liferay are robust CMS platforms with a strong foundation. AEM, developed by Adobe, is based on Java and offers a scalable, enterprise-level solution. It integrates seamlessly with other Adobe Experience Cloud products, providing a comprehensive digital experience. On the other hand, Liferay is an open-source CMS built on Java, making it highly customizable. Its flexibility allows you to tailor the CMS to your specific needs and objectives. Whether you prefer a commercial solution with integrated tools or an open-source platform with extensive customization options, both AEM and Liferay have solid foundations.

When it comes to ease of use, AEM offers a user-friendly interface aimed at marketers and content creators. Its intuitive drag-and-drop functionality allows users to easily manage, edit, and publish content. Liferay, while equally powerful, has a steeper learning curve due to its extensive customization capabilities. However, once users familiarize themselves with Liferay's interface, they can take advantage of its robust features and modules to create stunning websites and digital experiences.

In terms of scalability, AEM excels in handling high traffic and large amounts of content. Its dynamic caching system and distributed architecture ensure optimal performance. Additionally, AEM offers seamless integration with Adobe Experience Manager Assets, enabling efficient content storage and retrieval. On the other hand, Liferay's scalability is equally impressive, thanks to its modular architecture and support for multiple servers. Whether you anticipate high traffic volumes or have extensive content requirements, both AEM and Liferay can handle your organization's needs.

One key factor to consider when evaluating CMS solutions is the developer community and support. AEM benefits from Adobe's vast resources and a robust community of developers, ensuring regular updates, bug fixes, and a wide range of plugins and extensions. Liferay, as an open-source CMS, boasts a large and active community of developers who contribute to its growth and provide support. The Liferay marketplace offers a plethora of extensions and themes to enhance your website's functionality and design. Regardless of your choice, both AEM and Liferay have strong foundations and a supportive community backing them up.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a crucial role in creating engaging websites and digital experiences. AEM offers a highly customizable design interface that allows users to create visually stunning websites without any coding knowledge. The built-in design editor, known as Adobe XD, enables real-time collaboration, empowering designers and content creators to work seamlessly. AEM also provides a wide range of templates and components to expedite the design process and ensure consistency across different pages. With AEM, you can deliver a seamless, visually appealing user experience.

On the other hand, Liferay, being an open-source CMS, offers unlimited design possibilities. Its modular architecture allows users to build websites from scratch or select from a wide range of ready-made templates. Liferay's drag-and-drop page builder, known as Liferay Page Fragments, gives non-technical users the ability to create and design custom pages effortlessly. Moreover, Liferay's templates adhere to modern design principles, ensuring responsive and mobile-friendly websites. With Liferay, you have the flexibility to create unique and visually compelling digital experiences.

Both AEM and Liferay prioritize responsive design, enabling websites to adapt seamlessly to different devices and screen sizes. AEM's responsive design capabilities ensure consistent user experiences across desktops, tablets, and smartphones, allowing you to cater to a wider audience. Liferay's responsive design features also provide the same level of adaptability, ensuring optimal user experiences across devices.

Overall, whether you opt for AEM or Liferay, you can create visually stunning websites with excellent user experiences. AEM's intuitive design editor and wide range of templates simplify the design process, while Liferay's open-source nature and modular architecture offer unlimited design possibilities.

Content Management

A robust content management system is essential for efficiently creating, organizing, and publishing content. AEM offers an extensive set of content management features tailored for marketers and content creators. Its intuitive user interface allows users to easily create, edit, and publish content without any technical knowledge. AEM's content repository, known as the Adobe Experience Manager Assets, enables centralized asset management, making it easy to store, search, and retrieve media files and documents. Additionally, AEM's workflows streamline content approval processes, ensuring accurate and timely publishing.

Liferay also excels in content management, providing a user-friendly interface for content creation and publishing. Its document and media library simplify content organization and allow for easy collaboration. Liferay's robust versioning and workflows ensure content integrity and streamline the content approval process. Moreover, Liferay's multi-site management capabilities enable the creation and management of multiple websites within a single installation, making it an ideal choice for organizations with a diverse online presence.

Both AEM and Liferay offer powerful integrated search capabilities, allowing users to locate content quickly. AEM leverages Adobe's AI and machine learning capabilities to provide personalized search results. Liferay utilizes Elasticsearch for efficient and accurate search functionality. Regardless of the CMS you choose, you can trust in their content management features to streamline your workflow and enhance productivity.

When it comes to content localization, both AEM and Liferay provide robust solutions. AEM's powerful translation management features streamline the localization process, ensuring consistent messaging across multiple languages. Liferay offers similar capabilities with built-in translation management, making it simple to create and manage translated content. Whether your organization operates on a global scale or caters to a multilingual audience, both AEM and Liferay have the tools to support your content localization efforts.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are critical aspects of any CMS, enabling teams to work efficiently and ensuring security and access control. AEM offers robust collaboration features, allowing users to collaborate in real-time using co-editing capabilities. Content creators, editors, and reviewers can work together seamlessly, improving productivity and content quality. AEM's granular user permissions enable organizations to ensure that only authorized users have access to sensitive content and features. Furthermore, AEM integrates with various third-party tools, simplifying collaboration by providing seamless access to popular productivity suites.

Liferay also excels in collaboration and user management. Its intuitive interface allows for easy collaboration, with features like document management, task management, and real-time chat. Liferay's role-based access control enables organizations to fine-tune user permissions, ensuring that different user groups have appropriate access levels. Additionally, Liferay's integration with popular office suite applications fosters collaboration and simplifies content creation and editing.

Both AEM and Liferay offer LDAP integration, enabling organizations to seamlessly integrate their existing user management systems. This eliminates the need for duplicate user management efforts and enhances security. Whether you choose AEM or Liferay, you can rely on their robust collaboration and user management features to improve team productivity and streamline content creation processes.

In conclusion, both AEM and Liferay provide powerful collaboration and user management capabilities. AEM's integration with Adobe's suite of tools and its real-time co-editing features empower teams to collaborate effectively, while Liferay's intuitive interface and role-based access control ensure secure collaboration.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are crucial factors to consider when choosing a CMS, as they impact your website's speed, responsiveness, and availability. AEM leverages its scalable architecture to deliver high performance, even under heavy loads. Its dynamic caching system and distributed architecture ensure optimal page load times. Additionally, AEM offers the flexibility to deploy your CMS on-premises or in the cloud, allowing you to choose a hosting solution that best suits your organization's needs.

Liferay is equally impressive in terms of performance and scalability. Its modular architecture enables load balancing and clustering, ensuring high availability even during peak traffic periods. Liferay also offers various hosting options, including on-premises, cloud, and hybrid, giving you the flexibility to choose the hosting environment that aligns with your infrastructure strategy.

Regardless of which CMS you choose, performance can be further optimized by taking advantage of content delivery networks (CDNs). AEM seamlessly integrates with Adobe's CDN, ensuring efficient content delivery to global audiences. Liferay can also leverage CDNs to enhance website performance and deliver content faster. By utilizing CDNs, both AEM and Liferay enable organizations to provide optimal user experiences worldwide.

When it comes to content delivery, AEM offers out-of-the-box capabilities for content targeting and personalization. It leverages Adobe's suite of marketing tools to deliver personalized experiences based on user behavior and preferences. Liferay also provides content delivery capabilities, allowing organizations to target specific user segments and deliver personalized content. Whether you prioritize personalized content delivery or require robust performance and scalability, both AEM and Liferay have the features to meet your requirements.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization options and the availability of extensions are critical considerations for organizations with specific requirements or unique workflows. AEM provides extensive customization capabilities, allowing organizations to tailor their CMS to match their specific needs. Its modular architecture and component-driven development approach enable developers to create custom components and templates. AEM also offers a wide range of out-of-the-box integrations with popular marketing and analytics tools, providing organizations with a comprehensive digital ecosystem.

Liferay, being an open-source CMS, is highly customizable. Its modular architecture allows developers to extend and modify the core CMS functionality easily. Liferay's theme and layout options provide flexibility in designing and branding websites. Additionally, Liferay's marketplace offers a vast collection of plugins and extensions, enabling organizations to enhance their digital experiences and leverage additional functionalities without extensive development.

Integration capabilities are another factor to consider when evaluating customization options. AEM's seamless integration with other Adobe Experience Cloud products, such as Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target, empowers organizations to create personalized, data-driven experiences. Liferay also offers a wide range of integrations, including popular CRM and ERP systems, enhancing connectivity and supporting seamless data transfer between platforms.

Both AEM and Liferay provide extensive customization options, allowing organizations to tailor their CMS according to their unique needs. Whether you prefer a commercial solution with integrated marketing tools or an open-source CMS with a versatile marketplace, AEM and Liferay offer customization capabilities and a wide range of extensions to meet your requirements.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

SEO, marketing, and monetization are crucial aspects to consider when selecting a CMS, as they determine your website's visibility, reach, and revenue potential. AEM delivers robust SEO capabilities, enabling organizations to easily optimize their content for search engines. Its integration with Adobe Analytics provides valuable insights into user behavior and allows for data-driven content optimization. Furthermore, AEM offers tools for A/B testing and personalization, empowering marketers to create targeted campaigns and track their effectiveness.

Liferay also offers comprehensive SEO features, including URL rewriting, meta tag management, and XML sitemaps. It enables organizations to optimize their websites for search engines and improve their search rankings. Furthermore, Liferay's marketing automation capabilities, including lead scoring and nurturing, provide marketers with the tools they need to drive effective marketing campaigns. Additionally, Liferay's monetization features, such as advertising management and e-commerce integration, enable organizations to generate revenue from their digital properties.

Both AEM and Liferay enable organizations to create SEO-friendly websites and implement marketing strategies effectively. Whether you prioritize data-driven optimization or a comprehensive suite of marketing automation tools, both AEM and Liferay offer the features to support your SEO, marketing, and monetization efforts.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are primary concerns for organizations, particularly those operating in regulated industries or those handling sensitive data. AEM prioritizes security and offers robust features to protect your digital properties. It leverages Adobe's expertise in security to provide granular access controls, secure integrations, and protection against emerging threats. AEM also supports compliance with various industry regulations, such as HIPAA and GDPR, ensuring that your organization can meet its legal requirements.

Liferay also prioritizes security and provides robust features to safeguard your digital assets. Its role-based access control, secure login, and multi-factor authentication ensure that only authorized users can access your CMS and its associated data. Liferay adheres to industry standards and complies with regulations such as GDPR, providing organizations with peace of mind regarding data privacy and security.

Both AEM and Liferay offer secure CMS solutions and adhere to industry standards and regulations. Whether your organization operates in a highly regulated industry or handles sensitive data, both AEM and Liferay have the necessary security features to protect your digital assets and ensure compliance.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration from an existing CMS or platform to a new one can be a complex process. AEM provides tools and resources to simplify the migration, ensuring a smooth transition. Adobe offers comprehensive documentation and guides to assist organizations in migrating their content and workflows to AEM. Additionally, Adobe provides migration scripts and tools to automate the process and reduce the time and effort required for migration. Furthermore, Adobe offers support and assistance throughout the migration process, ensuring organizations have the necessary resources to successfully transition to AEM.

Liferay also offers resources and support for migration. Its documentation and guides provide step-by-step instructions for migrating from other CMS platforms. Liferay's support team is readily available to assist organizations during the migration process. Additionally, the Liferay community is highly active and knowledgeable, providing valuable insights and best practices for a smooth migration.

When it comes to ongoing support and maintenance, AEM offers dedicated customer support, ensuring organizations have access to assistance whenever needed. AEM's subscription plans provide organizations with guaranteed response times and access to the latest updates and security patches. Liferay also offers professional support options, including technical assistance and access to software updates. In addition, Liferay's active community provides forums, documentation, and online resources to address common issues and provide solutions.

Regardless of whether you choose AEM or Liferay, both CMS platforms prioritize customer support and provide resources to assist with migration and ongoing maintenance. With their comprehensive documentation, active communities, and dedicated support teams, both AEM and Liferay ensure organizations can successfully migrate, maintain, and optimize their CMS platforms.


After evaluating the various aspects of Adobe Experience Manager and Liferay, it is clear that both CMS platforms offer powerful features and capabilities. The choice between AEM and Liferay ultimately depends on your organization's specific needs, objectives, and resources.

If you require a scalable, enterprise-level CMS with seamless integration with other Adobe Experience Cloud products, AEM is an excellent choice. With its intuitive interface, extensive customization options, and comprehensive marketing features, AEM empowers organizations to create stunning digital experiences and deliver personalized content.

On the other hand, if you value flexibility, customization options, and an active open-source community, Liferay is an ideal CMS. Its modular architecture allows for extensive customization, and its marketplace offers a wide range of plugins and extensions. Liferay's collaboration features and user-friendly interface enable teams to collaborate effectively and streamline content creation.

Ultimately, both AEM and Liferay have proven themselves as reliable CMS platforms in the market. By carefully considering the unique requirements and objectives of your organization, you can choose the CMS that suits your needs and sets the foundation for a successful digital presence.


Martin Dejnicki
Martin Dejnicki

Martin is a digital product innovator and pioneer who built and optimized his first website back in 1996 when he was 16 years old. Since then, he has helped many companies win in the digital space, including Walmart, IBM, Rogers, Canada Post, TMX Group and TD Securities. Recently, he worked with the Deploi team to build an elegant publishing platform for creative writers and a novel algorithmic trading platform.