Gatsby vs. GetSimple: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems

Gatsby vs. GetSimple: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful Content Management Systems


Welcome to our in-depth comparison guide of two popular Content Management Systems (CMS): Gatsby and GetSimple. As digital leaders and decision-makers, we understand the importance of choosing the right CMS for your organization. In this guide, we will provide a detailed analysis of the features, capabilities, and benefits of both Gatsby and GetSimple to help you make an informed decision.

Foundations of CMS

Both Gatsby and GetSimple are powerful CMS platforms, but they have different foundations. Gatsby is a static site generator that uses React, GraphQL, and Webpack to build fast, secure, and scalable websites. It offers a modern development experience with its code-first approach and allows developers to leverage the benefits of React components and GraphQL queries. On the other hand, GetSimple is a lightweight CMS that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It is built on PHP and uses a flat-file database, which eliminates the need for a database server. This makes GetSimple easy to install, configure, and maintain.

When it comes to flexibility and extensibility, Gatsby shines with its vast ecosystem of plugins and themes. Developers can easily customize and extend Gatsby websites using plugins for additional functionality and themes for unique designs. Gatsby's integration with external data sources, such as APIs and CMSs, also allows for dynamic content updates. GetSimple, while not as extensible as Gatsby, offers a range of plugins and themes to enhance its functionality and design options.

In terms of scalability, both Gatsby and GetSimple can handle small to medium-sized websites. However, Gatsby's static site generation approach allows for better performance and scalability, as the generated static files can be served directly from a CDN. GetSimple's reliance on PHP and a flat-file database may limit scalability for larger websites with high traffic.

In summary, Gatsby's foundation on React, GraphQL, and Webpack provides a modern development experience and scalability, while GetSimple's PHP-based flat-file database offers simplicity and ease of use.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both Gatsby and GetSimple offer different approaches. Gatsby allows for highly customizable designs and layouts using React components and CSS-in-JS solutions like Styled Components or Emotion. The flexibility of Gatsby's theme system allows developers to create unique and visually appealing websites. Additionally, Gatsby's integration with popular design tools like Figma and Sketch enables seamless collaboration between designers and developers.

GetSimple, on the other hand, provides a straightforward and intuitive user interface for managing website content. Its admin panel is easy to navigate, making it beginner-friendly. While GetSimple does not offer the same level of design flexibility as Gatsby, it provides a range of pre-designed themes that can be easily customized to match your branding. The simplicity of GetSimple's design and user experience makes it ideal for users who value ease of use and quick content updates.

Both Gatsby and GetSimple prioritize responsive web design, ensuring that websites look great and function flawlessly on all devices. Gatsby's static site generation approach allows for fast loading times, contributing to a seamless user experience. GetSimple's lightweight codebase also ensures efficient page rendering and optimal performance.

In conclusion, Gatsby offers extensive design customization options and collaboration capabilities, while GetSimple focuses on simplicity and ease of use for content management.

Content Management

Content management is a crucial aspect of any CMS, and both Gatsby and GetSimple offer different approaches to handle content. Gatsby allows for the creation of content using Markdown, which makes it easy to write and format content using simple syntax and conventions. The content is stored as files within the project structure, making it version-controlled and easily manageable. Gatsby's integration with Headless CMS platforms like Contentful or WordPress allows for even more flexibility and centralized content management.

GetSimple, on the other hand, provides a WYSIWYG editor that allows for easy content creation and formatting without requiring any technical knowledge. With its intuitive interface, users can update content, manage pages, and organize files efficiently. The flat-file database used by GetSimple stores content directly in XML files, making it easy to access and edit content even without using the admin panel. However, GetSimple's approach may be limited in terms of collaborative content editing or complex content structuring.

Both Gatsby and GetSimple offer media management features for handling images, videos, and other files. Gatsby's integration with platforms like Cloudinary or Contentful enables seamless media management and optimization. GetSimple provides a file manager within its admin panel, allowing users to upload, organize, and insert media into their website content.

In summary, Gatsby excels in handling structured content and integrates well with Headless CMS platforms, while GetSimple offers straightforward content creation and organization capabilities using its WYSIWYG editor.

Collaboration & User Management

Effective collaboration and user management features are essential for organizations with multiple team members involved in website management. Gatsby provides the benefit of version control and collaborative workflows by leveraging popular code repository platforms like Git and GitHub. This allows teams to work together seamlessly, track changes, and roll back to previous versions if needed. Additionally, Gatsby's GraphQL data layer enables flexible data access control and user authentication, allowing for secure content management.

GetSimple offers a user management system that allows you to create and manage multiple user accounts with different permission levels. This is especially useful for organizations that need to grant specific access privileges to different team members. However, GetSimple's approach may be more suitable for simpler content management scenarios, as it lacks more advanced collaborative features.

Gatsby's integration with third-party services like Netlify CMS or Forestry.IO provides even more collaboration and user management capabilities. These platforms offer visual content editors, user-friendly interfaces, and easy deployment options, making it easier for non-technical users to contribute to website management.

Overall, Gatsby provides powerful collaboration features for teams working with code-based content management, while GetSimple offers basic user management capabilities optimized for simplicity.

Performance, Scalability & Hosting

Performance and scalability are critical factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Gatsby's static site generation approach allows for incredibly fast loading times, as the web pages are pre-built and served as static files directly from a CDN. This reduces server processing time, resulting in a smoother and more responsive experience for website visitors. Furthermore, Gatsby employs code-splitting techniques to only load what is necessary, reducing payload size and increasing performance even further.

GetSimple's lightweight codebase and flat-file database also contribute to efficient page rendering and optimal performance. However, as the website grows larger or experiences high traffic, GetSimple may face limitations due to its reliance on PHP and a flat-file database.

Both Gatsby and GetSimple can be hosted on various platforms. Gatsby can be deployed using popular hosting services like Netlify, AWS Amplify, or Vercel. These platforms provide hassle-free hosting, automatic continuous deployment, and CDN integration for optimal performance. GetSimple can be hosted on any hosting provider that supports PHP, making it a flexible option for different hosting environments.

In conclusion, Gatsby provides exceptional performance and scalability through its static site generation approach and code-splitting techniques. GetSimple's lightweight codebase ensures efficient page rendering, but it may face limitations in scalability for larger websites or high traffic scenarios.

Customization, Extensions & Ecosystem

Customization options, available extensions, and a thriving ecosystem are vital aspects of any CMS. Gatsby offers extensive customization capabilities with its plugin and theme ecosystem. Developers can choose from a wide range of plugins to add functionality or modify existing features. Furthermore, Gatsby's theme system provides a streamlined approach to customize the design and layout of websites. The Gatsby ecosystem also includes starter templates and documentation to kickstart development projects and shorten development time.

While GetSimple may not have the same level of customization options as Gatsby, it offers an array of plugins and themes to enhance the functionality and design of websites. GetSimple's plugin library includes various categories such as SEO, security, and e-commerce. Users can also create custom themes or modify existing ones to match their branding and design preferences.

Gatsby's integration with various data sources and APIs allows for dynamic content updates and flexible content sourcing. This promotes a headless CMS approach, where content can be managed in separate systems like Contentful or WordPress and pulled into Gatsby websites. GetSimple, being a self-contained CMS, does not offer the same level of integration options but provides a simple and self-sufficient content management experience.

In conclusion, Gatsby provides extensive customization options and a rich ecosystem of plugins, themes, and starter templates. GetSimple offers a range of plugins and themes to enhance functionality and design within its self-contained CMS environment.

SEO, Marketing & Monetization

Having a CMS that supports search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization efforts is crucial for organizations looking to boost their online presence. Gatsby's static site generation approach inherently provides benefits for SEO, as it produces clean HTML markup and fast-loading web pages. Gatsby's integration with plugins like SEO Component ensures easy management of metadata, XML sitemaps, and Open Graph tags, further optimizing websites for search engines and social media platforms.

GetSimple also offers basic SEO features, allowing users to customize meta tags, URLs, and page headings for better search engine visibility. While it may not have as extensive SEO capabilities as Gatsby, GetSimple works well for smaller websites that rely on organic search traffic.

Marketing and monetization go hand in hand, and Gatsby's ecosystem offers a range of plugins for email marketing, analytics integration, A/B testing, and more. These plugins can be used to integrate popular marketing tools such as Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Optimizely. GetSimple, on the other hand, may require custom development or manual integrations for advanced marketing functionalities.

In summary, Gatsby provides advanced SEO features, marketing integrations, and monetization options through its comprehensive plugin ecosystem. GetSimple offers basic SEO capabilities and requires additional development for advanced marketing and monetization features.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are paramount considerations for CMS selection to protect sensitive data and ensure adherence to industry regulations. Gatsby's static site generation approach reduces the attack surface by serving static files instead of executing server-side code. Additionally, Gatsby benefits from the security patches and updates provided by its large development community. However, it's important to note that Gatsby's security also depends on the security measures implemented during deployment and hosting.

GetSimple follows standard security practices to protect website data, including encryption during data transmission and secure file storage. However, as GetSimple relies on PHP and a flat-file database, it may have specific security considerations when compared to more robust CMSs that have dedicated security teams and regular security audits. It's important to stay updated with the latest security patches and follow best practices for hardening the server environment.

Both Gatsby and GetSimple allow users to create secure user accounts with various permission levels to control access to website management functionalities. Gatsby's GraphQL data layer enables fine-grained data access control, while GetSimple offers basic user management features.

In terms of compliance, Gatsby and GetSimple can be adapted to meet regulatory requirements, but the responsibility lies with the organization implementing the CMS. Organizations must ensure their websites meet necessary compliance regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI-DSS.

Migration, Support & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another can be a complex task. Gatsby provides robust documentation and migration guides to assist with the migration process. Its compatibility with headless CMS platforms like Contentful or WordPress also makes content migration easier. However, it's important to consider the potential customizations and functionalities that may need to be rebuilt during the migration process.

GetSimple offers a straightforward migration process, as it does not require a database server. Backing up and transferring the website files and XML content files is typically sufficient for migration. The simplicity of GetSimple's structure makes it easier to move websites to different hosting environments or servers.

Both Gatsby and GetSimple have active community support through forums, documentation, and tutorials. Gatsby benefits from a larger community due to its popularity in the modern web development space. GetSimple's community, while smaller, is dedicated to providing support for interested users.

When it comes to maintenance, Gatsby requires regular updates to benefit from performance enhancements, bug fixes, and security patches. GetSimple also requires updates to ensure the latest security measures and bug fixes are applied. However, being a simpler CMS, GetSimple may have fewer updates and maintenance requirements compared to a more complex CMS like Gatsby.


In conclusion, both Gatsby and GetSimple offer unique features and benefits based on specific organizational needs. Gatsby excels in customization, scalability, and integrations, making it ideal for organizations with development resources and a focus on modern web development practices. GetSimple prioritizes simplicity, ease of use, and straightforward content management, making it suitable for smaller websites and users seeking a user-friendly CMS without complex technical requirements.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and GetSimple depends on your organization's priorities, technical resources, and long-term goals. We hope this comparison guide has provided you with the necessary insights to make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's requirements.


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.