Gatsby vs. Orchard Core: A Comprehensive Comparison of Powerful CMS Platforms

Gatsby vs. Orchard Core: A Comprehensive Comparison of Powerful CMS Platforms


Welcome to this comprehensive comparison guide between Gatsby and Orchard Core, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS) that can power your organization's digital presence. In today's digital landscape, having a robust CMS is crucial for managing and delivering content efficiently. Gatsby and Orchard Core offer unique features and functionalities that can help you create and maintain a powerful online presence, but they do have distinct differences. In this guide, we will explore and compare the key aspects of these CMS platforms to help you make an informed decision for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

Both Gatsby and Orchard Core have solid foundations that support their CMS capabilities. Gatsby is a static site generator that uses React and GraphQL, providing developers with a modern and efficient framework to build websites and web applications. It utilizes static HTML files, which allows for faster performance, improved security, and better search engine optimization (SEO) compared to traditional CMS platforms. On the other hand, Orchard Core is a modular CMS framework built on ASP.NET Core, providing developers with a flexible and extensible platform for creating content-driven applications. It offers a wide range of built-in features and modules that can be customized and scaled to meet the specific needs of your organization.

Gatsby's focus on performance and SEO makes it an excellent choice for organizations that prioritize speed and searchability. Its ability to generate static HTML files enables faster page load times, resulting in an exceptional user experience. Orchard Core's ASP.NET Core foundation offers the advantages of a mature and reliable framework, making it a suitable choice for organizations looking for a versatile CMS that can handle complex content management requirements.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and Orchard Core depends on your organization's specific needs and preferences. If you value performance and SEO, Gatsby may be the better option. If you require a more flexible and extensible CMS framework, Orchard Core may be the ideal choice.

Next, let's explore the design and user experience of these two CMS platforms.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both Gatsby and Orchard Core offer a range of options to create visually appealing and intuitive websites. Gatsby provides a wide variety of pre-designed templates and themes that can be easily customized to match your brand identity. Its React-based system enables the creation of dynamic and interactive user interfaces, resulting in engaging user experiences. This flexibility allows developers to build unique and immersive websites that captivate users.

Orchard Core also offers a range of themes and templates that can be customized to suit your organization's design requirements. However, compared to Gatsby, Orchard Core may require more development expertise to achieve the desired design and user experience. It provides a powerful and flexible layout engine that allows you to create dynamic layouts and templates, but customization may involve more technical work.

In terms of user experience, Gatsby's focus on performance results in fast-loading pages, providing a smooth and seamless browsing experience. Its integration with React also allows for interactive and dynamic content updates without the need for full page refresh. Orchard Core, on the other hand, offers a user-friendly interface with a comprehensive dashboard that simplifies content management tasks. Its intuitive editor and drag-and-drop capabilities make it easy for content authors to create and update content without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

Ultimately, both Gatsby and Orchard Core offer options for creating visually appealing designs and intuitive user experiences. Gatsby's flexibility and immersive interfaces cater well to organizations that value uniqueness and engagement, while Orchard Core's user-friendly interface and content management features are suitable for organizations looking for a straightforward CMS experience.

Content Management

One of the primary functions of a CMS is content management, and both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide robust capabilities in this area. Gatsby's content management features are built on top of its React and GraphQL foundations, allowing for efficient content creation, organization, and querying. Its integration with various content sources, such as headless CMS platforms and markdown files, enables seamless content management workflows. Gatsby's file-based approach also provides greater control over content versioning and collaborative editing for teams.

Orchard Core excels in content management with its modular and extensible architecture. It offers a rich user interface for content creation and editing, allowing content authors to easily manage different types of content, including articles, blog posts, images, and videos. Orchard Core's content management features include taxonomies, workflows, and versioning, providing organizations with the tools they need to create, organize, and publish content effectively.

Both Gatsby and Orchard Core also support multilingual content management, allowing you to create and manage content in multiple languages. Gatsby's integration with localization plugins and APIs simplifies the process of translating and managing content in different languages. Orchard Core, being a fully-featured CMS, offers comprehensive multilingual content support out of the box, allowing organizations to create and deliver localized content seamlessly.

Ultimately, Gatsby's content management capabilities are suitable for organizations looking for a flexible and developer-centric approach to content creation and organization, while Orchard Core's comprehensive content management features are ideal for organizations that require a robust and user-friendly CMS for various content types.

Collaboration & User Management

Efficient collaboration and user management are essential for organizations with multiple contributors and content teams. Gatsby and Orchard Core offer different approaches to collaboration and user management.

Gatsby's file-based approach to content allows for easier collaboration through version control systems such as Git. Multiple team members can work simultaneously on different content files and merge their changes seamlessly. This approach can be particularly beneficial for organizations that have established development workflows and prefer the stability and control offered by version control systems.

Orchard Core provides an intuitive user management interface that allows administrators to create and manage user roles and permissions effectively. Content authors can be assigned specific roles to control access and editing capabilities. Orchard Core also supports workflows and permissions for content approval, enabling organizations to enforce content governance and ensure the quality of published content.

Both Gatsby and Orchard Core offer authentication and authorization mechanisms, allowing you to manage user access to the CMS backend and content management features. Gatsby integrates with popular authentication providers, such as Auth0 and Netlify Identity, while Orchard Core provides a flexible user management system that can integrate with various authentication providers, including external identity services and Active Directory.

In summary, Gatsby's file-based collaboration and version control system integration may be more suitable for organizations with development-focused workflows, while Orchard Core's user management features and content approval workflows cater well to organizations that require a user-friendly and structured collaboration environment.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are crucial considerations for organizations aiming to deliver a seamless user experience while managing growing amounts of content and traffic.

Gatsby's static site generation approach provides inherently fast page load times, allowing for optimal performance. Its use of React and GraphQL enables efficient data fetching and dynamic content updates, enhancing the user experience. Additionally, Gatsby's integration with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) ensures that content is delivered to users from servers located closer to their geographic location, reducing latency and improving performance.

Orchard Core's performance is influenced by its underlying ASP.NET Core framework and the hosting environment it runs on. With proper configuration and optimization, Orchard Core can deliver excellent performance. Its modular architecture allows you to scale and optimize specific components of your website or application as needed. Orchard Core can be hosted on a range of platforms, including traditional web servers, cloud hosting providers, and containers.

When it comes to hosting options, Gatsby offers a wide range of options due to its static site nature. You can deploy Gatsby sites to various hosting providers, including Netlify, AWS S3, and GitHub Pages. Additionally, Gatsby's integration with serverless architectures enables automatic scaling based on traffic demands, allowing for cost-efficient hosting. Orchard Core, being a more traditional CMS, can be hosted on platforms that support ASP.NET Core, such as Windows Server and cloud hosting providers like Azure or AWS.

In conclusion, Gatsby's static site generation approach excels in performance and scalability, with various hosting options available. Orchard Core's performance can be optimized with the right configuration, and its hosting options are wider due to being built on ASP.NET Core. Choose Gatsby for unparalleled performance and scalability, or Orchard Core for a more traditional CMS that can be hosted in a wider range of environments.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization and extensibility are crucial factors to consider when selecting a CMS, as they allow you to tailor the platform to your organization's specific needs and future growth. Both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide options for customization and feature extension.

Gatsby offers a wide range of pre-designed templates and themes that can be customized to match your brand identity. Its modular plugin architecture allows developers to extend its functionality and integrate with various external services and data sources. The Gatsby ecosystem also includes numerous community-developed plugins and starters, providing a rich library of features and templates to choose from.

Orchard Core's modular architecture is a key differentiating factor when it comes to customization and extensibility. It provides a flexible framework for building custom modules and themes to meet your organization's specific requirements. Developers can leverage Orchard Core's APIs and extension points to create unique features and integrations. Additionally, Orchard Core has an active community that contributes to the development of modules and themes, expanding the platform's ecosystem.

When it comes to ecosystem maturity, Gatsby has gained significant popularity in recent years, attracting a large and active developer community. This has resulted in a rich ecosystem of plugins and starters, along with extensive documentation and support resources. Orchard Core, although relatively newer than Gatsby, has been gaining traction and has an active community that continues to expand the platform's capabilities.

In summary, Gatsby's rich ecosystem and extensive customization options make it a powerful choice for organizations looking for flexibility and access to a wide range of features and templates. Orchard Core's modular architecture and active community make it a robust platform for organizations that require a more tailored and extensible CMS solution.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO), marketing capabilities, and monetization options are essential considerations for organizations looking to increase their online visibility, reach their target audience, and generate revenue.

Gatsby's static site generation approach provides inherent advantages in terms of SEO. The resulting static HTML files are easily crawlable by search engines, improving the visibility of your content. Gatsby also offers built-in features and plugins for generating SEO-friendly sitemaps and metadata, making it easier to optimize your content for search engines. In addition, Gatsby's integration with headless CMS platforms enables content editors to manage SEO-related metadata seamlessly.

Orchard Core offers robust SEO capabilities, including the ability to customize URL formats, manage metadata, and define redirects. Its module ecosystem also includes extensions for generating XML sitemaps and implementing SEO best practices. Orchard Core's flexible architecture and extensibility options allow you to integrate with third-party SEO tools and services as well.

When it comes to marketing features, Gatsby offers various plugins and integrations that enable lead generation, analytics tracking, A/B testing, and personalization. Its integration with popular marketing automation tools and services allows for streamlined marketing workflows. Orchard Core also provides features for managing email campaigns, tracking analytics, and personalizing content. Its modular architecture enables seamless integration with marketing automation platforms such as MailChimp and Marketo.

In terms of monetization, both Gatsby and Orchard Core support e-commerce capabilities through plugin extensions. Gatsby's integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify enables the creation and management of online stores. Orchard Core offers its own e-commerce module that provides features for product management, inventory tracking, and order processing. Both platforms allow for the monetization of content through advertisements and subscription models.

To summarize, both Gatsby and Orchard Core offer strong SEO capabilities, marketing features, and e-commerce options. Gatsby's static site approach and integration with headless CMS platforms make it an attractive choice for organizations prioritizing SEO and marketing features. Orchard Core's extensibility and built-in marketing and e-commerce modules offer a comprehensive solution for organizations looking for an all-in-one CMS platform.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations for organizations that handle sensitive data or operate in regulated industries. Both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide security features and flexibility in terms of compliance requirements.

Gatsby's static site generation approach offers inherent security benefits. The absence of server-side code limits potential attack vectors. Additionally, Gatsby's integration with authentication services and access control mechanisms ensures secure access to the CMS backend. Gatsby sites can also benefit from the security measures provided by hosting providers and CDNs.

Orchard Core's architecture and ASP.NET Core foundation provide a robust security framework. It includes features such as data protection, cross-site scripting (XSS) prevention, and request validation. Orchard Core also allows administrators to configure authentication mechanisms, implement role-based access control, and enforce password policies. Compliance requirements can be met through Orchard Core's flexible APIs, allowing for secure integration with external systems and compliance tools.

Both Gatsby and Orchard Core have active communities that contribute to the identification and resolution of security vulnerabilities, ensuring regular updates and patches. Additionally, both platforms allow for encryption of data at rest and in transit, safeguarding sensitive information.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and Orchard Core in terms of security and compliance will depend on your organization's specific requirements. Consider factors such as your industry's compliance regulations, the sensitivity of your data, and your organization's security policies.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, ongoing support, and maintenance are essential aspects to consider when selecting a CMS. Both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide resources and support options to ensure a smooth transition and continued success.

Migrating to Gatsby typically involves transitioning from a traditional CMS platform to Gatsby's static site generation approach. This may require content migration, redesigning templates, and rebuilding functionality. Gatsby provides comprehensive documentation and migration guides, making the transition easier for developers and content authors. The Gatsby community also offers support through forums and social media groups, and there are service providers that specialize in Gatsby migrations.

Orchard Core provides tools and documentation to facilitate the migration process from other CMS platforms. Content can be migrated using importer modules, and Orchard Core's modular architecture allows for gradual migration of functionalities. The Orchard Core community provides support through forums and issue tracking systems. There are also service providers with expertise in Orchard Core that can assist with migrations and ongoing maintenance.

When it comes to ongoing support and maintenance, Gatsby's vibrant developer community ensures frequent updates and provides support resources. Gatsby also offers commercial support plans for organizations that require dedicated assistance. Orchard Core's active community and open-source nature ensure a steady stream of updates and bug fixes. Professional support services are also available for organizations that require additional assistance or prefer a dedicated support relationship.

In summary, both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide resources and support options for migration, ongoing support, and maintenance. Consider your organization's specific requirements, budget, and available expertise when making a decision in this regard.


Gatsby and Orchard Core are powerful Content Management Systems that cater to different organizational needs and priorities. Gatsby's static site generation approach, performance focus, and flexible customization options make it ideal for organizations seeking speed, search engine optimization, and a modern development framework. On the other hand, Orchard Core's modular architecture, comprehensive content management features, and user-friendly interface are suitable for organizations that require a versatile, extensible, and user-friendly CMS platform.

Consider your organization's specific requirements in areas such as design and user experience, content management, collaboration, performance, customization, SEO, security, and ongoing support. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both Gatsby and Orchard Core in these areas. It may also be beneficial to involve key stakeholders, such as developers, content authors, and marketing teams, in the decision-making process.

No matter which CMS you choose, the key is to ensure that it aligns with your organization's digital strategy and goals. Both Gatsby and Orchard Core provide solid foundations and a wide range of features that can empower your digital presence and help you deliver exceptional online experiences.


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.