Gatsby vs. PyroCMS: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS Platforms

Gatsby vs. PyroCMS: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS Platforms


Gatsby and PyroCMS are both powerful content management systems that offer unique features and capabilities. Each of these CMS platforms is designed to help organizations effectively manage and publish their digital content. However, there are key differences between Gatsby and PyroCMS that make them suitable for different purposes and use cases. This comparison guide will delve into the various aspects of these two CMS platforms to help you make an informed decision on which one is the right fit for your organization.

Foundations of CMS

When it comes to the foundations of a CMS, both Gatsby and PyroCMS have their strengths. Gatsby is a modern static site generator that focuses on performance and speed. It uses React and GraphQL to create lightning-fast websites that can scale easily. On the other hand, PyroCMS is a PHP-based CMS that offers a more traditional approach to content management. It provides a user-friendly interface for managing content and leverages Laravel, a popular PHP framework, for enhanced customization and extensibility.

While Gatsby's static site architecture offers incredible performance benefits, it may not be suitable for websites that require frequent content updates. PyroCMS, on the other hand, excels in dynamic content management, making it an ideal choice for organizations that prioritize real-time content updates and dynamic web pages.

In terms of ease of use, Gatsby may require a steeper learning curve due to its modern tech stack, whereas PyroCMS offers a more intuitive and user-friendly interface for content editors.

Overall, the choice between Gatsby and PyroCMS depends on your organization's specific needs, including the type of content you manage, the desired performance, and the technical expertise of your team.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a crucial role in attracting and engaging visitors. Gatsby offers a wide range of pre-built themes and templates that can be easily customized to create visually stunning websites. It also allows developers to leverage React components and libraries for creating interactive user interfaces. Gatsby's flexibility and modern design options make it a popular choice for organizations that value aesthetics and user experience.

PyroCMS, on the other hand, provides a more traditional approach to design. It offers a variety of built-in themes and templates, but the customization options may be more limited compared to Gatsby. However, PyroCMS does provide a visual drag-and-drop editor, allowing users to create and customize web pages without requiring advanced coding skills.

The choice between Gatsby and PyroCMS in terms of design and user experience largely depends on the desired level of customization, flexibility, and the technical skills of your team. If you prioritize modern, highly customizable designs, Gatsby is the preferred choice. However, if you seek a user-friendly CMS with simplified design options, PyroCMS may be the better fit.

Ultimately, both Gatsby and PyroCMS offer options that enable you to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites. Consider your organization's branding, design requirements, and the skill set of your team to make the right choice.

Content Management

Efficient content management is a critical aspect of any CMS. Gatsby uses a headless CMS approach, meaning the content is managed separately from the front-end. You can leverage popular headless CMS platforms like Contentful or WordPress to manage your content, while Gatsby focuses on delivering a fast, performant website by fetching data through its GraphQL layer. This modular approach offers flexibility and allows you to choose the CMS that best suits your content management needs.

On the other hand, PyroCMS provides an all-in-one solution where content management is tightly integrated into the CMS itself. It allows you to create and manage content directly within the CMS, eliminating the need for additional external tools. PyroCMS offers a straightforward content editing experience and includes features like versioning and drag-and-drop media management, making it easier to maintain and organize your content.

When selecting a CMS for content management, consider factors such as the complexity of your content structure, the need for collaboration among the content team, and the desire for a seamless content editing experience. Gatsby's headless approach provides flexibility and scalability for organizations with specific content management requirements, while PyroCMS simplifies content management within a unified platform.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and PyroCMS for content management depends on the level of integration and control you require, as well as the collaboration needs of your content team.

Collaboration & User Management

Efficient collaboration and user management are essential for organizations with multiple content contributors and teams. Gatsby, being a static site generator, does not natively offer advanced user management features. Organizations using Gatsby often leverage separate systems or plugins to manage user roles and permissions for content contributors. Integrating authentication systems like Auth0 or Netlify Identity can provide the required collaboration and user management functionalities.

PyroCMS, on the other hand, provides built-in user management features. It allows you to create and manage user roles with specific permissions, ensuring efficient collaboration among team members. PyroCMS also offers multi-site management, allowing you to manage multiple websites within a single CMS installation. These features make it easier to maintain and control user access and permissions for different content contributors.

When considering collaboration and user management, think about the size and complexity of your organization, the number of content contributors, and the level of control you need. If efficient collaboration and user management are critical to your workflows, PyroCMS provides the necessary tools and features out of the box. However, if you prefer a more lightweight and customizable approach, Gatsby can be integrated with external systems to fulfill collaborative requirements.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and PyroCMS for collaboration and user management depends on the specific needs and workflows of your organization.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting capabilities are vital considerations when selecting a content management system. Gatsby is widely known for its performance optimization and fast-loading websites. By generating static files, Gatsby eliminates the need for database queries during page requests, resulting in significantly faster load times. Additionally, Gatsby sites can be hosted on Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for optimized content delivery across the globe.

For hosting Gatsby sites, you can choose from a variety of options, including traditional web hosting providers or serverless platforms like Netlify or Vercel. These platforms offer built-in support for Gatsby and provide automatic deployment, continuous integration, and scalability features, making it easier to handle high traffic loads.

PyroCMS, being a dynamic CMS, relies on server-side rendering and database queries to generate web pages. While PyroCMS provides caching mechanisms to improve performance, it may not achieve the same level of speed as Gatsby's static site architecture. However, PyroCMS can still handle moderate traffic and offers scalability options by utilizing server infrastructure resources based on your hosting provider.

Hosting a PyroCMS site is relatively straightforward, as it requires a PHP-enabled hosting environment. Many hosting providers support PHP and offer one-click installations for PyroCMS. However, it's important to consider the scalability and performance requirements of your organization when choosing a hosting provider for PyroCMS.

If performance and scalability are critical for your website, especially with high traffic volumes, Gatsby's static site generation approach and hosting options make it a preferred choice. However, if your traffic is more moderate and you prefer a traditional dynamic CMS hosting environment, PyroCMS can fulfill those needs.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization and extensibility are important factors to consider when choosing a CMS, as they determine the flexibility and adaptability of the platform to your specific needs. Gatsby provides a highly customizable development environment using React and GraphQL. Developers can leverage the extensive Gatsby plugin ecosystem to add functionality and integrate with various external services and platforms.

Gatsby's plugin system allows for easy integration with headless CMS platforms, e-commerce solutions, analytics tools, and more. It also supports custom themes and components, enabling developers to create unique user experiences and tailor the CMS to meet specific requirements.

PyroCMS, while not as flexible as Gatsby, offers a range of extensions and modules that enhance the CMS's functionality. Developers can create custom themes, add-ons, and modules using PyroCMS's Laravel-based architecture. This provides a solid foundation for customization and extension, allowing you to adapt the CMS to your organization's needs.

Whether you choose Gatsby or PyroCMS depends on the level of customization required and the technical expertise of your team. Gatsby's ecosystem offers a vast array of plugins and integrations, making it suitable for organizations that prioritize customization and flexibility. PyroCMS, with its Laravel base, provides a solid foundation for customization but may require more development expertise for advanced customization.

Consider your organization's development capabilities, specific customization requirements, and the availability of plugins and extensions when making a decision between Gatsby and PyroCMS.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization capabilities are crucial for organizations seeking to increase online visibility and generate revenue from their websites. Gatsby's static site architecture provides inherent SEO benefits by generating clean HTML files, allowing search engines to easily crawl and index the content. Gatsby also offers plugins that can handle metadata, sitemaps, and other SEO-related functionality.

When it comes to marketing, Gatsby allows you to integrate with popular marketing tools and services, such as Google Analytics, marketing automation platforms, and social media integrations. This enables you to track website performance, user behavior, and leverage marketing strategies to drive traffic and conversions.

Monetization options in Gatsby can be achieved through various means, such as e-commerce integrations or advertising platforms. By leveraging the vast plugin ecosystem, you can integrate with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify or add advertising networks like Google AdSense to your Gatsby site.

PyroCMS also offers SEO-friendly features, such as customizable URLs, meta tags, and XML sitemaps. Furthermore, PyroCMS provides built-in marketing features like email campaign management, CRM integrations, and tracking capabilities. These features allow you to run marketing campaigns directly from the CMS.

In terms of monetization, PyroCMS offers e-commerce capabilities through integrated modules like Cartalyst, making it easier to set up and manage online stores. It also provides options for integrating advertising platforms and managing ad placements within your website.

When it comes to SEO, marketing, and monetization capabilities, both Gatsby and PyroCMS offer robust options. Consider your organization's specific requirements, the desired level of marketing automation, and the monetization strategies you intend to implement when making a decision between the two CMS platforms.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations for organizations, especially those dealing with sensitive user data or operating in regulated industries. Gatsby, being a static site generator, is generally considered more secure due to its reduced attack surface and the absence of a dynamic server-side environment. Additionally, Gatsby sites benefit from the security measures and scalability features provided by hosting platforms like Netlify or Vercel.

While the core Gatsby framework is secure, organizations should still adopt best practices, such as secure coding practices, regular updates, and thorough testing, to ensure the security of their Gatsby websites. Secure communication protocols like HTTPS should also be employed to protect user data.

PyroCMS follows industry-standard security practices and provides mechanisms for securing user accounts, passwords, and content. The framework it relies on, Laravel, also incorporates security features, including protection against common web vulnerabilities. However, as a dynamic CMS, PyroCMS may be more susceptible to security risks that arise from server-side functionality and database interactions.

Both Gatsby and PyroCMS offer options for compliance with various data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA. It's important to consider your specific compliance requirements and evaluate the tools and features provided by each CMS to ensure they meet your organization's needs.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and PyroCMS for security and compliance depends on your organization's risk tolerance, the sensitivity of your data, and the resources available to implement and maintain necessary security measures.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, ongoing support, and maintenance are essential factors to consider when implementing a new CMS. Gatsby provides a smooth migration path for existing websites, especially if you are migrating from a headless CMS. The flexibility of Gatsby's front-end and its ability to integrate with various data sources make the migration process relatively straightforward.

When it comes to ongoing support, Gatsby benefits from a large and active community, providing resources, tutorials, and support forums to help you address any issues that may arise. Additionally, hosting platforms like Netlify or Vercel often offer support services tailored specifically for Gatsby sites.

Maintenance of Gatsby sites primarily involves keeping the dependencies and plugins up to date to ensure compatibility and security. Regular testing and performance optimization are also important to maintain the overall site health and user satisfaction.

PyroCMS provides migration tools for transferring content and data from other CMS platforms, making it easier to switch to PyroCMS. However, as with any migration, it's important to carefully plan and test the process to ensure a smooth transition.

PyroCMS benefits from an active community and official support channels, including documentation, forums, and customer support options. These resources can help you navigate any technical challenges and provide guidance on maintenance and best practices.

When considering migration, support, and maintenance, evaluate the ease of migration from your existing CMS, the availability of support resources, and your organization's internal capabilities and expertise. Both Gatsby and PyroCMS offer options for ongoing support and maintenance, ensuring that your website remains secure, up to date, and functioning smoothly.


Choosing the right content management system for your organization is a critical decision. Gatsby and PyroCMS offer unique features and approaches, catering to different use cases and requirements.

If you prioritize performance, scalability, and a modern tech stack that allows for highly customizable designs, Gatsby's static site generator architecture may be the right fit for your organization. It excels at creating lightning-fast websites and integrating with various headless CMS platforms to manage content efficiently.

On the other hand, if ease of use, dynamic content management, and built-in marketing and e-commerce capabilities are important to your organization, PyroCMS provides a user-friendly interface and a Laravel-based framework that offers excellent customization options.

Consider the specific needs and priorities of your organization, the technical skills of your team, and the level of customization, performance, and security you require when making your decision between Gatsby and PyroCMS.

No matter which CMS you choose, thorough planning, testing, and ongoing support are essential for a successful implementation and long-term website management.


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.