Gatsby vs. Sulu: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS

Gatsby vs. Sulu: A Comprehensive Comparison of Two Powerful CMS


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison of Gatsby and Sulu, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS) that cater to the needs of organizations seeking powerful and user-friendly platforms. A CMS is a crucial tool for managing digital content, enabling businesses to create, edit, collaborate, and publish content seamlessly. In this guide, we will dive deep into the key features and capabilities of both Gatsby and Sulu, helping you make an informed decision for your organization's CMS requirements.

Foundations of CMS

When it comes to the foundations of a CMS, both Gatsby and Sulu offer unique approaches. Gatsby, a static site generator, stands out for its ability to build static HTML files from dynamic data sources, providing significant performance optimizations. On the other hand, Sulu is a hybrid CMS that combines elements of both traditional Content Management Systems and Headless CMS. It offers a flexible architecture that allows developers to create personalized content management experiences tailored to their specific needs.

Gatsby's rich plugin ecosystem empowers developers to integrate various data sources, providing flexibility and endless possibilities. With its modern stack, Gatsby offers optimized page loads, excellent SEO capabilities, and enhanced user experiences. Sulu, on the other hand, focuses on providing a well-structured backend UI with a robust content organization paradigm, making it an excellent choice for complex content management needs.

Both Gatsby and Sulu have strong foundations, but your choice should depend on your organization's requirements. If you prioritize high-performance websites with optimal SEO, Gatsby might be the right fit. In contrast, if you seek a reliable CMS with a well-rounded user interface and customizable content structures, Sulu could be the ideal choice.

Design & User Experience

The design and user experience are crucial aspects of any CMS, as they directly impact user productivity and satisfaction. Gatsby offers a vast array of themes and templates, both free and premium, enabling organizations to create visually stunning websites effortlessly. Its support for modern design frameworks like React and GraphQL allows designers and developers to create immersive experiences that engage users.

Sulu, too, offers an intuitive user interface with a clean and straightforward design. Its focus on content organization helps users efficiently manage complex structures with ease. With Sulu, you can create custom layouts, define content types, and manage media assets seamlessly. Additionally, Sulu supports multilingual content, making it an excellent choice for organizations with global audiences.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and Sulu for design and user experience depends on the complexity of your website and the level of customization you require. Gatsby's extensive theming options and support for modern design frameworks are ideal for organizations wanting highly customized and visually appealing websites. On the other hand, Sulu's content organization paradigm and multilingual support make it an excellent choice for organizations with complex content structures.

In conclusion, both Gatsby and Sulu provide robust design and user experiences. Gatsby's focus on theming and design flexibility makes it stand out for organizations seeking highly customized websites, while Sulu's emphasis on content organization and multilingual support is geared towards businesses with complex content structures and global audiences.

Content Management

When evaluating CMS options, an efficient and user-friendly content management system is essential. Gatsby excels at content management through its intuitive GraphiQL interface, supporting real-time previews and easy content updates. By integrating various content sources, Gatsby enables organizations to manage content from multiple platforms and databases seamlessly. This flexibility proves to be invaluable for teams working with diverse data sources that need to be retrieved and updated easily.

Sulu, on the other hand, offers a sophisticated content management system that helps organizations create, edit, and publish content effectively. Its easy-to-use backend UI allows users to collaborate, define workflows, and manage draft and published content seamlessly. With Sulu's granular control over content types and layout builders, businesses can ensure consistent branding and design guidelines across their website or application.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and Sulu for content management depends on your organization's content needs and the complexity of your content sources. Gatsby is well-suited for organizations with diverse data sources, offering seamless integration and real-time preview capabilities. Sulu provides a robust content management experience, perfect for businesses seeking easy collaboration, workflow management, and consistent content publishing processes.

In summary, Gatsby and Sulu both offer solid content management features. Gatsby's strength lies in its ability to integrate various data sources, making it a good fit for organizations with diverse content sources. Sulu, on the other hand, excels in providing a user-friendly interface, collaboration tools, and streamlined content publishing processes, making it ideal for businesses that prioritize efficient content editing and publishing workflows.

Collaboration & User Management

In today's collaborative work environments, effective collaboration and user management features are essential. Gatsby enhances collaboration through its Git-based workflow, enabling seamless content updates and rollbacks. Content changes made in version control systems can trigger automatic rebuilds, providing a streamlined collaborative publishing process.

Sulu offers robust user management features, allowing organizations to define roles, permissions, and access controls for individual users and teams. This level of control ensures security and privacy while facilitating efficient content collaboration. Sulu also offers integrated comment functionality, enabling users to provide feedback and discuss content directly within the CMS.

When deciding between Gatsby and Sulu for collaboration and user management, your choice depends on the specific needs of your organization. Gatsby's strong version control integration streamlines collaboration, making it suitable for organizations that rely heavily on versioning and content rollbacks. Sulu's user management capabilities, on the other hand, provide a solid foundation for organizations looking to define user roles and access controls effectively.

To conclude, both Gatsby and Sulu offer collaboration and user management features that support modern collaborative work environments. Gatsby's Git-based workflow simplifies versioning and content updating, whereas Sulu's user management capabilities allow businesses to define roles and facilitate efficient content collaboration.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting are critical factors to consider when choosing a CMS for your organization. Gatsby's static site generation approach enables lightning-fast page loads, making it highly performant. By generating static HTML files that can be served from a CDN, Gatsby ensures maximum speed and minimal server-side processing. Hosting Gatsby sites is flexible since they can be deployed on various platforms, including shared hosting, dedicated servers, or static site hosting services.

Sulu, being a hybrid CMS, offers robust performance and scalability. Its API-driven architecture allows organizations to decouple their frontend and backend, providing flexibility and scalability. Sulu supports horizontal scaling and load balancing, ensuring high availability and accommodating high traffic volumes. Hosting options for Sulu include cloud-based services, shared hosting, or on-premises setups.

Choosing between Gatsby and Sulu for performance, scalability, and hosting depends on your organization's specific needs. If performance is a top priority and you require serverless deployments, Gatsby's static site generation and flexible hosting options make it an excellent choice. On the other hand, if you need scalability and decoupled frontend-backend architecture, Sulu provides the necessary foundation for growth and high traffic volumes.

In summary, Gatsby's static site generation approach and flexible hosting options ensure exceptional performance, while Sulu's hybrid CMS architecture allows for scalability and high availability.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization, extensions, and a thriving ecosystem are essential considerations when selecting a CMS. Gatsby empowers developers with a rich ecosystem of plugins and starters, enabling easy customization and extended functionality. Gatsby's large developer community actively contributes new features, themes, and plugins, providing organizations with a broad array of options to enhance their websites.

Sulu offers customization through its flexible architecture, allowing developers to create personalized content management experiences. It provides an extension store where users can browse and install extensions to enhance the CMS's functionality. Sulu's ecosystem is steadily growing, with an engaged developer community contributing extensions and plugins.

When choosing between Gatsby and Sulu for customization, extensions, and ecosystem, your decision depends on your organization's specific needs. Gatsby's extensive ecosystem of plugins, themes, and starters offers unparalleled customization options and functionality enhancements. Sulu's flexible architecture and extension store provide a solid foundation for customization needs.

In conclusion, both Gatsby and Sulu offer customization options and extensions. Gatsby's rich ecosystem of plugins, themes, and starters provides a vast array of possibilities, while Sulu's flexible architecture and extension store cater to customization needs. Assessing your organization's requirements will help determine which CMS best fulfills your customization needs.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

When it comes to SEO, marketing, and monetization, both Gatsby and Sulu offer features that help organizations drive traffic, promote their content, and generate revenue. Gatsby's static site generation and server-side rendering capabilities result in SEO-friendly websites with fast load times, providing a solid foundation for search engine optimization. Additionally, Gatsby integrates seamlessly with various marketing analytics and automation tools, enabling organizations to track user behavior, optimize marketing campaigns, and drive conversions. Monetization options can be seamlessly integrated into Gatsby sites, including e-commerce platforms or advertisement networks.

Sulu recognizes the importance of SEO and offers features like customizable URLs, meta tags, and sitemaps to optimize web content for search engines. It supports integration with marketing automation tools, enabling organizations to personalize marketing campaigns and enhance user engagement. Monetization options can be easily integrated into Sulu through e-commerce extensions or custom-developed modules.

The choice between Gatsby and Sulu for SEO, marketing, and monetization depends on your organization's priorities. If you prioritize SEO-friendly websites and want to leverage marketing automation tools extensively, Gatsby provides a strong foundation. Sulu, on the other hand, offers solid SEO capabilities and integrates well with marketing automation tools, allowing organizations to drive traffic and generate revenue effectively.

In summary, Gatsby and Sulu both offer features for SEO optimization, marketing, and monetization. Gatsby's static site generation and SEO-friendly structure make it an excellent choice for organizations focused on search engine optimization and marketing analytics. Sulu provides solid SEO features and seamless integration with marketing automation tools, making it suitable for organizations seeking an effective SEO and marketing platform.

Security & Compliance

Security and compliance are critical considerations when selecting a CMS. Gatsby benefits from its static site generation approach, as it reduces the surface area for potential security vulnerabilities. Additionally, Gatsby's strong community continuously addresses security issues and releases frequent updates to ensure a secure platform. However, it's important to implement robust security practices when integrating various data sources into Gatsby sites.

Sulu places significant emphasis on security and compliance, offering features like user roles, granular access controls, and SSL support to protect content and data. Sulu is designed with GDPR and privacy regulations in mind, ensuring data protection and compliance. Organizations can also implement additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication, to further enhance their Sulu instance's security.

When it comes to security and compliance, both Gatsby and Sulu prioritize these aspects. However, Sulu's built-in security features and compliance-focused design make it an attractive choice for organizations prioritizing data protection and regulatory compliance.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migration, support, and maintenance are crucial factors to consider when selecting a CMS. Gatsby offers a range of migration tools and guides to assist organizations in transitioning from other CMS platforms. Additionally, Gatsby's active community provides support through forums, documentation, and tutorials. Given its open-source nature, organizations can depend on community support and hire Gatsby experts for any major customization or implementation needs.

Sulu assists organizations with migration through data import/export functionality and offers migration tools to facilitate a smooth transition. Support for Sulu is available through official documentation, forums, and professional service packages offered by the Sulu team. As Sulu is backed by a dedicated development team, organizations can rely on their expertise for any critical needs or custom requirements.

Ultimately, the choice between Gatsby and Sulu for migration, support, and maintenance depends on your organization's preferences and available resources. Both CMS options offer various tools, support channels, and documentation to assist with migration and provide ongoing support for day-to-day maintenance.


In conclusion, Gatsby and Sulu are both powerful Content Management Systems that cater to different needs. Gatsby's static site generation and performance optimizations make it an ideal choice for organizations seeking high-performance websites with strong SEO capabilities. On the other hand, Sulu offers an intuitive backend UI, robust content management features, and a focus on content organization, making it suitable for organizations with complex content structures and collaboration needs.

When making your decision, consider the foundation, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance, scalability and hosting, customization, extensions and ecosystem, SEO, marketing and monetization, security and compliance, migration, support and maintenance. Assess your organization's specific requirements and priorities in each of these areas to determine whether Gatsby or Sulu is the right fit for your needs. Take the time to evaluate demos, explore documentation and resources, and consider the potential for future growth and scalability.

Remember, choosing the right CMS is a key decision that will impact your organization's digital presence and content management processes. By investing time in thorough research and evaluation, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your organization's goals and objectives.


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.