Hexo vs. Hotaru CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Hexo vs. Hotaru CMS: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide of Hexo and Hotaru CMS, two popular content management systems in the market. As digital leaders and decision-makers, it's essential to choose a CMS that aligns with your organization's needs and goals. In this guide, we will delve into the various aspects of these CMS platforms, providing a detailed analysis of their features and capabilities. Whether you're a small business owner, a blogger, or a large enterprise, this guide will help you make an informed decision to enhance your digital presence.

Foundations of CMS

Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS are powerful platforms built to simplify the process of managing and publishing content. Hexo, based on Node.js, is a static site generator, making it fast and efficient. On the other hand, Hotaru CMS, written in PHP, is a robust content management system that allows dynamic content creation. The choice between the two will depend on your specific needs; if you require a lightweight solution for simple websites or blogs, Hexo can be a great choice. However, for more complex and interactive websites that require database-driven content, Hotaru CMS should be the go-to option.

When it comes to ease of use, Hexo provides a straightforward setup process and a user-friendly command-line interface. Its simplicity makes it an ideal choice for beginners or users with minimal technical knowledge. On the contrary, Hotaru CMS offers a more comprehensive set of features, which can require a steeper learning curve. However, with its advanced capabilities, Hotaru CMS provides greater flexibility for customization and content management.

In terms of community support and documentation, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS have dedicated communities, providing extensive resources, plugins, and themes. Hexo, benefiting from its popularity among developers, offers a wide range of plugins and themes to choose from, allowing easy customization and enhancement. Hotaru CMS, while having a smaller community, focuses on quality rather than quantity, ensuring that the available plugins and extensions are reliable and well-maintained.

In conclusion, if you prefer a lightweight, fast, and uncomplicated CMS for simple websites or blogs, Hexo is a excellent solution. However, if you require more advanced features and dynamic content creation, Hotaru CMS is a more suitable choice.

Design & User Experience

When it comes to design and user experience, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS offer a range of options to create visually appealing and user-friendly websites.

Hexo has a minimalist approach to design, providing clean and responsive themes. Its simplicity allows for quick loading times and a streamlined user experience. With a wide array of customizable themes available, you can easily achieve the desired look and feel for your website.

In contrast, Hotaru CMS takes a more comprehensive approach to design, allowing for more complex and visually rich websites. It provides a range of templates and themes, which can be customized according to your branding and design preferences. With Hotaru CMS, you can create engaging and interactive user experiences.

Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS prioritize responsive design, ensuring that your website looks and functions seamlessly across various devices. With the increasing importance of mobile browsing, having a responsive design is crucial for user engagement and search engine optimization.

In conclusion, Hexo is a great choice for those who prioritize simplicity and minimalistic design, while Hotaru CMS offers more options and flexibility for creating visually appealing and interactive websites.

Content Management

Content management is a critical aspect of any CMS. Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS provide robust content management features, enabling you to create, organize, and publish content efficiently.

Hexo offers a markdown-based content creation workflow, making it easy to write and format content without the need for complex HTML coding. It provides a straightforward content creation process, allowing users to focus on the content itself rather than the technical details. Hexo also allows for easy organization of content through categories and tags, enabling efficient content structuring and navigation.

On the other hand, Hotaru CMS offers a more traditional content management approach, with a user-friendly WYSIWYG editor. This editor allows content creators to have a visual representation of how the content will look on the website. Additionally, Hotaru CMS provides a flexible content organization system, including hierarchical categories and custom fields, allowing for a more structured content management workflow.

Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS enable the creation of SEO-friendly content. They provide tools and options to optimize content for search engines, such as meta tags, URL customization, and XML sitemaps. This ensures that your content can be easily discovered and indexed by search engines, increasing your website's visibility and organic traffic.

In conclusion, Hexo's markdown-based content creation workflow offers simplicity and efficiency, while Hotaru CMS's robust WYSIWYG editor provides more flexibility and content structuring options.

Collaboration & User Management

Collaboration and user management are crucial aspects to consider when choosing a CMS, especially for organizations with multiple content contributors and editors.

Hexo offers basic user management features, allowing you to create multiple user accounts with different roles and permissions. This enables you to control who can create, edit, and publish content on your website. However, Hexo's user management system is relatively simple and may not be suitable for organizations with complex user hierarchy and workflow.

Hotaru CMS, on the other hand, provides a more extensive user management system, perfect for organizations with multiple content contributors. It allows you to create custom user roles with specific permissions, ensuring that each user has the appropriate level of access and control. This feature is especially useful for larger teams or companies with various departments and content approval processes.

Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS offer collaboration features, such as content drafting, revision history, and commenting. These features enhance the collaborative workflow, making it easier for teams to work together on content creation and editing.

In conclusion, Hexo's user management system is suitable for smaller organizations with simpler workflow requirements, while Hotaru CMS's extensive user management capabilities cater to larger teams with complex user hierarchies.

Performance, Scalability, & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and hosting options are crucial factors to consider, as they directly impact your website's speed, reliability, and ability to handle traffic growth.

Hexo, being a static site generator, offers excellent performance and fast loading times. Static sites are pre-generated and served directly to visitors, eliminating the need for server-side processing. This results in lightweight and highly efficient websites. Additionally, since static sites do not require a database, hosting requirements are minimal, making it easier to deploy and scale.

Hotaru CMS, being a dynamic CMS, requires server-side processing, involving database queries and content generation on each page request. This can impact performance, especially with large amounts of traffic. However, Hotaru CMS provides caching mechanisms to mitigate performance issues. By caching static versions of pages, the CMS can serve them directly without repeating the complete dynamic generation process, significantly improving load times.

In terms of hosting, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS give you the flexibility to choose your hosting provider. With Hexo, you can host your static site on various hosting platforms, including shared hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), or cloud-based hosting. Hotaru CMS, being a PHP-based CMS, can also be hosted on a wide range of hosting providers that support PHP and MySQL.

In conclusion, Hexo's static site generation offers excellent performance and minimal hosting requirements, making it ideal for smaller websites with minimal traffic. Hotaru CMS, while requiring more server-side processing, provides caching mechanisms and the flexibility to scale on various hosting providers.

Customization, Extensions, & Ecosystem

Customization options, extensibility, and a thriving ecosystem are essential considerations when choosing a CMS. They allow you to tailor your website's functionality according to your specific requirements.

Hexo offers a wide range of themes and plugins developed by its active community. These themes and plugins enable you to customize the appearance and functionality of your website. Hexo's plugin ecosystem covers various functionalities such as SEO optimization, social media integration, analytics, and more. While the number of available plugins may not be as extensive as some other CMS platforms, the ones available are generally well-maintained and actively supported by the community.

Hotaru CMS has a smaller but dedicated community that focuses on quality rather than quantity. It offers a range of themes and plugins specifically designed for Hotaru CMS, ensuring compatibility and reliability. The available plugins cover significant functionalities, including e-commerce, forum capabilities, member management, and more. Hotaru CMS also allows you to create your own custom plugins and themes, providing complete flexibility for advanced customization.

Both Hexo and Hotaru CMS are open-source platforms, meaning you have access to the source code and can modify it to suit your needs. This level of customization allows you to create unique and tailored websites.

In conclusion, Hexo's active community provides a good selection of themes and plugins, while Hotaru CMS's dedicated community focuses on quality and allows for deeper customization through custom plugin and theme development.

SEO, Marketing, & Monetization

Search engine optimization (SEO), marketing, and monetization features play a vital role in maximizing your website's reach and generating revenue.

Hexo offers several SEO and marketing plugins that allow you to optimize your website for search engines, track analytics, integrate with social media platforms, and manage marketing campaigns. These features help drive traffic, improve visibility, and enhance user engagement. In terms of monetization, Hexo supports various advertising networks, making it easy to generate revenue from your website.

Hotaru CMS provides similar SEO and marketing capabilities, including tools for optimizing content, managing meta tags, and integrating social media. Additionally, Hotaru CMS offers built-in support for e-commerce and membership management, allowing you to monetize your website through online selling and subscriptions.

In conclusion, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS offer robust SEO, marketing, and monetization features, allowing you to grow your online presence and generate revenue effectively.

Security & Compliance

When it comes to security and compliance, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS prioritize the protection of your website and content.

Hexo is inherently secure due to its static nature. Since there is no server-side processing and minimal resource requirements, the attack surface is significantly reduced. However, it's essential to keep plugins and themes up to date to mitigate any potential vulnerabilities.

Hotaru CMS provides security features such as user role-based access control, CAPTCHA support, and secure forms. It follows industry-standard best practices for secure coding and regularly releases updates to address any security vulnerabilities. Additionally, Hotaru CMS provides options for SSL integration, ensuring secure communication.

Both CMS platforms are compliant with relevant web standards and protocols. They support SEO-friendly URLs, responsive design, and accessibility options, ensuring that your website meets modern standards and is accessible to all users.

In conclusion, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS prioritize security and provide features to protect your website from potential threats. Hotaru CMS offers more extensive security options, making it a preferred choice for organizations with higher security requirements.

Migration, Support, & Maintenance

Migrating from one CMS to another can be a significant undertaking. It's crucial to consider the ease of migration, support, and ongoing maintenance when choosing a CMS.

Hexo provides a straightforward migration process, allowing you to import content from other content management systems or static site generators. Its active community and extensive documentation provide ample support and resources to troubleshoot issues and enhance your website's functionality. Regular updates ensure ongoing maintenance and keep your website secure and up to date.

Hotaru CMS also offers migration tools to help import content from other CMS platforms. Its community, while smaller, is dedicated and responsive, providing excellent support. Hotaru CMS's maintenance and updates ensure that your website continues to perform optimally and remain secure.

In conclusion, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS provide migration tools, community support, and regular updates to facilitate a smooth transition and ongoing maintenance.


In conclusion, both Hexo and Hotaru CMS offer unique features and capabilities suitable for different use cases and requirements.

If you are looking for a lightweight, fast, and uncomplicated CMS for simple websites or blogs, Hexo is an excellent choice. Its simplicity, ease of use, and extensive plugin ecosystem provide a solid foundation for content creation and management.

On the other hand, if you require a more advanced CMS with dynamic content creation capabilities and complex user management, Hotaru CMS is a suitable option. Its robust features, customization options, and a dedicated community ensure that you can create visually appealing and engaging websites.

To make an informed decision, evaluate your specific needs, goals, and technical expertise. Consider factors such as design preferences, content management workflow, collaboration requirements, scalability, and the level of customization and extensibility you require.

Remember, your CMS choice should align with your organization's goals and provide a platform that empowers you to create, manage, and publish content efficiently, ultimately enhancing your 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.