Orchard Core vs. Plone: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide

Orchard Core vs. Plone: A Comprehensive Comparison Guide


Welcome to our comprehensive comparison guide between Orchard Core and Plone, two popular Content Management Systems (CMS). As digital leaders and decision-makers, it is crucial to explore the features and capabilities of these CMS to make an informed choice for your organization's needs. In this guide, we will delve into various aspects of both Orchard Core and Plone, providing a detailed analysis to assist you in making the right decision.

Foundations of CMS

Both Orchard Core and Plone are robust and established CMS platforms, each with its own set of foundations. Orchard Core is built on the ASP.NET Core framework, which provides a modular and extensible architecture. This framework allows developers to create flexible content-driven applications with ease. On the other hand, Plone is built on top of the Zope application server, utilizing Python as its programming language. Plone's foundation provides a solid and scalable platform for managing content, with a focus on security and collaboration.

When considering the foundations of these CMS, it is essential to evaluate the programming languages and frameworks that they are built upon. If your organization already has a strong expertise in .NET and ASP.NET Core, Orchard Core would be an excellent choice. Conversely, if your team is more experienced in Python and prefers a highly secure and collaborative CMS, Plone may be the better option.

Both CMS have active communities and regularly release updates and security patches. It's important to consider community support and the availability of add-ons and plugins when choosing a CMS.

Overall, Orchard Core and Plone provide solid foundations for building and managing content-driven applications, and your choice ultimately depends on your organization's specific requirements and technical expertise.

Design & User Experience

Design and user experience play a crucial role in providing an engaging and intuitive website. Orchard Core offers a modern and flexible theming system, allowing designers to create visually appealing websites with ease. The CMS provides various options to modify the layout, typography, and color schemes. With a responsive design, Orchard Core ensures that your website looks great on any device, enhancing the user experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.

Plone, on the other hand, follows a different approach. It provides a highly customizable user interface through its portal and skins architecture. Designers can create unique themes and customize the look and feel of their Plone websites. Plone also offers a responsive design but may require more development effort compared to Orchard Core's theming system.

When it comes to user experience, both CMS have intuitive admin interfaces, making it easy for content editors and administrators to manage and publish content. Orchard Core offers a clean and user-friendly interface, with the ability to customize the dashboard to suit individual preferences. Plone, on the other hand, provides a powerful and feature-rich admin interface equipped with a user-friendly editor and drag-and-drop functionality.

In conclusion, Orchard Core and Plone both offer options for creating visually appealing websites with user-friendly interfaces. Consider your organization's design requirements and the level of customization needed when evaluating their design and user experience capabilities.

Content Management

Efficient content management is essential for organizations that produces and publishes a large volume of content regularly. Orchard Core provides a versatile content management system with robust features. It offers a hierarchical content structure, allowing you to organize your content in a logical and intuitive manner. Content types can be easily customized and tailored to fit your specific needs. Additionally, Orchard Core provides a rich text editor with inline editing capabilities, making content creation and editing a breeze.

Plone also excels in content management, offering a flexible and scalable system. It provides a comprehensive content workflow management system, allowing you to define custom workflows. Plone's content types are highly customizable, enabling you to create complex content structures with ease. Content editing is made simple with Plone's visual editor and inline editing capabilities.

Both CMS offer versioning and revision control, allowing you to track changes made to your content. This is particularly useful for organizations that require strict content approval processes. Orchard Core and Plone also provide robust media management capabilities, allowing you to easily upload, organize, and publish media files on your website.

Considering content management features, both Orchard Core and Plone offer powerful tools to meet the demands of content-heavy websites. Evaluate your content management requirements and the level of customization needed when deciding between these two CMS.

Collaboration & User Management

In a collaborative environment, it is vital to have solid user management and collaboration capabilities within a CMS. Orchard Core features a user-friendly role and permission system, allowing you to manage user access and control their privileges effectively. It provides a flexible authentication system, supporting various authentication providers such as OAuth and Active Directory. Additionally, Orchard Core offers multi-tenancy support, allowing you to manage multiple websites or portals within a single installation.

On the other hand, Plone is built with collaboration in mind. It offers a granular user management system, enabling you to define roles and permissions down to specific content items. Plone also provides built-in support for content sharing, discussions, and commenting, fostering collaboration among users. With Plone's advanced workflow system, you can create custom review and approval processes, ensuring content goes through the appropriate channels before publication.

Both CMS offer excellent collaboration and user management capabilities, but the approach may differ. Orchard Core focuses on user roles and permissions, while Plone emphasizes content-centric collaboration. Consider the specific collaboration needs of your organization and the level of control you require over user access and permissions when evaluating these CMS.

With collaboration and user management being critical for many organizations, it is essential to thoroughly review the features offered by Orchard Core and Plone to choose the right CMS for your needs.

Performance, Scalability & Hosting

Performance, scalability, and reliable hosting are crucial factors for ensuring a smooth and accessible website. Orchard Core is designed with performance in mind, implementing caching mechanisms and optimizing database queries to minimize load times. It supports cloud hosting and can be easily deployed on popular cloud platforms such as Azure and AWS. Orchard Core also provides scalability options, allowing you to handle growing traffic and content without compromising performance.

Plone, with its solid foundation on the Zope application server, offers robust performance and stability. It utilizes caching techniques and asynchronous task processing to optimize performance. Plone supports various hosting options, including on-premise servers, cloud hosting, and managed hosting services. It also provides scalability features that allow you to handle increasing demand and manage large amounts of content.

When it comes to hosting options, both CMS offer flexibility and can be deployed on a wide range of hosting environments. Consider the specific hosting requirements of your organization, including budget, scalability needs, and technical expertise, when choosing between Orchard Core and Plone.

In conclusion, both Orchard Core and Plone have robust performance capabilities and support various hosting options. Conduct a thorough evaluation of your organization's performance and hosting needs to make the best choice for your CMS platform.

Customization, Extensions & Ecosystem

Customization and extensibility are crucial for tailoring a CMS to meet your organization's specific requirements. Orchard Core provides a modular and extensible architecture, allowing developers to create custom modules and themes. It offers a marketplace with a wide range of extensions and add-ons developed by the community. Additionally, Orchard Core supports the creation of custom content types, workflows, and taxonomies to fit your unique content management needs.

Plone also offers extensive customization options, allowing you to create custom content types, workflows, and even custom data models. It provides an extensive library of add-ons and plugins known as "eggs." These eggs can enhance the functionality of your Plone website and be easily installed through the built-in add-on manager. Plone supports Python integration, making it highly customizable for developers with Python expertise.

Considering the customization and ecosystem of these CMS, developers experienced in .NET and ASP.NET Core may find Orchard Core more suitable for their customization needs. In contrast, Python developers may prefer Plone's customizability and the extensive ecosystem of add-ons and plugins.

Both CMS platforms have active and supportive communities, offering resources, documentation, and forums for developers and users. Consider the specific customization requirements and expertise within your organization when deciding between Orchard Core and Plone.

SEO, Marketing & Monetization

A CMS should provide features that allow your organization to optimize your website for search engines, effectively market your content, and monetize your online presence. Orchard Core offers built-in SEO features, including customizable URLs, metadata management, and XML sitemap generation. It seamlessly integrates with popular digital marketing tools, allowing you to create targeted campaigns, track analytics, and manage email marketing. When it comes to monetization, Orchard Core provides flexible e-commerce options through various plugins and extensions.

Plone also offers comprehensive SEO capabilities, including friendly URLs, metadata management, and automatic XML sitemap generation. It integrates easily with external marketing tools, enabling you to create personalized marketing campaigns and track website analytics. For monetization, Plone provides built-in e-commerce features, making it convenient to set up an online store and manage transactions.

Both CMS offer solid capabilities for SEO, marketing, and monetization. Evaluate your organization's specific requirements in these areas and consider the availability and ease of integration with your existing marketing and monetization tools when choosing between Orchard Core and Plone.

With SEO, marketing, and monetization being crucial for many organizations, it is important to assess the capabilities of Orchard Core and Plone to make the right choice for your CMS.

Security & Compliance

Security is of utmost importance when selecting a CMS, particularly if your website deals with sensitive data or user information. Orchard Core has a strong focus on security. Built on the ASP.NET Core framework, it benefits from the robust security features provided by Microsoft. Orchard Core follows secure coding practices and undergoes regular security audits. It also provides role-based permissions, protecting sensitive content from unauthorized access.

Plone is well-known for its emphasis on security. It has a solid track record of security, with a dedicated security team that proactively addresses vulnerabilities. Plone follows industry-standard security practices, and its codebase is regularly reviewed for potential security issues. Plone also provides role-based access control, allowing you to define granular permissions and secure your content.

Both CMS platforms offer strong security measures and comply with industry standards. However, the specific security requirements of your organization may play a vital role in deciding between Orchard Core and Plone. Evaluate your organization's compliance needs and whether your industry requires specific security certifications or regulations.

In conclusion, both Orchard Core and Plone prioritize security and provide robust measures to protect your website and content. Consider your organization's specific security and compliance requirements when making your CMS selection.

Migration, Support & Maintenance

Migration, support, and maintenance considerations are critical when choosing a CMS. Orchard Core provides a comprehensive migration path from Orchard 1.x, allowing you to seamlessly upgrade to Orchard Core without losing your existing content and functionality. The CMS has an active and supportive community, offering documentation, forums, and tutorials. Furthermore, Orchard Core has extensive documentation and a well-maintained codebase, ensuring ongoing support and maintenance.

Plone is also committed to preserving backward compatibility, making upgrades and migrations smooth processes. Plone offers an extensive upgrade path from previous versions, enabling you to migrate your data and customize your website efficiently. The Plone community is highly engaged, offering support forums, documentation, and regular bug fixes and updates.

Both CMS platforms provide reliable migration paths, supportive communities, and ongoing maintenance. Consider the availability of resources and support for each CMS when evaluating Orchard Core and Plone for your organization's needs.

Ultimately, the choice between Orchard Core and Plone will depend on your organization's specific requirements, technical expertise, and support preferences.


In conclusion, both Orchard Core and Plone are feature-rich and robust CMS platforms, each with its own set of strengths. Orchard Core excels in its modular and extensible architecture, customization options, and marketing capabilities, making it a solid choice for organizations with .NET expertise. Plone shines in its collaboration features, security, and content-centric approach, making it an excellent choice for organizations that prioritize collaboration and content management.

Evaluating each CMS across several aspects, including foundations, design and user experience, content management, collaboration and user management, performance and scalability, customization and ecosystem, SEO and marketing, security and compliance, and migration and support, will help you land on the most suitable CMS for your organization's digital needs.

Consider your organization's specific requirements, technical expertise, and long-term goals when making the decision. It is advisable to involve key stakeholders and conduct thorough testing and evaluations to ensure compatibility with your organization's workflows and objectives.

Remember, the CMS you choose will be a vital foundation for your digital presence, so take the time to make an informed decision. Good luck in finding the right CMS for your organization!


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.