Muse verses WordPress which is best? Well before I get down to answering this, it really will depend on what you want your website to do, do you need a content management system, a highly customised website or an e-commerce store. As a web-designer that uses both tools I will give an impartial personal view on what I have found. If you are looking for a quick answer I would say: Muse for custom designs and WordPress as a Content Management tool. The ideal solution maybe a combination of both so please read on and I will explain.
Muse is HTML and CSS based
Muse is a website design tool from Adobe. It has been developed for designers rather than developers as it offers great flexibility in changing the design to just how you want it. This means that it is great for design but does not directly support ‘php’ or database designed websites. It does however offer an ever growing suite of ‘widgets’ from both Adobe and third party providers such as MuseThemes These widgets allow for lots of fancy features such as adding slider galleries, linking to social media or even updating content from Google Docs.
As it’s primarily been made to support designers it is really great if a client knows what they want, they may have a PSD (Photoshop) document that they want to exactly replicate to their website. They may want specific fonts, colours, images and laid out specific. This is where Adobe Muse really comes into it’s own. As a designer tool it really is great as you don’t need to know coding. Some experience of CSS may be advantageous but not essential.
WordPress is PHP and Database based
WordPress is website design tool that is based on php files and linked to databases. Wordpress works by choosing a theme (unless you have lot’s of ££’s and can afford a developer to design a totally customised theme). In essence you choose a theme that reflects what you want your website to reflect or do. Your Theme will usually come with plugins, these allow you to extend what your website is capable of, there are literally millions of plugins out there, some are free and some are paid (the best being paid). WordPress is also a CMS (content management System) which allows clients to add and update content reasonably easily.
Which is Best, Muse or WordPress for Website Design?
I would say if you want a specific design, Adobe Muse is the one. It is highly flexible for the designer. It allows for images and text to be placed exactly where you want. It also allows two options when designing. Fluid Width /Fixed Breakpoint design or ‘alternate’ layouts for Desktop, Tablet and Mobile (here is an overview of breakpoints from W3schools). My personal preference for this is to use a combination of fluid and fixed width breakpoints. What really is cool is that you can totally change the entire content / layout depending on the browser width, this allows for widgets etc to be hidden or shown depending on how the page is being viewed. i.e desktop, tablet or mobile.
Wordpress is really good if you want an out of the box solution which will not need a lot of changes. Careful thought needs to be made here, a template may look great but will it fit everything you want? Themes can be changed and customised but it does become more tricky and you will be best to make a ‘child theme’ or you may loose your changes if a template update is made. Most wordpress themes are built using either fluid width or fixed breakpoints but unlike Muse you dont have the flexibility to hide and change the layout as easily on the Breakpoints.
Which is Best, Muse or WordPress for Updating Content?
I would say WordPress for this one, particularly if a blog is being used. However again as time goes on you may want to add and change content to the main pages. Muse is best for this as the original design may no longer work, perhaps you are adding a new image or adding more text, the layout may no longer look good.
Abode Muse allows the flexibility to change the design on the page relatively easy. The failing with Muse is that it is not a CMS (content management system). It does have”In Browser Editing” built in, but currently it does not work well and I personally would only ever use for basic updates. Muse does have lots of third party widgets that allow for content updates including page updates from tumblr, Google Docs and Spreadsheets and many more, the failing here is that although your website is showing fresh content SEO may not pick this up.
Which is Best, Muse or WordPress for SEO?
This is a close call as both Muse and WordPress perform reasonably well for SEO. I would say that WordPress just scrapes by on this one as it has some great plugins to help you focus on SEO including the ever popular Yoast.
Muse has all the tools there for adding H tags and changing to friendly URLs. The video below gives an overview of SEO on Muse.
There also some widgets that will help Muse SEO widgets here from J-26
Which is Best, Muse or WordPress for e-commerce?
This one is just edged by WordPress as it has a third party plugin only available on wordpress called woocommerce. Woocommerce is a free plugin that has paid for optional extras. It works well and lots of the Themes available on wordpress for e-commerce have this as the prefered way of setting up a store.
Adobe Muse offers a number of third party ‘store’ widgets including Ecwid and Shopify both are paid for widgets and also available on wordpress. The Ecwid works particularly well for Muse as it is very customisable to fit in with the website design but is expensive for sites with lots of low value products.
Which is Best, Muse and WordPress Combined?
A solution that may work best for you is a combination of both as in Mick Kenyon Website. The main pages that need to look just as you want are designed in Muse and the CMS pages (e.g blog) added in WordPress (and possibly your e-commerce). This can be done by adding wordpress in C-Panel into a sub directory (have a think what you would like to call the directory as this will be shown in the URL). Video explains a little more.
Let me know your thoughts and experiences of using WordPress or Muse