Explore the main alternatives and competitors to Sanity and learn how Sanity compares to ButterCMS.
As we go through the selection of alternatives, it will be helpful to note that when choosing a CMS, it's important to consider the following buying criteria:
Ease of use: Efficient operations with minimal learning curve, intuitive interface, simplicity, and fast support when needed.
Core features: Essential features that align with your needs, ensuring you can perform tasks efficiently.
Speed: Swift execution of tasks, quick software response times, minimal implementation/migration times, low maintenance requirements, and features ready for immediate use with minimal setup.
Price: Alignment with your budget and financial constraints is crucial.
Customizability: The system's adaptability to suit different situations and specific requirements.
Non-core feature breadth: Comprehensive secondary feature set, including unique, non-core features that meet your needs and recognize the importance of core features used daily.
These criteria will help you narrow your choices and find the best CMS options for your needs.
ButterCMS is a headless CMS that excels in ease of use and adaptability. Highly acclaimed by marketers, content teams, and developers on platforms like G2 Crowd, ButterCMS offers an intuitive interface, robust management API, and developer-friendly resources. With support for diverse tech stacks, a built-in blog engine, easy migrations, and versatile content layouts, ButterCMS simplifies content management.
Now, let's delve into its core features:
Intuitive content creation: Butter offers tools and features like Pages, Collections, Components Digital Asset Management, WYSIWYG editor, and more to make content creation user-friendly and intuitive.
Tech stack versatility: ButterCMS allows you to seamlessly integrate across various platforms, frameworks, and languages thanks to its support for approximately 28+ official tech stacks, with support for many more due to its API-first nature. ButterCMS offers over 20 Starter Projects for web technologies like Rails, Laravel, Express.js, Vue, React, etc.
Built-in blog engine: The blog engine is ButterCMS's pre-built API-based blogging solution that integrates seamlessly with new and existing apps. It streamlines blog creation as a plug-and-play solution for most blogging use cases.
Frictionless migrations: With the built-in migration tool, you can seamlessly migrate your content and schemas between different sites and environments with a single click. ButterCMS also provides customer support that can handle and assist in migrations and a Write API with guides on programmatic migration.
Drag-and-drop reordering: ButterCMS provides an intuitive drag-and-drop functionality that empowers users to reorder entire page layouts easily.
ButterCMS stands out with several key strengths that speak to the buying criteria presented earlier:
Ease of use: Its user-friendly and intuitive interface makes it easy for diverse teams to use and create content.
Speed to launch: Thanks to ButterCMS's easy-to-use interface and out-of-the-box features like the blog engine, integrations, and support for a wide range of tech stacks, it's easy to launch applications quickly.
Effortless content management: Streamlined management across multiple sites and channels for efficiency.
Enhanced editing and collaboration: User-friendly experience for efficient editing and collaboration.
Content APIs for integration: Seamless integration with existing tech stacks for efficient content creation and replication.
These strengths collectively position ButterCMS as a powerful, versatile solution catering to developers and non-technical teams.
Let's explore potential areas of improvement as we delve into its weaknesses.
Consider these points when evaluating ButterCMS:
Limited third-party integrations: ButterCMS's marketplace is less extensive than that of some competitors, which may impact businesses relying heavily on specific tools or services.
No native analytics: ButterCMS prioritizes content management, so it lacks out-of-the-box advanced marketing features like analytics available in a few other platforms.
E-commerce limitations: ButterCMS's e-commerce capabilities are limited as it does not have out-of-the-box e-commerce-centric functionalities like checkout and transactional emails compared to dedicated platforms. This, however, can be overcome by utilizing the robust API to connect to the best-of-breed e-commerce technologies and tools.
Basic Internal Content Search: The internal content search provided by ButterCMS may not be suited for an advanced searching experience with robust filtering and options.
Evaluate these weaknesses against your business priorities.
Let's explore a few integrations that complement ButterCMS and enhance your content management and delivery capabilities.
Crowdin: A cloud-based localization management for swift translation and localization of software and digital content.
Marketo: A marketing automation platform for efficient campaign automation, lead management, and comprehensive analytics.
Okta: A cloud-based IAM platform ensuring secure access control, user identity management, and streamlined access management for enhanced security and user convenience.
ButterCMS offers a range of pricing options to cater to various needs and budget considerations. Here’s an overview of the different pricing options:
Considering the flexibility and features ButterCMS offers, its pricing tiers cater to various project needs and budget considerations, making it a flexible choice as a Sanity.io alternative.
Having discussed ButterCMS, we now move on to Write.as, another alternative.
Write.as is a clean, distraction-free platform for publishing blog posts, essays, and journals. With a minimalistic design and an ad-free environment, it aims to offer an uncluttered space to share ideas. Privacy-centric users can post under pseudonyms or anonymously, and for those desiring more control, self-hosting is also an option with the open-source WriteFreely platform.
Let’s explore its essential characteristics.
Open Source and developer API: Write.as features Writefreely, an open-source platform for creating a writing space on the web that powers Write.as, as well as a developer API that gives full read access and publishing abilities, and detailed documentation on how to use the platform and the API.
Markdown support: Write.as supports the lightweight Markdown language, allowing for text formatting.
Custom domain: Write.as provides a custom domain feature that enables users to connect a custom domain to their blog.
Self-hosting options: Write.as, through Writefreely, which is the open-source platform that powers Write.as, allows users to self-host their Write.as content by building and deploying their Writefreely applications.
Custom themes: Write.as features a collection of built-in and community-made themes.
Let’s consider a few key strengths of Write.as.
Simplicity: Prioritizing a clean design, Write.as attempts to enhance the writing experience by eliminating unnecessary elements, allowing users to concentrate on expressing ideas concisely.
Privacy & anonymity: Empowering personal expression, Write.as enables anonymous or pseudonymous content publication, appealing to those valuing privacy.
Distraction-free writing: Write.as offers a distraction-free environment purposefully created to reduce outside distractions for writers and readers on the platform. They achieve this with several approaches like the simple interface and the absence of adverts on Write.as, which ensures that readers and users can interact with the content without any disturbance.
Newsletters: Write.as features a newsletter service that delivers posts as newsletters to readers’ inboxes. Write.as handles verifying subscribers and ensuring messages get delivered.
Write.as excels in simplicity, privacy, and focused writing, appealing to users who value anonymity or pseudonymous publishing.
Although Write.as has a number of advantages, it also has several drawbacks.
Small community: Specialized audience size may limit viewership.
Lack of SEO tools: Write.as lacks essential SEO tools, including advanced meta tag customization options. This may pose a challenge for users relying heavily on SEO strategies to enhance their content visibility.
Lack of integration capabilities: Write.as as a blogging platform does not provide features to support its integration into a more extensive application like a website blog, unlike other platforms, which may provide SDKs or packages for various technologies.
Limited scope: Primarily designed for blogging, Write.as may lack advanced features commonly found in versatile content management systems. The platform is unsuitable for creating landing pages or seamlessly integrating existing applications.
Write.as offers a number of integrations, including:
Tumblr: Cross-post blog entries to Tumblr effortlessly.
Twitter: Share Write.as posts on Twitter automatically.
Below are the basic pricing options for Write.as:
Note: The free plan is currently unavailable for new users unless invited by an existing Write.as user.
OpenCms is an open-source content management system (CMS) built with Java. It fosters community collaboration and offers a modular architecture for customization.
OpenCms provides a number of essential capabilities.
Template-based customization: OpenCms provides themes and templates to help users create websites with customization options.
Content reuse and scalability: By introducing reuse groups and reusing nested container structures across multiple pages, OpenCms enables efficient website updates, ensuring scalability and streamlined content management.
Multi-language support: OpenCms simplifies internationalization and improves user experience with multilingual content management.
Database integration: OpenCMS provides database integration with MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle, enhancing data security for diverse business needs.
Let’s take a look at some of OpenCms's strengths.
Module system: OpenCms features a robust module system, allowing adjustment of each installation to specific needs and facilitating the transfer of functionality or entire websites between installations. The system supports import/export, versioning, dependencies, and customizable parameters for enhanced adaptability.
Efficient content management: OpenCms maintains large websites with content reuse, ensuring consistency across different sections.
Granular access control: OpenCms provides granular user permissions and access control features for precise user roles and permissions and to enhance security.
SEO features: OpenCms provides human-readable/machine-friendly URLs, alias/redirect management, automatic sitemap.xml/robot.txt generation, and comprehensive metadata control, including keywords, descriptions, and titles to improve SEO.
Now that we’ve covered a few of OpenCms’s strengths, let’s look at its weaknesses.
A few OpenCms weaknesses include:
Common open-source challenges: As with many open-source software, users should consider factors like self-support, potential compatibility issues, and reliance on community-driven updates.
Limited marketplace resources: Fewer plugins and integrations compared to larger CMS platforms.
Steeper learning curve: OpenCms presents a significant learning curve, especially for users with limited technical experience. This complexity arises from the system's robust capabilities, customization potential, and reliance on Java development, demanding a comprehensive understanding of CMS principles and programming concepts.
Complex personalization: Achieving customizations in OpenCms, such as implementing advanced features or tailoring the system for specific needs, often demands the expertise of experienced Java developers. For example, developing content workflows, dynamic content displays, or seamless integrations with external systems can be tasks that may escalate project costs due to the specialized skills involved.
Challenging upgrades: Upgrading in OpenCms demands technical expertise. Two migration methods include exporting/importing modules and content, risking historical data loss, or using the Update-Wizard, requiring code adjustments. Both processes involve careful steps such as exporting modules and content separately, ensuring proper module and content import order, and addressing potential code modifications due to API changes. Overall, upgrading demands meticulous attention to detail and familiarity with OpenCms nuances.
Let’s take a look at a few popular OpenCms integrations:
Apache Solr: Streamlined integration for efficient enterprise search using a REST-like interface.
Cloudwords translation: Fully integrated translation solution within OpenCms for seamless content translation with Cloudwords.
Eclipse integration: OpenCms can be integrated with Eclipse, a popular integrated development environment (IDE). The Eclipse integration allows developers to work on OpenCms projects within the Eclipse IDE, providing a seamless development experience.
OpenCms is free for use.
Terminalfour is a digital engagement and web content management platform created for the educational industry. The platform is favored by colleges and universities looking to simplify digital content creation, management, and distribution with features like content and workflow management, digital asset management, SEO tools, and a template-driven design.
Let’s look at a few of Terminalfours’ core features:
Content management: Terminalfour features a Direct Edit WYSIWYG interface for content editing, promoting structural accuracy and brand consistency. Users can publish diverse content across multiple channels, including websites, apps, social media, and landing pages.
Dashboards: Terminalfour provides live web analytics data, detailed performance dashboards for web marketing, and social analytics to track and optimize content performance across various channels.
Governance & security: Terminalfour ensures website quality and security through password protection, integration with security frameworks, workflow approval, and user rights and roles configuration for precise control over content accessibility.
Integration: Terminalfour facilitates SIS & CRM integration, secure payment processing through major gateways, and automation by capturing and transferring data from Form Builder to your CRM system.
It's important to note that although Terminalfour's features may vary based on factors such as the specific version of the software, the user's subscription or licensing level, and any customizations or add-ons applied, the general capabilities of the platform are consistent across different versions, with the potential for additional features or enhancements in newer versions.
Several noteworthy advantages of Terminalfour are:
Education focus: Tailored for educational institutions, Terminalfour meets the unique needs of schools, colleges, and universities, understanding the intricacies of the academic environment.
Scalability: With the ability to scale, Terminalfour serves a wide range of institutions, from large universities to smaller colleges, adapting to evolving business needs.
User-friendly: Boasting an intuitive interface, Terminalfour simplifies content administration for technical and non-technical users, encouraging collaboration within the organization.
Security is a priority: Terminalfour prioritizes security, offering robust measures to safeguard sensitive data and maintain the confidentiality of institutional information in the digital realm.
Some of the key weaknesses of Terminalfour include:
Plugin limitations: Terminalfour, compared to other CMS platforms, offers fewer third-party plugins or integrations. For example, for payments, only Stripe is supported by default. Integrating a different gateway will require more custom development, increasing resource costs.
Limited scope of application: Terminalfour, primarily designed for educational institutions, has a limited application scope. While it excels in meeting the unique needs of schools, colleges, and universities, its specialization may limit its suitability for projects outside the educational domain.
Limited customization: The environment for themes, templates, and add-ons in Terminalfour offers constrained options for modifying a product or service, restricting user flexibility and personalization capabilities.
Slow time to launch: Terminalfour's complexities and the requirement for technical expertise contribute to extended launch times. The platform's features may necessitate additional time for users to understand and implement effectively. Additionally, engaging with the Terminalfour team, booking demos, and undergoing training can further extend the launch process.
Here are a few of the integration options offered by Terminalfour:
Silktide: This integration allows for detailed reports of each web page found during its website scan. The tool periodically re-scans pages and provides updated information.
Ellucian Ethos: This allows you to ensure that academic and student information published on your website or portal is the same for everyone in and outside your organization.
Git: Enables a third-party versioning system to manage Terminalfour assets and media items.
Although Terminalfour’s pricing information is not available on their website, they do offer a demo, but do not offer any free plans or trials. Here’s the basic pricing of TerminalFour from G2:
#5 Milestone CMS
Milestone CMS is an agile content management system (CMS) offered by Milestone, designed to streamline content management at an enterprise level. The CMS is described as SEO-first and provides a hybrid architecture for omnichannel content delivery, content integration, and real-time editing and updates.
Several crucial features are offered by Milestone CMS.
Multi-device support: Users can log in to multiple devices simultaneously on the same platform, ensuring a consistent experience across various devices. This feature allows users to manage content on different devices.
Rich content creation: Milestone CMS facilitates the creation of dynamic content, such as blogs and events, focusing on location-based personalization. The platform prioritizes quick mobile loading through Google AMP, optimizing user content delivery.
Multi-tenant architecture: Milestone CMS adopts a multi-tenant architecture that manages location-based businesses with multiple websites. A multi-tenant architecture enables content management for businesses with multiple locations or entities, providing a centralized yet segregated platform for content creation and publication.
Advanced features: ADA-compliant accessibility, modular architecture for easy feature integration, and personalized content based on user location. Features may vary based on the organization's version and configuration.
Among Milestone's many significant perks are:
SEO: This involves optimizing content and technical elements to enhance visibility, ranking, and overall performance in search engine results. Prioritizes SEO with mobile optimization and schema tags.
Location-based business support: Milestone CMS offers specialized tools and features tailored for businesses with multiple locations. Leveraging a robust multi-tenant architecture and analytics ensures efficient management, optimization, and performance tracking across various business locations.
Enhanced user experience: Milestone CMS ensures an intuitive interface by employing a no-code platform. The platform features a quick website builder with pre-designed industry-specific templates, straightforward customization options, and seamless onboarding, making it accessible to users of varying technical expertise.
Technology features: Milestone CMS incorporates advanced features such as Google AMP support, ADA compliance, and dynamic content personalization. These elements contribute to website performance, accessibility, and audience engagement, aligning with modern standards.
The following are a few of Milestone's main shortcomings:
Lack of flexibility: While Milestone CMS offers a variety of templates and designs, it lacks the flexibility that some other Content Management Systems offer. Customization capabilities are less extensive, such as their site builder for example, which has limited support for custom code, which could limit the uniqueness of the design and functionality of the website.
Vendor dependence: Relying on Milestone for updates and support in their CMS solution may introduce uncertainties regarding responsiveness and adaptability to evolving digital needs, given its non-headless nature. This dependency could delay issue resolution, feature implementation, or alignment with industry trends.
Price: Milestone CMS is often cited as being more expensive than its competitors, which could deter small businesses or individuals on a tight budget. The pricing information should be explicitly stated on their website and can only be obtained by booking a demo with the platform agent.
Development resources: Milestone CMS may require custom development for implementing specific features or functionalities like complex forms or highly customized user interfaces, potentially leading to higher costs and extended project timelines.
Let's examine a few well-liked Milestone CMS integrations:
Automotive business: Efficiently manages inventory, sales, and dealerships for automotive businesses.
Booking engine: Integrates with Synxis for driving direct booking revenues and enhancing online presence.
Video management system: Seamless integration with Hikvision and Gallagher Command Centre for enhanced security and surveillance capabilities.
Milestone CMS pricing can only be obtained by booking a demo with a platform agent.
Typepad is a blogging service based on Six Apart's Movable Type platform and is marketed to non-technical users.Typepad is available in several languages and countries around the world. Typepad is used by organizations and media companies to host their weblogs.
The following are a few of the main functions that Typepad is commonly known for:
Rich text editor: Typepad features a versatile rich text editor supporting both WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content and code (HTML and Markdown). It offers over 30 buttons and drop-down menus that allow you to apply formatting, insert multimedia, and more.
Customization options: Features like theme-builder, custom CSS, or the template design option allow users to personalize and modify a product or service according to preferences and specific needs.
Social media integration: This feature incorporates social platforms into a product or service, enabling seamless sharing, interaction, and connectivity with social networks.
Monetization: Enables content monetization through advertising and e-commerce, diversifying income streams. This feature allows users to generate revenue through advertising, subscriptions that integrate services like PayPal as a means of payment, or e-commerce functionalities by integrating Ecwid, an e-commerce solution, making it easier to merge your blog and shop content for readers to access.
Basic analytics: Built-in tools such as smart stats and integration with Google Analytics offer insights into blog performance for data-driven decisions.
Scheduled publishing: Enables content producers to schedule and automate publishing articles, posts, and other types of material at specific intervals without requiring manual involvement. This feature guarantees regular and timely updates.
Among the many significant benefits of Typepad are:
User-friendly design: Typepad is designed with simplicity to ensure that people can quickly grasp and operate a functionality or interface. It improves the user experience by encouraging simplicity and reducing complexity.
Community interaction: Community-focused features on TypePad encourage readers’ active participation and cooperation. Typepad supports comments in the blog to promote a sense of connection and collaboration around shared interests or objectives, enhancing the feel of a social community right on your blog.
Security and backup: This involves implementing measures to protect data and systems from unauthorized access or loss. This includes encryption, access controls, and regular backups, ensuring the integrity and availability of information.
Some of Typepad's key limitations are as follows:
Limited customization: Most available templates are rigid, limiting customization options and potentially restricting design options. This means fewer choices in adjusting features, design, or functionality, limiting the extent of personalization.
Dependence on TypePad hosting: By relying on TypePad's hosting services for website deployment, users are limited to the features and infrastructure provided by TypePad, impacting autonomy and customization options.
Limited plugin ecosystem: Due to a constrained selection of extensions or add-ons available for a software or platform, users have fewer options to enhance functionality, reducing the capacity for extensive customization and feature expansion.
Limited community and support: Reduced community and support signify a reduced user base and help for a given product or service. This may lead to a lack of discussions, resources, and solutions, impacting community-driven development and prompt problem-solving.
Let's look at a few popular integrations of Typepad.
ShareThis: Allows users to add social sharing buttons to blog posts easily.
X (Formerly Twitter): Connects TypePad account to Twitter for easy sharing of blog posts.
Google Analytics: Integration for tracking and analyzing website traffic and metrics.
To accommodate a variety of requirements and financial constraints, Typepad provides a range of price alternatives. Below is a summary of the many pricing options:
A 14-day trial period is available.
It’s worth noting that at the time of writing, Typepad no longer accepts new signups and refers new users to Bluehost, another web hosting company owned by Endurance International Group.
Sanity vs alternatives user ratings chart
Here’s a comparison of each platform’s G2 ratings based on user feedback on Butter, Sanity, Write.as, OpenCms, Terminalfour, Milestone, and Typepad.
As seen in the table above, ButterCMS beats its competitors in nearly every category.
What makes ButterCMS the top Sanity alternative?
ButterCMS stands out as the top alternative to Sanity for a multitude of reasons, most notable are the following:
Built-in features for SEO: Adding metadata to content items is one way Butter CMS helps with SEO optimization. Another important SEO feature is the SEO preview, which shows a search engine preview of a page's SEO meta description.
WYSIWYG powerups: ButterCMS offers powerups like Advanced Code Editor for code editing experience right within ButterCMS, PowerPaste to transfer content from external sources, such as Google / Word documents or web pages, into ButterCMS and Export, which allows users to export their content in various formats, including HTML, PDF, and Word documents.
User-friendly interface: Beyond easy setup, ButterCMS boasts an intuitive interface, enhancing content management efficiency for developers and editors.
Multi-site/multi-environment and migrations: Besides its support for multiple environments, which allows you to manage content across your entire enterprise in one central place with fine-grain site-level user access, ButterCMS provides seamless migrations between environments. Create a schema and/or content migration via the dashboard, and ButterCMS will handle the rest.
Blog engine: With ButterCMS, you do not have to spend time or resources creating a blog. Drop content into the blog engine, ButterCMS's pre-built API-based blogging solution, and it will integrate seamlessly with new and existing apps and start publishing content.
What’s the difference between Sanity and ButterCMS?
Data structure: ButterCMS organizes content systematically, separating it from the presentation layer. Its data structure includes collections for grouping similar content, various fields defining content attributes, media management for files like images and videos, and support for taxonomies for categorization.
Architecture: ButterCMS, while versatile, emphasizes user-friendliness and simplicity. This is seen in the streamlined architecture and structure of the platform with its intuitive workflows and accessible interfaces ranging from content structuring with pages and collection types to team workflows with roles, permissions, collaboration, etc. All these features are built with a focus on user experience and performance, allowing users to easily navigate and utilize the platform, making it an appealing choice for those seeking a straightforward content management solution.
Usability: ButterCMS stands out for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive out-of-the-box features, ensuring ease of use. ButterCMS is rated as the "easiest-to-use" headless CMS on G2 by both marketers and developers while providing many features and components available so that it does not overwhelm users. It simplifies multi-channel and multi-site content management, provides a comprehensive API, and offers maximum customizability.
Sanity vs ButterCMS feature comparison chart
Sanity and ButterCMS are both headless content management systems. Headless. They provide developers with APIs across multiple channels (Web, Mobile, etc.) to display and manage content. Key distinctions include:
Determining which solution is best for you
Choosing between ButterCMS and Sanity depends on your specific needs and priorities. Let’s see when to use each platform.
When to use ButterCMS?
You prioritize developer flexibility: ButterCMS's API-first approach grants developers unparalleled control over content delivery, catering to diverse tech stacks and seamlessly integrating with existing workflows.
You prefer managed hosting: ButterCMS's managed hosting eliminates the burden of infrastructure management, ensuring a reliable and scalable platform for content-driven applications.
You value ease of use and speed to launch: ButterCMS offers a user-friendly interface and an intuitive WYSIWYG editor, accelerating content creation and editing. The platform's quick setup ensures a speedy launch for your content management needs.
You require comprehensive documentation: ButterCMS's extensive knowledge base empowers users to maximize the platform's capabilities and achieve their content management goals.
When to use Sanity?
You require a self-hosted option: Sanity offers a self-hosted deployment option, providing users with technical expertise and resources to manage their Sanity instance.
You require REST API alternatives: Sanity provides a GraphQL API as an alternative to traditional REST APIs. If your project demands the advantages of GraphQL or if you prefer a different approach for data retrieval and manipulation, Sanity's GraphQL API can be a suitable choice.
You do not require a built-in blog engine: Although Sanity provides steps to help you create a schema for your blog, it requires technical expertise, whereas ButterCMS offers a built-in blog engine with relevant features.
Simple as can be, with powerful features and great customer support. DILLON BURNS, FRONT END DEVELOPER, KEYME
We migrated to a headless infrastructure to enable rapid A/B test iteration, which has driven a double-digit impact on our profit margin. We also love having the rigor of Git version control over our HTML, while giving our marketing team autonomy over the copy and content itself. Jake Kring CTO Skylight Frame
The biggest value of Butter is that it provides our clients a seamless experience. It's a point-and-click, admin-friendly content management solution for any application we've built for a client on Heroku. Justin Ludlow CTO Radial Spark