WordPress was built in 2003 and to this day retains a lot of its original code, which is an absolute nightmare to extend and build on top of. However, Payload is config-based and built to let you write code in a much more modern way using Node, TypeScript, and React.
Although you can use WordPress as a headless CMS, that's not how it was intended to be used, and it shows. Payload is a true headless CMS that delivers REST, GraphQL, and Local Node APIs out of the box, with no plugins required.
WordPress should really only be used to power brochure websites, but with Payload, thanks to its extensibility, you can power anything you can think of - from web apps, ecommerce, SaaS, native apps, and more.
Extending Payload's Admin UI is so much easier.
WordPress' admin panel is a rat's nest of jQuery, React, and PHP. Building on top of WP is a nightmare. Payload's admin UI is fast, minimal, and most important of all—completely extensible in React.
WordPress is the most commonly targeted CMS available and its plugins expose you to thousands of vulnerabilities. Payload comes instantly more secure and supports features like HTTP-only cookies, CSRF protection, rate limiting, and more.
In WordPress, you might combine three or four plugins just to add post types, meaning you need to manually migrate changes between environments. With Payload, you write your schema in code, version control it, and migrate changes easily.
Payload is built on top of your Express server, which means you can do whatever you want with custom Express endpoints or additional functionality - all in Node and TypeScript. With WordPress, you're stuck writing outdated PHP.
Manage who can do what
Customize access control with Payload
Payload allows you to secure your data by writing access control functions based on either a document or field level. Build out your own RBAC or any access control pattern you need. It's simple yet significantly more powerful than working with WordPress user roles.