A Solutions Architect’s View: Embracing Power Pages in a WordPress Dominated World

Unleashing the Power of Power Pages: A Viable Alternative to WordPress for Enhanced Dynamics 365 CRM Integration

James Berger
7 min readJun 9, 2023
WordPress vs Microsoft Power Pages

⚡ Tl;dr

  • Power Pages from Microsoft simplifies website deployment and enhances CRM integration.
  • It’s particularly beneficial for businesses already using Microsoft Dynamics 365 or the Power Platform.
  • It’s essential to assess Power Pages’ suitability based on a business’s unique needs and challenges.
  • Understanding tools like Power Pages is key in the tech-driven world to bridge the global developer shortage.

🥊 WordPress’ New Rival

In my role as a Solutions Architect, I’ve been fortunate enough to contribute to an array of diverse and complex projects. Over the years, I’ve deployed WordPress websites and crafted seamless integrations using tools such as Microsoft Marketing and Power Automate. As someone who is constantly observing and analysing trends in the technology landscape, I’ve recently been captivated by — Microsoft’s Power Pages.

Emerging as a key player in October 2022, Power Pages was initially a feature tucked within Power Apps, used primarily for crafting externally-facing sites. Once known as Power Apps Portals and Dynamics 365 portals, Power Pages now stands on the precipice of revolutionizing the way we design and construct data-centric websites.

It’s clear that low-code platforms have transitioned from being simply a necessity to an intelligent choice for businesses. With a staggering shortage of around four million developers globally, platforms like Power Pages are rapidly becoming a cornerstone in business strategies, paving the way for low-code solutions to make up for this gap.

I have worked with Organisations who are curious about the potential of Power Pages to supersede the capabilities of their existing WordPress-built websites. It’s worth noting that WordPress, a leader among CMS platforms, powers a remarkable 43.2% of all websites globally, as of June 2023. Nevertheless, a persistent challenge for low-code developers using WordPress is the intricate task of synchronizing data between the website and its corresponding CRM.

This is where Power Pages steps in as an appealing alternative. It’s standout advantage? Power Pages is capable of hosting both the website and CRM within a shared database, known as the Dataverse. This unique feature simplifies the integration process, eliminating the need for complex interactions with external CMS platforms, and streamlines overall data management.

As I explore the potential of Power Pages in this blog post, I’ll draw upon my experiences as a Solutions Architect, demonstrating how Power Pages can replace traditional CMS systems like WordPress, particularly for businesses already employing the Power Platform or Microsoft Dynamics 365.

⚡ Power Pages vs Power Apps Portals

Before becoming widely accessible in October 2022, Power Pages was a feature nested within Power Apps for creating externally-facing sites. Previously, Power Pages was better known as Power Apps Portals and Dynamics 365 portals, and it is now set to revolutionise the way we design and build data-centric websites.

In terms of licensing and usability, Power Pages has the edge. It requires only an extra license or a 30-day trial activation, making it more accessible. Plus, it’s quicker to get a Power Pages website up and running, saving you precious time.

Design-wise, Power Pages stands out with its new Design Studio. This one-stop-shop feature makes adding new elements to your website a breeze. There’s no need to jump between different sections — everything you need is in one place. Furthermore, Power Pages offers full-site templates, making the process of building a website even simpler.

One of the latest features that distinguishes Power Pages is its inclusion of the AI assistant — Copilot. This revolutionary aspect makes Power Pages a pioneering platform, allowing us to create business data-centric websites using natural language!

In a nutshell, Power Pages offers a more streamlined, user-focused solution for web development. Its simplified approach and advanced features make it a strong contender to PowerApps Portals. As a solutions architect, I’m excited to see how Power Pages could reshape website development for businesses.

🏠 Power Pages Architecture

Power Pages Architecture: Every website created with Power Pages follows a specific architecture designed for scalability and high availability.

Power Pages presents itself as a secure, scalable, and readily available solution for building websites critical to your business needs, adaptable to a variety of use cases.

  1. Content Delivery Network (CDN): Enhances website performance and scalability, reducing network latency for end users. Can be enabled by a site administrator. Also supports external CDN providers.
  2. Azure Traffic Manager: Configured with each Power Pages production website to direct user traffic to the appropriate Application Server, enabling high availability and disaster recovery.
  3. Application Servers: At least two application server nodes are present for each Power Pages production website, hosted in different Azure Data Center regions for high availability and disaster recovery.
  4. Microsoft Dataverse: A key component acting as both Metadata store (saving website configuration like webpages, content snippets, site settings, user metadata, etc.) and the data store for business data. Power Pages websites connect to Dataverse instances via a Server-to-Server connection.

For more in-depth information about Power Pages website architecture, refer to the Architecture whitepaper here.

🧠 A Solutions Architect’s Perspective: Could you replace WordPress with Power Pages?

Let’s delve into a practical scenario to better illustrate the situation: Consider a company that utilizes a WordPress-based website, allowing customers to browse properties for sale or rent and submit inquiries to their Sales Team. Alongside this, they use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales CRM to manage their customer relationships and sales data. Within this established system, the company encounters a series of substantial pain points and technical challenges:

  1. Data: The team consistently grappled with keeping their website and CRM data in sync. When new leads entered the system via the website, they were not instantly reflected in the CRM, leading to late follow-ups and a possible loss of opportunities.
  2. Integration Complexity: Maintaining integrations between WordPress and Dynamics 365 Sales CRM demanded substantial time and technical expertise. Any platform updates or alterations risked breaking the integration, potentially resulting in data loss or system downtime.
  3. Impact on Customer Experience: These integration hurdles negatively impacted the overall customer experience. Customers often had to provide the same information multiple times or experienced delayed responses due to manual data entry.

👷‍♂️ Proposed Target Architecture

The proposed architecture involves transitioning to Microsoft’s Power Pages as a viable replacement for WordPress. Paired with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales CRM and Marketing. With the inclusion of Microsoft Marketing this will boost their customer engagement efforts.

Target Architecture: Power Pages for the website and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales CRM and Marketing

Here’s how this target architecture could overhaul their operations:

  1. Seamless Integration: Power Pages would integrate seamlessly with the existing Dynamics 365 Sales CRM, eradicating the need for intricate data synchronization procedures. Data collected on the Power Pages website would directly feed into the CRM, ensuring synchronicity and enabling real-time updates.
  2. Streamlined Web Form Collection: Incorporating Microsoft Marketing, the sales team could effortlessly generate and embed web forms for customer data collection. This data would then flow directly into their CRM, improving the efficiency and accuracy of data collection.
  3. Enhanced Customer Journeys: Microsoft Marketing boasts robust capabilities for creating personalized customer journeys. A seamlessly integrated website and CRM system would empower the sales team to guide prospects through a customized journey, boosting engagement and conversion rates.
  4. Low-Code Development: The low-code capabilities of Power Pages enable quick website updates and changes without extensive coding knowledge. This flexibility lessens the reliance on technical teams and speeds up their time-to-market.

The transition from WordPress to Power Pages, as outlined in the case scenario, underscores the significant potential and benefits of the latter. Power Pages eliminates many of the integration complexities associated with WordPress, offers seamless CRM integration, and empowers businesses to create tailored customer journeys with Microsoft Marketing. Not to mention, the platform’s low-code capabilities allow rapid website alterations without an in-depth knowledge of coding.

🎯 Conclusion

The benefits are apparent, particularly for businesses that already use Microsoft Dynamics 365 or the Power Platform. Power Pages’ ability to host the website and CRM within a shared database simplifies the integration process and enhances overall data management. It may be the change many companies need to overcome their technical challenges and enhance the customer experience.

Yet, it’s essential to remember that each business is unique with its own specific needs and challenges. Consequently, the suitability of Power Pages will depend on various factors including the company’s existing systems, their objectives, and their technical capabilities. As technology continues to evolve, it’s crucial to keep exploring and understanding these tools to unlock their full potential.

In a world grappling with a massive shortage of developers, platforms like Power Pages offer smart and efficient low-code solutions. They not only help bridge this gap but also enable businesses to streamline their operations and enhance customer engagement.

Want more content like this?

Let me know in the comments below if you want to read more content like this and I’d love to hear what you think of Power Pages.



James Berger

Senior Solutions Architect | Dynamics 365 & Power Platform | TOGAF | Scrum | Microsoft Certified | Strategic Tech Innovator