There’s a world of choices when picking a project management tool. We’re taking a look at two excellent options in this Wrike vs. Jira comparison.
In our Wrike review, we heaped praise on Wrike for its broad feature set and excellence in protecting your data and quality of service. In our Jira review, we felt its features were by far its strongest point, but its community was also an asset.
Both tools lean toward the more serious side of project management. If you’re looking for a friendlier alternative, take a look at our Asana review. Our Asana beginner’s guide will help you get started with it.
In this article, though, we’ll see how Wrike and Jira compare and figure out which is the better platform overall.
Setting Up a Fight: Wrike vs Jira
Jira is a newcomer to this kind of contest, so it has its work cut out for it if it’s going to get anything out of Wrike. Head-to-head comparisons can result in surprises, though, so anything can happen.
In this fight, we’re going to compare the platforms over four rounds. We’ll focus on a different area in each round and tally them at the end to find the winner. In the event of a tie, it’ll be a points decision, based on which platform won its rounds by the largest margin.
We’ll compare them in features, price, ease of use and security and privacy. For features, we want to see which tool gives you the most and best ways to organize your project. For price, we look for not only the cheapest option, but also a variety of ways to pay and the value offered by different plans.
For ease of use, we look at usability and how quickly your team will be able to get to grips with the platform. Finally, for security and privacy, we’ll examine what each tool does to keep your data safe from everyone but you and your team.
What the software can do for you is important, so the more features the better here. This is a strong area for both platforms, but it’s Jira’s biggest strength, so it’ll be key to Jira’s hopes of getting a victory in this contest.
We rated Wrike higher in our review but not by much, and we’re comparing them directly here.
Wrike has the set of core task management features we look for, with subtasks and dependency management, enabling you to make sure your schedule is achievable and keep an eye out for bottlenecks threatening to slow you down.
It has user-specific themes, so you can customize your workspace and make yourself feel at home when you log in.
Its proofing system lets you comment on files, including at specific points in videos, much like the best video editing software.
It has a report generating system that allows you to produce all kinds of useful information. There are several presets and layouts that let you customize them.
You can also use Wrike to keep track of which of your project tasks aren’t assigned to anyone and what’s overdue. That way, you can check if things are progressing and make the changes necessary to keep everyone on target.
It has a broad selection of integrations in a range of categories. You can use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox or Evernote. You can integrate with other platforms, such as Github and even its rival Jira. Team communication options include Slack and HipChat. Zapier integration is there, too, which gives you access to data in thousands of apps.
You get 2GB of storage on its free plan, which balloons to over 100GB at the top level. If you feel you need more than that, take a look at our best online storage for teams article to learn about several useful options.
There are desktop and mobile apps for it, too, so you can use it on most devices, as well as in the browser.
Jira offers several ways to view your project, such as Scrum boards and kanban views. It uses “issues” rather than “tasks” as its building blocks, and they can be categorized by type.
You can create subtasks, but you have to enable the feature in the settings and it isn’t as easy as it could be. We also struggled to get dependencies working, despite the documentation telling us the feature is offered.
Jira users are well-served when it comes to extending the platform. Over 3,000 apps are available for it. It also integrates with HipChat, which is owned by its parent company Atlassian.
We were less keen on its built-in communication options. Jira uses Atlassian’s Confluence and we felt the integration with that could have been smoother. If you’re interested in a platform that focuses on team communication, read our Basecamp review.
Jira offers 250GB of storage, which is much more than even Wrike’s Enterprise plan and should be adequate for almost everyone. If that’s not enough, take a look at our LeanKit review to see a platform with unlimited storage space.
Like Wrike, Jira has strong report generation capabilities, and we feel its options are better, at least when it comes to visualizations, because it has over 20 types of charts and graphs.
Its time tracking capability is a useful way to track costs and make sure you aren’t spending too long on anything. For a tool that specializes in that kind of thing, take a look at our FunctionFox review.
There are also mobile apps available, so you can use it on the go.
Round One Thoughts
Both platforms offer dependency management, but Wrike’s worked much better for us. With its higher storage capacity and good report generation, we’re tempted to give Jira the nod, but though it offers several good features, we generally prefer what Wrike gives us. Wrike also has desktop apps.
It’s so close, we can’t separate them, so we’re making this round a tie. Both are strong in this area, but far from identical so if you are considering using them, you should look at what they offer and see which is the closest fit to what you need.
Both platforms offer the usual cloud-based pricing, but Jira is different in that it also allows you to self-host it and pay a flat fee to use its software. If you’re interested in the do-it-yourself approach, you should also look at our Redmine review.
Considering Wrike and Jira are feature-rich offerings focused on business use, they’re surprisingly good value.
Wrike has a free plan that allows you to try it with up to five users. Its paid plans start at $9.80 per user per month and increase from there, with more features at each level. Its free, 14-day trial lets you test its more advanced features without making you register a credit card.
The free tier includes basic time management and file sharing, using its board and spreadsheet views. At the Professional tier, you get subtask management and access to Gantt charts. Business users get time tracking and reports. Proofing comes in at the Marketers level, while Enterprise customers get auditing and a range of additional security features.
Jira offers several pricing options that reflect the ways you can use it. Its cloud-based options are more directly comparable to Wrike. The monthly per-user charge starts at $10 for the first few users, but that drops to $1 as your team gets over 250 users. Clearly for large teams, Jira is great value. It isn’t bad for small teams, either.
Its plans aren’t tiered, so you’re getting all its features for those prices. Though there isn’t a free plan, there’s a free, seven-day trial that you can use without a credit card.
If you plan on self-hosting, then you pay a one-time fee. For teams of 10 or less, that’s a measly $10, but it balloons to $2,500 at 25 users. That’s a lot to pay upfront, but works out to be cheaper than most platforms’ monthly plans if you compare the costs for a year, and because it’s a one-time fee, it only gets to be a better value the longer you use it.
Round Two Thoughts
Wrike has plenty to offer and starts out free. Most of its best features are on its paid plans, though, and you’ll need to pay for its pricier tiers to take advantage of everything it can do.
Jira doesn’t have a free tier, but its paid plans are great value compared to Wrike. Plus, as your team size increases, so do your savings.
The ability to self-host is also useful and something that few services offer, so if you want to do that, Jira is one of the best options around. Paying the fees for large teams may seem expensive, but because it’s a one-time fee, you could save big over the long term.
Because they both have free trials, you can test them yourself if you want to see what they can do.
This round goes to Jira, making the score 1-0 after the earlier tie. With only two rounds left, Wrike better make a move soon.
If you’re looking for project management software that can help keep your budget under control, take a look at our Mavenlink review to learn about a product with strong financial features.
Ease of Use
Usability is a prime consideration when choosing a project management tool. You want technology to make things easier, not take your valuable time with training. Wrike scored well for user-friendliness in our review, but Jira didn’t.
The best tools in this category do a great job of making themselves easy to use. Take a look at our favorite project management tool in our monday.com review to see an example.
Jira has a one-round advantage going into round three, so Wrike needs to do the business to stay in the game. Let’s take a look at how these two platforms stack up.
It’s easy to get started with Wrike. Its sign-up process is straightforward and you’re able to invite colleagues to join.
Task management is simple and adding dependencies is easy, which isn’t the case with every platform that offers the feature. It includes many templates that can get you set up quickly and are worth browsing through to get a taste of what you can do with the platform.
The interface packs a lot in and you can get lost at times, but there’s plenty of guidance available when you do get stuck. It takes time to figure out how everything works, but given what’s there, it isn’t too frustrating.
Wrike is a complex tool, but everything works as expected and it does a good job of making what it offers usable.
Jira’s design is strong and it has a tutorial to teach you the basics. Individual components are readable and the layout is clear.
It has a tour that shows you the basics of task management and it provides tips and guidance after that, but you’re soon left to get on with things.
It has a good selection of templates that allow you to set it up for various purposes. You can get started quickly with its Scrum boards and kanban views, as well as set it up for bug tracking or project management.
We found several issues with it, though. There were long delays when clicking around the tool. We saw features appear and disappear. Similarly named pages led to us getting lost a few times.
Experience will no doubt make it easier to use, but so many platforms in this category go out of their way to teach you how to use them and many manage to make the process simple and enjoyable. We found Jira behind the curve here.
Jira is well-designed, with individual components working well. The delays and interface cul-de-sacs are point deductions, though. As mentioned, we had issues getting things working, too.
Round Three Thoughts
Despite Wrike’s complexity, it’s rarely unpleasant or frustrating to use. Jira is well-designed and has good templates, but the delays and interface issues hamper its usability. Wrike wins this round comfortably, with Jira never looking in contention.
Another tool that gets things right in this area is Taskworld, which you can read about in our Taskworld review.
That leaves things at one apiece going into the decisive final round. We’re getting technical next as we look at security and privacy.
Security & Privacy
You can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting your data. Fortunately, awareness of security issues is on the rise and most platforms offer features to help you with them.
This area is extra important if you’re storing business-critical data on the cloud. If you’re using it to plan something more casual, you may not be as concerned about security, but it still pays to be safe. Read our cybercrime article for more about how the bad guys can misuse the information they get their grubby hands on.
If you’re concerned about security and privacy, read our Aha review to learn about a tool that excels in keeping your data secure.
Wrike is one of the highest rated project management tools for security and privacy because of its strong selection of features.
It has advanced encryption, with TLS v1.2 used for data in transit and AES 256-bit used for data storage, making it almost impossible for anyone to access your data. If you want to know more about those, read our description of encryption.
It also offers two-factor authentication via Google Authenticator. You can read more about that feature in our what is two-factor authentication article.
There are several security options, which include password settings, network access policy control and access controls for files. Its best security features unlock at the Enterprise level, so consider your security needs when picking a plan.
Jira has a strong range of security and privacy features. It has several certifications, including SOC 2, ISO 27001, ISO 27018 and PCI DSS. It also takes part in penetration testing and security audit programs.
Its website is a treasure trove of security and privacy-related information, with all sorts of details provided. That’s useful if you have specific compliance requirements.
It also complies with privacy-related systems, such as the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. privacy shield frameworks and the General Data Protection Regulation, which you can learn more about in our GDPR guide.
As with Wrike, two-factor authentication is available, but you’ll need to pay an extra $10 per user for the browser-based version with Jira.
You can get a good selection of security options in Jira via Atlassian Access. It requires a subscription, though, and setup is involved. That said, if you go through the trouble, you get SAML single sign-on and password management, as well as other things.
If password management is giving you headaches, our best password manager article might help.
Unfortunately, despite doing all the right things on a technical level, Jira let itself down when we caught its support team taking screenshots of our project data without asking us. Though the legal agreements give it the right to do whatever it likes, consent to view project data should be explicit at all times in our view.
That’s a big minus and makes it hard to give Jira credit in this category.
Round Four Thoughts
This would’ve been a close round, with both products offering excellent features, but Jira’s support issue means we have to hand it to Wrike. We hope our experience was a one-off because, aside from that, Jira is strong in this area. Wrike is also strong, though, and hasn’t been caught doing anything untoward.
That makes the score two round to Wrike, one to Jira and one tie.
Wrike finishes our face-off as the deserved winner. It matched Jira with its strong feature set and pulled ahead of it with its usability and excellent attention to detail on security and privacy. It’s one of our favorite tools here at Cloudwards.net and we recommend it to anyone looking to plan their business online.
Jira has its uses, though, so it shouldn’t be written off. It was up against a strong opponent today. Several of its problems seem solvable to us, so who knows, maybe it’ll be better equipped to compete with the project management heavyweights next time we review it.
It also has the edge on price, particularly for larger teams and those who want to pay for it upfront.
If you’ve tried Wrike or Jira, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. Thanks for reading.