These days, everyone has a website. From the local business down the road to your neighbor who is an avid blogger, websites are no longer exclusive to those who can code or afford them. With top website platforms such as WordPress and website builders, it bears the question: How should you build your website?
While WordPress websites and website builders serve a distinct purpose, each has their own advantages and disadvantages. However, we are advocates of using WordPress to create and launch your website. Let us explain why.
Due to the growing need for a website, website builders have become a popular method for launching a site. The leading website builders include Squarespace, Weebly, Wix, and Sitebuilder.com. These platforms are designed for users who need to quickly publish a website with as little effort as possible.
The appeal of website builders is the ease of use. Users do not need to understand code or the nuances of website design or development to launch a site. These builders offer several layers of service, from a basic website to e-commerce stores.
While website builders are convenient, they are not cheap. Website builders require monthly fees on top of additional charges for a domain name or specific capabilities. Website builders also have their own hosting services, which are included in the monthly fee.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that can be used to build any type of website. As defined by WPBeginner, a content management system is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. Whether you want a small, but sharp looking website or a fully-interactive gaming website, you can make it happen with WordPress.
WordPress is free to use but requires a bit of a learning curve. In addition, WordPress does not offer hosting or domain name services.
The endless capabilities of WordPress make it an enticing option for those looking to own and manage a website. In fact, some of the biggest names on the Internet use WordPress websites including TechCrunch, Variety, and the Walt Disney Company.
Which Option is Right for Your Website?
To determine if a website builder or WordPress website is the best option for your website goals, you need to consider the following factors.
Ease of Use
For those with limited knowledge of how websites operate, a website builder is ideal. Many of these services use drag and drop widgets to create the appearance and functionality of a website.
WordPress, on the other hand, requires a bit of know-how and education to fully understand and implement it. Luckily, there are several tutorials and support forums available online for you to use. On the other hand, many WordPress website owners prefer to have a web developer work on their website.
We’re taught that looks don’t matter, but online—they do. Adobe reported that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. Plus, with only mere seconds to make a substantial first impression, the design and appearance of your website must appeal to your target audience.
On website builders, you can choose from pre-designed templates and swap out photos, fonts, layouts, and text to customize the appearance. Certain website builders offer the ability to add custom templates, but this requires a great deal of coding experience.
Unfortunately, the main complaint about website builders is the lack of innovative templates available. While the companies do their best to update templates for the latest web design trends and strategies, they are often behind the curve. In addition, since few templates are available, your website will look almost identical to hundreds of other websites on the Internet—only with different imagery and text.
With WordPress, you can choose one of the thousands of themes available for customization or build your own. The options are limitless! WordPress gives you complete control over the appearance of your website.
Depending on the purpose of your website, it will need specific functionalities. For example, a local business may need the ability to capture leads, while a celebrity may want an exclusive forum for fans.
As you might have guessed, website builders are limited in the functions they provide. While the basic functions such as email sign-up forms and embedded media are available, others are not. Or, conversely, website builders require you to pay a premium monthly fee for these capabilities.
Within WordPress, you can either code these functions into your site or search through the thousands of available plugins to do the trick. WordPress plugins can do everything from amplifying your SEO strategy to allowing two-factor authentication for members logging into the website. Between the knowledge of WordPress developers and specific plugins, your WordPress site can do anything you want it to.
In a time when the Internet can be used for good and evil, website security is of the utmost importance. When using a website builder, you are at the mercy of whatever security measures the service relies on. For some, this is enough coverage while others want confidence knowing they are in control.
WordPress users have the freedom to protect their website however they wish. Many do this through specific plugins, while others subscribe to a service such as SiteLock.
As the owner of a website, you want to manage every aspect—from the structured data to the design. Unfortunately, with a website builder, this is not possible. You do not have full access to the website’s code, structure, or other vital components.
For example, by not having access to the structured data of your content through a website builder, you cannot control how Google indexes your website. This leads to SEO goals being missed, poor rankings, and little traffic to your site.
If you have strategic marketing goals you want to achieve with your website, you need to have complete control and the ability to implement specific changes at any moment. To do so, WordPress is the best way to build a website.
As mentioned previously, website builders do not give users the ability to choose a hosting service. Those who use a website builder are at the mercy of the service’s hosting choice. This means if your website goes down as a result of the hosting service, there is nothing you can do about it. Again, for those who need full control over a website, this is not the right avenue.
You want your website hosting service to be reliable and secure. To achieve this, build a WordPress website with a dependable hosting service, such as Bluehost. Plus, these hosting services come with the security features you want like SiteLock!
Another factor to consider is price. Website builders rope you in with a seemingly low monthly price. But, this price is only for their base package and does not include specific features. For each feature or service you add, your monthly price increases.
WordPress is free to use, meaning the only payments you would make are for a domain name, hosting, and any development needs you may have. While website development is pricey, it is a smart investment for the future of your WordPress website.
As you can see, we are big fans of WordPress. When you’re ready to launch your WordPress website, partner with a hosting service you can trust.
Do you have a WordPress website? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.