WordPress vs Website Builders – What’s The Better Option?
When it comes to building a website, you need to put in all your effort into making it unique, top-notch, high quality… and whatever other fancy and posh words you can come up with.
In reality, without a reliable website, you are a big nobody. Even the smallest businesses nowadays spend substantial time, effort, and money on creating a website.
Besides choosing what content to use for your site, you have to figure out which tools you need to build it. Website building software seems to be the best choice to build a website, right? Not always.
Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress are often getting higher points from many business owners than website builders are. Let’s talk about the differences and similarities between the two to figure out which one is the better option for you.
A Website Builder: What Is It?
A website builder is technically a tool that helps you create a website without prior coding experience. You can be a newbie in the website making business and create a site from scratch using a drag-and-drop editor, which is quite intuitive. Basically, the hardest step is to choose a quality website builder that fits your needs.
Two types of website builders exist:
- Offline builder – you download software, install it on the computer and build the website offline. Once it’s ready, you upload it to a web host and voila! A big advantage of such builders is that you don’t depend on an internet connection. However, uploading the website requires at least some technical skills. Expenses include the software itself and web hosting.
- Online builder – you use web-based software, which is available anywhere you go. All you need is a browser and a stable internet connection. You don’t need to install software and upload your website after it’s done. Such builders come with web hosting services, so there aren’t any additional expenses. You don’t need any coding experience to use such a builder.
Content Management Services (WordPress): How Do They Work?
A CMS is a software that helps you work with the content for your website without having special technical skills. You can build the website from scratch without any coding and put the right content on it without technical knowledge.
With CMS, you don’t need to create your own system for making webpages, storing media, structure, background, etc. The system creates the basic website infrastructure for you so you can focus on the content and SEO functions of your website. According to SEO experts at Miromind, when it comes to SEO, CMS wins on all fronts.
CMS has a simple, intuitive interface, which makes the building process easy. However, you would still need to spend some time figuring out how the program works before you can build a high-quality website.
1. Functions and Features
When it comes to functions and features, the modern website needs a variety of them. From SEO functionality to the ability to share content on social media, these features seem to be an integral part of any website building process.
The number of features, extensions, and plugins for website builders is limited. In fact, if you want to go further than simply building a website using pre-made pieces, you need to have some technical skills.
With WordPress, you have access to numerous tools, plugins, and features, which often come at a high price but can make your website extremely functional.
Another factor to consider is scalability. Website builders give you ready-to-use products, which can’t be improved by simply installing a plugin. If you start requiring more features, you may need special technical skills to add them. While with WordPress, all you have to do is click a button.
2. Ease of Use
It may be hard to tell which of the tools is easier to use when you just start working with them. With time, you’ll realize that in the first stages, website builders are much easier. All you have to do is drag and drop. Such website building may remind you of LEGO.
With WordPress, the initial effort is much tougher. You need to figure out how the platform works and take a dive into a huge variety of features and components, which range from free to expensive.
However, as time goes by, you’ll understand that using WordPress has become much easier. Meanwhile, as you finish working with a website builder and need more features, you may get stuck and look for professional assistance.
3. Time Issues
When you need to create a website quickly, web builders win on all fronts. This drag-and-drop approach can help you come up with a simple website and have it up and running in just a few hours.
With WordPress, you are likely to spend days figuring out which features to use, which backgrounds to choose and which templates to pay for. However, eventually, you can come up with a complex website with scalability options and important features for promotional purposes.
Cost is not an important component when it comes to choosing between website builders and WordPress. The average cost of running a website built by either of the tools is about $20 per month.
However, with WordPress, you can induce much higher initial spending, depending on what type of features you decide to implement. Basic WordPress features are free, so all you need to pay for is hosting. You can end up getting a website that costs about $5 per month for hosting.
With website builders, you don’t need to pay for features or make painful choices between features and functions. You pay for software and for hosting. Meaning that with this tool, you can have a better idea about the total cost of the website before you start building it. With WordPress, the process is full of surprises.
5. Website Design
When it comes to design, with website builders, you get a limited number of templates to work with. Even though some programs give you a good choice of templates, you are still limited by what the software offers.
With WordPress, you don’t just get a set of free and paid templates readily available at first glance. You can buy templates created by third parties. Even though one could argue that such a variety slows down the building process, a selection is always a good thing.
Depending on the purpose of your website, the choice of templates could be a deciding factor when choosing the building tool.
Without any technical skills, you can customize templates in WordPress for your needs. To do the same with website builder templates, you need at least some coding experience.
6. Customer Support
No matter how easy the website building process may be with both tools, the need for customer support is likely to arise at one time or another.
Website builders often have good customer support because since you pay for the program. Sometimes, this customer support ends after a certain time and you need to pay extra to continue getting it.
Website builders come with live chats, educational videos, easy connection with specialists, and much more.
When it comes to WordPress, if you use a free version, all the customer support comes from communities, forums, blogs, amateur help videos, etc. If you sign up for a paid WordPress service, you can take advantage of 24/7 live chat support.
Final Thoughts: Which One Should You Choose?
The choice depends on what type of website you need. If you are looking for a simple website, which you need to get up and running in a short amount of time, a website builder is for you. If all you need is a blogging site, portfolio or a basic e-commerce store, you can easily settle for a website builder.
However, if you want a complex website with substantial functionality, a big selection of features and customization options, you should consider WordPress.
Website builders are easy to use, while WordPress has a steeper learning curve. However, the functionality of WordPress websites is likely to be higher than for websites built with a website builder, even if it’s the best one available.
Maria has been writing articles for 5 years. She specializes in business and marketing. On her free time she loves to read and write about her travel experiences. You can find her doing this by the beach.