In today’s market, there are so many options when it comes to website creation. It can be overwhelming and confusing to choose the right one! Let’s dive into the pros and cons of each option as it stands today to help you choose the right website platform for your small business!
Types of Website Platforms
Let’s start by talking about the major types of websites. We have website builders, WordPress, and custom websites. The traditional way websites have been built is by learning HTML, CSS, and other types of coding languages to build a custom website. These days there are so many other options to choose from that don’t require any coding knowledge at all. Here’s a brief breakdown of all three!
- Website builders are fully templated platforms that allow you to create a website without learning any code.
- Custom-coded websites are websites built with custom HTML, CSS, and other coding languages.
- WordPress is a combination of both types! WordPress is a type of platform called a Content Management System (CMS). With this type of system, you can install templates and drag and drop builders to make it function similarly to a website builder. You can also customize the source code to suit more complex needs.
Website Builders – The Easy Website Platform
These websites are created using some kind of template builder, which could be Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify, etc. These website builders are super helpful in getting your website up and running FAST. But they do have some cons. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of website builders.
- They are super easy to set up.
These website builders are typically very easy to learn and set up. Not only do they walk you through the setup process step by step but their platforms are usually drag and drop so you’ll never have to learn any kind of code.
- They are FAST to set up and implement
Because they are so easy to set up this can save you a TON of time and get you up and running fast.
- Functionality is limited.
In some cases, you may outgrow these platforms. Usually, if you need any kind of special functionality or app integration. When this happens, it can be very frustrating and could cause you to have to change platforms entirely.
- You are married to the platform you choose.
Unlike building a website with code or WordPress with these website builders you are at the mercy of anything they decide to change. If you do end up wanting additional functionality or they make a change to their software you don’t like, you will not be able to just move your website elsewhere. You will have to completely rebuild it. This is because when you use their service you are using their proprietary software that only functions on their service.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be cumbersome
Most of these platforms have made huge improvements to allow you to update and control some aspects of your website SEO but they certainly aren’t perfect. With a website you build yourself you will have full control over SEO and won’t be limited by not being able to change the website code.
WordPress and Custom – The Most Versatile Website Platform
Now let’s talk a little about why you’d want to build a custom website or choose WordPress for your website platform.
In my personal opinion, I think that WordPress is hands down the best platform for creating your website. Not only can it provide the best of both worlds with plugins that allow you to create your website with drag and drop functionality but it also gives you all the customization you’d ever want or need.
As far as fully customized websites from scratch, the need for these is becoming rarer. Being able to customize code is a must but having to write it from scratch is becoming less necessary for the average consumer. Of course, if your goal is to become a programmer to help create plugins and platforms to help other people then you’ll definitely still want to start learning some code! Let’s dive into the pros and cons of WordPress and custom code.
- Unlimited Possibilities
With the right plugins or code, anything is possible! You won’t be as restricted by the platform and you can customize everything to your needs.
- You can take your website anywhere
Unlike website builders you are in control, therefore you can use any hosting company you like to house your website.
- Search Engine Optimization is fully customized
Unlike the website builders, you have full control over the code of your website so you can implement so many more SEO tactics than with a builder. And plugins like Yoast SEO for WordPress can make it super easy to optimize your site.
- Lower Cost
WordPress is FREE, yes I said free. You will not have to pay a single dime to use WordPress on your website, however, there are some other costs involved. You will need a hosting plan and a domain. Hosting is typically $5-7/month and a domain is about $18/year. Compared to some of the monthly fees for Website Builders, this can really save you some serious cash.
- Difficult setup
Unfortunately, WordPress is not perfect, it does take a little bit of a learning curve to understand and get set up. You’ll have to learn about hosting, plugins, themes, and more to make WordPress work for you. But if you’re up for the challenge, a WordPress website can serve you for years to come.
- More Upkeep
Unlike website builders, WordPress websites do have some maintenance involved. You’ll want to make sure to keep plugins and themes updated regularly to keep your website functioning well and to prevent hackers.
Let’s be real!
Even though these new platforms have made it easier to build a website, that still doesn’t mean it’s “easy”. You will want to take content, graphics, and marketing strategy into account when mapping out your website which are the most important pieces to an effective website.
If you’re not ready to take on all of that or if you just need a little help, we are here for you! Schedule your discovery call today so we can chat and get you the website of your dreams.
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