Online Website Builders VS WordPress – The Pros & Cons

Online Website Builders vs WordPress - The Pros & Cons

If you’re planning to start a new website then you’ve almost certainly thought about exactly how you’re going to create it. The good news is that to have a professional website that looks great and functions well is now easier than ever.

Anyone who even has a passing interest in website creation will have heard of WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that enables users to easily adjust the look and content of a website without needing a high level of technical knowledge.

Website builders work in a similar way to WordPress although they do come with some key differences. To help decide which platform is the best, let’s look at the key advantages and disadvantages of both WordPress and website builders.

Since website builders are aimed at business owners who don’t have a highly level of technical knowledge, they’re typically very easy to use. Most have a drag & drop interface that enables you to get your site looking exactly how you want it to.

- Mark Knowles,

The Advantages & Disadvantages of WordPress

  • Large Number of Themes – One of the biggest attractions of WordPress is the number of themes that are available. No other platform can really compete with WordPress in this regard as there are new themes being designed and released constantly – both free and premium.
  • Easily Customisable – Another key advantage of WordPress is that it’s easy to customise the content on your website without needing to have knowledge of coding (although coding knowledge does allow for a great level of customisation).
  • Cost – It might seem strange to list cost as a disadvantage as WordPress since it’s a free-to-use platform, however the costs of using WordPress are not in the software itself but the themes. Whilst there are a good number of free themes available for WordPress, most of them are fairly basic and not particularly inspiring. Because of this most people will buy a premium theme – these typically cost between $50 – $100. Whilst there are many excellent premium themes available, they can often take quite a bit of editing until they look like they did in the demo.
  • Can Be Difficult for New Users – WordPress is often touted as being very easy to use. Whilst this might be case for simple actions such as making posts, it can actually take quite a while for new users to adjust to the WordPress interface. Since WordPress was created as a blogging platform, new users are often confused by the difference between Posts and Pages and find it challenging to get their site functioning exactly how they want it to.
  • Conflicts with Plugins – This is a big disadvantage of WordPress. Plugins are widgets that you can install on your WordPress site to add extra functionality such as adding polls, social media icons and HTML snippets. The problem with WordPress Plugins is that they’ll conflict with each other and will cease functioning correctly when you install new updates.

The Advantages & Disadvantages of Website Builders

  • Cost – Cost is a big plus point for website builders. Whilst the price for website builders will vary depending on the platform you use, most are available from less than £10 per month and often much less than this. For example, GoDaddy’s site builder starts at just £0.69 per month.
  • Ease of Use – Since website builders are aimed at business owners who don’t have a highly level of technical knowledge, they’re typically very easy to use and most have a drag & drop interface that enables you to get your site looking exactly how you want it to.
  • Easy Integration – Another key advantage of website builders is that they allow easy integration of blogs, social media sites and other third party channels that you might want to promote.
  • SEO Optimised – Nearly all website builders come with easy-to-use SEO tools so that you can ensure that all the content on your site is optimised. This is very useful as it ensures enables you to optimise your site without needing to be an expert with SEO.
  • Some Builders Are Clunky to Use – Whilst the majority of website builders are easy-to-use, some can be a little clunky although the learning curve of website builders when compared to WordPress is usually very low.
  • Some Limitations – Website builders allow novices to build websites very easily although this sometimes does come at the cost of a high level of customisation.

Overall, both WordPress and website builders such as Squarespace and Weebly are excellent choices for those looking to create a website that looks great and functions well too. That said, website builders come out on top thanks to their low cost, ease of use and high level of flexibility.

Review by Mark Knowles Last Updated 6th May 2014

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