WordPress vs Website Builders: Ease of Use
October 26, 2016
WordPress vs Website Builders: Extensibility & Flexibility
November 9, 2016

WordPress
Website Builders (i.e. Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Blogger, and GoDaddy’s Website Builder)
Designs and layouts are what make a website beautiful.  Good design allows the website content to shine through and clearly showcases a client’s business.

Words to Know

Content Management System: software that is used by a website to manage content.  It makes updating website content very simple for people with little to no website experience.
The original source code for open-source software is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. 
The original source code is not made available and may not be redistributed or modified.  The code is owned by a specific company who may give select functionality for free, but usually charges for premium features.
A theme is like the clothes your website wears. Just like clothes, you can easily change the way your website looks simply by switching themes.
WordPress uses the terminology of a “theme”, but Website Builders use “template”.  Both mean the same thing.
Just like you have a physical address where people know they can find you, a website needs to have the same.  This place is called a server, and the process of maintaining the website files on this server is called hosting.  If you are going to have a website, you need to have hosting

Designs & Layouts

bethemeoptionspanelDesign and layout are areas where WordPress shines.  There are thousands of free and paid themes from which a client can choose.  Most of the premium themes cost around $50 and have some amazing customization options that are easy for non-technical people to use.  There literally isn’t a layout or design WordPress cannot handle.  The options are limitless.  However, to get the most out of WordPress, one needs to know HTML/CSS and if possible, PHP.  This means a client will often need someone to help customize the design and layout to get the best look for their business brand.

We often start from a premium WordPress theme and set about customizing it for our clients.  Because there are so many themes from which to choose, we find 3-5 themes for a client to choose from after they answer a basic questionnaire about their design desires.  Themeforest is one of our favorite places to find premium themes.  This is a great way to save money, but still have a custom-looking website that matches a business’s brand.

These themes also come with specific functionality for specific industries.  There are themes for preschools, churches, nonprofits, small businesses, construction companies, landscape companies, and the list goes on.  There are also multi-purpose themes that allow you to create whatever you want.  The options are endless, which we love.  Finally, if you decide you don’t like the theme you’ve chosen, you can simply switch the theme without losing all your content.

Summary

Because of the large number of themes available for WordPress and there is no layout or design WordPress cannot handle, we give it a 10 out of 10 for design and layout.

wixthemesWebsite Builders such Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Blogger, and GoDaddy’s Website Builder offer high-end, polished templates that are thoughtfully designed, but there are only hundreds to choose from instead of thousands.  That might actually be a positive characteristic of these builders because it’s a lot less to wade through which can get overwhelming when dealing with WordPress themes.  However, it could also be a negative when your competition has the exact same site as you have.  There are ways to make minor modifications to the templates these builders provide, but not enough to make your site look highly customized and not cookie-cutter.  These builders also limit how much you can play with the layout within any given template which could limit your creativity in presenting your content.  Finally, while the templates are well-designed, once you choose a template, you’re stuck with it.  If you decide to switch templates later, you have to start completely over with inputting your content.

Summary

While Website Builders such as Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Blogger, and GoDaddy’s Website Builder offer hundreds of well-designed and polished templates to chose from, there isn’t much customization that can happen once you choose a template and once you choose your template, you’re stuck with it unless you want to redo all your content. That is why we give Website Builders a 6 out of 10 for design and layout.

 

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Testimonials

  • Jeff J.
    I have had the pleasure of contracting Laura and D3 Solutions for a number of website design and maintenance issues over the years. She is always professional, efficient, fairly priced and a delight to work with. I highly recommend her.
    Jeff J.
    Ark Music
  • Paul D.
    A couple of years ago I hired a company to rebuild my website, and when the process stalled out, Laura came in and salvaged what could have been a disaster. Since that time she has worked to maintain my website and has proven to be highly skillful in what she does, responsive, and ethical. I would recommend her without any hesitation.
    Paul D.
    EcoGreen Landscaping
  • Dave S.
    It has been a true joy working with Laura! She was involved from the initial thoughts and concepts of what we wanted in a website to then seeing our vision fully realized in a very professional and attractive site. Laura helped us work through ideas, and offered expertise in how to best implement them in a manner that made sense and was best utilized by our target audience. We are thankful that the relationship is ongoing with advice and troubleshooting being just a phone call or email away. I highly recommend you consider Laura for your website design and development!
    Dave S.
    Mentoring Timothy
  • Adam G.
    I can't recommend Laura and D3 Solutions enough. Laura is extremely knowledgeable. We received a highly detailed response within an hour of emailing her. Our Chief Technology Officer immediately said to me, 'Wow, she really knows her stuff.' We had reached out to a bunch of companies before D3 Solutions and he never said that. Most importantly, Laura is extremely reliable. She delivered on every promise she made (in many cases going above and beyond) and I couldn't be happier with the end result. I live for my business and Laura clearly does too. I sincerely feel so lucky and grateful that we stumbled upon her website. I look forward to a long partnership with Laura and D3 Solutions!
    Adam G.
    MyBodyTutor, Inc.
  • Debbie P.
    Laura is a fantastic web developer! She’s developed three websites for me and it’s unbelievable how quickly she can get a project done! She’s decisive and thorough, but also creative and understands the whole process and how everything fits together. One of the things I appreciate most about working with Laura is that she’s very dependable and responds to emails within the hour. Her training videos explain things clearly and easily, even to a novice like myself. Thinking of creating a website? You can’t find anyone better than Laura.
    Debbie P.
    Rome with Purpose
  • Chuck J.
    D3 Solutions is my go-to company for web development and website hosting. They provide solutions I can feel confident in, stable and secure servers and responsive customer service, all at a price I find very competitive. I could not do what I do without a partner like D3 Solutions.
    Chuck J.
    Chuck Jones Direct
  • John R.
    We reached out to Laura at D3 Solutions after our website had a security breach. She was extremely responsive and had the issue cleared up right away!
    John R.
    Classy Career Girl
  • Dr. Steve W.
    We sought out the expertise of Laura and D3 solutions based on the recommendations of trusted colleagues and the need for a web developer who could understand our unique needs. Laura’s reputation is well earned as she was able to deliver a truly incredible product that exceeded all of our expectations. Her communication was timely and through a balanced combination of expertise and creativity, she was able to transform rough sketches and basic ideas into a captivating website that now serves as the centerpiece of our mission and work. Laura was patient with our questions and sensitive to our concerns. In every possible way, D3 Solutions demonstrated the highest level of customer service. In the end it became increasingly clear that for Laura and D3 Solutions, the people they serve are far more than clients, they are partners.