There are so many options out there for how to create a website. Depending on your budget, your website goals and your business type, not every option will meet your needs. In this series, we aim to look at WordPress versus Website Builders to see how it stacks up in various areas. First, let’s explain a little about what WordPress and Website Builders have in common – they are all CMS platforms.
Imagine your website is like your body. Every person, no matter their age or how they look, has a skeleton that holds their body up. This skeleton is like a CMS (Content Management System) for your website. It’s the structure of the website, but it does not determine how your website looks. A CMS manages your content. It’s a way of organizing the content on your website in a way that makes editing your content as easy as using a word processor such as Microsoft Word.
Websites used to be made using simple HTML which required an FTP program to make changes to the website. This was tedious and only those with coding knowledge were able to make changes to the website content. A CMS is now used because it puts the power of content updates in the hands of the client.
If you are creating a website, there is no reason not to use a CMS. The question really comes down to – which one should you choose? Before we dive more into this topic in the coming weeks, let’s give a brief overview of the competition.
First, let’s get something straight. When we talk about WordPress, we aren’t talking about WordPress.com. WordPress.com is a hosted service by Automattic that gives you a very limited set of themes and functionality and usually involves advertising in exchange for free hosting. WordPress.com is very limited in scope.
Rather, we are talking about WordPress.org where you can download the WordPress CMS for FREE. We really like WordPress because:
There are many other reasons, but that will get you started and ready to read more in this series about how WordPress compares to Website Builders.
Website Builders such as Wix, SquareSpace, Weebly, Blogger, and GoDaddy’s Website Builder are also CMS platforms, but they integrate the content with built-in tools that allow a person to create the design of a website based off a template. Unlike WordPress, their platform is proprietary meaning that it’s owned by a specific company who may give select functionality for free, but usually charges for premium features. Many of the free accounts come with banner ads. These Website Builders also require hosting with the company that created the builder. Some of the reasons people choose Website Builders are:
We’ll peel back the layers of these builders in the coming weeks to reveal what’s behind the shiny exterior and why these builders may or may not be a good fit for your next website.
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