WordPress Wednesday #2: Website Builders vs WordPress
In this week’s installment of WordPress Wednesday, we are going to answer a questions I hear nearly every single day. As a small business owner, why should I choose WordPress over “easier” Website Builders like Wix, Squarespace or Weebly?
The Short Answer
WordPress, but like everything else in life, what will work best for you depends on your goals. It is very important to be candid about what your long term expectations are for a new website.
Before You Decide
You need to ask yourself a few questions.
- What is the purpose of this website?
- Is it for fun, hobby blogging, a full fledged business, ect?
- Are you trying to bring in leads?
- How important is SEO?
- Are you monetizing the website?
Answering these questions will help give you a better idea for the scope of the project you are about to start. In the end you need to identify whether you are creating a website for business or pleasure because that will fundamentally change the way you make your decisions.
Ease Of Use?
When building a website, it is extremely important to recognize what level of skill you have, in regards to the web, coding and technology in general. Most people today have a pretty general understanding of technology and how to, at the very least, make things work. However, there is a significant minority of people, business owners especially, who do not have a firm grasp of technological concepts. If this is the case, you may want to look for professional help when it comes to web development. Creating your own website, even with a website builder, can be more difficult than it sounds. That said, there are also many people who have, and are willing to take the time to learn skills for themselves and the internet is ripe with options to accomplish these goals.
Website builders are inherently easy to use, which is their main, and in my opinion only, selling point. The leading website builder, in my estimation, is SquareSpace which promises a sleek and easy-to-use drag and drop customer interface. This is great for people creating basic websites (for projects, hobbies or even blogging) who may not have a great grasp on technology as whole.
WordPress is a different story. Many people who have experience with WordPress will tell you that it can have a steep learning curve and I find that to be true in some cases. Depending on what your goals are, WordPress can be easy to use — as long as you’re not trying to create a full fledged website with an e-commerce store, member portal, etc. in one day. WordPress is a process and should be treated as such. It does have a higher learning curve than website builders, but you can also do more with it.
Flexibility And Ease OF Use?
WordPress takes the cake on this one, hands down. I’m not sure I have ever come across another platform that has the same amount of customization, support and flexibility for business needs. It has a vast library of free and premium plugins and themes that are available for use. Again, you’ll really want to ask yourself whether SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important to your website. If the answer is yes, and your intention is to bring in leads through your website, I believe the only viable option is WordPress. This is because WordPress has one thing that website builders do not, and that is control over the back end (where good SEO takes place). Now, for people who may not be tech savvy as your 8 year old nephew, there are a number plugins for WordPress which can provide good base of SEO to get any website on the right track. Website builders really struggle with this because, with such a builder, the website owner does not have full control over the website. Just last year, every single WIX website was delisted from Google (talk about bad for SEO)…don’t let that happen to you and your businesses website.
So Who Wins?
Like everything else in life, your best option depends entirely on your goals. As a business owner myself, I gravitate to WordPress because of its flexibility, customization and control. You can not put a price on control of information when it comes to owning a business. If you are, however, a student looking to make a website for a project, or a hobbyist who wants to start writing a few blogs to pass the time and have no intention of trying to monetize, a website builder may more align to your needs.