WordPress is the most popular platform in the world for building websites. It strikes the perfect balance between power and ease of use. A huge set of third-party add-ons is available. It gives you full control over your site. Compare this with website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. They make the job really easy, but you pay a heavy price in control. If you just want something quick and easy, they’re fine. If you want your site to look professional, though, you need something more powerful.
WordPress isn’t a website builder but a content management system, or CMS. It gives you the tools to run your site without getting into low-level details, but it lets you take as much control as you need.
Website builders host your site. That’s convenient, but it limits what you can do. Anything that goes on your site has to meet the host’s approval. If you hire a developer to customize the site, you’ll discover a lot of limits on what you can change.
If you don’t like the hosting, you’re stuck. The software platform is proprietary, and you can’t move your site anywhere else. You’ll have to design it all over if you move.
With WordPress, you can run your site anywhere. You can use a hosting service that handles the software for you, or you can install it on your own server. If you want to change hosts, it’s just a matter of copying everything over.
You have full control over your WordPress site. You can use a theme that’s approved by WordPress, buy from an independent vendor, or have one created just for you. You can add any plugins you want. Themes and plugins use PHP computer code that runs on the server, so there are hardly any limits on what you can do with custom development.
Wix and Squarespace understandably don’t want people running wild on their hosting platform, so they impose strict limits on what you can customize. Features like Wix Code add a fair amount of power, but you’re still playing in their sandbox. You can’t get down to the server software level.
You can make a WordPress site look just about any way you like with a custom theme. A Squarespace or Wix site always looks like a Squarespace or Wix site.
As the Roman saying goes, with WordPress you can always find a way or make one.
You can run e-commerce on any of these platforms. With website builders, though, you have to do it their way. If they don’t offer the options you need, there isn’t much you can do.
Several highly regarded e-commerce options, such as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, are available for WordPress. They’re so popular that even the plugins have plugins! You can get add-ons from independent developers that provide additional features, so there’s rarely an option you can’t offer your customers.
Alternatively, you can use a plugin which integrates your site with a separate e-commerce platform, such as Shopify.
And it Gets Better
Some people complain that WordPress’s editorial interface looks outdated compared to the leading website builders, but that’s about to change. WordPress 5.0 will be built on Gutenberg, which revamps the content creation experience. Authors and editors can add chunks of material as with a website builder. They can customize and position each piece. They can create custom block types, so they consistently add material with a specific format.
Unlike a website builder, Gutenberg doesn’t take away low-level control. Creators can still drill down to the raw HTML and do whatever they like with it. It’s the best of both worlds.
If you’re just looking to create a site quickly and with little effort, a website builder is fine. But if you’re serious about the site, you need the additional power which WordPress gives you. Contact us to learn about the design and marketing services we offer, so you can have a top-quality site.