Currently, about 43.2% of live websites on the internet use WordPress, while 18% of the 1.13 billion sites are powered by builders. With the rate at which it is booming, the website builder market is expected to see 6.9% growth by 2023. As of now, WordPress predominates the space and makes about 10-fold more than its competitors. That being said, website builders are gaining more and more traction with time due to their easy-to-use nature.
With a ton of innovative options in the market, one wonders: which one is better suited to me? If you are a newcomer, choosing between page builders and WordPress can be quite confusing, especially if you do not have a tech background. From cost to flexibility to convenience, there are many factors to consider before opting for one of the options.
This guide will try to put forth the pros and cons of both options to help you decide what works for you.
WordPress is the most commonly used content management system (CMS) that creates, modifies, and supports a website. It may be overwhelming for those without some technical background as it requires:
- PHP version (preferably)
- Domain name
These terms are likely to scare you away if you are a newbie but stay assured that it is easy to use. If WordPress is still intimidating for you, going through this simple guide can help you familiarize yourself with it.
WordPress.Org vs WordPress.com
WordPress.org is not to be confused with WordPress.com. The former is what we are talking about in this article. It does not require coding and you can easily customize your website however you like. The 810 million sites usually employ WordPress.org as it offers more benefits.
Pros of WordPress
Contrary to the common belief, you don’t need to know coding to start using WordPress. Some other pros of using this software are explained below.
The platform itself is open-source and free to use, and a considerable number of themes and plugins are available at no cost. This cost-free accessibility extends to various design options and functionalities, allowing users to create a fully functional website without incurring significant upfront expenses. The availability of free themes and plugins makes WordPress an economical choice for individuals and small businesses.
Diverse Range of Themes and Plugins
WordPress is famous for the wide range of themes and plugins it offers. It is said to have 11,000+ free themes. This makes WordPress an efficient and all-inclusive platform for most industries. Due to a massive number of themes, customization according to your business becomes quite simplified. Page builders may not be able to provide this level of accessibility and collection.
On the other hand, plugins enhance and extend the features of a WordPress site, covering everything from SEO tools and security enhancements to e-commerce capabilities and social media integration. Whether you want to start your blog, an e-commerce website, or complex online platforms, WordPress will have your back due to its versatility. By buying a hosting and purchasing a domain name, you are set to create your brand.
Though customization in WordPress is complicated, its importance lies in the variety of ways through which you can tailor the website according to your needs. Once you get the hang of the processes, you can easily modify themes, create custom designs, and add functionalities through plugins. Believe it or not, there is a plugin for everything!
WordPress will also support page builders like Elementor or Beaver Builder. If need be, a person can add these page builder plugins to WordPress for more creativity and easy editing.
Cons of WordPress
With WordPress, you are more responsible for security and maintenance in general. Security concerns with WordPress basically stem from its generalized use on the internet. Most websites employ WP, which makes it a usual target for security concerns. Even themes and plugins can be a cause of security concerns.
If your WordPress is outdated, that may pose cyber threats on different levels. Though the CMS platform keeps releasing updates consistently, the challenge lies in ensuring that you keep up with these updates regularly. This is where responsibility lies on the user.
Unless you are maintaining your site by changing passwords, implementing two-factor authentications, or taking other such robust measures is very crucial to ensure the security of your website. Regular monitoring, timely updates, and adherence to best security practices are essential for maintaining a secure WordPress environment.
Websites thrive on efficiency. This means having optimal speed, responsiveness, and appropriate mobile view. It involves various strategies and practices aimed at reducing page load times, improving user experience, and ensuring that the website operates smoothly.
Key highlights include optimizing images and multimedia elements to reduce file sizes and leveraging Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to make content accessible across different servers for faster delivery.
While effective performance and optimization are essential to improve user experience and satisfaction, it is also essential for search engine ranking. This is because the speed of your website is a vital factor in improving the visibility of your website on the internet.
Having to take care of all the technical aspects may not be everyone’s cup of tea. This is also one of the reasons why some people have apprehensions regarding WordPress.
Dependence on Plugins
The availability of plugins is both a blessing and a curse. You have to depend highly on plugins for pretty much all important add-on services. While plugins allow more flexibility, customization, and scalability, it also comes with some drawbacks. However, overdependence on plugins may compromise the quality and security of the website.
For instance, outdated plugins or too many of them at once can result in slower load time, broken links, harming SEO, and affecting the functionality of the website negatively. These issues necessitate regular maintenance via updates. This demerit of WordPress can be countered by establishing a balance between leveraging plugins and maintaining them for a sustainable solution.
Understanding Website Builders
Website builders are all-inclusive tools used to create, design, and manage websites. Users can choose from a variety of templates, and add content, images, and features easily, allowing for quick and straightforward website development. Some common website builders according to Forbes include:
Website builders are suitable for individuals, small businesses, and those without advanced web development skills, offering a convenient and accessible way to establish an online presence. The purpose of website builders is to offer an all-in-one solution. Being cloud-based, you can just hop on the builders and start creating your website, which is what makes them attractive.
Pros of Website Builders
Easy to Use
Even if tech sounds all Greek to you, you may still be able to operate a website builder. Being an all-in-one platform, they are highly user-friendly, and no intensive technical expertise is required.
Usually, website builders are designed with intuitive drag-and-drop functionalities and user interfaces that make the creation process easier. This way, builders provide accessibility to a ton of functions without complex knowledge of coding, hosting, plugins, or any big scary term. Designing is especially easier.
Contrary to WordPress, you won’t need to buy hosting as it is included in the plan you buy with any website builder. For a hassle-free and relatively quick solution, website builders can be an awesome option.
Inbuilt Security and SEO Services
Website builders often provide a more secure environment for users compared to self-hosted platforms. One key reason is that website builders typically handle hosting, security updates, and maintenance tasks. This takes the responsibility off of the user by proactively managing them.
Since the platforms have inbuilt security measures, they act like a protective shield over your website by offering automatic updates. You do not need to rely on plugins to protect your website or manage a separate hosting. Now this does not mean that website builders are immune to any cyberattack.
Likewise, most website builders will have in-built SEO services. This includes on-page SEO like adding tags, alt text, analytics tools, mobile view optimization, etc. While every platform is different, in many cases, the facility of checking Google Analytics is available.
Some builders like Hostlinger are also offering AI-based helpers to navigate through website content. Some facilities like these can make builders even more helpful for users.
Solid and Present Support Team
What’s better than getting a prompt response when facing an issue with your website? Website builders often have a solid support team that is present and ready to assist. Whether you’re a beginner or facing a technical problem, you can reach out to them, and they’ll guide you through the process.
Cons of Website Builders
Although website builders are suitable for small to medium-sized companies and projects, they can fall short if you want to scale your website. As the needs of a business or project grow, the limitations of the chosen website builder may become apparent.
Larger platforms need more features, excessive content, and more interactive e-commerce operations. Builders lack the extensibility and advanced features necessary for this pursuit. In such cases, users might find themselves outgrowing the offerings and capabilities of the website builder for a more robust solution.
Restricted Options for Customization
One major drawback of website builders is their limitation in customization and flexibility, especially in comparison to WordPress, which is an open field and you can do whatever you like with it.
While website builders provide convenience with pre-designed templates and friendly interfaces, they may fall short when users require highly specific or complex design elements. Advanced customization usually requires coding skills or high-level functionality which these platforms may not be able to offer. For a highly tailored and unique website, builders may fall short.
Lack of Availability of Desired Domain Name
Since you do not entirely own the website with website builders, there are some limitations to getting your desired domain name. Oftentimes, these platforms will offer integrated domain registration, making it difficult or even impossible to find that their preferred domain name is not already taken or available.
Unlike WordPress, where users can independently choose and register a domain through various providers, website builders may have limitations. This limitation can be frustrating for users aiming to establish a distinctive online identity, mostly concerning originality. Therefore, not having enough freedom in terms of setting up your name can be a put-off.
Website Builder vs. WordPress: Ideal User
Website builders like GoDaddy or Shopify are easy to customize and may be better for people wanting to establish small businesses, novices with low technical expertise, and individuals working on time-sensitive projects.
Builders may not be suitable if you are seeking to establish a highly interactive space that requires specific customization. While they are excellent choices for creating informational or e-commerce websites, users seeking highly interactive and extensively customized spaces might find the flexibility of platforms like WordPress more suitable.
You can make pretty much every sort of website on WordPress due to its highly flexible, customizable, scalable nature. You can literally create a website out of your imagination. However, it may be more technical for some people.
WordPress is suitable for those having medium to large-sized businesses, content creators, and skilled developers and designers having enough time. Even if you have low expert knowledge of technical elements, WordPress can be used as it also does not require coding.
I can’t suggest which one would be better for you as that entirely depends on how you intend to create your website. However, I would choose to work with WordPress any time of the day, and the website that you are reading this on is also built in WP. My reasons are simple – I can install a page builder as a plugin in my WP database and combine both to give me the ideal outcome. I use Elementor as the page builder. However, be mindful that page builders can take more resources than usual, and can decrease your load speed.
Nonetheless, the decision to choose a platform highly depends on your resources. Rather than staying in this dilemma, it is important to understand what you require of the website. Currently, WordPress as well as page builders have much to offer to beginners. However, other factors should be weighed down before you make a decision.