Are you creating a new website wondering which website creation tool to use? You’re not alone.
We talk to a lot of small business owners who are creating their first website on their own using affordable platforms like Wix, Weebly, Blogspot, and SquareSpace. While these are great options, they often find their business expands or website needs become more complex and they outgrow the website functionality. Often they choose to convert to a self-hosted WordPress website that better fits design, function, and user experience.
When considering if WordPress is the best for your website, consider:
- Your budget
- Design and development cost
- Self-hosted (or not)
- User experience
- Website maintenance
If you need a website with particular functions like real estate listings or membership or have a particular user experience in mind, your best option may be to invest in a WordPress website because it is an open source platform. That means the codes are available for anyone to use or modify to create themes or plugins that can then be shared with the WordPress community.
Not ready to re-code a website and just need a simple website? Here are some options that are not open source meaning the codes aren’t available for modification.
Wix – While you may not be able to modify codes, the Wix website builder has less bugs than WordPress because their developers have tested prior to release. Because of this, Wix also provides a help desk for their users. If you have a WordPress site, you’re on your own for help unless you have a maintenance package with your website designer or developer.
SquareSpace – This drag and drop website creator is easier for beginners to use than WordPress. If you’re looking to build a beautiful website without the WP learning curve, this is a good option. Keep in mind that while you have design options, you still won’t have the functionality offered by WordPress self-hosted sites.
Blogger – Google’s answer to a free blogging platform is Blogger with all blogs hosted on Blogspot, also a Google brand. It’s a get-what-you-pay-for kind of product. While it’s free and user-friendly, there aren’t a lot of design options unless you know HTML or CSS, small amount of storage for images, no comment moderation, and page size limit. Great for a brand new blogger but probably not for a business or an experienced blogger.
Weebly – If a client or organization does not need the power of a WordPress website, they may choose a Weebly site as an affordable alternative. Similar to SquareSpace in that it is a drag and drop website builder, Weebly includes pictures, videos, buttons, maps, and contact forms. In other words, the basic elements of a website. There are a few website designers that build Weebly websites for their clients but not many.
Is WordPress the best for your website? Yes, we think it’s worth the investment of time, money, and resources to build a self-hosted WordPress website due in large part to design options, functionality, and scalability.
When you build a self-hosted WordPress website, you own the files that are used to build your website. No other website builder has this function. What does that mean? It means that if you’re not a self-hosted WordPress website, your host can remove your website at any time because they own the files that build the site. The reality is that this rarely happens and only in cases of massive spam or hacking campaigns but it is something to consider.
The only website building platform that offers 37,000+ plug-ins that have been downloaded more than 900,000 times is WordPress. Within the theme you select for your website you have options for customizations called plug-ins. Often you don’t need design or development experience to activate plug-ins on your website. The most common are subscribe to newsletter, social media links, and payment buttons. You can pretty much find a plug-in for anything you want your site to do when you have a self-hosted WordPress site.
In case you’re still not convinced, almost 20% of the world’s websites are on WordPress and that number is growing. If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress websites, contact SocialTech Consulting today!