And what that means for your wallet
Confused by all the choices out there when it comes to building a website? That is understandable. According to a 2015 IBIS World report, the US had over 150,000 businesses that offered website services of some sort. Services that included custom platform web development and WordPress web development.
Narrowing the options down can take steely nerves and hours of time, which you may not have. While the options are many, there are a few main options that you may have heard of. WordPress.org (don’t confuse it with WordPress.com) is a forerunner. As well as Weebly, SquareSpace, and others that provide website builder software. How are website builders different from WordPress.org?
Both WordPress.com and online website builders help you get your site online. But here are three main ways that website builders differ from WordPress.org’s platform.
Fees – WordPress.org is a free platform, but you must self-host your site, which will cost you anywhere from about $7 upwards per month. You also need to buy your own domain name.
With an online website builder, such as SquareSpace or the GoDaddy website builder platform, you pay a monthly or annual fee. This fee covers services such as domain name registration and hosting services. Prices start around $4 and go upwards.
Expect to pay some fees to get either your WordPress.org or your online website builder site up and out there. Though the higher range of fees would be in the online website builder sector. Here you get what you pay for. If you are a novice and foresee that you will need a lot of support, look into a website builder known for their great customer support.
Themes – One of the enticing aspects of WordPress.org is the huge number of developers that create themes for this platform. Some themes are free, but these are often not updated when WordPress rolls out a new version. Paid-for themes will generally stay on top of keeping the theme updated with each new WordPress update.
How do website builders stack up in the theme arena? Each online website builder offers hundreds of themes for free. Although, after a manner, you are paying for them, as their use is contingent on you signing up for one of their monthly plans. The range and quality of themes available by such builders is comparable to the best of what WordPress offers. Of course, you also get continued support for the theme you choose, given to you by the website builder you sign up with.
There is not a clear winner here. The themes available from both sectors are vast and only continue to grow by the day. You might need to use a different comparison point to help you decide which to go with.
Knowledge of Coding – You’ll need to know a certain amount of HTML and CSS to make full use of WordPress.org’s platform. This is one of the main ways in which these two platforms differ. There are also vulnerabilities to having a WordPress site you’ll need to know how to take care of.
Online website builder software requires no coding knowledge to create your site. Most website builders use drag and drop features that allow you to move things about without needing to get near coding elements. If you are a newbie, and you don’t have the time or inclination to learn the basics of HTML or CSS, then you might be better off with an online website builder.
Consider your level of skill and whether you will have the time to invest in learning what you need to know, because your WordPress.org site will look as good as you know how to make it. If you don’t think you’ll have that kind of time, you might be better off paying a little extra so you can get your site exactly how you want it.