So the question…”which platform should I build my website on?”…crops up all the time and having answered it twice already today I thought I would share it here too.
The answer is, in my humble opinion, WordPress and unlike some people who will give you a biased response to this question based on what they use and like, I’m going to back my answer up with facts.
You do not have full control when using a drag and drop builder. By this I mean that you do not have access to the source files, the code, the template etc. There is a misconception that you don’t own your content at all, but that’s not strictly true. I have read the terms and conditions on Squarespace and Wix (because I’m sad and I wanted to be certain), you are free to download your content if you want to leave the service behind, but that’s all you can take – for obvious reasons.
In contrast, with WordPress.org (not .com) you have full access to everything.
This goes hand in hand with number 1. With drag and drop builders you are tied into their hosting. Should their servers go down or their sites frequently run slowly what do you do?
With WP.org, if your site loads slowly, you regularly have downtime, you’re not satisfied with your host’s response time etc. the recourse is very simple. You pack up and move on over to their competitor. You can be back up and running in little to no time as though nothing ever happened.
WordPress is open source i.e. the code is free. The only thing you have to pay for is hosting. This will set you back a few pounds/dollars a month.
You have to pay for SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly etc. if you are using these platforms for business and for full functionality you are looking at approx $20 a month. Personally I’d rather avoid as many monthly costs as possible.
4. THE STATS
Guys, the stats literally speak for themselves. WP powers 35% of the internet. Squarespace 1.5%, Shopify 2.1%. https://w3techs.com/
I think we can all be safe in the knowledge that with its usage, marketshare and fantastic community – WordPress isn’t going anywhere anytime soon!
I have used Wix, Weebly and I will even bring Joomla in to this one too. Hand on heart WordPress is the best in terms of flexibility and versatility. I have literally spent hours pulling my hair out trying to get things where I wanted them to be in Joomla (albeit a few years ago now so this may have improved) and I found the functionality on Wix and Weebly to be extremely limited – again I’m sure things have improved.
Pretty much anything is possible with WordPress and if you want something that isn’t native or part of your theme, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s a plugin that can do it for you or a savvy web developer can custom code it, if you’re willing to make the investment.
Okay, okay, if doing a Law degree has taught me anything, it’s to have a balanced argument. So here goes – let’s look at…
…THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN
WordPress, is by no means perfect. There is a bit of a learning curve when you are just getting started and you have to be completely on top of your site’s security/backups because hackers will try to ruin your life.
You also may also find you’re having to shell out for the premium themes/templates. A new theme is typically a one-off cost, but for premium plugins it may be more of an annual commitment if you want the benefit of the developer’s ongoing support. I have to say, this is well worth-while, particularly for the bigger/well-known plugins that you may want to purchase.
All of the above aside, in my humble opinion, Squarespace, Wix etc. are great if you want to get started quickly and you only need a brochure website that showcases a little about who you are and what you do.
WordPress is definitely the way to go, if you want the potential to grow your business website with full flexibility and versatility.
Yes, I know some of you will want to shoot me down in flames after reading this and that’s ok.
We can all have an opinion, but I’d rather be on the side of TechCrunch, The New Yorker, MTV News, BBC America, Mercedes Benz and the Queen Bee herself, yes Beyonce – who all have websites built on WordPress.
And so, that’s my two pennies worth on why you should be using WordPress! But of course, I’d love to hear your views, so feel free to share in the comments