Building a website doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, especially with the sheer number of tools you have at your disposal today.
WordPress is one of the most popular content managements systems for websites. Plus, there’s a huge community that supports the platform, including developers, web hosting companies, third-party themes, and plugins.
Both DIY website builders and using WordPress can be effective approaches to building out your website. But, the path you take depends upon your overall website needs and goals. Below we take an in-depth look at both drag-and-drop website builders and the WordPress CMS, so you can decide which one is best for you.
What is a Website Builder?
A website builder is typically a drag and drop website builder that lets you build a website without any coding experience. You simply drag and drop different website elements until your site is complete.
Most DIY builders are equipped with beautiful and functional themes that allow you to input your own content and images and end up with a site that looks like it was designed by a professional.
There are dozens of different tools available. You simply need to decide which one is best for you and your business.
What is WordPress?
WordPress began primarily as a blogging platform, but since its early days it’s transitioned into a full-fledged website building tool. It’s available in two versions, a self-hosted version and a downloadable version you can host on your own.
It’s grown into a much more than a simple CMS and allows you to build any kind of site you desire. The learning curve is a little steep, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be impressed at what it allows you to accomplish.
When to Use a Drag-and-Drop Builder
Drad-and-drop website builders are the answer for people who want to get their first website online in the quickest manner possible.
Drag-and-drop website builders are also all about helping you save time when building out your site. WordPress has a steeper learning curve, so it’s not the best if you want to get a site online this afternoon.
With a few clicks, you can have a website online with a DIY builder. Plus, most bundle in their own hosting, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up separate hosting and making sure all of the technical elements are setup properly. For example, HostGator’s new website builder comes with hosting bundled in the pricing, and a free domain for the first year (on packages purchased for one year or more) if you don’t already have one.
HostGator’s Website Builder even has an eCommerce plan if you want to start an online store. It’s fully-functional with a shopping cart, checkout, and integrated shipping.
When to Use WordPress
WordPress is a content-oriented site builder. With WordPress, you can build a simple blog or even a full-featured website. It takes a lot more technical skill to create the site you desire, especially in the early stages, but the additional effort can be well worth it.
The types of websites you can build with WordPress are virtually unlimited. With a nearly endless amount of themes and plugins available you can customize your site and add any feature you wish. Most themes come equipped with demo content you can import, so your theme’s layout and structure will match the demo theme you chose.
If you’re trying to build a large-scale site, or simply want more control over the look and feature set of your site, then WordPress is going to be a great choice.
Which One Is Best For Me?
If you need a website today and you can do without any heavy features, then a website builder is the choice for you. With a website builder all you have to do is choose your template, modify the layout, upload your content, and press publish. You can have your website online in a few hours.
If you have more time available and want to build a more feature-heavy site, then WordPress is a great choice. With WordPress, you’ll have more control over the final result of your site and the long-term direction of it. There are more technical elements involved, so if you don’t feel comfortable, or don’t have the time to learn about the CMS, then you may need to hire additional help to build out your site.
Hopefully, the information above will help you decide upon which route to take when building out your website. Whether you end up going with a website builder, or WordPress, you’ll end up with an elegant and functional site.