Creating a website is the first step of your online presence. But how will you create a website?. There are many options available to build a website. Now, if you haven’t come across many website builders but know what exactly it is from the name. And even if you don’t know what WordPress is, you’ve definitely heard the name.
In this article, we will look at the most popular platforms for building websites; WordPress and website builders, how they are different from each other, and what you should choose.
Also, we would like to point out that we have a biased opinion on using WordPress. However, in the end, you’ll understand why. So if you want to cut it out and directly want to set up WordPress, check out AEserver’s Managed WordPress hosting.
Table of Contents
What Is a Website Builder?
A website builder is software used to build websites without coding. It simply works on a drag-n-drop functionality, usually for beginners who don’t know how to code. The primary purpose of the website builder is to create basic websites in minutes, where some of the website builders also offer e-commerce functionality with an e-commerce plan.
A website builder is a hosted tool, which means you don’t have to purchase hosting separately and install software on it, as you would do with a self-hosted tool. All you have to do is register an account and start creating your websites with a variety of provided templates. The service will take care of hosting and maintaining everything for you.
The process of using a website builder is straightforward. Let’s take an example of AEserver’s website builder that allows you to create basic websites to professional websites. You can create an account, and then it will direct you into a site set up just like any other website builder. From there, you can choose from 100+ website templates designed by our top designers, including designs for small businesses, engaging blogs, online shops and so on. And then, at last, you’ll get your website hosted on our servers with business emails and a domain name.
What is WordPress?
You can build a website on WordPress, so it must be a website builder, right? Basically, no!
WordPress is a content management system, not a website builder. According to recent research, 40% of websites are powered by WordPress. Let’s come again to the phrase “Content management system (CMS).” CMSs are very useful because they have a flexible environment. If you have some technical know-how, You can build any website on WordPress using plugins, themes and a little bit of coding to make your website look exactly how you want.
When it comes to hosting, there are two options available for WordPress; WordPress.org (open-source and self-hosted WordPress) and WordPress.com (free web host). With WordPress.org, you can install WordPress on your web hosting account, and you’ll get 100% control over your website. In contrast, WordPress.com is a free web-hosted implementation of WordPress.org.
In this article, we’ll talk about WordPress.org, the open-source and self-hosted version.
Comparing WordPress to Website Builders
This section compares WordPress to Website builders by focusing on some key points to help you make an informed decision.
The control over your data determines how easy it is to move your website from one platform to another. Because website builders include hosting, it gives you limited access to the features, meaning you can’t move your website quickly to a new web host. You can move some of your content like text files, regular web pages, gallery pages and images. But you can’t move a bunch of content, including product pages, indexes, blogs, audio, video, custom CSS and more. So, moving your site from website builders will involve a lot of time, labour and trouble.
But with WordPress, you have full access to your website (that includes code and database). So moving becomes easy with WordPress; you can adjust every part of the website according to your needs. Above all, WordPress is safer, and to make it more secure, and you can follow our ten-step guide to protect your WordPress site.
The control and content ownership features work hand in hand. Like, with a website builder, you don’t have full access to your database, and it is evident if you can’t access it means you can’t control it and if you can’t control it means you don’t have the ownership. But your database lies on the website builder’s server. Most website builders hold rights to your content, meaning whatever efforts you put into your website belong to the platform you’re using to build your website.
With WordPress, where you have full access and control over your database and code, the content belongs to you, not WordPress.
Plugins and Themes
In website builders, the software allows you to use their built-in extensions, which means fewer addons to work with and more chances you may not find the one you’re looking for. Even if you do, it may not be according to your fancy.
WordPress has a vast range of plugins and themes made by both WordPress and third-party services. It will give you the advantage of accessing more features and provide you with easier integration with other tools you want to use. Moreover, you can turn your WordPress into a website builder by installing a plugin, “Elementor,” a simple drag-n-drop website builder plugin. And that is how you can adjust your website by using a massive library of WordPress plugins and themes.
From the front, website builders are cheaper. But actually, they are not. Of Course, their plan starts from the cheapest one, but it limits you in resources like bandwidth, storage, disk space and some additional features(ad removal, support, and so on). As your business grows, you have to update your plan to the next level that will cost you more without including the charges for additional features. You have to pay for it separately.
WordPress is free software and is a cheaper option than website builders in the long term. You need to pay for WordPress hosting. The best option is to find an affordable or cheap host who provides managed WordPress hosting with all the resources you need to run a WordPress site. No additional charges and everything will be included.
Some website builders have their own SEO tools, but most don’t. You can add things like personalized URLs, customized images and more, but there is no plugin for SEO analytics and site speed. Website builders are basically a tool for beginners; you can do all the basics.
AEserver’s website builder is optimized for SEO. Our powerful SEO tool will help maximize your search engine ranking.
WordPress is more flexible when it comes to SEO. It provides a variety of plugins to give you more opportunities to optimize things. You can use a plugin to implement an SEO strategy across your web pages and posts.
Every website builder includes hosting, and you can also buy a domain name with them. It means you cant choose another web-hosting service. Once you launch your website, you’re stuck with their hosting. Unfortunately, you cant export or move your website if the hosting doesn’t fit your requirement.
With WordPress, you can choose any web hosting service that can fit your needs. But you need to install WordPress on a PHP and MYSQL web host. You may also need an FTP client to upload your WordPress. The task is quite difficult for non-technical users, but not if you choose managed WordPress hosting. It gives you the advantage of skipping all the technical stuff, and you can focus on your business while saving your time.
Ease of use
As website builders work on a drag-n-drop functionality, it is easier to use. There is no need for technical knowledge. You have to find a template and start pushing items into it.
WordPress can be a little challenging to use, not when you want to create simple blogs but when you want to scale, things become more complex. It sometimes needs some coding knowledge to get a theme or plugin to work.
WordPress vs Website Builder: What Should You Choose?
After reading the above information, you might get to a decision. If not, here’s a simple breakdown to choose the better option for you.
- Easy to use
- Create fast websites
- No technical knowledge needed
- It can be more costly as your website grows
- Have Customization limits
- Massive library of plugins and themes
- More powerful in terms of SEO
- Requires technical knowledge
- Own hosting and domain needed
Beginners can use website builders usually to create personal blogs and websites for small businesses. It’s a good choice for users with simple needs who want a fast website without disturbing their budget.
WordPress can be used by technical users who like the flexibility to create unique websites without limitations. That can include small websites to bigger ones.
In the end, the decision to choose between WordPress and website builder depends on what you need, while both have their own advantages.
Suppose you want to get started with a flexible platform. In that case, you can choose AEserver’s website builder or install your WordPress within a few clicks with AEserver by following the guide on how to install WordPress on AEserver.