Posted on Jan 25, 2018

WordPress or Website Builder? What’s the Difference?

So you are thinking of creating a website. This comes with a lot of planning and decisions to make. One of the key decisions is what platform you want to build your website with. Most hosting companies, like iPage, will offer multiple builder options. You can always go old-school and write code from scratch. But for those not versed in advance HTML, you are in luck with many options that require little coding.

If you know you that want to do as little coding as possible, you will probably need to decide between a custom website builder, or WordPress. What is the difference, and which is right for your needs?

Almost everyone has heard of WordPress which has become one of the largest self-hosted blogging tools in the world. WordPress is an open-source software with a large community of supporters, a variety of web themes, and plugins that are used to extend your site with additional functionality.

On WordPress you can build almost any kind of website. But like with all tools, there are advantages and drawbacks. Starting with the website builder, we take a look at what each means for the DIY website manager, and which may be right for you.

What is a Website Builder?

A website builder is a tool that allows you create a website with no coding. There is usually a drag-and-drop interface to easily bring elements onto or off of each webpage.

Most DIY builders, like the iPage WebsiteBuilder offer a library of pre-designed templates to use as a starting point. These pre-designed templates are easy to edit and customize. The user adds their own images and copy. Branding elements like fonts and even color schemes can be selected to ensure continuity with overall brand guidelines. Website builders make it easy for a beginner to create a site that looks like it was designed by a professional.

Website builders are most appropriate for first time site builders, or even professionals who want to get a relatively simple website online quick and easy. e-Commerce capabilities can be added via the builder, but sites are usually fewer pages and offer basic functionality.

So with little to no learning curve, you can get online with just a few clicks. Most hosting companies offer their own version of a Website Builder, so it can be one-stop-shopping to host your domain and create your website. Be sure to do the research and find the one that meets your needs.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS). Historically a blogging platform, WordPress now offers robust web-building options and capabilities. WordPress can be installed as part of a web hosting service, or as a downloadable version that you can host on our own network.

Not quite as user friendly as the drag-and-drop website builder, beginners may face a steeper learning curve. But it does offer great flexibility and can power a small personal blog, or an enterprise website. Depending on your needs, it may be worth the added effort.

WordPress allows you to create virtually any kind of website. There is a vast selection of design templates and plugins, or extensions. that will add the functionality you need to your website.

If you need a large-scale site, or are comfortable with making modifications to the look and set of features offered on your site, WordPress may be a good choice.

Which One Is Right For Me?

If you want to create a site quickly, and do not need any complicated features, then a DIY website builder is what you are looking for. You will be able to create and launch your site with only a few steps, and little effort.

  • Select a template
  • Upload images and content
  • Publish

If you are looking for a more feature-heavy site, and have the time to learn the CMS interface, then WordPress may be for you. It gives you more control over your site design, offerings, and can scale to meet the the longer-term directions you have in mind. A beginner web builder may find the technical elements challenging, but a basic understanding of HTML should suffice. And you could consider hiring a professional web developer to help build out your site.

Are you ready to make a decision and get started? Hopefully the information provided here helps you understand each option better. Either way you go, congratulations on starting your new website!


Feature image by Nick Morrison on Unsplash