Posted on Sep 3, 2014

WordPress vs. a Static Site

WordPress vs. a Static Site

 

Two of the most common methods of building a website are to build a static site or build one using WordPress. On the surface both methods do the same job. So what is the difference between the two options. And more importantly, which one is the best?

 

Let’s start with the difference between the two using restaurants as an analogy. Imagine you’re choosing a restaurant for dinner this evening, and you have two options. The first is a restaurant that offers a fabulous à la carte menu. You know the chef and you know that the food is fantastic, but you also know that once you get to the restaurant you’ll have to choose your meal. And once you have chosen, that’s what you’ll get.

 

You second choice is a restaurant that offers food and service that is just as good as the first restaurant. But instead of an à la carte menu they offer a buffet. This means you can select various types of food and you can eat as much or as little of each dish as you want. Plus you can go back for more and you can change your mind.

 

A static website is like going to a restaurant with an à la carte menu. You select the various components you want in your website, design it, and then it’s finished. A WordPress website is more like the restaurant buffet where you have more choice and you can go back for more as often as you like.

 

The Benefits of Each

 

Both WordPress and static websites have benefits and downsides. Let’s start with building a static website.

 

Here’s why you should create a static website instead of a WordPress site:

 

  • Maintenance – WordPress websites require regular maintenance. This applies to the core code and to added plugins. Not keeping these things up-to-date leaves WordPress websites open to hacking, something which happens a lot. This is less of a problem with a static website, particularly if you use a static website generator. The WebSite Creator by CM4all or the Drag and Drop Builder offered by iPage are a good example – iPage takes care of the maintenance of the software (not your website) so you don’t have to. The exception is WordPress Essential Hosting where the security and maintenance is part of the plan.
  • Security – WordPress sites are generally more vulnerable to hacking
  • Simplicity – Creating a static website is usually simpler than setting up a site in WordPress, although this depends on the website builder that you use.
  • Speed – Static websites are usually smaller which means they take up fewer resources on a server. This means they often load faster.

 

Why you should create a website in WordPress:

 

  • Functionality – There are thousands of plugins available that allow you to add functionality to your WordPress site. You can add the vast majority without any programming knowledge whatsoever.
  • Scalability – It is easier to add functionality to a WordPress site and they can be configured to do just about anything.
  • Set up speed – If you are building anything other than a simple brochure site you will find setting it up in WordPress takes less time. Adding simple things like ecommerce functions or contact forms is much harder on a static site than it is in WordPress.

 

Which Option Should You Choose?

 

The option you choose will depend on the type of website you’re building. If you’re building a simple brochure website and have no plans to develop or expand it in the future, a static website is sufficient.

 

If, on the other hand, you need a website with more functionality or you think you might like to upgrade it in the future, WordPress is the way to go. Also, WordPress is capable of creating simple brochure-style websites as well. If you choose the WordPress option there are things you’ll have to do. This includes putting in place measures to ensure you keep all the plugins – and WordPress itself – up-to-date. And you will need to buy good website hosting. As long as you’re ok with doing these things, WordPress is the best option – for whatever type of website you build.

 

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