When it comes to building a new website, there are a series of options available to you or your business: web hosting, WordPress, and website builders. These three methods can be used together, so they’re not mutually exclusive options for creating a site: but it’s helpful to define each department, so you know where to start.
If you choose to build a site using one of the top website builders, you need to decide how much of the work will be undertaken by you and how much you will outsource to developers or experts. The best approach to a site will depend entirely on how much time you have, how much control you want over the build, and how much technical knowledge you have.
If you are building a site yourself or with a web design company, you will need to purchase web hosting from one of the top web hosting services. Here, you rent disk space on a remote computer server, onto which you upload your site files, allowing visitors to then access the site from anywhere in the world.
However, if this all seems too complex or too much work to you, there is a third option in content management system (CMS) software which makes creating web pages simple. WordPress is the most well-known CMS and has a particular focus on blogging sites. You can build and publish a WordPress site in minutes or hours, even without web development experience.
In this comparison feature, we discuss and rate these three options, pitting web hosting against WordPress and website builders and exploring their relative pros and cons for building sites.
Web Hosting vs WordPress vs Website Builders: Web Hosting
When you buy web hosting, you get online storage space and the rest is up to you. Buying a web hosting service gives you the greatest control over how your website progresses, but it invariably increases the amount of work you need to do to get your website going.
Having your own web hosting right from the start makes it easier to add additional features to your website as your business grows. You don’t have to use just one software either.
Hosters often have one-click installers for popular CMSs which can save you a lot of time. Most businesses don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so it makes sense to use tools that make building and managing your site easier instead of building everything from scratch.
- Maximum flexibility
- A large number of providers
- Scale well
- Requires technical expertise
- Longer development cycle
- Increased maintenance and management
You can install the free WordPress CMS through one of the best WordPress hosting providers, or you can host your site and use a website builder for WordPress, installable as plugins. Read our WordPress review for a full service analysis.
The best thing is how easy it is to build a website with WordPress through its browser based editor. Thousands of themes exist for WordPress, so you can quickly have a professional looking site, and there are over 55,000 WordPress plugins you can install to add functionality to your website. Read our WordPress review to see what we’ve done with the company’s website builder.
WordPress is a great choice for quickly getting a fully functional website. However, security is a concern on WordPress sites. The software itself is considered relatively secure, but the themes and plugins are all developed by separate people, so bugs and security holes are often introduced. WordPress is the most hacked CMS in the world.
While WordPress itself is free, premium themes and plugins are not. You should also update the software regularly as security vulnerabilities are fixed, which can inadvertently render a theme or plugin on your site inoperable until it has been updated.
Finally, while selling products on a WordPress site is possible, WordPress was not designed for e-commerce. If you sell products online, consider a more ecommerce-focused CMS like Shopify.
- Thousands of themes
- Powerful plugins
- Easy multi-creator blogging
- The cost of plugins may increase
- Better options exist for ecommerce sites
- Safety is a concern
Website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace create website code for you. You don’t need to know anything about website development to use a website builder because all you do is drag and drop whatever elements you want onto the page.
The other major benefit of using a website builder is speed. You can build a website much faster using a website builder than if you code each page yourself.
Unfortunately, website builders are pretty simplistic, so you’re limited to specific generic templates. Adding features to your site that are not inherently part of the website builder tool is a challenge, which makes scaling your site later a problem.
Finally, the code of the created website is machine generated, so it can be difficult for a web designer to work with. This makes it difficult to transfer your website to other platforms, essentially preventing you from using the website builder forever.
Website builders are a good choice for small, basic websites that won’t need to grow into something bigger in the future, but their limitations make them a bad choice for everything else.
- Fast website creation
- At low price
- No technical knowledge required
- Difficult to transfer the code
- Cookie cutter designs
- Poor scalability
Web Hosting vs WordPress vs Website Builder: Which is Better?
In conclusion, you can see that despite comparing the three different areas of web building, the elements of each are better than the competition, but all three make it possible to build websites in one way or another. It depends entirely on what you and your business are looking to achieve, whether it is e-commerce, blogging, a high capacity webpage, or all three.