When purchasing hosting, most of the time you’re faced with two options for building your website: using a content management platform like WordPress or using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website builder. While there are several major content management platforms, WordPress is arguably the easiest to use and the most popular. Because of this, we will focus on WordPress in this article. There also is a wide world of WYSIWYG website builders out there, but they all are pretty much the same in the way they function.
What are WordPress and WYSIWYG Website Builders?
WordPress started out over ten years ago as a blogging platform but has grown since then to be used for almost every imaginable type of website. Since it is open source and built with PHP, WordPress is extremely customizable from the ground up. Since its inception, it’s also added features to make customization a breeze, such as a theme installer and a plugin installer. Due to this, WordPress has also become very popular as a newcomer developer platform.
WYSIWYG website builders got their start with the now deceased Microsoft Frontpage. Back in its day Frontpage was just as popular as WordPress is now. Nowadays there are many more WYSIWYG platforms to choose from, and they all can be used to effectively build an attractive website. WYSIWYG website builders work by presenting you with a list of elements that you can drag and drop on to the website page, allowing you to see the website as you create it.
When deciding which of these you should use, there are several key factors to consider. Which layout works best for the type of website you want to build, which design you’ll be the most comfortable with using, how much and what kind of support you’ll need, what your migration options are should you decide to move to a new web hosting provider, what add-ons and features you need if any, and how steep of a learning curve you’re prepared to tackle. Each of these factors will help you determine whether WordPress or a WYSIWYG website builder is best for you.
WordPress is designed for websites that have a lot of pages of dynamic content, or content that changes constantly. If you are planning on hosting a blog, portfolio, rich media such as videos, or a website that otherwise is rich in content, you may want to consider using WordPress for building it. WYSIWYG editors, on the other hand, are designed for more static pages that don’t change often. They are best used for personal resume websites, small business contact websites, photo albums, and other types of websites that have content that doesn’t change very often. If your website is going to be something that you set up once and forget about, then you may want to consider using a WYSIWYG website builder to create it.
There is another breed of WYSIWYG website builder we haven’t discussed here such as Wix and Weebly which handle dynamic and media-rich content well. These are website builders you may want to consider if you will be updating your website occasionally with new media. These WYSIWYG editors handle media-rich websites just as well if not better than WordPress.
The next thing to consider is which type of design you will be most comfortable with. WordPress is a click and go – that is to say, you click on the things you want to add and then they get added to your live website before you see it. If you don’t care very much about seeing an up to the minute live preview of everything you do to your website, and just want to be able to add what you want then to see what it looks like after you’re done, WordPress is for you.
However, if you like to be able to preview everything before you see it, a WYSIWYG website builder is the way to go. These builders are designed so that you get to physically add material to the webpage and see how it looks as you work on it. They are great for those who aren’t really that sure about what they want their website to look like or aren’t very confident in their decisions about the website’s content.
Another thing to consider is what kind and how much support you will need with setting up your website.
WordPress has a robust and active user community for support. There are tons of articles online about how to do or fix just about anything in WordPress. There also is a plethora of helpful user forums regarding where you can ask web development related questions for more experienced and knowledgeable users to answer. If you are a socialite, you will feel right at home with WordPress user support. You may even make some of your own contributions!
WYSIWYG website builder support is usually covered by your web hosting provider. How good that support is depends heavily on your web hosting provider. If you’re building a site using Wix or Weebly, there is also a user community to turn to for help, just like there is with WordPress, though they are not as large and well matured.
In both cases, your web hosting provider will be your frontline go-to for support, so you will want to make sure you choose a provider that offers top notch customer service and a robust knowledgebase. Hosting.Review is a great resource for finding out which web hosting providers are the cream of the crop in customer service, speed, price, and reliability. You can also find out which web hosting providers offer popular WYSIWYG website builders like Wix and Weebly instead of in house solutions, which can be difficult to find outside support for.
Another important factor to consider is if you will want to change web hosting providers in the future, and how well your website will migrate, if at all. Therefore, it is best to avoid in-house solutions for WYSIWYG website builders. If the web hosting provider goes out of business, or you decide you want to move your website, you will have to build a whole new website because no one else will offer the same platform.
WordPress, Wix, and Weebly can all be migrated. Wix and Weebly require you get a bit technical, however. WordPress, on the other hand, features a click and go migration assistant as part of its platform for posts and comments, and there are tons of plugins available to help with migrating the rest of the website’s theme and plugins.
Add-Ons and Features
Another thing to consider is if you will be needing any add-ons or features, and what those will be. Most basic add-ons and features like social media and e-commerce can be found on WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. A homegrown website builder may not include these features, though. So, if you need social media functions and/or e-commerce, it’s best to stick with WordPress, Wix, or Weebly.
If you need even more add-ons and features like MailChimp and/or Salesforce functionality, WordPress is your best bet. It has thousands of plug-ins added and supported by the WordPress community that can do anything from adding on a forum to enhancing website security. While Wix and Weebly are great out of the box solutions for e-commerce and social media functions, WordPress takes the cake for having the most features using plug-ins.
It is important to consider how steep of a learning curve you’re willing to endure for the sake of building the perfect website. If you choose a website builder that has a steeper curve than you’re willing to tackle, you may not get your website built due to burn-out. Of course, the goal here is to build a website, so it will do you no good if your website builder requires more technical work than you’re willing to do.
WordPress, although it is very user-friendly, still has a bit of a steep learning curve for website building newbies. Wix and Weebly, along with other WYSIWYG website builders, on the other hand, have a very low learning curve. Anyone can have a website up in minutes with these website builders. WordPress though may take a few days to have a website functioning the way you want it.
WordPress Has the Most Functionality
To review, WordPress has the most functionality out of all the website builders. Its PHP backend is open to heavy customization. Its user-friendly frontend also allows the user to heavily customize their website using themes and plugins. While it may take a few days to learn how to get a functioning website going in WordPress, it is still the best option for the most custom website experience. If you are wanting to have a lot of features like forums, Mailchimp integration, Salesforce integration, social media, e-commerce, and multimedia, WordPress is the best option for you.
Website Builders Are the Easiest to Use
Website builders like Wix and Weebly, on the other hand, are the easiest to use. Their what you see is what you get style functionality makes them very easy to use for anyone. You can have your website up in minutes with one of these website builders. If you don’t require a lot of custom functionality but just want to run a simple e-commerce website, multimedia website, or business website, a WYSIWYG website builder is probably the best choice for you. They are also the best choice if you don’t want to spend much time on learning how to run your website.
Make Sure You Have the Perfect Web hosting Provider
Most importantly, you want to make sure you have the perfect web hosting provider that will provide lots of support with helping you get started. Many web hosting providers offer prebuilt WordPress, Wix, and Weebly installations. This is so that you don’t have to set them up yourself or pay more money to get them hosted by their makers.
Hosting.Review can help you find the best web hosting provider for any website builder you choose to use. Their comprehensive reviews take all the most important aspects of web hosting into account, like price, support, speed, and stability. There are both professional reviews and user reviews on the site, so you can get a well-rounded look at what each web host is like and has to offer.
Web hosting providers can make or break your website. A poor web hosting provider can cause your website to be down constantly, run slowly which produces page errors and hurts SEO, or even cause it to be infested with malware. They can also make the learning curve easier or harder. Their customer support can be practically non-existent, take a long time to respond to inquiries, be rude, or even lack the knowledge they need to help you. That is why it is so important to make sure you have a web hosting provider that provides top-notch service. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either to get a web hosting provider that gives you the best service possible.
No matter your choice, make sure that you have a web hosting provider you can trust. If you do this you cannot go wrong with your website whether you choose WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or a homegrown website builder to build it with. Your website will be the best possible website it can be with a web hosting provider that supports its growth.