When it comes to creating a new website, there are a number of options open to you or your business: web hosting, WordPress, and website builders. All three methods can be used together, so they are not mutually exclusive options for building a site: but it helps to have each service defined so you know where to start.
If you choose to build a site using one of the best website builders, you need to decide how much of the work you will do and how much you will outsource to developers or experts. The best approach for a site will depend entirely on how much time you can spend, the level of control you want over construction, and the amount of technical knowledge you have.
If you are creating a site yourself or with a web design company, you will need to buy web hosting from one of the best web hosting services. Here, you rent disk space on a remote computer server, onto which you upload your site files, allowing visitors to access your site from all over the world.
However, if all that seems too complex or too complicated, there is a third option in content management system (CMS) software, which simplifies the creation of web pages. WordPress is the best known CMS and has a particular focus on blogging sites. You can create and publish a WordPress site in minutes or hours, even with no web development experience.
In this comparison feature, we discuss and evaluate these three options, pitting web hosting vs WordPress vs website builders and exploring their relative pros and cons for site building.
Web hosting vs WordPress vs website builders: web hosting
When you buy web hosting, you get storage space online and the rest is up to you. Buying a web host gives you the most control over your website’s performance, but it invariably increases the amount of work you need to do to get your website off the ground.
Having your own web host from scratch makes it easy to add additional features to your website as your business grows. You are also not obligated to use any software.
Hosting providers often have one-click installers for popular CMS that can save you a lot of time. Most companies don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so it makes sense to use tools that make it easy to create and manage your site rather than creating everything from scratch.
- Maximum flexibility
- A large number of providers
- Scale well
- Requires technical expertise
- Longer development cycle
- Greater 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 WordPress website builder, which can be installed as plugins. Read our WordPress review for a full analysis of the service.
The best part is how easy it is to build a website with WordPress through its browser-based editor. There are thousands of themes for WordPress, so you can quickly have a professional-looking site, and there are over 55,000 WordPress plugins that you can install that add functionality to your website. Read our WordPress review to see what we did with the company’s website builder.
WordPress is a great option to quickly get a fully functioning website up and running. However, security is a concern on WordPress sites. The software itself is considered relatively safe, but the themes and plugins are developed by different 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 holes are fixed, which can inadvertently make a theme or plugin on your site unusable until it has been updated.
Finally, although it is possible to sell products on a WordPress site, WordPress was not built with e-commerce in mind. 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 add-ons may increase
- There are better options 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 as all you do is drag and drop the elements you want onto the page.
The other great advantage of using a website builder is speed. You can create a website much faster using a website builder than if you were coding each page yourself.
Unfortunately, website builders are quite simplistic so you are restricted to specific generic templates. Adding functionality to your site that is not inherently part of the website builder tool is challenging, making scaling your site later a problem.
Finally, the code of the created website is generated by a machine, so it can be difficult for a web designer to work with it. This makes it difficult to transfer your website to other platforms, which basically prevents 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 poor choice for everything else.
- Quick website creation
- Low cost
- 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 allow for website building in one way or another. It completely depends on what you and your business are looking to achieve, be it e-commerce, blogging, a high-capacity website, or all three.