When business owners come to us for a new website, they often ask us why we only use WordPress to build websites.
The main reasons we only use WordPress are:
- WordPress is open-source and free for anyone to use
- WordPress is easy to use, which means anyone can learn how to drive their new website.
- You own your data, and can’t be shut down (unless you don’t pay your hosting bill or are doing something illegal)
- There are thousands of free plugins and apps for increased functionality
- You can make money from Day 1 by running your own ads
What are the benefits of WordPress?
One of the reasons why we only use WordPress to build websites is because you the business owner have full control over your website, and can customise it as much as needed to suit your business.
Think of it like renting an apartment vs owning an apartment.
When you rent, you’re constrained by what your landlord will or won’t let you do. But when you own, the sky is the limit as you’re free to do as you please.
This is reason enough to feel the best website builder is WordPress, but there are so many other benefits…
With WordPress you can use free or premium themes, or even build something from the ground up that matches your vision. You can also integrate your site with so many tools (think WooCommerce for an e-com business) to help give your customers a seamless experience.
And if there isn’t a plugin or direct integration that does what you need it to do, you can be almost certain that you can connect your website to another piece of software via Zapier. With over 3000 apps at your disposal in Zapier, you can create every automation imaginable to help make your business run smoothly, without you needing to slave away over spreadsheets day and night.
Want to have a dedicated member area where your clients can sign in and access learning material? WordPress can do it. This is such a powerful way to build a community and add a recurring revenue stream to your business.
As well as functionality, the options to track and measure the performance of your website are second to none. By connecting your site to Google Analytics you’re able to set up customised goals, track which pages people are visiting, work out why people are leaving, and more.
There are very few cons to having a WordPress site, but it’s important to examine what they are.
The first is that you have to pay for hosting. We use and recommend WPEngine to our clients as they have great tools for us as designers and developers. We feel confident recommending them as they also have a wonderful support team who really understand WordPress. All of their plans support caching, CDN, SSL certification, firewall protection, malware scans, one-click backups, and easy to use restore points. With plans starting at $30/month they provide great value for money too. If you don’t already have website hosting, then here are some of our recommendations that we have found has worked really well for our clients.
The second thing to consider when choosing WordPress is you are responsible for updates to the website; both in terms of adding content such as articles, and the more technical side like ensuring your plugins are updated. To help with this, we offer WordPress support so you can focus on what you do best, while we keep your website in tip-top condition in the background.
Which Content Management System is the biggest?
In January 2020, 35.4% of all websites were WordPress sites. In February 2021 the figure jumped to 40%, according to Alexa 10 million websites data.
If you look at the top 1000 websites in the world the numbers get even better, with 51.8% of them using WordPress.
In January 2021 Squarespace overtook both Wix and Drupal to become the fourth most popular CMS (2.5% market share) but is still behind Joomla (3.4%), Shopify (5.3%) and of course, WordPress.
But how does WordPress compare against the other major players such as Wix, Joomla, Drupal, Webflow and Squarespace?
Let’s take a look…
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com – Which Is Better?
Ok, this is where most beginners get confused, as it seems like they’re the same thing, but they’re not!
If you’re a hobby blogger and just want to keep an online diary to keep friends and family updated, then WordPress.com is a super cheap solution that you can have up and running in minutes.
A WordPress.com site is free up to 3GB in size, then after that, you need to purchase a paid plan (starting at $48USD/year) to give you more space.
You also won’t need to worry about updating plugins or making site backups, as WordPress.com will do that for you.
However, if you’re running a business there are a lot of disadvantages to using WordPress.com which could hold your business back.
- WordPress.com will run ads on your site, and on a free plan, you won’t see any of that revenue. If you don’t want your readers to see those ads, you will need to purchase a paid plan.
- You are not allowed to sell advertising space on your website, which severely limits your options for generating income.
- You cannot access any plugins that you can use on a free WordPress.org site. A WordPress.com site comes with limited built-in Jetpack features, but that’s all. If you buy a $300/year Business plan you can access a sample of compatible plugins, or for $5000 a month (yes, month) the VIP program lets you install all plugins. For context, our website builds start at $6,000, meaning you could access all plugins for 1/12 of the cost.
- WordPress.com sites don’t support customised themes. You can choose from a handful of free themes (with limited customisation), then pay to access premium themes.
- With a free plan, you’re limited to WordPress.com stats. You can only add Google Analytics with a business plan.
- You get a branded domain with a WordPress.com site, such as yourwebsite.wordpress.com, unless you choose a paid plan (are you noticing a theme here?)
- WordPress.com can delete your site (meaning you lose all your content and your online footprint) if they deem you have violated their Terms of Service.
- Your site will have an unprofessional looking ‘Powered by WordPress.com’ link, which can only be removed by upgrading to a paid plan, of course.
- WordPress.com does not support any e-commerce platforms, payment gateways, or membership tools.
Which WordPress version is best?
While getting something for free often seems like a great idea, as you can see, by using a free WordPress.com website you pay with limited functionality, limited ways to earn income, and a site that makes your business look more like a hobby.
On the other hand, if you’re a business owner that wants to be able to have functionality such as a shopping cart, be able to customise your website, and potentially even use advertising as a source of revenue, then WordPress.org is the best option for you.
Can I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?
We often speak with business owners who set up a website on WordPress.com, grew their site, then started to realise it was no longer fit for purpose.
The first question they always ask is ‘can I move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org?’
The good news is yes, you can! If you would like to make the switch, contact us today so we can help you through the process.
WordPress vs Wix – Which is Better?
Wix makes great TV commercials that show people how quick and easy it is to set up a website that will have people lining up to throw money your way.
But is it marketing spin, or do Wix websites compare favourably to WordPress and other solutions?
When it comes to pricing, Wix is a lot like the WordPress.com option.
You can have a free Wix site, but it comes with Wix branded ads, a Wix branded domain name like username.wix.com/yourbusinessname, and you can’t integrate tools like Google Analytics or an eCommerce store.
So a free Wix site may be handy for a personal blog, not so good for a professional business website.
Again a lot like WordPress.com you can pay to upgrade. If you want to have a store, the Business Basic plan is $18USD a month, or if you want to offer multiple currencies to shoppers, the Business Unlimited plan is $28USD a month.
Is Wix easy to use?
Something that appeals to many Wix users is you can set up a website without knowing how to code, making it ideal for beginners.
Wix has a drag and drop builder you can use to drop elements onto your site, add content, then move it around if you’re not happy.
This is easier than using WordPress, however, WordPress does have powerful builders like Beaver Builder that offers a lot more features than Wix.
This is why we use Beaver Builder in all our WordPress website builds, the power and simplicity cannot be matched.
Do Wix templates look professional?
Wix has over 500 pre-designed templates, all of them are mobile responsive and written in HTML5.
You can then use their tools to customise the design and change the layout.
One huge disadvantage with Wix templates is that once you have chosen one, you can’t change it.
You can modify it using Wix in-house tools, but you can’t change it. Ever.
With only 500 templates to choose from, there is a good chance other people or businesses are using the same theme as you, which makes your project look more like a hobby than a professional place of business.
When you compare this to WordPress and the thousands of themes available, plus the ability to change the theme if you grow, pivot, or rebrand, WordPress is the more professional choice.
Does Wix integrate with plugins and apps?
Wix currently has over 200 apps and plugins that it integrates with, covering big-ticket items such as contact forms, social media buttons, and email marketing.
In comparison, WordPress has over 55,000 free plugins, as well as a host of premium plugins.
If you can think of a feature you want to have on your website, there is a good chance WordPress has a plugin to suit your needs.
Is Wix good for blogging?
Setting up a blog on Wix is simple. After you have created your site you can easily drop in a blog section, and set up common blogging functionality such as tags, categories, add photos or videos, and make an archive.
There are a lot of downsides though, such as no native commenting (comments go through Facebook), no ‘featured image’ to display, and no ability to backdate posts.
The Wix writing interface for blogs is also very simple, which means as you develop your skills and want to improve your on-page SEO to rank better, you simply can’t.
Can I move from Wix to WordPress?
In theory, yes, you can move from Wix to WordPress. In practice, it is a difficult process.
You can export your blog posts in XML format, but all your pages, images, and videos would need to be manually downloaded then uploaded to a new site.
That is time-consuming, expensive, and very open to error.
On the other hand, WordPress has a one-touch exporter that allows you to export your whole site in XML format, and move it all to a new host.
Is WordPress or Wix Better?
While you can have a Wix-powered website up and running in a matter of hours, the short-term enjoyment you get from seeing your project live on the internet will be short-lived, only to be replaced by the long-term pain of reduced functionality down the road.
If you plan to have an eCommerce store, or a website that can grow with you as your business grows, then choosing WordPress is your better option.
WordPress vs Squarespace – Which is Better?
When it comes to WordPress vs Squarespace you will see there are many similarities with how WordPress and Wix compare, however, Squarespace is a step up from Wix.
If you want to have a website live and you need it done fast, Squarespace is a simple solution. Where we feel it is an improvement on Wix is that it a block editor that is similar to WordPress, which means you get more layout choices.
However, Squarespace is quite limited with options in their customiser, so the limited features can become quite frustrated as you learn and grow, and need more functionality.
With Squarespace, you have to pay no matter if you’re building a personal blog or a business site, with plans starting from $12USD a month for personal use, or $18USD a month (billed annually) or $26USD month by month for business.
If you want to integrate eCommerce into your site you can, but you are charged 3% in transaction fees.
Does Squarespace have a lot of themes or templates?
While the layout for choosing a Squarespace theme is great, with options broken up into different categories of website (i.e. news, store, blog) the number of pre-made templates is limited, and the amount of customisation you can do is minimal.
You’re limited to the Squarespace customiser, which allows you to change simple things like the font you use, colours, and your logo.
Is Squarespace good for eCommerce?
It is possible to add some third-party integrations in Squarespace, but once again, they lack the ability to be customised – a strong feature of WordPress websites.
For eCommerce, you can use the built-in platform in Squarespace, but you can’t build on it at all.
Another drawback is you can only accept payment via Stripe or PayPal, and these two options aren’t available in every country, which could limit your selling power.
When compared to WordPress, Squarespace comes a distant second in functionality and usability. Adding to the landslide victory is the ability to integrate a Shopify store into your WordPress website, giving customers a seamless experience that will help you close more sales.
Can I move from Squarespace to WordPress?
As with most Squarespace features, like the ones listed above, the options to move away from their platform are limited.
With Squarespace, you can only download parts of your website as an XML file.
Your pages, galleries, and one page containing all your blog posts can be downloaded.
Your text, product pages, albums, audio, and video cannot be downloaded.
This means if you want to move away from Squarespace to WordPress not only would the website need to be built nearly from scratch, you would also have to re-build your store on a platform such as Shopify to be able to make sales again.
Is WordPress or Squarespace better?
With limited designs, limited features, and limited ways to grow your business, Squarespace may seem like a good idea when you’re a solopreneur with an idea, but as you grow, these limitations will cost you time and money, and will almost certainly hold your business back.
WordPress vs Webflow – Which is Better?
Webflow is a website builder that is quite popular with designers as it is a very visual tool, meaning you can see what you’re building as you build it.
However, it is similar to wix and Squarespace in that you’re hosting your website on the Webflow platform, which means you need to pay a subscription fee to use it (starting at $12USD a month), and pay more to access their paid upgrades.
Is Webflow easy to use?
Once you set up an account and are logged in, Webflow gives you a visual interface to design your site.
You can add your content or design, and see a live preview before publishing any changes.
This makes it quite easy to use, as you don’t need to know how to code.
Having said that, Webflow has so many features that, as a beginner, you may get overwhelmed with all the options at hand.
While you don’t need to know how to code, you do need to be familiar with concepts such as post types, post categories and tags if you want to make the most of the platform.
Is Webflow good for eCommerce?
When compared with WordPress, Webflow is quite limited in what you can do with eCommerce.
For example, you are limited to 500 products on the basic eCommerce Standard plan ($29USD a month) and Webflow will charge you a 2% transaction fee on top of any fees Stripe charge – you can only use Stripe for collecting payments on Webflow.
While it is simple enough to add products to Webflow through their online form, you can only use it to sell digital products like software, music, and ebooks – there is no functionality to sell membership or subscription services.
Does Webflow have many integrations?
This is a sticking point for us, as Webflow offers only a limited number of integrations with third party applications.
Some of them work intuitively, but for most of them you will need to find a tutorial and work out how to install it.
Also, if you take your website from Webflow to another provider, most of the integrations will break and you will need to troubleshoot them individually.
Is WordPress or Webflow better?
Given the lack of integrations, the limited options for eCommerce (not to mention the extra charges) plus the fact all the important integrations like contact forms would break if you ever move your site to another platform, we can say with confidence that WordPress is a much better, cheaper, and safer option than Webflow.
WordPress vs Joomla vs Drupal – Which is Better?
While the other platforms we have compared, such as Wix and Squarespace, are quite different platforms to WordPress, Joomla and Drupal share several similarities with WordPress, making it an intriguing comparison…
When we look at which is better between WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, we notice that all three have quite similar technology and company philosophies.
All three of them are free and open source.
All three are mainly written in PHP.
All three support MySQL as their database management system.
All three use themes or templates for the front end display, and plugins in the back end.
While they all have these core similarities, there are some fundamental differences that really do affect user experience.
Is Joomla easy to use?
We know that WordPress and the ‘five-minute install’ is easy to use and get set up, but sadly, Joomla isn’t as simple, although it does have similar steps to WordPress.
After Joomla is installed you are taken to a control panel, which is where things get tricky – it’s just not as intuitive as the WordPress control panel.
Some may argue that this is because Joomla is (allegedly) more powerful than WordPress, but with thousands of plugins and integrations with anyone you can imagine, any difference in power would be marginal at best, and not worth the extra headaches.
Is Drupal easy to use?
Drupal has a similar installation process to WordPress and Joomla – download their package then run the script.
After that, life gets complicated if you’re a Drupal beginner.
While Drupal makes it easy to add content to the website, finding how and where to change the appearance, look, and feel of the site certainly is not.
Themes and Plugins
WordPress has thousands of themes you can use to make your site unique, which means finding something specific to your needs is usually quite straight forward.
Joomla utilises the same ‘theme’ approach, however, the number of themes available to choose from is a lot less than WordPress, which means finding the perfect template for your project could be a challenge.
Likewise, Drupal has the same problem here as Joomla.
Not only do both Drupal and Joomla have fewer options, adding them to your site is harder as well.
In WordPress, you can search for and install most themes and plugins from your admin area, but with Drupal and Joomla you need to manually search for templates, then install them by adding your websites URL. Clunky!
Is WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal better?
WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal all provide excellent content management systems, and Joomla and Drupal have more features already built into their offering than WordPress does.
But, and it’s a big but, WordPress is so much easier to use if you’re a beginner (or even have intermediate website knowledge), it has so many more themes, plugins, and integrations available, and has a huge global community of people using the platform and helping to make it better every day.
WordPress has over 50,000 plugins, meaning you can add functionality to your website without having to know how to code.
For a business owner who wants to be able to move fast by adding their own content and plugins, we think WordPress wins this battle every time.
Why do we only use WordPress to build websites?
We only use WordPress to build websites because after building sites across every niche you can imagine, we have found that three key drivers form part of every business owners vision.
- A website that is simple to update
- A website that can grow as their business grows
- A website that is as unique as their product or service
When compared to the other platforms out there, WordPress provides all this, and more.
If you’re ready to get started with WordPress, or would like to see if we can move your existing site across to a new WordPress site, contact us today and let’s take the first steps in growing your business with you.