A large proportion of websites run using the WordPress content management system (CMS). But what is the difference between WordPress and other site builders, such as Squarespace and Wix? The main contrasts come down to ease of use for beginners, compared with their flexibility when it comes to design and features.
Whereas building a WordPress.org site can be challenging if you are new to it, the possibilities for your website are endless once you have mastered it. When creating a site with Wix or Squarespace, they are reasonably straightforward to use, but your options are limited to the in-built features and templates.
WordPress isn’t technically a site builder. It is a CMS, but because you use it to build websites, it is worth comparing against these other methods. The method you choose depends on your confidence, your skill level, and what you want to achieve for your site. Let’s look a little closer and the difference between WordPress and other site builders.
Differences Between WordPress and Other Site Builders – The Editor
When you edit a page or blog post to add text, you will notice a big difference between WordPress and other site builders. With WordPress, you create your content in blocks on a form editor. What you see here doesn’t represent what it will look like when it goes live online; you simply input the words and pictures. However, you can always preview what that page or post will look like at any point if you want to make sure it fits the style of your website.
With a site builder like Wix or Squarespace, you usually type the words directly onto the site. They use a visual editor that shows what it looks like. You can drag and drop elements into a template, including images and video.
The site builder approach is more simple, but if there isn’t a template that suits you, you won’t be able to make it look exactly as you would like. Using WordPress, a basic knowledge of HTML (a programming language), and the many and varied plugins available for WordPress sites, you can ensure that the page looks just as you want it to once you publish it.
The Difference in Hosting Between WordPress and Other Site Builders
Hosting is essentially renting the space your website takes up on the internet. If you run a WordPress.org website, you have to first pay for this space with a hosting company. You also have to purchase your domain, which might be from the same company or another. There are various technical hoops you need to jump through in this instance, including installing a MySQL database.
For inexperienced users, this can seem daunting. However, most hosting firms will walk you through the process and have support teams available to answer your questions.
When you use a site builder, they usually include your domain and hosting in the price. The problem with this is that you can’t shop around for a better deal and, if you want to move to a different host or site builder in the future, you have to start your site again from scratch. With WordPress, you can quickly move your site between hosts, which is a significant advantage, even if it takes a little more effort when you first create your website.
Add-ons, Apps and Plugins
Once you have your basic website sorted out, there is another key difference between WordPress and other site builders. In short, it’s the extra features that add even more functionality and usefulness to your site. On a WordPress site, these are called plugins, but they could be referred to as add-ons or apps on other site builders.
They are the programs that allow you to add contact forms, place countdowns into posts, publish galleries, provide SEO tips and much more. With a regular site builder, you will maybe have a choice of a few of these additional apps, but with WordPress, there are at least 50,000 and potentially many more. A large number of these are free or at least have free versions, with the option to upgrade to pro editions if you wish.
Other site builders cannot reach anywhere near this level of customisation, which is possible because WordPress uses open-source software that anyone can contribute to. Other site builders are a closed book to most external developers, meaning that your site is less versatile.
Get a WordPress Website
The flexibility and potential of a WordPress site makes it so much more desirable than a website created using a site builder. Although it can be challenging to set up in the first place, at Delton Digital, we can do that for you. Let us take care of the tricky bits and then you can enjoy a website for your business that truly reflects the way you want to talk to your customers.
Contact us today to talk about creating your very own WordPress website.