Building a Website Is Like Buying a New Car

By Mike Johnston November 6, 2017 Articles and Editorials

If you go to Ford’s website, https://www.ford.com/, to buy a new car you can do it in one of two ways; you can buy a car from stock, or order one to your own specs.

Building your own opens all kinds of possibilities, from custom paint jobs to unique wheel trims, tinted glass, and 24-speaker stereo systems. However, once your new car is out on the streets, nobody will know it was custom-built, unless you have tiger stripes or an orange car bra added.

Building a website is the same. You can use a website builder, or you can use a CMS such as WordPress to create your site. The crucial point is that customers can’t tell the difference and don’t even care as long as you can help them with their problems.

Using a Website Builder

Some web hosting companies had begun providing simple website builders, which allow for a quick website setup in a few minutes, but that simplicity is also their downfall because it means your site can’t be scaled easily. Most business owners know they need a website, but they lack the time to learn about WordPress themes, plugins and updates: They want everything simple. And they need it yesterday.
Website builders are aimed at people who need a good-looking e-commerce site today. They are designed to be attractive to anyone who wants a website but doesn’t want the hassle of finding a good hosting plan along with the perfect web host.

Website Builders Are Simple

Users get a ‘Website in a box’ deal for less than $10 per month. The site does the job. It accepts credit cards, has beautiful pictures and appears in Google. That’s all that is required of it. There is no hosting to sort out, no thousands of themes to choose from, no endless pages of plugins that perform all manner of tasks you never knew you needed, and no designer necessary. The monthly price includes hosting, and may even include the domain name. Yes, it works out more expensive, especially if you want two or three sites, but for a business that requires a web presence, site builders work perfectly.

Using WordPress

WordPress is a V12, 12 litre, cross-country truck that you can pull levers and turn into a 45-foot RV with wings, complete with four bikes and a boat.
WordPress can build anything, from a single-page author’s site to a 92,000-page authority site on the Solar System. And if you intend to create a gigantic and ever-growing authority site with multiple authors, a membership area, and an auction site, then you are probably better using a CMS rather than an instant site builder.

WordPress Is Complicated

Building a site with WordPress is the equivalent of building your car by choosing from 7,641 options in 97 different categories. You can do it, but it takes longer than just selecting a vehicle from a dealer’s stock. WordPress isn’t the perfect CMS that fans would have you believe. WordPress sites are customizable, but you need to know what you are doing. WordPress CMS enthusiasts would have you believe it is easy to build a website using the free WordPress software. It is easier than building a site using HTML, PHP and Java code, and you can have a website of sorts live in a few minutes, but it won’t look good, and it won’t be customized with your images, colors, and logo. Sites built using a non-proprietary CMS like WordPress or Drupal can be ported to another hosting service. Websites built on one host’s site builder are impossible to switch to another host: You have to throw them away and start again if you change web hosting companies.

The Short Version

There are two common ways to build a website; using site building software or using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. If all you need is a simple site, and you need it quickly, a free website building program is a great way to get it. If you are prepared to wait for your site, or you have someone in-house who is expert at using WordPress and weighing up the pros and cons of different hosting services, then WordPress is the way to go.

Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston Author

Mike started CMS Critic in 2008 and has become a recognizable face and valued expert in the world of content management. He has worked with many small business and enterprises to establish their online presence and to assist with marketing strategies. If you are interested in working with him, drop him a line.

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