Website development on WordPress versus other technologies

SEO services UK

What are the pros of cons of website development on WordPress? I am always getting asked which website building approach is best for my business and what are the advantages of Website development on WordPress?  In this article, I will introduce some of the most popular website building techniques and compare them with coding from scratch and website development on WordPress

The first decision you need to make is to decide if you are going to code from scratch or adapt a template.  Using templates is a faster and less expensive approach whereas coding gives you a great deal of flexibility on website functionality and customisation. 

I have not covered all the web development solutions on the market as there are so many and I have simply handpicked a number to give you an idea of the options available.

Coding from Sctrach with Laravel

Laravel – Wikipedia

Websites and web applications developed from scratch are commonly developed using Laravel, which is a reliable open-source PHP framework.   Coding a website from scratch allows much more freedom and customization, however, it is significantly more expensive and a very timely route.   This approach is necessary for large and complex web development projects.  

Pros

  • Flexibility in design and functionality
  • Stability for large scale sites
  • Works with databases more efficiently

Cons

  • Timely
  • Expensive
  • Requires coding experience and skills
  • Additional design costs

When to use Laravel

  • Very complex web applications
  • Dynamic websites with flexible back-end systems
  • Membership-based platforms that process a lot of information
  • Large-scale eCommerce websites with 10,000+ products

Website development on WordPress

Create your stunning website on WordPress.com

Website development on WordPress is great if you want complete control over your website.   It gives you the website building software and web hosting in one package and it offers more customisation options than any other method. 

It is the top content management system (CMS) and website builder on the internet. It’s used by over 32% of all websites, which means every third website currently on the internet was built on WordPress. Many of the biggest brands in the world are using WordPress actively for their websites.

There is amazing number of built-in themes and plugins, which makes it extremely cost-effective to develop professional and elegant websites on a budget and scale as your business grows.  There are many themes and plug-ins available for every type of website, category, and niche.

What does it cost?

WordPress hosting packages will start from as little as £6 per month and you will also need to buy an SSL certificate to secure your site.  You will then need to either design your site in WordPress or apply an already designed theme.  Beautifully designed themes are relatively inexpensive and cost anywhere between £10 to £100 depending on the design and functionality required.  The learning curve for WordPress is steep so you might want to consider getting an expert to help you.

Pros

  • Control over your site
  • A very wide selection themes available
  • In-expensive hosting costs
  • Almost anything can be achieved!
  • Works with databases
  • Full SEO

Cons

  • Requires experience to use
  • Themes can be restrictive sometimes (if you don’t know how to code)
  • On-going maintenance costs

When to Use website developments on WordPress

  • SEO-friendly business website
  • Online portfolio integrated with social networks
  • A functional and presentational website for professional or personal use
  • A blog, news portal or a platform with a heavy load of written content
  • A simple on-line shop or a mid-size eCommerce website

Wix

Free Website Builder | Create a Free Website | Wix.com

Wix makes it easy to build elegant and highly functional websites. Sites are extremely customisable as it has a drag-and-drop website builder with many pre-designed themes and hundreds of apps.   Wix sites are subscription-based and they offer fairly in-expensive packages starting from around £10 per month.

Wix is very easy to ‘get the hang of’ and when you start building your site, you will find design features available to support you in making the look and feel of a professionally designed website. 

Pros

  • Easy to use interface (drag and drop website builder) 
  • Easy to customise
  • Wide variety of themes and apps

Cons

  • Flexibility (unable to move site content)
  • Restricted number of plug ins
  • Some negative customer reviews

When to Use Wix

  • Online portfolio integrated with social networks
  • A functional and presentational website for professional or personal use
  • A blog, news portal or a platform with a heavy load of written content
  • A simple on-line shop or a mid-size eCommerce website

Square Space

Website Design – The Leader in Website Design – Squarespace

Square Space is another drag and drop website builder that will help you build an on-line store or blog.  It is another subscription-based service and offers packages starting from around £12 per month.  One of the best features of Square Space is that is has built in functionality to support on-line stores.  For example, you can take payments from your customers, create customer gift vouchers and track customer activity, which other website builders would need additional plugins for.

Pros

  • Easy to use interface (drag and drop website builder) 
  • Elegant on-line store and blog templates
  • Great for smaller on-line stores

Cons

  • Not as intuitive as other website builders
  • Limited number of themes (28)
  • Average SEO

When to Use Square Space

  • A simple on-line shop or a mid-size eCommerce website
  • Blog

Go Daddy

Websites + Marketing | Grow Online with a FREE Website – GoDaddy UK

Go Daddy is a ‘cheap and cheerful’ yet speedy menu-based website builder.  It’s very speedy as the options you have for customisation are extremely limited.  It creates ‘average’ looking sites as it has limited customisation options.  It is by far one of the most affordable options for organisations on a ‘shoestring’ budget who just want a simple web presence.

Pros

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Great for no frills simple sites
  • Good technical support
  • Includes 365 email and domain name

Cons

  • Limited number of themes (19)
  • Limited options for customisation 
  • Cannot apply plug ins

When to Use Go Daddy

  • For a very simple website
  • When you have no technical knowledge
  • Simple blogs

Webflow

Responsive web design tool, CMS, and hosting platform | Webflow

Webflow is a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to website design. Their philosophy is “smart codelessness” and aims to bridge the design/ development gap by allowing designers to create professional and custom websites on a completely visual canvas.   You can achieve beautifully designed and highly functional websites using Webflow, however, it’s fairly complex to use if you are unfamiliar with ‘design’ software.  Like WordPress the learning curve for Webflow is steep.  There are a number of tutorials available, however, you would most likely need to employ an expert to help you.

Pros

  • High speed hosting
  • All in one platform (hosting, design and build)
  • Scalable solution as your business grows
  • 100+ responsive themes
  • Ecommerce

Cons

  • Very steep learning curve
  • Confusing and expensive pricing plans

When to use Webflow

  • On-line shops (any size as uses Amazon platforms)
  • A functional and presentational website for professional or personal use
  • Online portfolio integrated with social networks
  • A blog, news portal or a platform with a heavy load of written content

Google Sites

(Google My Business – Drive Customer Engagement on Google)

Google Sites are created and managed within Google my Business and are great if you need a very basic informational website.  Designs are incredibly simple; however, it offers a free and easy solution for very small businesses that want to get online extremely quickly.  So, the only real advantage, other than it being free, is that Google prefers Google Sites, which means you increase your chances of a higher ranking on Google.   

Pros

  • Search Engine Rankings
  • Free (via Google my Business)

Cons

  • Basic site development
  • Sites are not very pretty
  • Extremely limited functionality

When to use Google Sites

  • For quite simple informational sites
  • If you have no budget or technical knowledge

Contact Magic Caterpillar for more information on how we can help you with website development on WordPress or any other technologies mentioned. jo.welland@magiccaterpillar.co.uk

Author – Joanne Welland

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