There was a time not too many years ago when building a website was challenging. It was expensive, it required an in-depth knowledge of code, and it was something that only a select group of people knew how to do, and even fewer knew how to do well. Those days are long gone. Now, it is possible for a person to build a website from scratch all on their own. There are a number of tools that are available to make this process easier. Two of the most popular tools are CMSs like WordPress and website builders like WIX.
What Differentiates WordPress from a Website Builder?
WordPress is the power behind an unbelievably large number of websites. Every single year countless websites are built using WordPress. Part of the reason for its popularity is its flexibility and simplicity. At the same time, with a little bit of skill and a little bit of understanding of code, WordPress is a powerful tool that can allow you to make just about every single website you currently see.
Website builders are also growing in popularity. One of the major perks of website builders is that they are just drag and drop. In fact, many website builders come with pre-designed templates. These templates have been put together by individuals who have a strong background in web design and graphic design. They have made templates that look exceptionally professional. All you need to do is add a little bit of information to them, and you have a full-fledged, up and running a website in just a couple of hours. Another benefit of popular website builders is that in addition to providing the platform for website creation, they also provide hosting.
WordPress Is King. But for How Long?
The reason we are even asking this question is because there have been a number of security breaches over the past few years. Many of them are associated with WordPress sites. This has led some to question the security of an open source CMS. And it’s true that the open-source nature of WordPress is one of its biggest advantages. However, it can also be one of its greatest vulnerabilities.
A person who has bad intentions can create a plugin with intentional vulnerabilities, giving imperious individuals access to your site. Or a person who is not as skilled with coding or simply makes a mistake can create a WordPress plugin that eventually leaves the site vulnerable.
Some have said that this is behind the decline in the popularity of WordPress and the uptick in the popularity of website builders. We should point out that WordPress does a lot to address these potential vulnerabilities. Usually, when a WordPress site is hacked, it’s because the designer did not follow basic security protocols or the individual who maintains the site fails to do simple things like using up-to-date plugins or plugins from respected sources.
All that being said, WordPress is still growing at a phenomenal rate. It doesn’t seem to be losing popularity. Sure, there are some individuals who really enjoy the plug-and-play nature of website builders, but for many of these people, especially if they are serious about building a website that is going to grow with their business, website builders have not reached the point where they offer the features and flexibility these individuals need.
Since website builders are proving to be a viable business model, more people are investing in them and coming up with ways to make them more competitive. But, for now, it seems like WordPress’s reign as king is here to stay.
What Website Builders Get Right
Website builders have done a phenomenal job on capitalizing on the wants of individuals who have a small business or have a site that they want to build that might not generate money, but it is something that they are passionate about. They allow people to create mobile compatible sites, even though they are on a budget.
One of the biggest problems we see with website builders right now is the fact that there are so many of them on the market. It is easy for a customer to get overwhelmed and then try a website builder or two based on advertisements or word-of-mouth. When those don’t work out the way they hoped, they get discouraged and then end up hiring someone to build their site if they are serious about getting it done. Or they forget the project entirely. Either way, website builders walk away with a diminished reputation.
Sometimes the frustration comes from the end user being so eager to build a website that they don’t take the time to research the features that different website builders offer. It can be frustrating to start putting together your website and then want to be able to add a photo gallery only to find that a particular web builder doesn’t offer that.
How Website Builders Could Take the Title
Before website builders are going to be able to really compete with WordPress, there is going to have to be some thinning of the herd. When this happens, the few remaining website builders will be those that have a strong understanding of what their clients want and that offer the features, the potential for growth, and flexibility that their clients want.
It seems that WordPress understands this, and that’s why recently they’ve introduced Gutenberg. Gutenberg is designed to give WordPress some of the drop and drag features that make website builders popular. If Gutenberg is received by the public as WordPress hopes it will be, it is likely that WordPress will continue to be one of the top platforms for web design for years to come.
As always, we would love to hear from you. What has been your experience with WordPress versus website builders? Do you prefer one platform over the other? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below.