Should You Build a WordPress or HTML Site?

HTML vs WordPressAfter people make the decision to build a website for their business many struggle with the decision on what type of site to build. The truth is it depends on what your skill level and goals are to determine what type of site you really need. After years of experience building Web sites I’m going to break it down and give you some information to help you make the best decision….for YOU!

HTML vs WordPress

Back in the day the only option was to build a site that was handcoded or with a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) type editor such as DreamWeaver (Paid) or CoffeeCup (Free).  Things have really changed with the rise of different CMS (Content Management Software) solutions. There is debate on which type of site the search engines like better as far as SEO goes. The most important things to have on any site you build are a mobile optimized version (either responsive or separate mobile version) and important pages like a contact page and policies page. You will also need Web hosting and a domain name for both methods that are described below.

So the question is should you build a website with HTML or WordPress? What are the advantages and disadvantages to each approach?

HTML Websites

HTML Websites can be built from scratch or with a template. The best way to build an HTML site as of this writing is to use a framework such as Twitter Bootstrap that is grid based and an editor such as DreamWeaver to build and manage the site. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this approach.

PROS

  • Simple to setup and install on a Web server
  • More secure since there usually is not a database
  • Easier to maintain over time
  • Free or extremely cheap to build a site
  • Lightweight and not resource intensive

CONS

  • Even when using an editor it may require ‘coding’ or editing by hand
  • Harder to add functionality

There are a lot of quality HTML templates available on the Web that are both free and premium with a cost. Again, I recommend using a framework like Twitter Bootstrap as your foundation.

WordPress Websites

When I talk about building a WordPress site it involves installing a database, the WordPress software and any themes or plugins to make it look a certain way and function as you want. While HTML sites can be very simple….you can build a WordPress site for anything from one page landing or squeeze pages up to full blown ecommerce sites. Let’s now take a look at the pros and cons of WordPress sites….

PROS

  • Best for blogging but can be used to build just about any type of site
  • Quickly change appearance and functionality with themes and plugins
  • Easy to update with Web based admin
  • Huge community of developers

CONS

  • Installation may be challenging if you are not tech savvy
  • Database that needs to be maintained and backed up
  • Harder to keep secure (must keep up to date to avoid being hacked)

So Which type of Website Do I Recommend?

As a Web designer, freelancer, and business owner I have built quite a few sites over time. I made the switch to building sites primarily with WordPress some time ago mainly for the ability to rapidly build out multiple sites and add functionality with just a few clicks of the mouse. It is amazing the things you can do with a WordPress site and the flexibility is impressive.

For internet marketing, most others also are using WordPress for its simplicity and features. You can go 100% free if you want and still build something great but you will probably find that a premium theme or plugin will be necessary to make things just the way you want. This will still save you a bunch of time and money compared to paying a programmer to add some functionality if you are unable to do it yourself.

WordPress Installation Service

If you are computer savvy and know your way around the internet then installing WordPress may not be an issue for you. You can use something like ‘Fantastico’ that is included with many cPanel installations to automatically create the database and install WordPress.

If you are not technically inclined I invite you to check out my WordPress Installation Service that I offer for a reasonable price. You will get a premium theme and the best WordPress plugins installed with a quick turnaround time.

Get WordPress Installed Here

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5 Comments

  1. Hello Steve

    Good comparison as someone who handcoded their first few sites, I can honestly say that once I was told about WordPress, I was more than happy to make the switch.

    The experience and skill set required to build, manage, maintain and secure a WordPress based site is far less than for it’s HTML equivalent especially when decisions regarding new media codecs, HTML 5 and to flash/java or not are thrown into the mix.

    igor

  2. All great points Igor…we have some great tools available as marketers.

  3. Great info there Steve

    I build all of my sites in WordPress these days.

    All the accumulated HTML, CSS, PHP & MySQL knowledge sure comes in handy when I want to make some tweaks 🙂

    If anyone asks me how I suggest they start, I always point them towards WordPress nowadays. I often hear ‘…but isn’t that just for blogs? I want to build a website’. Just showing them some examples (both mine and top commercial websites online that use WP) always makes their mind up for them.

    ~Kevin
    Kevin Barham recently posted…My First Green Screen | Quick Start ChallengeMy Profile

  4. Steve, WordPress sites are much easier for the novice to create but it is important to understand HTML especially if you are in to PLR products. Sales pages are easier to modify in HTML than to re create in WordPress.
    The one issue I have had with WordPress is finding the right theme. I am sure I am not alone in saying that I have spent hundreds of dollars on themes. I finally broke down and purchased Optimize Press which allows me to create what I want. I also use Thrive Themes themes and plugins. Great Post!

  5. Good point on simple landing and sales pages. Knowing html is beneficial for updates. There are many landing page builders like you mentioned such as optimizepress, instabuilder etc.

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