Discover when you should use a DIY Website Builder or a Self-Hosted instance of WordPress.

Should You Use A DIY Website Builder or Self-Hosted WordPress?

There are several differences between WordPress and DIY website builders. They have tradeoffs when it comes to ease of use, scalability, and flexibility. WordPress is a content management system, not a website building platform. That means it has a great deal of flexibility, but it comes at the price of needing a technical understanding of WordPress. Of course, you can sign up for a managed WordPress hosting plan from a reputable company like Verpex that will take care of many tasks, but this will cost you a little bit more money. On the other hand, DIY website builders are designed to be used by people who have no knowledge of coding or web development. The simple drag-and-drop features make it easy to create a website. But this also means that your finished website is not likely to be scalable or flexible.

Using DIY Website Builders for a Business Site

Let’s begin the discussion with a look at DIY website builders. You may have come across a few like Wix or SquareSpace over the course of your internet browsing. Several excellent reasons make platforms like these so popular. You don’t need to know much about website development or design or coding. You can simply sit down and build one on an average laptop or Macbook and Spectrum internet. However, there are also many constraints that could make them a poor choice depending on the size and nature of your business. However, more on that later. Here are some pros and cons of using a DIY website builder to create a business website:

The Advantages

The biggest advantage that DIY website builders offer is that there is a really short learning curve. Essentially, you can create a website with zero knowledge of web design or development. All you need is an eye for aesthetics and the ability to drag and drop templates to your liking. That saves you the trouble of having to hire a developer or UI/UX designer and facing mounting project costs.

The time in which you can create a functioning website is dramatically little on website building platforms like Wix. The drag-and-drop features and templates mean you don’t have to spend valuable time in coding, ensuring front-end and back-end integration, or testing each feature. DIY platforms offer a very quick turnaround time by eliminating several key bottlenecks in the website development process.

Finally, one important reason for businesses to choose a DIY website builder is that they cost far less than a full-scale development. You don’t need to hire specialized talent to create one. And most of these DIY builders offer hosting along with your subscription. This makes it very inexpensive to create, maintain, and host a website.

The Disadvantages

Of course, like everything else, DIY website builders have a flipside. There are several inherent constraints that might make them a poor choice. The biggest disadvantage by far is that DIY builders offer very little flexibility. These platforms have defined templates, which makes it very difficult to add new features or changes to the template. These templates are designed for specific business models, such as restaurants or smaller firms. You will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to deviate from the template you chose as your business begins to grow and scale-up.

Another key constraint is the lack of compatible plugins for websites built on DIY platforms. Of course, there are a few useful plugins that the platforms offer. But they’re usually designed in-house. For third-party plugins, you may have a hard time with compatibility and integration. This severely limits your ability to add new features and useful add-ons that can improve your website performance.

Finally, a huge problem with DIY website builders is that restrictive hosting. They do allow you to host your website on their servers, but you can’t move it anywhere else. For example, if you decide to revamp your site using another builder, you won’t be able to transfer your existing site over to that platform. That’s a big constraint, especially if you plan on expanding into e-Commerce down the road, which many platforms don’t offer hosting for.

In Summary

Businesses choose DIY website builders because they offer:

  • No need for technical knowledge.
  • Quick turnaround times.
  • Much lower costs.

Businesses may face problems using DIY website builders because of:

  • Lack of flexibility or scalability.
  • Very few plug-ins and add-ons available.
  • Website hosting cannot be moved from the platform’s servers.

Using Self-Hosted WordPress for a Business Site

WordPress is one of the largest and most popular content management systems available on the internet today. It accounts for more than 30% of all websites on the internet. While WordPress does offer the option of installing and hosting your website for you, you can also choose to opt for self-hosting. The second option is far more comparable to DIY website builders, so we will be directing our focus accordingly.

WordPress websites offer a large degree of flexibility and versatility in design. They also work well with the large majority of web plugins in use by modern businesses today. However, developing a self-hosted WordPress website can involve a very large learning curve, which poses its own problems. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of self-hosted WordPress business websites below:

The Advantages

The most important advantage of building a self-hosted website on WordPress is the large number of design options it offers. The platform includes a large number of free themes, as well as a curated selection of paid ones. Switching elements between themes or customizing them is also much easier, making WordPress by far one of the best web platforms for your design needs.

Another big advantage is the flexibility it offers in customizing your website’s appearance and functions. If you know how, you can add a large number of features to your website that can improve the user experience. That makes it more easily adaptable to your specific business needs.

Finally, a huge advantage of using WordPress is the immense versatility of the platform. It can be used for a range of purposes, from personal blogs to an online store. Of course, you will need some technical knowledge of the platform, but you can scale it up, add new features, or upgrade it as your business expands and grows.  

The Disadvantages

The biggest and most obvious disadvantage of using WordPress is the need for in-depth programming knowledge. If you’re starting out without any prior coding or learning experience, you may find building a website on WordPress to be extremely frustrating.

The backend editor poses a problem when developing business websites on WordPress. The editor only allows you to see a preview of the changes you make, instead of letting you view them in real-time. However, certain plugins allow you to add a front-end editor for easier editing.

The most important disadvantage for businesses using WordPress to build a website is the cost factor. The platform itself is free to use. However, if you don’t have the technical skills needed, you may need to look into hiring a WordPress developer. It is also costlier to maintain if you’re hosting the website yourself. The maintenance and updates mean you will probably need to hire a full-time developer.

In Summary

Self-hosted WordPress websites can be a good option because of:

  • Flexibility and design options.
  • Extensive customizability and plugins.
  • Versatility to meet a range of uses.

However, a self-hosted WordPress website has its own disadvantages, including:

  • Needs extensive technical knowledge.
  • Difficult and time-consuming back-end editing.
  • High costs of development, installation, maintenance, and upgrades.

So Which One Should You Choose?

There is no easy answer to this question. The answer depends on many factors, such as the size and nature of your business, the availability of reliable internet services, and appropriate customer care, such as the Spectrum Phone Number. However, these are just the factors that shape your needs. The actual choice of platforms depends on how you interpret those needs.

A DIY website builder is a good option when you:

  • Have no coding experience.
  • Don’t require high traffic.
  • Have a small budget to spend on development.
  • Need to launch the site as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t require too many features or functions.

On the other hand, a self-hosted WordPress website is best when you:

  • Don’t have to urgently create a live website.
  • Need a complex or large website.
  • Need a website with customizability and scalability.
  • Are intending to gather large traffic volumes.
  • Need extra features and functions.