When building a website, from the start, those involved should decide on the exact division of responsibilities between company members and outside companies hired to provide technical knowledge and services.
The three W’s represent three possible divisions of responsibility, where outside service companies handle some aspects of website building and other business aspects.
With web hosting, a service provider sells space and access to a server (or virtual server) where the website can exist, but the content in that location is entirely up to the company to provide, which ‘it is designed by it or by another external company.
WordPress is a widely available content management system that was initially very popular with bloggers. By using it, a web-related novice can build a functional website quite quickly, and private hosting services for this platform are widely available.
The third alternative we are discussing, a website builder, is a software tool for building websites without any understanding of HTML or other technical know-how. When the site is complete and tested, it is uploaded to the hosted location and the domain name then points to that server.
An easy way to think about these different options is to imagine hosting a wedding reception. Web hosting is like renting a place, but doing all the catering yourself, so you can choose exactly what people are going to eat.
WordPress has a good selection of pre-prepared foods but doesn’t require the bride, groom, or parents to cook on the same day. And using a website builder is like ordering pizza to be delivered to the front desk.
Let’s take a closer look at what each option offers, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches.
1. Web hosting
Those who buy hosting have the greatest flexibility regarding the nature and content of their site. However, they also take on a heavier workload to deliver the final product.
Most hosting companies have some sort of website builder system that you get as part of the hosting package. But if you want to build an e-commerce solution, then chances are you’ll be using the server space to host a third-party platform, or a completely custom-built site.
What you bought is storage space and site access for web users, and the rest is yours.
- Total flexibility
- Suitable for e-commerce
- Easily upgradeable
- Requires more management and resources
- Assumes knowledge of the web
- Not for everybody
The cool thing about WordPress is that you can combine it with the web hosting option. This is because there are two versions: there is one which is hosted by WordPress and which anyone can use for free, but there is also a downloadable and installed version which you can host on company owned servers or with a web host.
The evolution of WordPress from a blogger’s tool to the jack-of-all-trades website builder that we see today has been dramatic. However, be aware that if you are looking to access the full power of this platform, it can be a daunting prospect for anyone with little to no web experience.
The biggest challenge facing anyone designing a site using WordPress is that the final look of the website can be subtly different than originally intended, due to how WordPress works and the layouts it takes. in charge.
- Easy to maintain
- Great for blogging
- Learning curve
- Not ideal for e-commerce
- May have performance issues
3. Website builder
The main advantage of a website builder tool is speed. Neither of the other two options allows you to get a website up and running in hours, but a builder can do it.
A website builder can build a complete site very quickly without any coding skills requirement, and then once it is uploaded to the hosted location, the site can go live.
The downside of such a template-based solution is that most websites created using a tool will look and function the same, which does not allow for fully customized layouts.
It can also be difficult to add features that are not inherently part of the site builder, or to have structures that do not fall under the template template, such as an eCommerce store.
However, if you are in a big hurry, a website builder might be ideal.
- Easy to use
- Requires little technical knowledge
- Can be inflexible
- The results look alike
- Scalability can be a problem
More often than not, a good web host will offer both WordPress and a website builder tool. These may be available on all of their plans or only on the former, as is usually the case. While you can save money by signing up with a web host that only offers one of the two, you agree to embrace that solution.
So, if you have decided to deploy a WordPress powered website, you should stick with managed WordPress hosting providers. But if you’re not really sure which content management system (CMS) you want to deploy, or even want to use one first, it’s best to choose vendors that offer multiple CMSs or allow you to create a website using a website builder tool.
While both mechanisms have their limitations, as we noted above, they are not as bad as you might think. We recommend that you experiment with both mechanisms to see which one works best for your particular use. In our experience, website builders are great for designing simple portfolio websites or personal blogs, while WordPress will come in handy if you want to engage with your community and encourage collaboration between them.