Before picking a website builder or any software package for that matter, it is best to first understand an organization’s processes, services, and long-range goals, so that one can select the right strategic software.
Let’s compare WordPress to template-based website builders.
WordPress has many advantages, such as flexibility of functionality and design. One can add many plugins (applications) to implement additional features. Many of these are free.
Upgrading from one version of WordPress to the next is typically seamless. One doesn’t have to ‘recreate’ the website. WordPress sites have unlimited control. WordPress themes and management tools allow for extensive customization. Hosting is typically much less expensive than template-based system, especially for large websites.
Template-based systems are easier to design and quicker to showcase than WordPress. However, there are limitations on design and functionality. One has to implement within the constraints of the software. Many clients that want to implement a ‘small, easy, inexpensive’ website become disappointed by the inflexible and limited functionality, especially if they want to grow their organization’s services and improve their processes.
For some template-based systems, one has to be careful if the software upgrades are seamless. One current example is the popular Squarespace. If one wants to upgrade from v7 to v7.1, one has to recreate their website (a very difficult task for a large website with a large blog).
Owning your data
Another challenge is that template-based systems own your data. You can not easily, if at all, move your data elsewhere. There are limits in terms of number of pages that can be designed or number of products that can be sold for a low cost platform. Once you increase the number of pages or the number of products that you want to sell, the hosting costs can double or triple. If prices are increased, you typically have no choice but to continue paying since you can not move your data out.
Multiple vs One Component
With WordPress, you have multiple items to purchase or set up of free modules. This makes WordPress more complex to implement. With template-based systems, one price covers all; it’s typically an ‘all-in-one’ payment and setup, making it easier to showcase your organization more quickly.
Best of Both Worlds
One can actually have a bit of both strategies. A website designer can create a WordPress website and setup up a template that is easy for the client to update themselves if they choose to do so. This can be a great strategy for many organizations that want the best of both worlds.
Contact us to discuss which option is best for your organization.