I’m often asked about the core differences between setting up WordPress and do-it-yourself website builders. It’s a basic question but definitely one worth answering. Understanding how these different website environments are setup will go a long way in helping you decide which is right for you.
Check out my video below OR if you’re at work and can’t turn up the volume, keep reading below 😉
Assuming You Have A Domain Name…
So, let’s assume you have your domain name – your web address where your site will be located. With the domain in place there are two basic elements still at play: Software and Hosting. Software = the application you use to build your site Hosting = where you store your site and make it visible across the internet.
WordPress – Software and Hosting Separate
When it comes to WordPress, those two basic elements, software and hosting, are separate. In this case, what you download from WordPress.org is the software itself. Now you need to find a place to host this software. Your options here are quite broad. There are actually hundreds of hosts. That’s a lot to choose from! No need to feel overwhelmed, though, you can always pair it down to the most common and popular like Bluehost, HostGator, and Liquid Web. Most will run you somewhere between $5-10/month.
So there is an investment in hosting, but being able to pick and choose can help you control costs and give you the flexibility you desire. For some additional help, you can check out my blog post on different types of hosting. WordPress may be a bit more complex, but I’ve tried to make setting up your hosting easy. Check out my video HostGator WordPress INSTALL – Step by Step, DONE in Five Minutes for a quick guide.
Website Builders – Software and Hosting Combined
Website builders like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix have become increasingly popular due to a huge advertising push. When you have both John Malkovich and Jeff Bridges pushing your product you know you’re doing something right! Unlike WordPress, these builders offer a one-stop shop for software and hosting as they are both included in your subscription fee. The obvious benefit to this is that it’s a package.
And like WordPress with its hundreds of hosting options, there are hundreds of website builder options as well. Some even have free options with paid upgrades as you need them. I offer a bit of help on making your website builder choice through detailed reviews of the big three I mentioned above and more. Click the links below to learn more about each or check out the website builder category on my blog.
With their built-in software and frequent upgrades, website builders are growing fast. They are less complicated but WordPress still maintains its place as one of the most versatile ways to create a site for yourself and/or your business. So ultimately, the basic difference in the setup of these two options is that you’re looking at a piece-it-together process with WordPress versus a complete package when it comes to website builders. You may still need to dig deeper to choose between the two, but at least you now know the difference in how WordPress is setup vs how website builders accounts are launched.
I’m sure this brings up many questions and many of them are probably answered in my blog so please click around the categories above. Or feel free to post questions in the comments below.