Web development is always a compromise between functionality, development time, and cost. Thereby, choosing the right platform is about your priorities and capabilities. One of the most popular platforms used for web blogging services and websites of IT companies is WordPress: it is simple, which is a great advantage for inexperienced developers. So the question is what to choose in the rivalry of building a website from scratch vs WordPress website development?
WordPress is free, open-source software made by developers Mike Little and Mike Mullenweg with PHP scripting language. Mr. Mullenweg still keeps running WordPress.org, the web service that provides web design to any person who wants to create their own blog or website. WordPress has become one of the key instruments not just for beginners or amateurs of coding, but also for professional web developers. Among other tools it has started the age of accessible web development! The latest WordPress version was downloaded by dozens of millions of users.
WordPress was released in 2003 and initially was just a simple blogging platform, yet it has rapidly developed into a more advanced Content Management System.
All website content, including settings, blog posts and pages, are stored in a database. MySQL is the most popular choice of database, but some website owners may use alternative solutions.
Not so many people know that there are actually two websites for WordPress. WordPress can be downloaded from WordPress.org. This site delivers all the data on WordPress, lots of interesting tutorials as well as the WordPress community communication along with the basic WordPress software. Since one can easily install this software anywhere and effectively modify it if needed for the project, the users get a vast control over their websites. WordPress features assist very much in website administration and maintenance.
On the other hand WordPress.com that is often confused with WordPress.org has a different approach. WordPress.com is a third-party hosting service, allowing users to run their web pages for free but only as subdomains of WordPress.com. Its basic features are free-to-use, but users can upgrade their profiles to premium. That opens more options for the clients as well as provides a unique personal domain name. Unlike WordPress.org, which can be easily installed and modified, WordPress.com sites are limited to the platform’s choice of themes, and users don’t have access to the site’s PHP code or the many plugins and other themes available for use with WordPress itself. Anyway when to use WordPress is a question that has to be answered leaning on the platform’s advantages and disadvantages.
So is WordPress better than custom web development? Sometimes – yes.
- Costs – You may wonder why people use WordPress custom websites and the very first reason is budget. On average development with WordPress is twice as cheap as custom development.
- Flexibility – If WordPress has any great advantages it is its unlimited flexibility. WordPress provides access to a rich gallery of free-to-use themes that all users can choose from at any time to change the look or functionality of their website. Numerous plugins (you can find more than 50,000 of them on WP) and layouts are also available and make web development faster and easier.
- User-friendliness – Since it has started as a blogging service WordPress has a very convenient administrating interface. Sites are easy to develop and are even easier to run with WordPress.
Where there is a positive side, a negative one must also be. Cons of WordPress lie on the opposite side of its obvious advantages. For the WordPress platform those are:
- Security issues – As an open-source platform, WordPress is an attractive goal for potential hackers. Right choice of plugins and themes for your WordPress site can, however, reduce the risks. Notwithstanding all the appealing sides of the platform you should always assess the WordPress plugin’s quality and install it with circumspection.
- Speed issues – Certain themes may contain a lot of dirty code. This certainly decreases the speed of the website’s performance and causes slow load at times.
What makes this platform demanded is its suitable features. They are not unique or special, yet they are simple, understandable, accessible and easy-to-exploit. They include all the vitals for an average developer or website administrator:
- SEO optimization – WordPress provides users with an extraordinary code base for SEO. Why is it important? Because SEO helps your website to be easier-to-find by searching engines! Its content can be found via common search engines such as Yahoo, Google, Bing or others.
- Mobile-friendliness – What is awesome about modern versions of WordPress is that it has adapted to the new era of web search. Nowadays smartphones are often used for surfing the net. So being friendly and interoperable with mobile devices is definitely an important feature.
- Custom menus – On WordPress it is easy to create smart navigation menus with prettily designed links to your pages.
- Built-in blog – On a WordPress website adding blog articles is extremely simple! It is a crucial feature for the companies that want to have their own blog.
- The WordPress Block Editor – The new Block Editor has been introduced in WordPress 5.0. It is known as the Gutenberg WordPress Editor. The new editor improves the way you edit WordPress landing pages, posts and articles.
- Media file library – WordPress includes a built-in media library where you can upload and embed media files such as images or videos into your pages or posts. You can even perform basic edits to your images within WordPress.
All the mentioned features make WordPress really popular not just among some bloggers or small inexperienced web developing teams, but also appeal to a wider audience. The list includes such famous companies as the Disney Company and many other giants, not to mention thousands of smaller businesses that are all in need of custom WordPress websites.
Here are several examples of the types of websites you can build with WordPress:
- Blogs and forums – Blogs are devoted to sharing the influencer’s info like their reviews. opinions, tutorials, and more. Blogs usually display the most recently-published content first.
- E-commerce websites – Ecommerce websites for selling goods and services online and collecting payments through an online payment system. WordPress’ ecommerce plugins are very helpful.
- E-learning websites – Services meant for both teachers and students. They allow students to manage their courses or take online courses, track their progress in the institution (e.g. grades for finals), download educational resources via third-party integrations with other platforms. Professors can better exploit their time by smartly managing it. and much more from an e-learning website. WordPress LMS plugin lets developing E-learning platforms without any troubles.
- Business website – Any successful modern business needs a decent website. The classic approach is often not needed, so WordPress seems to be a decent option.
Issues developers face working with WordPress shouldn’t be neglected, but if they don’t really affect your kind of project this platform is a really appealing solution. Our professional SapientPro team has vast experience in web development of all kinds. Although we love working with advanced coding technologies and challenging projects, much of the work we do are less complicated websites that with smart development management can be done quicker and cheaper with WordPress than with any other platform. Our own website is based on WordPress and it works perfectly! This platform is a great asset for us and we love working with it, however it is not fit for the startups, where demands to data security are especially high or the interaction with users is beyond the speed capabilities of WordPress. Anyway the tech stack choice is up to you, but you can always talk to professionals!