Web Hosting vs WordPress vs Website Builder: Which is Better?

When it comes to creating a new website, there are a range of options available to you or your business: web hosting, WordPress, and website builders. These three methods can be used together, so they are not mutually exclusive options for creating a site: but it is useful to define each service, so that you know where to start.

If you choose to build a site using one of the best website builders, you need to decide how much work you will undertake and how much you will outsource to developers or experts. The best approach to a site will entirely depend on how much time you have, how much control you want over the build, and how much technical knowledge you have.

Luckily, website builders offer a solid option for creating sites when you don’t have the necessary experience. With their simple drag-and-drop interfaces, anyone can build a website, even if you don’t know HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. These builders create the underlying code for you and save you the hard work.

If you are creating a site yourself or with a web design company, you will need to purchase web hosting from one of the best web hosting services. Here, you rent disk space on a remote computer server, onto which you upload your site’s files, allowing visitors to then access the site from all over the world.

However, if all of this seems too complex or too much work for you, there is a third option in content management system (CMS) software, which simplifies the creation of web pages. WordPress is the best-known CMS and is particularly focused on blogging sites. You can create and publish a WordPress site in minutes or hours, even without web development experience.

In this comparison feature, we discuss and evaluate these three options, pitting web hosting against WordPress against website builders and exploring their relative advantages and disadvantages for building sites.

Web Hosting vs WordPress vs Website Builders: Web Hosting

HostGator home page

A web hosting service offers maximum flexibility, but expertise is required (Image credit: HostGator)

When you buy web hosting, you get online storage space and the rest is up to you. Buying a web hosting service gives you the most control over how your website will turn out, but it invariably increases the amount of work you need to do to get your website off the ground.

Having your own web hosting from the start makes it easier to add additional functionality to your website as your business grows. You also don’t have to use just one software.

Hosts often have one-click installers for popular CMSs that can save you a lot of time. Most businesses don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so it makes sense to use tools that make it easy to build and manage your site instead of building everything from scratch.

Advantages:

  • Maximum flexibility
  • A large number of suppliers
  • Balance well

The inconvenients:

  • Requires technical expertise
  • Longer development cycle
  • Increased maintenance and management

WordPress

The homepage of WordPress.com

WordPress has good flexibility and is relatively easy to use (Image credit: WordPress)

You can install the free WordPress CMS through one of the best WordPress hosting providers, or you can host your site and use a website builder for WordPress, installable as plugins.

The best thing is how easy it is to create a website with WordPress through its browser-based editor. Thousands of themes exist for WordPress, so you can quickly have a professional-looking site, and there are over 55,000 WordPress plugins you can install to add functionality to your website.

WordPress is a great choice to quickly get a fully functional website. However, security is a concern on WordPress sites. The software itself is considered relatively secure, but themes and plugins are all developed by separate people, so bugs and security holes are often introduced. WordPress is the most pirated CMS in the world.

Although WordPress itself is free, premium themes and plugins are not. You should also update the software regularly as security vulnerabilities are patched which can inadvertently render a theme or plugin on your site unusable until it is updated.

Finally, although selling goods on a WordPress site is possible, WordPress was not designed for e-commerce. If you sell goods online, consider a more e-commerce focused CMS like Shopify.

Advantages:

  • Thousands of themes
  • Powerful plugins
  • Easy Multi-Creator Blogging

The inconvenients:

  • The cost of plug-ins can go up
  • Better options exist for e-commerce sites
  • Safety is a concern

Website Builders

The Wix Homepage

A website builder like Wix is ​​fast and simple to use, but has limited scalability (Image credit: Wix)

Website builders like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace create the website code for you. You don’t need to know anything about website development to use a website builder because you just drag and drop the elements you want onto the page.

The other major benefit of using a website builder is speed. You can create a website much faster using a website builder than if you code every page yourself.

Unfortunately, website builders are pretty simplistic, so you’re limited to specific, generic templates. Adding features to your site that aren’t inherently part of the website builder tool is a challenge, making it difficult to scale your site later.

Finally, the code of the created website is machine generated, so it can be difficult for a web designer to work with. This makes it difficult to transfer your website to other platforms, essentially forcing you to use the website builder forever.

Website builders are a good choice for small, basic websites that won’t need to grow into anything bigger in the future, but their limitations make them a poor choice for everything else.

Advantages:

The inconvenients:

  • Code difficult to transfer
  • Die-cut patterns
  • Poor scalability

Web Hosting vs WordPress vs Website Builder: Which is Better?

In conclusion, you can see that despite comparing the three different areas of web building, the elements of each are better than those of the competitors, but all three enable website building in one way or another. It all depends on what you and your business are looking to achieve, whether it’s e-commerce, blogging, a high-capacity webpage, or all three.


Further Reading on Web Hosting, WordPress and Website Builders

Read our other guides to the best web hosting services, including: the best cloud hosting; the best VPS hosting; the best web hosting for cheap; the best free web hosting; and the best Windows hosting and the best Linux web hosting.

To learn more about WordPress, take a look at our comparison of website builders pitting WordPress against Wix Squarespace, and our comparison of web hosting against WordPress hosting. We’ve also outlined seven top reasons to choose managed WordPress hosting, busted five CMS myths, and discussed the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

Finally, it’s worth checking out our guides to the best e-commerce website builders and the best small business website builders.

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