WordPress has rapidly become the leading website development and management platform on the internet. This is because, as a free and open-source content management system (CMS), it’s easy to use, customizable, and relatively affordable.
But is WordPress the best option for building your website? While most people prefer to build their websites on WordPress, some prefer to create their own websites from scratch through HTML coding.
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using WordPress to create your website versus coding the site from scratch. We’ll also review some factors to consider when choosing between WordPress and coding.
- A static HTML website is created using HTML code, and its content cannot be changed unless the site developer changes the code.
- WordPress websites are more dynamic and flexible since the site owner can change the content using themes and plugins without writing any code.
- Coding offers more flexibility and control over your website but comes with a higher learning curve.
- WordPress is free, easy to use, and cost-effective, while HTML sites can be expensive and time-consuming to build and maintain.
- HTML sites are more secure and less vulnerable to security attacks than WordPress websites.
- Choosing between a WordPress and HTML site depends on your specific needs and preferences, and how much time and effort you’re willing to spend developing your website.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that enables users to create and manage a website or blog. It’s free and open-source software released under the GPL.
WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms in use today, powering millions of websites and blogs around the world. It’s a versatile platform that can be used to create a variety of websites and applications.
In addition to building a simple website or blog, WordPress can also be used to create more complex websites, including e-commerce sites, membership sites, and social networks. For a comprehensive understanding, read our guide on What is WordPress?
WordPress is available in two forms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org. To understand which one is right for you, explore our article on the differences between WordPress.com vs WordPress.org.
What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. It’s the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications.
HTML is used to structure and present content on the World Wide Web. The content is written in the form of HTML elements, the building blocks of HTML pages. The elements are represented by tags, which mark up the start and end of HTML elements.
- HTML consists of a series of short codes typed into a text file by the site author.
- These codes are interpreted by a web browser and then presented as visible webpage content.
- HTML can also be used to include images, videos, and other multimedia content on a website.
- Additionally, it can be used to create interactive forms that allow users to input data, which can then be processed by scripts such as PHP or ASP.NET.
The Difference Between an HTML and WordPress Website
If you’re a web developer, chances are you’ve been asked, “Should I build my website using HTML or WordPress?”
Let’s explore the differences between HTML and WordPress websites to help you make an informed decision.
An HTML website is a static website created using HTML code, meaning that the content on the site does not change unless the developer manually makes changes to the code. HTML websites are coded from scratch using a text editor and uploaded to a web server via FTP.
The main advantage of an HTML website is that it gives the developer complete control over the site’s look, feel, and functionality. If you know how to code, you can create a custom website that meets your needs and specifications. However, building an HTML website can be time-consuming and require a lot of upkeep.
- HTML websites are generally lightweight and load faster.
- They are also more secure than WordPress websites since hackers can’t easily get a chance to interfere with the code.
- However, these sites can be more difficult and expensive to update and maintain.
A WordPress website, on the other hand, is a static or dynamic website created under the WordPress CMS without writing any code.
Wondering what a CMS is?
A Content Management System, or CMS, is a software application used to create, edit, manage and publish digital content. CMSs are typically used for websites and blogs but can also be used for other types of digital content like mobile apps, video games, and e-commerce platforms.
WordPress websites are powered by a database that stores all your site’s content. When someone visits your site, the CMS retrieves the relevant data from the database and generates a page on-the-fly. This makes it easy to add, remove, or edit content without coding.
- WordPress handles all the behind-the-scenes work for you,
- Easier to keep up-to-date without putting in much effort.
- The downside is that because it relies on themes and plugins, it can be less secure and more susceptible to hacking attempts.
- WordPress sites can also be less flexible than HTML websites when it comes to customization.
What is a Static HTML website?
HTML code is usually written in a text editor and then saved as individual files. Those HTML files are then uploaded to a web server where they can be viewed by anyone who visits the site’s URL.
- Static HTML websites are simple to build and are usually much faster than dynamic websites since there’s no need to process any code on the server.
- A static HTML website is a good choice if you want a simple website that’s easy to develop and does not require special server-side functionality.
- It’s not the right choice if you need a website that can do more than just display information.
Does WordPress use HTML?
The simple answer to this question is: Yes, WordPress uses HTML.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to know how to code in HTML to create and manage your WordPress website. The whole point of using a CMS like WordPress is that they do the heavy lifting for you. WordPress has a built-in editor that enables you to create and edit your content without writing any code.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
While WordPress is a perfect platform for creating websites, it has its fair share of advantages and drawbacks. Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of building your website on WordPress.
Pros of WordPress
1. WordPress is free and open source
This means that anyone can use WordPress to create a website or blog without having to pay any fees. Hower
Additionally, there is a large community of developers who contribute to improving WordPress, which means that new features are constantly being added and bugs are being fixed for free.
2. Ease of use
One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is its ease of use. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can still create a beautiful website or blog using WordPress.
The platform comes with an intuitive interface and easy-to-use tools that make creating content a breeze.
WordPress is a highly flexible platform for creating and managing an effective website. It always comes in handy whether you want to create a simple blog or a complex website.
The platform also has thousands of themes and plugins to customize your site to suit your specific needs.
4. WordPress is cost-effective
Creating a website or blog from scratch can be expensive. You’ll need to pay for hosting, domain name, and design costs.
With WordPress, you can get started with a free or low-cost theme and host your site on a shared hosting or a WordPress hosting plan. This makes WordPress an affordable option for those on a tight budget.
5. WordPress is highly customizable
As mentioned, there are thousands of themes and plugins available for WordPress, which means that you can easily find one that fits your specific needs. Or you can learn how to customize your WordPress theme.
You can also hire a developer to create a custom theme or plugin for you if you cannot find anything that meets your requirements.
6. WordPress is SEO friendly
Since WordPress websites are well organized and easy to navigate, search engines like Google tend to rank them higher than other types of websites.
This means you’re more likely to get organic traffic from Google if you build your website on WordPress.
Cons of WordPress
1. Hidden costs
Despite WordPress being a free and open-source software, some hidden costs come with running a website on this popular CMS.
Some of the costs you’ll incur include buying a domain name, hosting, an SSL certificate, and buying premium themes and plugins.
Find out more about the costs associated with WordPress websites here:Is WordPress free? What is free, and what will it cost you?
2. Security issues
Since WordPress is such a popular platform, it’s often targeted by hackers looking for vulnerabilities they can exploit.
While there are ways to secure your WordPress site (e.g., by installing security plugins), note that no platform is 100% secure from hackers. Keep this in mind if you decide to use WordPress for your website or blog.
Follow expert tips to secure your website with our WordPress Security Guide.
3. Poor performance
WordPress sites can sometimes be slow and sluggish due to all the code that runs behind the scenes. If you have a lot of plugins or a complex theme, your site may load slowly and frustrate your visitors.
To keep your site at peak performance, make sure you know How to update your WordPress plugins and How to remove or deactivate plugins
4. Technical knowledge
While WordPress is easy to use, it requires some technical knowledge to set it up correctly. For instance, you’ll need to know how to install WordPress on your web server and how to configure it properly for it to work correctly.
Even once installed and configured, make sure to keep learning new skills on How to use WordPress.
Pros and Cons of a Static HTML Website
A static HTML website is a site that uses only HTML code to deliver content to the user. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of static HTML websites.
Pros of Static HTML Websites
1. Simple and easy to develop
Static HTML websites are simple and easy to develop. There is no need for complicated software or platforms. All you need is a text editor and some basic knowledge of HTML code to create such a website.
2. They are easy to host
Static HTML websites can be hosted on any web server. You do not need to worry about special hosting requirements like you would with other types of websites.
3. Fast loading speed
Websites built with HTML code are fast and lightweight. They load quickly since they don’t need to process dynamic content on the server side. This gives your site visitors a fast and responsive website experience.
4. They are secure
Static HTML websites are more secure than other types of websites because there is no dynamic content that hackers can exploit.
This makes them an ideal choice for businesses that want to protect their data and their customer’s data from potential security threats.
The Cons of Static HTML Websites
1. Difficult to update
HTML websites are not well suited for sites that require frequent updates. This is because you need to manually update each HTML file whenever you want to change it, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
2. Require technical knowledge
If you want to develop a static HTML site, you’ll need some technical knowledge. This includes knowledge of HTML and CSS coding languages as well as some experience with text editors like Notepad ++ or Dreamweaver.
3. Less flexible
Once a static HTML site is developed, it can be difficult to make changes without having to recode the entire site from scratch. This can be frustrating for owners who want to make changes on their own without having to hire a developer every time.
4. Not for complex sites
Static HTML is probably not the best choice if your site needs complex functionality.
This is because they cannot access server-side resources like databases or scripting languages. As a result, they cannot support complex functionality like e-commerce or user registration forms.
Comparison Table Between WordPress and HTML
|WordPress||CSS & HTML|
|Software||Requires no additional software beyond a web browser||Requires a text editor like Notepad++ or Atom to create and edit files|
|Coding Skills||Does not require coding skills to create a website||Requires coding skills to create and manage a website.|
|Speed||Sites can sometimes be slow and sluggish due to all the code running behind the scenes.||Sites are fast and lightweight hence high loading speed|
|Ease of Use||Easier to build and manage a website than HTML. Also has a simple interface that’s easy to use.||More complex— Requires some basic coding skills to create anything beyond a simple website.|
|Price||Creating and maintaining a website is less costly||More expensive to create and maintain a website|
|Design||Comes with pre-built designs (themes); hence you can’t create your own design.||Flexible and can allow you to create a design of your own.|
|SEO||More SEO-friendly with SEO-optimized themes and plugins||Can be difficult to rank without an elaborate SEO strategy|
|Security||Less secure— highly targeted by hackers due to its popularity||More secure since you have complete control over the code|
|Blogging||Has more functionality for creating a blog than HTML||Less suitable for blogging and sharing a lot of content|
|Maintenance||Easy to update and maintain without a single line of code||Requires you to edit the code or hire a developer every time you want to change something|
|Learning curve||Has a short learning curve since you don’t need to acquire coding knowledge||Has a steeper learning curve than WordPress to grasp the basics of HTML coding|
|Creating a dynamic and powerful website||You can easily add any features or functionality to your site by installing plugins or themes||Less dynamic and limited functionality since you have no access to themes and plugins.|
Which One Should You Pick?
As you can see, both HTML and WordPress have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
Ultimately the decision on which one to use depends on your specific needs and requirements and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into developing your website.
- WordPress might be the right choice if you’re just starting out and need a quick and easy way to create a simple website without coding.
- Coding in HTML and creating your website from scratch might be the better option if you need full control over every aspect of your site or require faster loading times.
Of course, you can only go the HTML way if you know how to write HTML codes or don’t mind spending the time learning how to code.
How to Get Started
If you decide to go for WordPress, you will need to:
Choose a web hosting provider - At Host Advice, we recommend checking out our list of the Best WordPress hosting providers to find the best deal that’s within your budget.
Install WordPress and start building your website. Refer to this article to learn how to install WordPress: How to install WordPress.
Themes and Plugins – Themes are default files that give your website the design and content layout you desire, while plugins are pieces of software you can use to extend your site’s functionality.
After installing WordPress, you’ll need to set up a theme and install some plugins for your website. You can browse thousands of themes and plugins from the official WordPress theme directory and plugins repository.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what type of website you want to create.
If you are comfortable with coding and have the time to manage a website, then we recommend you create an HTML website, which is highly customizable and secure.
However, if you are a beginner looking for an easy-to-use platform that provides a wide range of features and plugins, then we recommend you go with WordPress.
We hope this article has given you some fundamental knowledge of the differences between WordPress and HTML websites. Whichever route you choose, make sure to research your options thoroughly and find the best platform for your specific needs.
Next Steps: What Now?
Now that you know the difference between WordPress and HTML websites, here are a few practical steps you can take from this guide:
- Get hosting for your WordPress website from The Best Shared WordPress Hosting Providers of 2022.
- If you run an agency, get agency hosting from The Best WordPress Hosting Providers For Agencies of 2022.
- Check out our list of the best Website builders of 2022.
- Learn more about plugins
- How to customize your WordPress theme
- What are WordPress widgets
- How to Use WordPress (A full guide that’s worth reading)
- 5 Best Places to Learn HTML and CSS Online