Krima is a multi-skilled journalist and writer with extensive print, broadcast, online, and digital experience.
The world of digital marketing is extremely profitable and dynamic, and most people that manage to start an affiliate system usually do better than they hoped. However, this business is also difficult to get into, especially for those who are just starting out. There are many moving parts that need to be considered, supervised, and, in some situations, built from scratch.
Some of these parts are more important than others, such as websites, funnels, landing pages, and autoresponders. The sheer amount of planning and construction that often goes into a digital marketing business can confuse and overwhelm some. This is especially true when it comes to building websites and webpages. While there are several website builders that are currently available on the market, most of them offer very little flexibility in terms of hosting, design, and functionality.
This leaves us with two main alternatives: using WordPress CMS or getting a custom-built website. However, each option offers different advantages, and it is safe to say that neither is perfect. WordPress, as a platform, has been around for a very long period of time, during which it has been constantly improved.
Using WordPress to Build a Website
There are currently hundreds of thousands of websites that have been built on the WordPress framework. The platform offers a modular design that enables users to add modifiable widgets and plug-ins. These can be for anything from chat systems to eCommerce stores and rating plug-ins. Generally speaking, bloggers, small business owners, and internet entrepreneurs choose to create their websites and landing pages using the WordPress framework because it is easy.
Getting a Custom-Built Website
The second option is getting a custom-built website. There are currently thousands of individuals and companies that specialize in creating custom websites and webpages. These can be made into anything the client wants and have little to no limitations in terms of design and functionality. For the most part, you will see big companies and manufacturers using custom websites.
This having been said, both of these options can create great websites; however, there are differences between them. Each of them caters to the needs of different types of individuals, and being able to make an informed decision can make a world of difference when it comes to how effective a digital marketing campaign will be.
What Are the Differences Between the WordPress CMS and Custom-Built Websites?
WordPress CMS is essentially a tool that can be used in order to develop a custom website; however, unlike coding it, you will have to follow a certain framework that is characteristic of all WordPress online publications. Think of WordPress as a digital skeleton on which you can add different modules and plug-ins until you get the needed result.
The developers of the platform have been around for a long time, and this has given them, as well as enthusiasts, the possibility to create a very large number of modules and plug-ins. It is now possible to create a WordPress website that has a chat function, a blog, an eCommerce section, and a secured payment module. However, even with this high degree of modularity, the resulting websites are still quite limited when compared to custom-build websites.
So, what are custom-built websites? Well, as the name implies, these online publications are not made on top of a predefined, limiting framework. Instead, they can be as complex as you want them to be. Generally speaking, a custom-built website is only as good as the web designer that creates it.
Unlike the websites made using WordPress, a custom one can be made to resemble anything you want. For example, if you need to market a product that needs a special type of showcasing, you might not find a WordPress module to help you with that, but a web designer should be able to create it from scratch.
So, there is a big difference between them in terms of functional flexibility, but it doesn’t stop here. The WordPress framework is widely spread and accessible to anyone interested in it. This means that anyone can get their hands on the source code, which can be a serious security issue. While it is possible to install a number of security-oriented plug-ins and to put firewalls in place, WordPress websites are usually not as secure as custom-build ones.
However, regardless of these differences, when it comes to WordPress CMS vs. custom-built websites, you have to keep in mind that it is easier to create the former than the latter. It is also less expensive and faster.
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Customizability is always an issue when talking about online publications of any type. WordPress's modular design allows users to get prebuilt themes and to add them to their websites. They usually come with a large number of plug-ins and modules that can be customized to the user's desire.
Pros and Cons of Using a WordPress Site
WordPress, as a framework, has been created to cover a wide range of purposes. This has made it a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. Here are some of the pros and cons of creating a WordPress website:
- Extremely affordable: The WordPress framework is open-source. This means that it is also completely free. This can be invaluable for individuals who are on a tight budget.
- It scales well: WordPress websites scale very well from a financial point of view. It is possible to build a fairly basic website that costs next to nothing; however, there are also paid themes and plug-ins that offer additional functionality. As your budget increases, you should be able to slowly upgrade the website by getting new, more efficient systems for it.
- Modular design: Adding new plug-ins and features is easy due to the WordPress platform’s modular design. In most cases, users only need basic technical skills and a good tutorial in order to install a plug-in or to deploy the website.
- Important plug-ins are all paid: While it is possible to find a wide range of free plug-ins, most of the ones that are designed for business environments are paid. This adds to the total cost of the website, especially if you also get a premium theme and premium page widgets.
- Generic code: The WordPress framework was created for a wide variety of purposes. As a result, its performance and speed are not that great. While a WordPress website may be good for those who only expect a couple of thousand visitors each day, more traffic will lower the speed of the website considerably. Even with a lot of optimization work and optimization plug-ins, the speed of a WordPress website cannot come close to that of a website that is built from the ground up.
- Total control over the website is not possible: As an open-source, anyone can create plug-ins and themes from WordPress. This has led to the development of a new market that is entirely centered on these elements. As with any other software market, it is possible to get certain plug-ins and themes for free; however, these are usually very limited in terms and functionality and design. The ones that are truly useful and can take your website to the next level are often very expensive.
Pros and Cons of Creating a Custom Site
The biggest and most popular companies in the world use custom-built websites as their main marketing tools. This is mostly because, unlike WordPress websites, they can be made completely unique. However, this is not the only advantage.
- Complete control over the website: Having a website custom-built for your needs will give you complete control over all of its functions and structure. Unlike WordPress, custom-built websites do not use any third-party components such as modules or plug-ins. Most elements will be coded from the ground up, and the lines of code that are taken from other sources will be seamlessly connected to the website.
- Unique design: Getting a custom-built website gives entrepreneurs much more freedom in terms of how it looks and feels. Any aspect of a custom website can be tailored to the specifications of the client, making it truly unique. This flexibility also makes it ideal for businesses that want to showcase their products in a unique way.
- Better security and performance: One of the main issues with WordPress websites is that they are all built on the same framework. Furthermore, WordPress is open-source, which means that anyone interested in looking at the source code of the websites can do so without any issues. Custom-built websites, on the other hand, are built from the ground up, which means that there is no way for others to know how the website is built and how they could access it.
- Expensive to have built: Custom-built websites are considerably more expensive than WordPress ones. In most cases, you will either have to hire a web design company or a freelance web designer. The cost of the design and creation process will add to the hosting expenses and the purchase of the domain. Overall, the price of having a custom website built for you is an investment. You get a high-quality product, but the cost might place it outside of the budget of start-ups and casual affiliate marketers.
- Difficult to maintain or modify alone: Once the website is built and up and running, it will have to be maintained. Unlike a WordPress website that is built for easy customization and maintenance, the ones that are built from the ground up may require a specialist’s attention. In many ways, custom websites are more complex than WordPress ones, which means that only those who have ample technical skills can fix them if anything goes wrong.
First of all, this professional maintenance will be a cost that owners have to fit into their budget. Secondly, every time they want to add something new to the website, such as a new chat function or change the theme, they will have to get a specialist to make the modifications.
How Do They Compare?
Generally speaking, both of the options above are great for those who need a website or a webpage. However, WordPress websites are cheaper than custom-built ones. They are also modular, which makes them easy to modify, update, and upgrade. Unfortunately, the shared framework that is used to create them also gives them an innate vulnerability.
Custom-built websites are more secure than WordPress ones. They are highly customizable in the sense that any type of system, function, and design can be implemented into them; however, a lot of technical skill is needed to make the modifications. If WordPress websites are the entry-level online publications for those who have a tight budget, custom-built ones are the high-quality products that companies upgrade to when they have the necessary funds.
Regardless of which one you choose, keep in mind that creating the website itself is only the first step. You will also need to pay for a domain and for hosting services. In other words, even the WordPress website option can cost a considerable amount of money if you choose an expensive domain name.
It All Comes Down to Your Budget and Needs
Both alternatives are great ways of creating a website; however, it all boils down to your budget and needs in terms of design and functionality. There is no denying that websites built on the WordPress framework are easy to create, modify, and they can be as cheap as a couple of dollars. This having been said, they are limited by the themes and plug-ins that are currently available.
Most IT managers argue that it is usually better to start out with a WordPress website and to upgrade to a custom-built one over time. This makes perfect sense if you think about the fact that most entrepreneurs do not need a whole lot to get their business started. In most cases, they just need a platform that they can use to market products. Over time, as the business gets better and you will start making more money, it will be easier to move to a custom-built website.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.