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To begin, I would like to say, each platform mentioned has both strengths and weaknesses. The weakness falls within the free version of platforms. That does not include one that comes with a free trial.
I would like to bring to mention the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. WordPress.org is where you may download the free to use number one content management system. WordPress.com is a managed hosting that uses the CMS with a multitude of restrictions. We will discuss some of that later in this article.
WordPress, used even by professional companies, owns at least 30% of the Internet. You may create anything you desire with the use of themes, templates, and plugins. There are many types of websites, from blogs to business sites, your creation is what you desire.
What is a Website Builder?
I am using the “Website Builder” as a service provided by a hosting company for you to create a website. Almost all big hosting companies offer some form of this service architecture. To give you a little better understanding Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly should give you an idea.
These platforms, for security reasons, do not allow access to your site database. In most cases this procedure is a good idea, you rarely touch your database. If you decide to change hosting, and move your site, you are stuck with recreating your existing site.
Is there an advantage to using a Website Builder?
Yes, there is a slight advantage, that may become a burden. Many of these platforms offer a way of building your website without the use of code. In fact, they advertise that as an incentive to use their product. In most cases, this statement is true, as they do not offer you the freedom to create what you desire. They lock you into only using the tools and plugins they know will work.
Many of these platforms offer some form of free tier or a limited time offer. Even offering one week free will give you the opportunity to at least learn the basics and design a page. That limited-time gives you familiarity with their product. Now that you have designed a page or two, you do not want to lose the time it took you in creation. Sometimes they have a free plan for life with adverts. This is a great option as well. Take your time designing your site, and when you are ready to remove adverts it’s as simple as a membership fee.
· drag-and-drop website building
· Dedicated customer support staff
· Hosting and technical maintenance provided
Website Builder platforms are a great option for many who want an easy way to create their website. If you do not mind a lack of total control, or do not have a long term intention for growth. You may not need a membership site. There is a multitude of reasons why you may decide to use them.
For those who want to take a serious approach, and do not mind putting in the work for their website. WordPress is without a doubt the way to go.
As mentioned above there are two versions of WordPress available. A comparison of the two may be found on this site. We will be using the self-hosted WordPress.org as WordPress.com does have many limitations as well.
What are the price differences?
You, most likely, want to design a website yourself to save money. It may be because you want to learn how to do it. I am a website designer and I come with a price tag. So let’s do a little comparison.
Let’s use a basic pricing formula. Please remember that I am using a mid-level pricing structure. I am including mid-level e-commerce on a second line.
Website Builder Platforms
The total per year: $264.00 to $324.00.
After the first year, the cost of your domain name renewal will be approximately: $14.00 to $22.00.
WordPress Self Hosted Platform
Total price with the most expensive theme that includes front-end builder technology. $157.50
Note: The above price does not include any paid plugins. This is the price for a very simple build similar to using a Website Builder Company.
That is a savings of 106.50 to 166.50 a year.
Why do I need to use Front-End Builder or Website Builder?
A Front-End Builder is for simplicity. WordPress pages and posts, use to all take place in the back-end. The back-end is a little scary if you are not familiar with WordPress. Most themes still require you to work from the back-end. There is a small handful of themes that allow front-end site design. Designing on the front-end allows you to view your work as you create it.
As I stated, WordPress may seem daunting for those that are not familiar with it. At Integral Design Solutions, we make the effort to provide you with the tools and instruction. Video tutorials will not only tell you but also provide visual cues for understanding. If you are new to WordPress then building your first website may be difficult. Consider a training environment before you launch your website.
Website Builder Companies can take advantage of the fact that many have a difficult time. They offer what seems to be a fantastic platform, when in fact it’s far from it.
Front-End Builder technology takes the design aspects and simplifies it. You can see the page you are creating as you design. It does make life easier for both designers as well as new people to the platform.
Why Choose WordPress?
1) Host your website.
There are tons of hosts around and prices vary between them. With WordPress, you are free to move your site to a new hosting platform at any time. When using a Website Builder Platform you have tied yourself to the limitations they provide. Once you build your site, if you desire to move you will most likely have to rebuild your site.
2) WordPress is the most used CMS around.
Yes, WordPress dominates the market when it comes to a content management system. Approximately 30% of the internet is using WordPress. In fact, a multitude of million-dollar companies designed their site with WordPress.
3) WordPress is flexible.
WordPress is an open-source CMS, allowing anyone to access its code. The creation of both themes and plug-ins shared across the WordPress community. This puts an overwhelming number of tools in the hands of WordPress users. With the right tools, you may design and customize your websites to your desire.
With Website Builder Platforms you are limited to the tools and apps created by the platform’s development team. With WordPress you have resources. The overwhelming quantity of helpful tools developed by the WordPress community.
4) Want to change your site design?
Unlike using a Website Builder Platform with a variety of templates, once you select one you must use it. You may not change the initial template you selected, without starting a new account.
WordPress allows you to change your theme at any time. Yes, each theme uses a different template, so there will be a few changes that will have to be made on your site. Some templates offer more or fewer features than others offer. You may change your theme any time you desire.
5) Plug-in Support.
WordPress has over 50.000 plug-ins available to help you create your website. The vast majority of these are free for you to use. Many free plug-ins have a premium version that you may desire or need but that option is open to you.
6) SEO Management.
Building a website is great but you need search engines to find you. WordPress is SEO friendly with multiple SEO features built into it. You will of course need a nice SEO plugin to help with this and there is a multitude to select from.
7) Best for Blogging.
WordPress was designed as a blogging platform and it does shine. The fantastic approach that many theme developers use to allow you to make changes to your site’s blog is enormous.
Think of a blog as an article. Create different categories showing different types of articles. Use a build-in sidebar widget to direct to different categories and much more.
8) Create a membership site.
There are a vast number of membership plugins available. You may desire to have any type of membership site you would like. From paid memberships to free memberships it is up to you. Set up a multi-level membership site if you desire. Anything is possible with WordPress.
A very much in demand request is for an online store. You may sell one item or a multitude of items. This of course incorporates a payment gateway as well as a way to display your items. There are both free ways to do this as well as paid ways to do this.
Sites like Shopify offer solutions for online stores. It may be that you do not want to pay their fees. It may be that you want another site to advertise your products besides Shopify. We have a solution for you whatever the case may be. With a little planning, the right theme, and plug-ins, you can do it all for a very low cost.
Can you do all this on your own? Yes, you can. If you are new to website design and new to WordPress then I would say that you will need a little help as well as patience.
Integral Design Solutions is here to help you. We give you video tutorials on-site design using premium themes and plugins. We will instruct you in different ways to achieve both the look and style that you want.
We are not like the Website Building Companies. As website designers, we know the best tools to use, as well as approaches to take. We offer any member of our site professional themes, plug-ins, and training. Design your website with tutorials both video and written material. You are not required to use our hosting services. Have your website hosted anywhere.
Not sure if you want a website, then you may use our sub-domain hosting. This does not lock you in as we bill quarterly. After 3 months if you decide you do not want to continue then you may drop our services.
When you leave our service you will have a back-up of your files, themes, plug-ins, and your database. You will now be responsible for all updates and yearly fees. Join our community and, “Explore New Horizons…”
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