There’s no denying that WordPress is one of the most powerful website builders out there. Thousands of templates, plugins, and built-in features make it an attractive option for business owners, freelancers, and bloggers alike.
A tricky free version can lure unsuspecting customers in. As the old-age saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. The WordPress free version of its website builder, WordPress.com, appears to be a great, low-cost starter option. Unfortunately, you’re likely to be better off paying more than limiting yourself to a pre-approved set of subpar themes and addons that end up costing you more than if you’d went straight to another paid website builder.
Despite its array of offerings, it’s not for everyone. It you’re on the hunt for alternatives, you’re in luck. WordPress hasn’t monopolized the site-building market, and there are plenty of other viable ways to create a website. Here are five advantages to using a website builder other than WordPress:
A Lower Learning Curve
Although WordPress is a very flexible platform, it does come with a bit of a learning curve. Because WordPress does a great job of appealing to the masses, this is something new users usually aren’t aware of until they’re already in the system. This is where you realize it’s not as simple as picking a theme and having everything else fall into place.
Each theme comes with its own set of hard-coded restrictions and capabilities, so you’re not only learning how to navigate the WordPress toolbar, but the theme you’ve chosen as well. If you have the financial ability to hire developers, or the time and interest to learn basic to mid-level coding, this would work. However, this isn’t the case for most people, who would prefer as low of a learning curve as possible.
Too Many Options Can Be a Bad Thing
There are over 10,000 WordPress themes currently being supported. Every year, there are lists upon lists of “Top” themes in dozens of categories – some lists are more than 50 themes long. Additionally, there are nearly 50,000 WordPress plugins serving thousands of different purposes. A simple search for “photo slider” yields nearly 300 results. How could an individual ever sort through the masses to find a solution that works best for them? Website builders like WordPress tend to overcomplicate things with too many options. Furthermore, these themes and plugins are often user-created, and stop offering updates and support. With so many coding authors, it becomes a juggling act to figure out the cause of an issue when it arises, as many plugins are no longer compatible with WordPress updates.
Design Meets Technology
There are many things to consider when designing a website, and the technology solutions offered is one of them. WordPress has gotten a lot of slack for focusing too much on the way it looks and not how it functions. Too much emphasis on the consumer-facing properties and not enough on the backend ultimately leads to unhappy customers.
One of the primary issues with WordPress is its lack of integrated SEO tools. Customers making the switch from one website service to WordPress could potentially to lose your hard-earned web presence entirely overnight.
Additionally, WordPress’ many SEO plugins are tough to manage, and users are often stuck with a dozen plugins running at once to achieve their goals. At its core, WordPress is a Content Management System intended to house content — not to establish a brand presence. Other website creators, on the other hand, are built with technology integrated specifically to lead to higher search engine rankings and offer the customer better functionality to actually manage the site.
More Ecommerce Friendly Options
WordPress is not known for being as ecommerce-friendly as other website builders. One reason is the aforementioned plugin dilemma. Website owners constantly run into trouble with their site when their plugins fail, potentially leading to more time-consuming, costly repairs.
WooCommerce was WordPress’s answer to the ecommerce craze, but there are still many WooCommerce issues. Many users continue to find bugs after each WooCommerce update – some bugs have even deleted hundreds of products for website owners. Others have dealt with breakages in the theme during WooCommerce updates.
If you’re running an ecommerce store, it would be more beneficial to stick to an ecommerce platform or a platform with solid commerce solutions, rather than a haphazard plugin on a content management system.
Having your website go down is the worse possible thing that could happen as a website owner. Downtime could have disastrous consequences: you could lose sales, credibility, and leads. Additionally, Google also isn’t a fan of downtime. The less traffic you get, the lower your website will fall on the search engine totem. WordPress offers plugins to track downtime (though we’ve already discussed potential plugin issues), but the goal is to have a website builder that doesn’t have downtime at all.