WordPress Vs. HTML – Which Is Better?

WordPress Vs. HTML. Which is better? Well, if you were curious, you’ve come to the right place.

The answer depends on a few things: like how soon you need your website online, how frequently the website will be updated, and what goal you want it to accomplish. These are just a few of many points to consider when building a website. WordPress and HTML each have their own use case, and in this article, we will go over what those are. We will also compare the two, and go over their pros and cons. Don’t worry, I don’t plan on going over the history of each, so you can rest assured that you will do the minimal amount of reading, and most importantly, have your questions answered.

Ultimately, the goal of this piece is to educate you and help you determine if WordPress or HTML is right for you. Although I will be as objective as possible, I will sprinkle my own opinions here and there, marking them as such :

Author’s Note: I Like Bacon.

So without further adieu, let’s find out which is better : WordPress or HTML?

Pros of Using WordPress over HTML

The WordPress Setup Process is Simple

There are several ways to create a WordPress site. The most common and simplest method involves purchasing a WordPress hosting package. Web Hosting providers like GoDaddy and WordPress offer these in different flavors and tiers. Hosting packages offer little room for user error during the setup process, as they typically hold your hand through the entire thing.

The other, lesser used WordPress setup process involves accessing the server, uploading the files, running the scripts, and making all the necessary configurations yourself. And while setting WordPress up this way isn’t as difficult as it sounds, the average Joe may not want to bother. If a Web Hosting company offers an automated setup and you want to save time, its best to go with that.

Author’s Note: The cheapest way to host a WordPress website is through DigitalOcean. You can host a WordPress site there for half the cost of GoDaddy, but you need to be willing to set WordPress up yourself. That means getting into the command line and building a database. For more information on that, check out Digital Ocean’s WordPress setup guide.

The WordPress User Interface is Easy to Use

Relatively speaking, the WordPress user interface (UI) is pretty straightforward. It gives access to many features that you can use or manage at the press of a button. For example, changing the site colors are a breeze. Instead of having to manually edit CSS files by hand, you pick a color from the built in color pallette and hit “publish”. It’s really as simple as that. With a bit of experimentation and Googling you can pretty much answer any question about it, if what was there wasn’t already self explanatory.

Author’s Note: That being said, the WordPress interface CAN cause headaches, especially in the Themes section. I recall scratching my head because some changes I made wouldn’t save unless an option in another section was enabled or disabled. It truly is trial and error with WordPress sometimes.

Building Pages with WordPress is a Breeze

As opposed to building out your pages with HTML code, creating a page in WordPress is as simple as clicking a few buttons. Editing and saving them as drafts is easy too. This is done in the default WordPress page builder, which can be used as is, or be upgraded with third party page builders like Divi and Elementor.

Third party page builders were built for the average Joe, offering an easy to use user interface and drag and drop capabilities. They also provide the user with many custom, highly flexible WordPress blocks found nowhere else, like drawers, containers, a carousel, etc. These can be added without writing a single line of code.

Author’s Note: The more advanced / useful blocks are always locked behind a paywall in the form of a subscription. Good news though – you can still make a great looking site for free! And if you ever decide to learn programming, you can build your own blocks so you don’t ever have to pay!

Many WordPress enthusiasts, developers, designers and hobbyists recommend using a third party page builder over the default one. The default page builder is barebones and restrictive in comparison. More can be done with a third party page builder, and at the end of the day, its much easier to use for the end user, once you get used to it.

Author’s Note: I personally use the default builder to create simple, text-heavy pages and blogging (they use the same page builder). I couldn’t imagine using Elementor for blogging…

Thousands of WordPress Plugins at Your Disposal

Almost 60,000 free plugins!

If there’s a feature you want added to your website, there’s probably a plugin for that. The WordPress plugin database lists thousands upon thousands of third party programs you can use to enhance your website. Most of them are free too! Plugins add new functionality with the click of a button and are very easy to maintain through WordPress’ update system.

Plugins can be as simple as automatically adding social media share buttons to each blog post or as advanced as an entire security system. And the best part is, because its YOUR website, YOU get to decide what plugins are installed.

Just about every WordPress site out there uses plugins to some degree. As useful as they are, its recommended to keep their use to a minimum. On top of effecting page load times (which negatively effects SEO [Search Engine Optimization]), they’re an attack vector for hackers. If you use WordPress plugins, please remember to keep them updated! (Just remember to backup your site first.)

Author’s Note: The previously mentioned third party page builders are technically super advanced plugins. I also find it ironic that in order to safely update your WordPress plugins, you need to install a WordPress plugin for backing up your site.

Great for Blogging & Websites that Update Constantly

Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

If you think you’ll be blogging or regularly updating your site, you may want to use WordPress over HTML. This is what WordPress excels at and what it was built for. WordPress’ content management system (CMS) streamlines the blogging and page editing process by keeping your hands away from manually editing and uploading code.

Overall WordPress is easy to use, saves lots of time, and keeps technical errors to a minimum. What’s not to love?

Author’s Note: Quite a bit actually, as you’ll soon see.

Cons of Using WordPress over HTML

You can Break Things Easily

It goes without saying that the more moving parts, the more likely something breaks, and WordPress is no different. Generally speaking WordPress is a stable CMS, but if you start experimenting with backend settings in the dashboard, you might find sections, plugins, or even entire pages breaking. Sometimes this can cause irepairable damage. This kind of disaster is almost completely mitigated when using an HTML based website, as they are mostly “static” (unmoving), and can’t edit anything without knowing how to access the code.

WordPress Sites are more Vulnerable to Hackers

WordPress is under constant assault by bad actors looking to hack websites. The reason for this is because, simply put, its lucrative for them to do so. With such a huge market share, making up 43% of the internet, and running websites for big companies like Time, Disney and Bloomberg, its no wonder hackers persist night and day to find all the latest exploits and backdoors.

Now, don’t get me wrong, WordPress is a fairly secure platform. The WordPress team rigorously updates the software day after day, for free, in an effort to thwart hackers. But at the end of the day, security starts with the end user. WordPress sites aren’t usually hacked through unknown exploits, but instead through user error, like phishing and social engineering.

When comparing WordPress and HTML based websites, there’s no denying that HTML websites are exponentially more secure simply due to the fact that the HTML site is simply static pages hosted on a web server, instead of a dynamic, robust application. HTML sites do get hacked, make no mistake, but most often than not this is again, due to user error or mistake. Hypothetically speaking, if you never fell for a phishing scam or social engineering, the HTML website’s chance at getting hacked is near 0, while the possibility is still there for WordPress.

WordPress Plugins can Compromise Site Security

Following up on the previous point, but keeping things short : WordPress plugins are in need of constant maintenance due to exploits. Plugin developers usually do a good job patching vulnerabilities quickly, but the possibility of your site being compromised through an outdated plugin is always there. That’s why its often recommended to keep plugin usage to a minimum, and if you do use plugins, to update them on a regular basis.

HTML based websites don’t need to worry about plugins compromising security because they don’t use plugins! (They can still use third party solutions but often these have no effect on the web server security.)

WordPress Offers Little Customization out of the Box

WordPress by itself is pretty barebones. This can be an issue if you’re not ready or willing to tinker with settings, add plugins, or install custom themes. This is unfortunate because third party page builders like Elementor are basically required if you want a decent looking website. Even moreso if you aren’t familiar with programming. If you aren’t interested in learning the ropes for building with Divi or Elementor, honestly you’re better off using something like Wix or GoDaddy.

Now to be fair, HTML doesn’t offer out of the box customization either because you need to customize literally everything yourself but… this was still worth mentioning.

Author’s note: Wix and GoDaddy’s easy to build websites come at a great cost : limited flexibility, scalability and functionality. Use those services at your own risk, and don’t be surprised if you have to leave them to add something to your website.

WordPress Loads Slower than HTML

Photo by Nick Abrams on Unsplash

The inner workings of WordPress put more stress and data requests on the web server. There are a lot of moving parts under the hood. This overabundance of requests made to the server results in extended load times. Some plugins that handle the website’s cache can help mitigate this, but even with such plugins installed, standard HTML still greatly outperforms WordPress.

Long load times result in fewer visitors staying on your website. This translates to less business. Long loading times also negatively affect placement on search engines, like Google. That’s right, Google takes page loading speed into account when finding a place to put you.

Now does this mean WordPress isn’t worth using? Absolutely not. Despite these negatives, many companies still use WordPress as the underlying tool for their web presence. Will using WordPress hurt hurt your discoverability? Well, It depends on how you build the website. If you fill it with resource intensive plugins and content that isn’t optimized for the web, obviously your page speed will suffer no matter what.

Should I Use WordPress or HTML?

Honestly, it all depends on your use case. If you’re a small business looking to quickly establish your online presence and don’t have the time or will to learn web development and design, by all means, consider using WordPress – especially if you intend on regularly updating the website.

On the other hand, if you value customization, scaleability, security, faster loading speeds and SEO, consider building it the traditional way : with HTML.

Or just hire someone to do it for you.

Summary

I hope you found this article somewhat educational. My intention of it was not to steer you away from using WordPress, but instead to go over WordPress Vs. HTML as a whole. I will periodically update it based if needed, so be sure to bookmark it if you found it useful.

For more information on WordPress and Website Development and Design , check out my blog. If you’re in need of a web designer or web developer, consider reaching out to me. I specialize in establishing and growing the online presence for individuals and small businesses.

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