WordPress or no WordPress, that is the question

When it comes to building a website for personal or business needs, WordPress is the first choice that comes to many people’s minds. With over 23% of all the websites using it, WordPress remains the most popular Content Management System (CMS) and blogging platform. There are many courses and tutorials to get you started, hardly any problem someone hasn’t faced before, and countless free or paid themes and plugins to give your website the looks and functionality you desire.

Things can get complex (or expensive!)

When you visit a WordPress website, you’re not looking at a collection of static pages — there’s in fact a lot of behind-the-scene work going on. If you decide to manage WordPress hosting yourself, you will need to handle lots of technical stuff like server setup, WordPress setup, security, backups, performance, bandwidth, upgrades, maintenance etc. You can instead choose not to get your hands dirty and pick from a wide array of managed WordPress hosting services. The burden is on you to find one that fits your needs; and you should be prepared to pay a hefty price for a top notch service.

Do you really need WordPress?

The truth is, over time, WordPress has moved away from a blogging platform into a full-fledged CMS and App platform. This is an ongoing evolution: WordPress is destined to become a Web OS 1. For building a website that doesn’t need the dynamicity of a CMS and an App platform, WordPress really shouldn’t be the go-to choice (it’d be like using a sports car for your daily commute to work!). The question that comes to mind is “Do you really need all WordPress has to offer when you want only a fraction of it?”

Saas Website building platforms to the rescue

Website building platforms take a slightly different approach. Although they can’t be used as a pure CMS, they provide a lot of what you get from a CMS in the context of building a website. They are more user-centred and offer intuitive and interactive ways of structuring websites and editing content. Most offer free basic plans, themes, plugins, integrations and what have you; some even give you as many tools as WordPress does — if not more — at a cheaper price.

Choices include but are not limited to SquareSpace, Wix, Weebly, and Jimbo. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. You should carefully research each platform before making a decision. Creating your website on any of these platforms will require hours, if not days, of work; and its structure, content, and looks will be deeply tied to the platform you choose. After all, they are in the business of making you stay!

If you simply want a blog, give Ghost a try. Created in 2012 by former deputy head of the WordPress UX team, John O’ Nolan, Ghost provides everything you need to start blogging.

I don’t like any of these options. What other choice do I have?

If you have basic web development knowlege, then build your own static website! Building elegant static websites is now easier than ever. And hosting static content is free or ridiculously cheap! In the next post I’ll tell you how this very blog/website was created and hosted for free!