“Is WordPress the best way to build a website? We get asked this a lot, so this review will address that question. I’ll discuss my personal experiences as both a WordPress newbie and a more experienced website builder!”
I’ve been using WordPress along with other website builders since before 2012. This website is built on WordPress and we can’t see ourselves moving it to another website builder anytime soon.
Why? Well, WordPress is what we need at this stage of our website’s lifespan.
Simply put, the pros outweigh the cons.
This short phrase saved me a lot of headaches when I was choosing a website builder as a newbie.
See, I like technology. If there’s a newer version of my smartphone with more features, I will definitely pay a couple of hundred dollars for what I feel is a better version even though I have absolutely no use for these new features!
This is why the above phrase is so useful to me.
It keeps me from making silly mistakes like choosing a website builder that is more than I can handle and full of features I will never use.
How Do We Rate WordPress Itself?
It’s no secret that we are huge WordPress fans at HostingAdvice.com, but below we go into the nitty gritty details of what makes WordPress great and when there are alternatives to consider. We break down our overall review by categories, covering ease of use, support, cost, and more.
1. Ease of Use: 4.6/5.0
The WordPress platform is incredibly powerful and will allow you to manipulate any aspect of your site — however, its functionality comes with a learning curve. This is probably the leading complaint against the increasingly popular platform. If you’re not ready to put in the time to get familiar with the nuances and figure out your way around the backend, I would suggest opting for a WYWIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) web builder, like Wix, instead.
2. Custom Design: 5.0/5.0
Customization is an area where WordPress truly shines. Experienced developers love how flexible it is, and even less-seasoned website managers can easily build a custom site with the help of templates. There are literally millions of these premade websites for WordPress available to give you a head start on design.
Whether you’re building from scratch or using one of the popular themes, designing and customizing a site with WordPress can yield some of the most beautiful and professional-looking results on the Internet.
3. Support: 4.5/5.0
WordPress support is exhaustive — and exhausting. There is a huge community behind the platform and its followers are eager to offer their advice and expertise, which means the hard part is sifting through the wealth of offered information for useful information.
The other option is to hire a WordPress-savvy developer to build your site for you, or consult him/her when needed. Unfortunately, expertise can get expensive.
4. eCommerce: 4.4/5.0
While eCommerce functions are possible with WordPress, that’s not what it’s made for — though there are a multitude of merchant plugins and tools available for adding eCommerce features (e.g., Shopify, Woocommerce, or Ecwid). Platforms like Magento or PrestaShop are specifically made for eCommerce — and you can check out the top Magento hosting services here.
5. Blogging: 5.0/5.0
There’s a reason WordPress is typically the first platform that comes to mind when you think of blogging. It’s set up perfectly for bloggers — in my opinion, blogging is the easiest task to get started on with WordPress.
Within minutes of signing up with a WordPress host, you can blast your first blog post, create new categories and tags, and later share your most popular posts with a hand-dandy plugin.
6. Cost: 5.0/5.0
Ahh, the crème de la crème of reasons to choose WordPress: it’s open-source — AKA, FREE! Yes, the world’s most popular website building companion is available for download, install, and web-building usage for zero cost. You just have to pay for the hosting, which, fortunately, should only cost you a few bucks a month (if you use one of the best hosts, coming up next!).