This is an update to an article originally published on WPbeginner with the gist of advantages/disadvantages of each option.
WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) which allows you to manage your website from a user friendly interface. You can make all the changes on your website from an admin area which is easy to learn. There are many CMS options out there, but WordPress is the most popular one that I suggest to work with. It is important not to confuse WordPress.org with WordPress.com. WordPress, the open source CMS is available on WordPress.org. On the other hand, WordPress.com is a blog hosting service. We will set you up with your own hosting plan and WordPress.org install.
Advantages of Using WordPress
• Easy to Use/Edit – If you know how to use MicrosoftWord, you can learn to use the WordPress editor. You simply login to your WordPress site and add new blog posts or edits pages. There is no software to download, you’ll simply access your admin section via the internet 24/7 to add blog posts, modify any existing page content, or even add new subpages if you choose.
• Incredibly Powerful – WordPress websites can be easily extended with plugins. Plugins can add functionality to your existing website such as adding a contact form, adding a reservation system, and more. **NOTE, it is not recommended that you add new plugins without running backups first and checking with me first to avoid installing anything that could break your site or make you susceptible to malware hacks.
• Full Control & Ownership – You get full control of your website, its domain name, and all its contents. You can make any changes you want, and there is no limit on how much your site can grow in popularity, traffic, sales, and users.
• SEO –The ability to keep your site content fresh will help your ranking for search engine ranking – learn more here >
Disadvantages of Using WordPress
• Learning Curve – While WordPress is easy to use but it takes a while for most beginners to get familiar with the software. I will provide a 1 hour training and links to review our training videos to help get over this learning curve quickly, but it will take a little effort.
• Maintenance – You will need to keep WordPress, installed plugins, and themes up to date. It will require database and ftp backups along with WordPress software updates to keep your site secure. Suggested annually at minimum. Monthly automated backups and quarterly updates can be arranged by request. Backup Buddy plugin required.
• Security – WordPress sites are extremely susceptible to malware hacks.
To prevent issues with a WordPress site setup I recommend:
+ ithemes Security (Reg $80/yr)
+ Backup Buddy(Reg $80/yr)
I offer to my clients at a base of $50/yr / See additional options – security.inklinedesign.com
If you want to have the freedom and control of your website to add blog posts, images, products, etc. then WordPress is the better choice. Once you grow more accustomed to using WordPress you can add content yourself. You can create as many pages as you need at any time. You mange a blog to keep your customers updated, or even build your own email list (I recommend mailchimp) and keep bringing more customers to your business. You will be part of a global community of businesses using WordPress to manage their online presence. You will find plenty of free help, resources, tools and plugins to grow your business.
Static HTML Websites
Advantages of a HTML Website
• Little to No Maintenance – Once your website is live, you do not need to install any updates or regularly backup. If nothing is changed, you can just backup your website once and forget about it.
• Low Requirements – HTML websites don’t need servers with PHP or MySQL installed on them. They don’t need maintenance plans or security/backup programs or plugins which is an additional savings.
Disadvantages of a HTML Website
• No Updates – Unless you know HTML/CSS, static HTML websites can be very difficult to update for beginners. You will need to request all edits, like adding new pages, updating old content, or uploading videos or images through InklineDesign or another developer.
• No Additional Features – If your business grows and you want to add a feature to your website like a store, calendar, a survey, a gallery, social sharing, etc. All of this would require more development and in many cases we will recommend you to move to WordPress.
• Editing Costs – Considering that you will have to keep requesting edits, the cost of a HTML website could grow higher than a WordPress website.
If you are certain that you will need few updates and rarely add anything new to your website, then HTML is the way to go. It will better serve your purpose without needing maintenance/security. Keep in mind however, an unchanged site content can affect ranking for search engine ranking / SEO – learn more here >