Ok. Ok. Ok. I know there are many other options to build your website and very possibly another CMS (Content Management System) could in fact be a better option. This blog post is specific to small businesses that serve their clients locally. If you are an eCommerce store, maybe Shopify, or Magento, is a better CMS for you. If you are a hotel or car rental website, maybe Joomla is the right CMS for your application.
Bonus: At the end, I will share a way to get a free, yes, free website, and another alternative you should consider if you own a business that thrives on leads and reviews that is super cheap to get into.
I do want to mention upfront Webflow is a very intriguing new option for building your website of any type. It is just ‘too new’ at the time of this writing for me to really consider it as a viable option.
WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
So, there is no question here. WordPress.org is the way to go.
Why anyone would use WordPress.com is beyond me, but I speak with people all the time that built their own website paying WordPress.com $30 per month or so for their website! Stop it! That is insane!
WordPress.com is just a ‘Managed WordPress’ offer. If you want this, please send me your $30 per month and I will do a hell of a better job than WordPress.com ever will. Seriously, I’d be more than happy to do it. Managed WordPress is also a joke of a service in my opinion. You are just giving some company some money. There is little to nothing to do to ‘manage’ a WordPress website.
Please don’t use any ‘Managed WordPress’ offers as they are all a complete rip off. You would save hundreds per year by contacting us or any other reputable website and SEO company. We can move your site from .com to .org free of charge and you keep everything the exact same such as your domain name etc.
WordPress.com will cost you approximately a minimum $360 per year, we charge less than half of that per year and provide exponentially better everything. You can get your cost down to less than $50 per year if you are crafty and are willing to spend more time than you should to get the cost down that low. You certainly sacrifice a lot when going the super cheap route though.
From now on in this blog, I will simply use the term WordPress to refer to WordPress.org.
Why Your Website Should Be A WordPress Website
More websites run on WordPress than any other CMS for a reason! Even my developers that were steadfast on completely coding out websites have come around to the ease and functionality of WordPress.
The old days of WordPress are over and long gone. It is no longer super awkward and confusing on the back end. I started using WordPress in 2011 and have watched it evolve ever since.
If you keep yourself in the loop, you had to have heard about Gutenberg. It was the largest update to WordPress in years. Honestly, the Gutenberg update had zero effect on how our agency uses WordPress and all of the hype really just left me confused after the update finally rolled out.
The main reason Gutenberg had quite literally no effect on how we use WordPress is because we specifically build Divi websites on WordPress’ CMS.
WordPress Theme or Visual Builder
Exactly how you go about building your WordPress website is going to make all of the difference in the world! I cannot stress this enough.
Like I mentioned earlier, we build Divi websites on WordPress’ platform. Divi is a Premium theme, and also is available as a visual builder (The Divi Builder plugin is free.), for use on other WordPress themes. Divi is by Elegant Themes. This is what I started off using and have never had a reason to switch.
Theme Forest and Thrive Themes has several premium themes I have heard good things about, and Elementor is certainly worth considering.
We strictly build WordPress websites using the Divi theme, but we do work on existing sites when a client engages us with a website that was built using a different theme.
All you really need to know is that if you use Divi, Elementor, or another high-quality visual builder to build your WordPress website, it essentially makes it just as easy to build as Wix, Squarespace, or Webflow. This is why I am so confused that many DIY business owners end up building with Wix, Squarespace, or the very worst option out there, GoDaddy Site Builder!
Please take my professional advice and stay away from GoDaddy like the plague! They are the worst at everything they do and charge more than they should. They take advantage of the DIY small business owner type by ‘out-marketing’ every other domain, email, and hosting service provider.
WordPress vs Webflow
Like I briefly stated at the beginning of this blog, Webflow may very well be the future. I have played around with Webflow and know very smart individuals who have opted to build their site with Webflow over WordPress and are super happy. Their websites also look great.
Webflow is just too new for me to recommend you go this route. They still have a lot of pretty important integration type stuff that needs to come to fruition before I make the jump to Webflow from WordPress.
WordPress vs Squarespace
I used to think Squarespace and Wix were very similar. Recently I engaged a client with an existing Squarespace website and have to say I am somewhat impressed. Somewhat being the keyword there!
I still think my client should allow me to rebuild their website on WordPress’ platform. That is something I do often. Sometimes people make great looking websites using Wix or Squarespace but the integration, functionality, and back end optimization is simply not possible.
A specific example of something really dumb about Squarespace is how it handles H tags. First, H tags range from H1 to H6 while Squarespace only has H1 through H3 built in to its text editor. That alone really aggravated me, but worse than that is you set site wide styles for your H1, H2, and H3 tags. This simply doesn’t always work out!
After auditing my clients H tags, their homepage was completely out of whack in regard to using H tags correctly. The reason for this is because my client wanted a certain look and feel and needed to use the H tag styling on words and phrases that 100% needed to be paragraph text. We are talking about the H tags on their homepage for goodness sake!
I simply coded out my own styling for the existing text on the homepage to resolve this. You would need to know HTML and CSS to do this yourself, which I do not feel most small business owners do. It wasn’t a big deal to me, but it did take an hour and 15 minutes of my time for a task that would have taken 5 minutes using WordPress with Divi.
You can see how this could drastically raise the cost of my services over time. Since I want to provide value to my clients, this is really a big issue to me.
WordPress vs Wix
So, I can only write about what I know. I know almost nothing about Wix except I want to kill myself every time I see one of their ads playing before the YouTube video I am trying to watch! Super annoying…
What I have gathered about Wix is that it is a less robust CMS than Squarespace and like GoDaddy is big dog when it comes to advertising in the domains and web hosting space. Wix is the king of marketing when it comes to Content Management Systems.
WordPress vs GoDaddy SiteBuilder
I can honestly say that I have never seen a good-looking website built using GoDaddy’s Website Builder. Even worse than the way they look is their SEO. Please, if you get nothing else from this blog post, do not do business with GoDaddy in any way, shape, or form. In my opinion, they are robbing people blind and it is just disgusting.
Website CMS Conclusion
We trust WordPress because it has stood the test of time. Webflow may be the future though.
It really comes down to your business goals. Just know using a super user-friendly option will severely limit what you can do from a functionality and SEO perspective. If you are an eCommerce or ‘booking’ type business, WordPress may not be the best option for your website.
Bonus Website Options
Intrigued by the free website or super cheap option to get your company in a professional website that performs?
Let’s discuss these 2 options really quick and you can look more into them if you would like!
Google will literally give you a 100% free website that requires no special skills to design. You can access your free website from inside your Google My Business profile. We do recommend purchasing a domain name which would actually make the cost $12.95 per year. This would allow you to have a .com instead of a .business.site ending to your website’s URL.
We are partners with NiceJob. They can build you a very professional website for a $345 setup fee and $100 per month. We highly recommend local businesses that thrive on reviews and leads to check out Convert websites by NiceJob. Their review fetching platform is the best in the business too.