If you’re looking to create a website, two of the most common options are WordPress and pure HTML.
But which one should you use? In this post, we’ll compare WordPress vs HTML to help you decide which is best for your needs.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that powers over 41% of all websites. It started as a blogging platform but has evolved to be a full-featured CMS.
Here are some key things to know about WordPress:
- Open-source CMS built on PHP and MySQL
- Allows you to easily create and manage websites without coding.
- Has thousands of themes and plugins to extend functionality.
- Handles optimizations like SEO and speed automatically.
- Has a large community for support and development.
WordPress makes it easy for anyone to create a professional website without needing to know how to code. You can get a site up and running in minutes, with minimal technical skills required.
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What is HTML?
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the standard markup language used to create web pages.
HTML consists of elements like <head>, <body>, <p>, <img>, etc. to structure content on a webpage. To build a complete website with HTML, you’d need the following:
- HTML files for content
- CSS for styling
- A server environment to host the site
- Manual optimizations for SEO, speed, etc.
So with pure HTML, you have full control over your site but also have to do all the technical work yourself. You need strong coding skills to build a site in HTML.
WordPress vs. HTML: Ease of Use
When it comes to ease of use, WordPress is the clear winner.
With WordPress, you can use the graphical editor to add content without touching any code. Creating pages, posts, menus, and more can all be done visually.
Also, installing themes and plugins allows you to add functionality without programming knowledge. Updates are handled with a single click.
HTML requires manually coding every page and style element. You have to know how to program to work with HTML. Even simple changes can require coding expertise. Updates need developers to adjust the site’s code.
For creating professional websites quickly without needing to be a programmer, WordPress is far easier to use than pure HTML.
Features and Functionality
WordPress comes packed full of features for creating modern websites:
- Blog/news capabilities: WordPress was originally made for blogging, so it excels at publishing content like blog posts, news articles, etc. Articles can have tags, categories, media, comments, author details, and more, all managed through the intuitive admin.
- Ecommerce options: Want to sell products or services on your site? Plugins like WooCommerce turn WordPress into a customizable online store with carts, checkout, and business options.
- Member sites/gating: You can restrict access to content or whole sites to logged-in users only with WordPress membership plugins. This allows you to create premium content sites, online courses, paid communities, and more.
- Forms: From simple contact forms to complex multi-page application-style forms, WordPress has form-builder plugins for every need. They integrate forms seamlessly into your content.
- Events calendars: List your upcoming events in a beautiful calendar view with details, locations, ticketing, and more. Great for concerts, conferences, classes, and any scheduled event.
With HTML, you’d need to manually code or integrate third-party solutions for each functionality you want to add. Virtually anything you may want on a site can be added to WordPress through the extensions library.
Design and customization
WordPress themes allow you to customize the design and layout of your site without touching code. There are thousands of free and paid themes with responsive layouts, drag-and-drop editors, design styles, and site templates for blogs, businesses, portfolios, and more.
In HTML, you need to use CSS to style each element and page manually. This requires strong CSS skills and a deep understanding of conventions like CSS Grid, Flexbox, and media queries to create a responsive design.
While HTML provides pixel-perfect control over styling, WordPress themes give you beautiful designs right out of the box. You can still use custom CSS in WordPress for precise adjustments.
WordPress implements many technical SEO best practices by default:
- Optimized site architecture using headings, semantic markup, and more
- URLs structured for SEO with custom permalinks
- Sitemaps and robots.txt are generated automatically.
- Alt text is added to images automatically.
- Integrate with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
Plugins then provide additional SEO features:
- XML sitemaps for crawling
- Redirect manager to fix broken links
- Automated meta tag and title generation
- Integrations with SEO tools like Yoast, RankMath, etc.
With HTML, you need to manually code meta tags, optimize pages for SEO guidelines, create a sitemap and robots.txt file, implement GA, etc. This requires strong technical SEO knowledge.
While HTML provides fine-grained control, WordPress handles much of the SEO optimization work for you automatically.
WordPress powers over 40% of the web, so security is taken very seriously. The core software is audited for vulnerabilities and updated regularly. Plugins and themes also receive automated and manual reviews to detect risks.
Some WordPress security best practices include:
- Keeping WordPress and all plugins and themes updated
- Using trusted plugins with good security practices
- Limiting access with roles and permissions
- Using strong passwords and two-factor authentication
- Monitoring for threats and backing up regularly.
Being an open-source CMS, WordPress is under constant scrutiny to ensure it stays secure. Some hosting providers, like WP Engine, even offer managed WordPress security services.
HTML is just the markup language itself, so its security depends entirely on developers implementing safe coding practices. The main risks come from cross-site scripting issues and improper sanitization of dynamic inputs.
Overall, WordPress offers robust default security, visibility with a huge community testing it, and advanced security options if you need them.
Support and resources
With WordPress being open source and powering over 40% of sites, you can find support and resources easily:
- Detailed documentation covers everything from the basics to developer guides.
- There are community forums where you can get help from fellow users.
- Developers and agencies hire WordPress experts for support contracts or custom projects.
- Conferences and meetups hold WordPress events regularly across the globe.
- Podcasts, blogs, and courses provide free training material and tips.
HTML doesn’t have an ecosystem like WordPress, so formal support resources are lacking. You need to rely on developer communities and documentation for assistance.
The popularity of WordPress translates to abundant help available when you need it for any aspect of managing or building WordPress sites.
Should you use WordPress or HTML?
So should you use WordPress or HTML for creating your own site?
For most personal blogs, small business sites, online stores, membership sites, and other common website types, WordPress is the better option.
The advantages of WordPress include:
- It is easier and faster to create and manage professional sites without coding skills.
- Powerful features and functionality are available out of the box and through extensions.
- More design options with themes and the ability to customize without touching code
- Built-in SEO practices and integrations with SEO tools.
- Strong security provisions and a security-focused core team.
- There are abundant resources for help, support, training, and hiring experts.
HTML is best suited for developers looking for precise control and advanced custom functionality on a site. Flexibility comes at the cost of doing everything manually.
For creating almost any type of website without needing to know programming, WordPress is the optimal choice. The only exception is if you have specialized technical needs that require extensive custom development.
So rather than starting from scratch with HTML, use WordPress and its wide range of themes and plugins to quickly build a site that is customized to your needs.
In summary, WordPress provides a user-friendly CMS platform with abundant features, extensions, support, and design options to easily build professional quality websites without coding expertise. HTML offers total flexibility but requires strong programming skills and manual work. For most users, WordPress is the better, faster option over coding a site from scratch in HTML.