WordPress has been on the block for some time now. And when it comes to ease and flexibility of usage, it beats other CMS hands down. It is time-tested, cost-effective and easy to use.
A bucket load of websites available on the internet are made using WordPress.
But the new kids like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly are gaining a lot of popularity these days.
Why are these tools giving a tough fight to WordPress?
1. However easy it is to use WordPress; it still requires some dabbling in tech.
WordPress has matured a lot from the point it started. The plugin developers have developed smart plugins like page builders, e-commerce store creator, landing page builders and what not.
There is anything you can do with a WordPress site with the number of plugins available.
But still, it is not tech-free. You have to install it manually on the server (unless you are using managed WordPress hosting, which is costly), install the theme, find out which plugins you require, then install these plugins.
But with hosting companies coming with better solutions, managing WordPress has become a lot comfortable for non-techies.
WordPress, the theme and the plugins get regular updates. More often than not, you have to update them manually. There are a few services which update them automatically. But what if the update breaks the website.
What if the plugin you updated just now isn’t compatible with the theme you are using?
3. Backup and restore
You have to take backups, in case of the failure you have to restore them yourself. And it’s not only that you have to decide what should be the backup frequency, then you have to purge the old backups because you don’t have an unlimited space to store these backups.
You have to take the backup of both the application files and the database. Either one goes missing, and your backup is useless.
Plus storing them on your hard drive or the server itself won’t help. What if the hard drive fails? What if the server fails? So you have to use service like Amazon S3, G Drive, Dropbox etc.
So there are a lot of moving parts here. You may not feel entirely comfortable here.
And these are the points where tools like Squarespace, Wix and Weebly score higher than WordPress.
You don’t have to take the backups; they are managed by these services. You can select and install the theme by just a click. The overall interface is far more comfortable than the WordPress backend.
Ability to navigate smoothly between the options and ability to create pages without much fuss are the key features of these tools.
And people love these things. Specifically, if you hate tech, you are going to hate WordPress and enjoy these tools.
But still, I am not comfortable using these tools. And even you should use WordPress. Just a little effort and you are good to go with WordPress.
Let me tell you why?
WordPress is Open Source!
And this is the most significant advantage for me.
1. WordPress is not maintained by a single person or a single company.
WordPress is continuously developed and maintained by various people some of whom are volunteers. Practically anyone can contribute to the development of WordPress. So even if the current set of developers give up on the development, the project itself won’t be dead.
There will be people to carry the project further.
Well, we cannot say the same thing about these other companies. They may decide to discontinue their product, or they may simply wind up. I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen, but yes, that’s a possibility.
In that case, you have to shift to some other platform.
And that makes me a hell lot of uncomfortable. This is the single biggest reason why I am comfortable using WordPress.
2. Higher cost
At a bare minimum, you need only a hosting and domain name to purchase to develop a website using WordPress. You can choose to use a free theme and free plugins.
And decent hosting costs around $50 per year. And a domain will cost around $10 per year.
But the basic plan of Squarespace will cost you $12 per month (if you pay annually), that is $144 per year or $16 if you decide to pay monthly, which comes out to $192 per year.
But this comparison would be unfair since all other platforms come with page builders. So, we have to consider a page builder in the cost of WordPress development.
So, we will add Elementor page builder in the cost, which is $49 per year and theme usually cost $59. Theme cost here is not annual.
So the initial cost is $168, and the recurring charge is $109 per year.
In the cost mentioned above, we can build an e-commerce store without spending an additional dime. But if you have to develop an e-commerce store using Squarespace, it costs $216 per year if paid annually and $312 per year if paid monthly.
If you have a budget and you hate the tech then go for Squarespace, Wix or Weebly. Preferably Squarespace. But if you are willing to let go of the fear of tech just a little bit, go for WordPress. Trust me; you will be more comfortable using WordPress than anything else.