Building a website for your business from scratch can be confusing. Most businesses start as small ventures with local clients and expand from there. No matter what stage of development you may be in, a website is always a good idea – but where do you start? The two most common types of sites are built by using WordPress and static HTML technology.
In this article, we will take a look at what both of these terms represent and how they can be beneficial or detrimental to your business. This should give you a clearer understanding of which one to choose for your business and start expanding on the web.
Defining your business
You should make sure that you have a clear understanding of your business before building an online presence. The impression you leave once your site goes live is usually the decisive factor in whether or not you will attract new clients and investors. Going through a couple of simple points should give you a clearer picture of your enterprise:
· Why do you exist as a corporate entity and what are your mission statements?
· Do you intend to use your website for showcasing successful projects, testimonials and to provide customer support?
· Do you intend to have an online store with payment functionality?
· What is the volume of traffic you expect to attract with your products and services?
· Do you intend to create a long-term website development plan with different campaigns and milestones? Or do you intend to use your site occasionally and for business reference purposes?
Now that we have covered some essential questions of owning a business website, which technology should you choose to build it? Both WordPress and HTML have their ups and downs, and depending on your plans, they can either elevate or devalue your brand on the web.
Basics of WordPress
You might have come across several WordPress blogs and websites while browsing the internet. You might have also noticed that most of these sites share a very similar structure. It seems like the same person built the code for these sites and it’s quite easy to find your way around each separate site after visiting one. This is because WordPress is often described as a Content Management System or CMS for short.
CMS represents a professionally designed service for website building aimed at making site management as easy as possible. That is why more than a quarter of websites today have WordPress to thank for existing in the first place. WordPress is a great choice for bloggers and article writers, as well as other content creators. You can easily add plugins, extensions and themes to your WordPress website without knowing the first thing about coding or programming.
This is where WordPress shines as a good choice for bloggers and businesses without any IT knowledge – learning the ins and outs of the system takes only an hour or two. Posting new content and managing comments and subscriptions is easy and straightforward. WordPress also offers free hosting solutions for users that want to get a taste of what CMS has to offer, with options to upgrade to premium hosting down the line.
What is static HTML?
In contrast to WordPress, HTML represents the polar opposite. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and it is the basic coding language found on the web. Sites written in HTML are often accompanied by other technologies such as CSS, Java or others.
HTML by itself is “static” meaning that nothing “moves” or “changes” when a user visits the site. This coding language requires the use of additional technologies for other types of content to work on your site.
However, even static HTML sites can still work for businesses that don’t require a lot of flair in their presentation. In order to create an HTML website, you will have to employ web designers or programmers to work for you who know excellent website design tips – sometimes for extended periods of time. This is because any additional changes or additions will always require more coding to be done.
Nothing can be done ad hoc or without careful planning and coding when HTML is concerned. This is why most bloggers and independent creators stay away from this technology.
Now that we have successfully defined both web design principles and what they stand for, let’s take a look at the benefits and detriments of using each one for your business site.
Pros and cons of WordPress
· Content management without drama
Managing content through WordPress CMS is easy and stress-free. You can post new content in a matter of minutes and focus on lead nurturing and developing additional content. It’s easy to customize each piece of content before posting it in order to add a personal touch to the content that would otherwise be left out.
· Constant automatic updates
WordPress is a very active and popular platform. All of the plugins and themes are constantly updated in order to refine them and make them work faster. Plugins that haven’t worked in tandem yesterday might work today thanks to a new update – but vice versa may also apply. WordPress is a great choice for businesses that want a decent level of automation in their site management.
· Easy management delegation
The question of whether or not someone is fit to manage your WordPress site comes down to whether or not they know how to log in – that’s it. This makes WordPress job delegation much easier as opposed to static HTML which requires coding knowledge to be handled properly. Inviting several coworkers to the same WordPress workspace and posting new content for your audience is only a matter of minutes.
· Customization opportunities
WordPress allows you to modify your site with a plethora of plugins, extensions and custom themes. There are countless different tools which can be implemented for the benefit of your readers. Choosing several plugins that fit your business is a matter of choice and enjoyment and not hardship in coding them into your site.
· Many bad plugins
The open nature of WordPress inevitably means that many independent and amateur developers might try their hand at it. This is not a good thing when you are concerned since using bad plugins usually means that your SEO optimization will suffer as a result. Sifting through pages upon pages of bad, incomplete or buggy plugins might avert you from using WordPress – at least until you come across the right ones.
· Hard to fully optimize
Just because you have the option of including a dozen plugins on your site doesn’t mean you should. Choosing the right extensions based on your business’ needs is a matter of SEO optimization above all else. Activating bad or slow plugins will inevitably rank your site lower than it would ordinarily rank. This means that you have to create a good balance of useful tools and take their size and strain on your site into careful consideration.
Pros and cons of static HTML
· Quick load times
Since static HTML contains very little information that needs to be loaded, load times are shorter than WordPress. This is a great benefit for businesses that work with third-world countries, mobile users or older population that prefers simpler content and faster access. HTML will load fast or slow depending on the amount of code you included.
· Little room for error
WordPress doesn’t allow you to delve into code and programming (by default). HTML on the other hand boasts full access to coding and code management. This means that you can tinker with the site code to your heart’s content, often eliminating mistakes that would otherwise be left unexplained. While it does require additional coding knowledge, HTML has the potential to make your site completely error-free.
· No software to maintain
HTML sites are static by nature, even if you include additional CSS or Java coding. This means that there is no software to update, maintain or modify. All you have to do is keep your eye on the code and add new content without worrying about extensions or plugins.
· Difficult to update
While not “difficult” per se, HTML does require coding knowledge. This means that specially trained personnel should be in charge of posting new content on the site. If someone without coding knowledge tries to update the site, it could mean trouble for the live site. Breaking down your site by accident is very possible if you opt for HTML.
· Higher overall costs
A HTML-based site means that you will have to hire a programmer to work for you. You will have an additional paycheck to fill every month for someone who doesn’t create new content for your site but works for you anyway. Coders are essential in businesses that are based on HTML, and there is no way to avoid paying one if you opt for this type of website.
· Barebones compared to WordPress
Lastly, HTML might look barebones and barren compared to WordPress. Taking a single glance at both technologies side-by-side will give you a good idea about which one looks better. WordPress is far more pleasing to the eye compared to HTML that emphasizes functionality over visual fidelity.
Drawing the line
The question of which technology to use for your site depends solely on your needs and finances. Some businesses are content with HTML and direct delivery of information while others require more visual presentation options.
Both of these choices are competent and can provide you with very good results in terms of boosting your revenue. Explore your competitions’ websites and try to determine which technology worked for them based on the information you gathered above. Draw the line and invest in the one that seems like the more logical choice for your business.