Wordpress vs HTML: Is There a Traffic Advantage?

23 replies
Hi Warriors,

I was just wondering if anyone has any definitive advice on this WP vs. html pages issue.

I learned basic html a few years ago and got my head around Dreamweaver - enough to make some simple mini sites and have had moderate success with selling from those pages. At that time, blogs were the new kid on the block.

Now, everyone says go with WP. Sure, it's easy to install, but big plugins slow them down, embedding videos in them or anything with iframes is a nightmare, (if not impossible) ... and I just end up frazzled!

I can understand if you're autoblogging - obviously that has to be WP (or blogger I suppose). But for a straightforward sales page with an appropriate domain name, does anyone have any evidence that the SE's favour one over the other? I can't seem to rank any better or any faster whichever I choose, and my preference would be to stick with html pages which I can put together in under 20 minutes.

I'd be very interested in other warriors' experiences and views.

Thanks folks!
Trevor.
#advantage #html #sales pages #search engines #traffic #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author poppybaby
    Yes, WP is a cinch to set up. It seems that right out of the box that Google likes it better than Joomla for instance and with the sitemap plugins and being able to change the permalinks to something that is SE friendly I go for WP.
    (But I can not write HTML either)
    HTH
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    There is a myth that search engines (G?) "likes" WordPress, so everybody should create only WP sites...

    The truth is, search engines don't inherently "like" WP. Especially not, when comparing it vs. HTML pages/sites. Think: the end result (=output) of the WP powered sites is also pure HTML!

    If you know how to build HTML sites and how to get them indexed in SEs, how to get them in a good position in SERPs - you don't need WP. And take this from somebody who is using WP longer than 99.99% of the members here

    The advantage of using WP for code-illiterate "webmasters" is the built-in power of pinging the update services automatically whenever a new post is made; the easiness to create xml sitemaps; the possibly well-structured HTML - depending on your theme designer's skills, of course; the simple way of changing the layout/design (themes); etc.

    However, there is (or should be) a distinction here when we talk about advantages:
    - all those advantages making your life easier will not, necessarily, translate into making your site better!
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by Wizardofwisdom View Post

    embedding videos in them or anything with iframes is a nightmare, (if not impossible)
    It's actually not that hard to do this, provided you know a little PHP and Javascript. I've written custom video and iframe plugins for clients that were very simple and lightweight which used the WordPress shortcode method (kind of like BBCode).

    Probably the greatest hitch in learning how to manipulate WordPress for the average person who's done HTML is understanding how server side scripting (PHP, ASP, JSP, ASP.NET, etc) works to build a website. Once you're over this learning curve things become much simpler for you.

    But, to get to your overall question...

    SEO traffic primarily comes from building links in quantity with quality in mind along with having keyword relevant content and some basic onsite optimization (this part is somewhat optional if you build strong links). How the site is created really doesn't matter so much in this scenario.

    Of course, WP has several tools right out of the box and via a few simple plugins to handle the onsite portion where a plain HTML site would require a more manual process or a custom coded process. This can give people the perception that "Google luvs WordPress".
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    • Profile picture of the author Hamida Harland
      I've never found there to be any advantage of one over the other.

      I choose to use mostly Wordpress these days because it's easier for me (not being too clever with html), but I never notice a difference in how my sites were ranked.

      Whenever anyone asks me which they should use I tell them to use whichever they are more comfortable with. I'd probably have alot more html sites if it didn't take me forever to create one!
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonmorgan
    Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    What are your goals?

    Figure that out first and then select the tools that help you achieve the best results.

    I know this doesn't answer your question but it's a more complex question than you might think. There really is no best at everything solution but there are tools that are better suited for specific needs.

    I love wordpress and use if for everything but I have the advantage of being able to write code and tweak wordpress do anything I want. This isn't the case for everybody so what you can do with wordpress and what I can do with wordpress aren't comparable.

    Anyway, traffic advantage... also depends on your skill level. If a person cannot write a single line of html, wordpress is a great tool but a skilled designer could whip something up with dreamweaver that would smoke a typical wordpress theme when it comes to on-page SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Texjd
    I've never understood why so many people think that WP blogs are easier than html. On the initial install, yes of course. But when you actually get into the nitty-gritty of creating a good website the easy part does get lost in the shuffle.

    I've created my own HTML templates that take about an hour to setup (that's mostly doing the drop in of graphics and copy particular to that website). It takes me about the same on a WP blog, installing the 6-7 must have plugins, filling in all the settings.

    Now I've been doing HTML for a long time so it is easy for me. And although the first blog I set up mystified me, as soon as I saw it was just a PHP script it all fell into place.

    To me it's just a matter of which platform might work the best for the subject matter and type of website. Considering you can have a very functional blog or HTML website built for you for under $75, you don't even need to be able to do it yourself if you have a budget for your business (which you should if at all possible these days).

    I really haven't seen my blogs outrank my HTML websites. But I have seen blogs that rank well that are pretty basic (good content but no snazzy stuff). It all comes back to making sure you've done your research properly, then either flavor can do well. It just depends on your skillset or budget which one might be better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wizardofwisdom
    Those are really helpful and insightful answers - thanks to all of you who've responded so far.

    On balance, I think I'll stick to my html and Dreamweaver, although I do take the point about the learning curve of understanding scripts and code - that is something that's becoming increasingly necessary.

    Strange to think, too, that adding a sitemap to an html site is something that some folks would find difficult - Google has a free tool that makes it a cinch - but it's easy to forget that "one man's meat is another man's poison".

    Overall, I'm getting the message that as far as ranking (and therefore organic traffic) goes, Google doesn't care how the site is made. Is that a fair summary?
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  • Profile picture of the author mrpals
    Both WP and HTML are great, it depends on what you are wanting to do. If the content is great then either one will work fine. WP just does much of the Slug work, link work etc... for you.

    How much traffic do you expect? HTML handles large volume much much much better than WP. WP gets heavy very fast and eats CPU at an umbelievable rate. Adding a few plugins, a pic per post, a theme and there went the CPU. Granted if your expected traffic if below 2,000 visitors per hour during surge it should be fine, if you are looking at above that then get ready to open your wallet for servers and be prepared to babysit the server 24/7

    You can serve cache with WP but that locks your counters if you are working to build traffic to sell advertising then stats wont rise.

    Again it all depends on what you are wanting. With a simple site, html would work fine, optimize pages and urls as you go.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
      I do both. Depends on purpose / what kind of site I am building.

      If you intend to keep more than a bunch of sites running (that you do not intend to update regularily) I would go against the stream and opt for static webpages. Google seems to understand that WP sites are blogs and expects them to be updated every now and then.

      If not, there is a decline in status. Something that static websites seem less troubled by.
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      • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
        Originally Posted by mrdomains View Post

        Google seems to understand that WP sites are blogs and expects them to be updated every now and then.
        Another common SEO mythunderstanding...

        While it's true in certain niches that sites, regardless of underlying content management system, need to be updated frequently there are other niches that will stay evergreen and continue to rank well even without posting. If you're doing a site on celebrities, movies, politics and so forth, you will need frequent updating to compete with other sites covering the same info. But, if you're doing a site on basket weaving or identifying 19th century cameo necklaces, you really only need to set up your content once and build good links.

        For example, my top earning, top traffic, Adsense sites haven't seen much in the way of updates since 2007. These sites get between 200 up to 1200 unique visitors a day, 95% of them from search engines.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrdomains
          Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

          But, if you're doing a site on basket weaving or identifying 19th century cameo necklaces, you really only need to set up your content once and build good links.
          I agree and if building such sites where you already know you won't need to update regularily, even more reason not to use a continously evolving publishing platform. At least in my book. We all do it in our own ways. Whatever works and yu are comfortable with. I like to use different platforms for different jobs.
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      • Profile picture of the author theentry
        Originally Posted by mrdomains View Post

        I do both. Depends on purpose / what kind of site I am building.
        Agree, I got many 1-5 site pages where there is no point to install wordpress for it. But If I update my site frequently then I go for Wp
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  • Profile picture of the author MillionaireStudio
    WordPress blogs are very search engine friendly, and several themes allow you to customize the SEO settings. It's also easy to set up and maintain - and if you're able to update more regularly then Google will crawl your site more often which helps it to rank higher.
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    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by MillionaireStudio View Post

      WordPress blogs are very search engine friendly, and several themes allow you to customize the SEO settings. It's also easy to set up and maintain - and if you're able to update more regularly then Google will crawl your site more often which helps it to rank higher.
      Google love both, and i dont think it matters yes.

      It is easier to just login and update your blog say like once a day.

      Its not as quick if you are designing html stuff.....especially if you are newbie at it.
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      • Profile picture of the author bt
        I like to use WordPress and HTML. The thing that worries me about WordPress is the fact that WordPress can be hacked. I like PHP language but the fact is is that hackers are always looking for ways to penetrate PHP.

        There are so many plug-ins that you can get for WordPress, but the problem is that you never know how secure the plug-in is. The person who created the plug-in could have left security holes in the plug-in without even realizing it.

        I like the simplicity of WordPress, but HTML is a lot more secure than WordPress is, you always hear those stories of people having their WordPress sites hacked all the time. Another thing I don't like about WordPress is the fact that it eats up a lot of your CPU on the server side.

        The only reason I like WordPress is because of the simplicity when it comes to using it.
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        • Profile picture of the author ChrisCree
          Originally Posted by bt View Post

          but HTML is a lot more secure than WordPress is, you always hear those stories of people having their WordPress sites hacked all the time.
          I work on a ton of WordPress sites and get calls from people who have WordPress sites that have been hacked. In ever single case that I have dealt with (except 1) the reason the sites were hacked was because the site was running on a very outdated version of WordPress.

          The one exception was someone who used a ridiculously easy to guess password.

          WordPress is no less inherently insecure than HTML as long as you keep your software up to date. However if you don't want to bother maintaining your website then you probably aren't interested in updating your content either so you might as well stick to HTML anyway.

          Oh, and the number of hacked WP sites that we've fixed for people has been way down this year over years past. I know that's only anecdotal evidence. But it seems to me WordPress has gotten much more secure of late. I'm just saying.
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  • Profile picture of the author stevecane
    Google doesn't love Wordpress like it used to . . a lot of Wordpress blogs and web sites have been hammered by recent algorithm changes . . .
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    • Profile picture of the author Shirlyn
      hi, I don't think so if there any difference advantages on one another. Search engine recognizes a web page if it is developed by following SEO protocols then it is good either it is HTML or wordpress.
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      • Profile picture of the author Marian
        WordPress blogs have one big advantage over the static HTML pages - they're so easily updated! So if you plan to update the site a lot - then WP is one very good option.

        Search engines loves quality content AND fresh content - and by using WP you can provide it very well and quick!

        Marian
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  • Profile picture of the author Aurelius Tjin
    Wordpress is the way to go these days. It's dynamic, it's flexible and it's easy to add plug-ins. HTML on the other hand is static. Change one navigation link and you need to change it on all pages.

    Wordpress is very SEO friendly too since it makes use of headings, and the addition of an seo plugin enhances it even more.
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  • Profile picture of the author QuinNguyen
    Google doesn't love Wordpress per se but its just that most wordpress blogs have all the SEO on-page requirement which made them rank higher in search engine.
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  • Profile picture of the author pr5931
    Thoughts from a newbie:
    I would stick with what I know and feel comfortable with so you can move forward quickly.
    I rather learn one system very well and build on it. My vote is WP for newbies.
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