Wordpress Versus HTML-- Which one is better for small business websites???

31 replies
Hello,
I am fixing to start my own web design company and have already tested the market a bit and know there is a large market still where I live.

I have built wordpress sites and HTML based sites before. The question is, which one do you think is a better structure to build small biz 4-5 page sites on. Obviously with wordpress it could be a faster solution if I use a basic small biz template and just customize for the current client.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated, thanks!
#business #html #small #small business sites #versus #websites #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    hello,
    I refer you that wordpress is best than html because creating wordpress site is really easy then html there are many free themes,responsive themes,free and best plugins which help you make your site more better in less time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Wordpress for several reasons.

    1. I can clone a 90% operational wordpress site to any destination in 4 clicks.
    2. I often get asked "can we go in and adjust things or do we have to hire you every time?"
    3. With the plug in system you can get almost any functionality in just a few clicks.
    4. Any webmaster can take over.
    Wordpress can be annoying at times but the massive amount of time it will save me makes it worthwhile. If you want to hand craft a nice html site for yourself as a personal project that's fine and fun but for a small business site I'd go with Wordpress every time. Joomla might be good but I've got almost no experience but that experience (I tried to help someone install a script into the head) was horrible.
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    • Profile picture of the author focusedlife
      Thought I'd take a shot at this...

      I'd ask whether or not the business owner plans on taking over day to day management.

      Obviously HTML is harder for the average joe to keep up to date, but if the site is to just act as a brochure then either is ok.

      Wordpress is easier....once you understand what you're looking at.

      Its flexible and is easy to update content on the fly.

      It all depends...., but overall I'd imagine wordpress is going to be your easier sell...at least for the small biz folks.

      Hope that was a bit helpful.

      Regards

      Los
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Actually I agree with Los. If it's a simple basic brochure page then the hassle of wordpress probably isn't worth it and a nice html page can look awesome.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Wordpress because im too lazy to code HTML
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      WHEN IS EASY NOT ENOUGH?

      In recent days I have been blind sided with questions such as this. I have a friend that is moving into a new business, away from the small $20 stuff and into big $3000 stuff. He sent me a link to his site so I could "Look at it" for him. I did. It honestly took me 3 hours to figure out how to write him back.

      I looked at all of his competitors sites, I looked at his site, back and forth over and over. His site was a basic Word Press site, his competitors... HTML5 CSS3 every single one of them in the top 20 of any search term I could think of. What do you tell a person in that situation? The bottom line in his case... easy was not enough.

      Word Press in my mind has a purpose, a function... its a blogging platform. If your clients would use that aspect of the design, I would say go for it. If your client wants your basic static place holder, then html is the way to go. ( I call these static sites online business cards ) Easier 9 times out of 10 does not mean better.

      There are many reasons for saying that. Myself as a web designer, I design. I match what I know to work, with what the customer wants. In a visual display the customer is happy with, and that I know will give the customer the results they want. This is the essence of my job.

      I understand SEO. I study SEO till I'm blue in the face sometimes. It is ever changing... but keep in mind the more things change the more they stay the same. The time I spend studying SEO is not for what has changed, but what is staying the same. Developing SEO on the constants, and staying away from the adjustable factors has been one of keys to my web design success.

      An example of an adjustable. Google's new found love for Video. Its a great wave. However, Understanding that with every great wave there is an even larger crash, as that wave hits the beach leaving tons of people stranded on some deserted island. Videos are outranking all kinds of sites. You cant tell me that a video has THAT MUCH content. The crash is coming, it has to come.

      ok so back to my point I can show you case studies after case study, including my own personal A/B testing, that will show you that HTML vs. Word Press is a no brainer in the world of SEO. HTML wins every time hands down. It boils down to the structure and how they are designed. You can give word Press the SEO plug-in, but it places the most basic elements ( Title tag, Keyword tag, description tag ) 30 - 60 lines below where they would be on an html site. And that is IF you are using a SEO plug-in, you are straight up out of luck if you are not.

      SO Being a web designer, what is my job? It is to produce results. Those results in the offline world are to bring people in to the store. To get new found customers using online methods, To spread the news of "Store A" to lands far and wide, and locally. To broaden my customers reach.

      You can use a tool that may not fit their needs but its easy. Or you can use a tool that will get you overall better results. Which would you use?

      Hope that Helps!

      <-- ill be over there cowering in the corner after writing that one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    Unless it's an ecommerce website, I typically build wordpress websites for clients. They appreciate the functionality and ease of updated the content.
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    • Profile picture of the author internetmonkey
      I honestly don't know why you would build a website that isn't wordpress unless: 1 a high volume commerce shop, 2 a single page landing page, 3 you want to say you are better than all the people that build with wordpress.

      There are just so many plugins that you could spend hours upon hours of coding and a lot of your client's money trying to duplicate.
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by internetmonkey View Post

        I honestly don't know why you would build a website that isn't wordpress unless: 1 a high volume commerce shop, 2 a single page landing page, 3 you want to say you are better than all the people that build with wordpress.
        I like #3... and it works. lol.

        However, structurally, there are many more reasons. Wordpress really isn't as great of a CMS that internet marketers have you believe. It's very limited, granted, if you are a developer you can extend it however you want regardless of the platform. Out of the box the speed is rather average in comparison to joomla and drupal.... you have a higher risk of using corrupt or hidden backlink filled plugins than any other CMS. Wordpress is easier for a script kiddie to hack than any joomla or drupal site. For membership sites, ecommerce, or anything that requires advanced security or features, WP really isn't the way to go.

        For the regular business, or even IMers who pump out niche sites, WP is just fine...

        WP is a tool... one tool does not work in every situation. Depending on the project, you will want to use different platforms.

        Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento... they all have their uses. Most people only know how to use wordpress though.. they don't know how to use any other CMS, so of course they say WP is the best.

        However, I'm off topic.... but in nearly every situation I would recommend WP over static HTML.
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        • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
          Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post


          WP is a tool... one tool does not work in every situation. Depending on the project, you will want to use different platforms.

          Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento... they all have their uses. Most people only know how to use wordpress though.. they don't know how to use any other CMS, so of course they say WP is the best.
          Thank you!! It drives me nuts every time people ask a question and the answer is ultimately, Wordpress.

          I need a landing page - Man go wordpress, its the bomb!
          Ecommerce site - Oh ya man, Wordpress with woo commerce - forget about security.
          I want to create a clone of xyz site - wordpress man, you can do everything with wordpress

          Don't get me wrong, I use wordpress for a ton of stuff, it's an easy platform to use and there are tons of developers. But IMO, you use the platform that fits the clients needs and wants.

          Information site that they can update easily - Wordpress is the way to go
          Membership course - Wordpress with DAP.
          Association Membership site - Drupal might be a better match for you
          Ecommerce - well it depends on the product and needs. I have used BigCommerce, Shopify, 3dCart, Americommerce, Opencart, Prestashop and others because they were the best match for the customer.

          Once I get some time, I really want to start playing with some of the Ruby on Rails CMS's out there...
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          • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
            Originally Posted by OnlineStoreHelp View Post

            Once I get some time, I really want to start playing with some of the Ruby on Rails CMS's out there...
            Let me know what you find... I've tested out a few.. its been about a year since I've tested any out. Ruby is so rare itself, and the rails framework is very lightly used for an average project.

            A lot of the RoR based CMS's seem to come and go, probably because of the lack of community that uses ruby. PHP tends to get a lot more volunteers to help with open source projects.
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        • Profile picture of the author internetmonkey
          Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

          you have a higher risk of using corrupt or hidden backlink filled plugins than any other CMS.
          Can't disagree with anything you have said. I'm curious about the above quote though. Is this just because there are so many plugins or something about the CMS that makes it vulnerable to this?
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by internetmonkey View Post

        I honestly don't know why you would build a website that isn't wordpress unless: 1 a high volume commerce shop, 2 a single page landing page, 3 you want to say you are better than all the people that build with wordpress.

        There are just so many plugins that you could spend hours upon hours of coding and a lot of your client's money trying to duplicate.

        The primary reason you would NOT build a wordpress site is if you wanted to stand a chance in search engines. Sure you can get good rankings, but understand someone that knows what they are doing with Html, will take the first spot. The first spot is statistically 80% of the traffic from spots 1 through 10.

        Below is a list of keyword chains from smallest to longest, and what type of site ranks #1
        • Weight Loss #1 html
        • Weight Loss Program #1 html
        • Weight Loss Program for Men #1 html
        • Weight Loss Program for Men and Women #1 html
        • Weight Loss Program for Men and Women in Las Vegas #1 WordPress
        Try any base keyword you want and see for yourself, you are getting 3 and 4 and 5 layers deep to see where WordPress performs. So as a designer, that is advertising results or better results. What tool do you use?

        To be honest with the #1 listing for "Weight Loss Program for Men and Women in Las Vegas" someone using html could easily take that spot! WordPress is good at what it does, but if you are using these pages as a tool to make money, wouldn't you want every advantage you could get?

        I see on this Forum all the time... Ah pick long trail keywords, they are easy to get. In fact they are. I go after them all the time, not just 1 but 10-20-30 of em if I can. But the reality is they provide 10 clicks a week. The shorter the term the more traffic. And with WordPress you simply can not compete in the short tail arena.

        If you are not competing where the bulk of the traffic is, think of the money you are losing out on. All because WordPress is easy. As I asked before, When is Easy not Enough? Look at that list above again, does easy pay? It doesn't in my book.

        I'm in no way spouting off because I think I'm Better, I'm spouting because YOU and YOUR customers deserve better. Like Akazo said the debate on this is endless. You can debate all you want, look at the above example. There is NO debate.

        So back to the original post. The OP wanted to now which route to take. Knowing that "Local" listings there is not as much competition, do you A) use wordpress and maybe get the first spot ( Remember 80% of the traffic on page one is in that spot ) or B) Ensure you will get the first spot with html.

        Lets forget for 2 seconds that one is "easier" than the other. What do you as a BUSINESS think the right thing for your customer is? If its right for the customer... then what's right for you.
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post



          Below is a list of keyword chains from smallest to longest, and what type of site ranks #1
          • Weight Loss #1 html
          • Weight Loss Program #1 html
          • Weight Loss Program for Men #1 html
          • Weight Loss Program for Men and Women #1 html
          • Weight Loss Program for Men and Women in Las Vegas #1 WordPress
          None of those websites are straight html.... They ALL use a CMS.. just like wordpress is considered a CMS. One is actually a drupal site with no footprint, a few are custom developed CMS's, and one using java server pages.

          Straight HTML websites really aren't ranking that well. The reason is, you can't have a big website with just HTML. You need some kind of CMS to be able to manage content, and increase user experience.

          The point on the Yoast plugin, I see what you're saying, but it is a 90 second fix... for anyone who knows code.
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          • Profile picture of the author SupplementTalk
            Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

            None of those websites are straight html.... They ALL use a CMS.. just like wordpress is considered a CMS. One is actually a drupal site with no footprint, a few are custom developed CMS's, and one using java server pages.

            Straight HTML websites really aren't ranking that well. The reason is, you can't have a big website with just HTML. You need some kind of CMS to be able to manage content, and increase user experience.

            The point on the Yoast plugin, I see what you're saying, but it is a 90 second fix... for anyone who knows code.
            I see what you are saying. I was debating on how I was going to build my own website as well and after lots of thought, I went with the Wordpress Platform. This is because if I want to blog a bit and especially update my portfolio on my site, Wordpress will allow me to do this very easily and I wont have to use an FTP.

            In the end, what I'm most comfortable with and what I think is best for the client is the most important.
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  • Profile picture of the author bad golfer
    Wordpress has come a long, long way and I love it. It does most of what I need. I also use Drupal on some bigger sites. My experience is that Drupal and Joomla are much better suited for larger sites. The customization is much more flexible and allows more fine-grain control of roles. Yes, Wordpress does more than it used to, but I think it is a stretch to call it a CMS.

    That said, if you are creating bigger sites, there are challenges all PHP based systems face in the form of caching, speed, etc. These are sites where the debate is not so much Wordpress vs. Joomla, but more Joomla or Drupal vs. Rails or Django (or similar).
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  • Profile picture of the author akazo
    You will get an endless debate on this one... I like Joomla best myself. But the answer to your question is.... whichever one you know the best and are most comfortable using.
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  • Profile picture of the author RyanLB
    Wordpress gives maximum flexibility with very little coding knowledge required. Since most small business owners likely have very little coding knowledge, I'd go with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author wpholic
    WordPress output HTML, or is it something else?

    It's just a tool that gives more convenience to the user to manage their content.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by wpholic View Post

      WordPress output HTML, or is it something else?

      It's just a tool that gives more convenience to the user to manage their content.
      Yes that is exactly what it does, but it is HOW it does it, that is the difference.

      SEO is a mathematical equation. Wordpress does what it does, and then you add the plug-ins etc. It places certain variables to the SEO equation in what I would consider odd places.

      What are odd places? well if you use Yoast as an example. The "Title" "Description" and "keywords" tag appear somewhere near line 40 or so. With Html, I or any other programmer is going to place these same pieces in around line 4 or so.

      SEO uses a determination based on X,Y axis as to determine weight of a variable. A "Title" tag on line 4 will out weight a "title" tag on line 40. A title with the keyword all the way to the left will out weight one all the way to the right.

      Using wordpress if you DO NOT use Yoast or an equal, you will not have the "Keyword" and "Description' tag at all. Its kinda like insult to injury.

      Again, I am not against WordPress at all, for what it does it does well. However, if you are using this to get traffic to make money, it really may not be the tool for you!

      Hope That Helps!
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      • Profile picture of the author SupplementTalk
        I would like to take this time to say thanks to everyone for participating in the poll and for your in depth thoughs on this subject.

        Even though the poll results show completely one sided that Wordpress should be first choice for its simplicity, I totally get where the others say HTML wins from an SEO standpoint. It seems the best answers from this thread came from actual web developers and they seem to lean towards HTML. Most people, including me, pick Wordpress because if you have a template, you can have a website up and running in a matter of minutes.

        My conclusion is that I will simply ask the business owner if they want to have a blog on their website. I will also ask them what they intend to use the site for. If it is just basically going to be an "online business card" then I will build it by HTML. However, if they want to learn how to blog and update their site on a regular basis, then I will go the Wordpress route.

        thanks again and more thoughts are welcomed!
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    I can't believe 95% responded WordPress. This thread is a total joke.

    I posted this in the main forum the other day:
    You mentioned using WordPress for this. Carefully consider what happens when WP and plugins need to be updated and what happens if a plugin breaks or is hacked. Who is responsible for that and could it mar your reputation?


    Unless the client requires WP you should be working with raw code on your end and integrating a very simple custom CMS. But that requires knowing how to code more than simple HTML and that's probably too much to ask of people that want to be web designers, huh?
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      It's a total joke if you don't read how the OP started the thread. Given that, the Wordpress vote doesn't seem 'wrong' to me.

      Disclosure: I'm not a web designer but a small business owner involved in marketing. I've built both kinds myself (though not many and I'm not good at making either kind look really good... even if I start with a good-looking template).



      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      I can't believe 95% responded WordPress. This thread is a total joke.

      I posted this in the main forum the other day:
      You mentioned using WordPress for this. Carefully consider what happens when WP and plugins need to be updated and what happens if a plugin breaks or is hacked. Who is responsible for that and could it mar your reputation?


      Unless the client requires WP you should be working with raw code on your end and integrating a very simple custom CMS. But that requires knowing how to code more than simple HTML and that's probably too much to ask of people that want to be web designers, huh?
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      I can't believe 95% responded WordPress. This thread is a total joke.
      You ask a bunch of republicans whether a democrat or republican president would be best for the country, what kind of response do you think you will get? And vice verse.

      When 99% of the people on this forum use wordpress, for most of those people that's all they know and of course they'll say wordpress.
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    If you want to build anything more than a basic site HTML is not going to cut it. Your going to need to know a server side language such as PHP as well as be a master of a front end language such as JavaScript.
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    • Profile picture of the author sthysteria
      Originally Posted by brutecky View Post

      If you want to build anything more than a basic site HTML is not going to cut it. Your going to need to know a server side language such as PHP as well as be a master of a front end language such as JavaScript.
      1) You don't have to know how to program any server side language. 2) You definitely do not have to be a master at any "front end language."

      Don't scare people into thinking WP is your only option if you want something more than "basic."

      You can find almost anything you would like to add to your site online, and you know what usually comes with those plugins? Directions. That's right.

      Is it a little more difficult and offer a greater learning curve? Damn right. More experience necessary? Yepp. Does SOME knowledge of the scripts or programming help? Most definitely.

      I can't program any other language than HTML/CSS, but I can go and find almost anything more than "basic" online and implement it into one of my existing websites. But yes it's not always easy and can be challenging. But it's fun and it actually teaches you more about web design and development. But I know lets all just sell WP themes to businesses at stupid prices and act like we're professional web designers.

      I'm not saying you can find everything you need online, of course there are things that may need to be built custom. But to have more than a "basic" website, by no mean requires knowing how to program in those languages. If you know how to build a website and know HTML/CSS then editing other languages shouldn't be too difficult.
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  • Profile picture of the author alex005
    I think that wordpress is better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dhira
    Wordpress. All day eeryday

    Joomla is harder to configure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nauman K
    I always go for WordPress. As there less coding work plus its easy for customer to edit content.
    I will suggest you to buy themes from theme market instead of using a free templates. As these are design by highly qualified and creative designer.
    Hire a freelance designer(if you are not a designer) and customize the graphics based on client requirements.
    You will complete your website in $100 to $150 budget.
    But the website will worth 1000s of $$$.
    The most important thing is that good work will bring more and more customers.

    Thanks
    Nauman K
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  • Benfits of WP theme over HTML is improved seo, security and file backup .
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