WordPress has come a long way from its launch in 2003 to become the top choice for many website builders. While it started as a tool for bloggers, it has grown to be a powerful website design platform and content management system for both individuals, and commercial corporations.
As of January 2015, WordPress accounts for more than 20% of the top 1 million visited websites. These types of numbers clearly show the popularity of WordPress usage when compared to other top free open source content management system alternatives available like Joomla (2.4% of top 1 million websites) and Drupal (2.3% of top 1 million websites) in terms of the ease of setting up and maintaining a website .
Long after WordPress has established itself as the king of the internet, there have been a number of other platforms built around a DIY concept which enable the user build websites by themselves. Such platforms include Squarespace, Weebly and Wix.
The question most people face is whether WordPress offers substantial benefits over these newcomer platforms, when compared to WordPress. To answer this question, one has to grasp the key differences between Word Press and most of the DIY services.
First, unlike WordPress these build-it-yourself platforms are not open source. Each of these platforms are designed, operated, and updated by their own in house development teams.
For a complete newbie, the drag and drop platforms of Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix may be a very attractive feature to these systems, however, WordPress has a wide variety of large advantages:
WordPress Offers a Huge Variety Plugins to Enhance Website Functionality
In Squarespace vs WordPress – Our Detailed Comparison, Jeremy Wong points out – there are about 26,000 WordPress plugins available currently and these have been downloaded over 490 million times. That is huge number of potential function combinations it is only possible due to the open source nature of WordPress. This open source ideology has facilitated the creation of a myriad of plugins and themes meeting a wide range of website functions. None of the other services – Squarespace, Weebly, nor Wix – can compare to the options offered to the user by WordPress.
Endless Information is Available about WordPress
Information about WordPress and its plugins and themes is readily available in, literally, thousands of website, Q & A websites, support forums and user reviews. Whether you are looking for tutorials, guides, product reviews or expert advice, you are guaranteed to find plenty of information from a vast variety authors and sources online faster and more easily, compared to any of Squarespace, Weebly, Wix or any similar DIY service available. Readily available information is crucial for a beginner learning any new skill.
WordPress is more Flexible than any Drag-and-drop Service
One of the most important advantages of WordPress over most other services is the flexibility it offers in terms of functionality and customization. This allows the user a lot of free will in adapting the site to individualized needs. This flexibility makes WordPress a powerful platform and suitable for a wide range of purposes. It makes WordPress ideal for both the first timer and an expert web developer. It allows for scalability, enabling the user to expand functions of the website as they deem necessary and as their business demands.
Many businesses who start with a Squarespace, Weebly or Wix quickly find they need MORE than any of these drag-and-drop DIY options can provide and are force to switch to a more powerful system.
Build Your Website to Reflect Where You Want Your Business to Go
When building your website, start where you envision your business to be 2 or 3 years in the future. Remember, your website is the face of your business online and 4 out of 5 customers will research your business, services and products online before ever contacting you. Start with a powerful website presence and give your customers everything they expect.