What’s the best blog website builder you do most warmly recommend? I am asked this question very often. And in terms of professional blogging, I always find myself explaining why website builders are not really a suitable choice.
Setting up a blog seems to be a typical situation where people think they have to make an X OR Y decision, while, in reality, they can get both, X PLUS Y! Confused? Okay:
One of the first steps in starting your blogging business is finding out how to (technically and visually) set up your blog. From a newbies point of view, you want to find ways to do that very easily (X) and, of course, very professionally (Y), too.
But with the offers online you can easily come to the conclusion that you can not really have both:
- X: Either you take the very easy, fool-proof way by making use of drag & drop blog website builders
- Y: Or you take the professional (but apparently not so beginner friendly) way by making use of WordPress (WP), which is recommended by nearly all really successful bloggers
In this light, of course, newbies are tempted to take the easy way (website builders). At first sight, you are amazed by what professional looking sites can be built by these easy drag & drop tools. But the more you immerse into profit-oriented professional blogging, the more trouble making limitations occur…
I don’t want that happen to you, so let’s be upfront: If you want to build a simple website for small businesses with a few typical pages like products & services, pricing, team, contact – website builders can be a good choice for you.
But, if you are serious about building a profitable blogging business, I highly recommend doing it based on WordPress.
Truth is, “easy” and “professional” are not mutually exclusive anymore, when it comes to creating blogs!
Today, I am very happy I got started with WordPress right away. So let’s take a look at the top 7 reasons why it should be the ultimate choice for your blog too!
1. You are virtually unlimited in overall functionality and flexibility
WordPress is the unchallenged leading Content Management System (it powers 25% of the web) for a simple reason: No other system provides more flexibility combined with a user interface you can quickly get familiar with.
It’s steadily developed by a large community of open source developers and the first choice of the biggest community of users a content management system could have. That way, you are always provided with two things: The newest state of the art tools and functions (most of them for free), and a large community helping each other with whatever questions might occur.
This flexibility of WP enables you to always react on changes in our lively online industry, today and in the future.
Website builders can not offer this high level of flexibility and functionality. This might not be an issue at the beginning of your blogging. But once you are ready to turn pro with your blog (and that’s what you should aim for) your blog will not be able to adjust to your demands and grow with you.
2. You are not stuck with pre-given designs and features
Themes are the core framework of your WP blog. They define the main design and structure of your site, which highly impacts the user experience you can provide for your visitors.
Using WP, your choices are virtually unlimited, since there are thousands of different themes you can choose from. That way, you are absolutely free to choose a theme that suits the niche of your blog best. You can easily make sure to take a responsive theme (mobile friendly), for example. And if you think it’s time for a redesign of your blog, you can change your theme anytime.
In addition to that, you have almost unlimited options to add and customize functionality on your blog, mostly provided by Plugins. Of course, you shouldn’t install too many Plugins (it could slow down the overall performance of your site). But there are several Plugins that make huge sense, like those who make your site SEO friendly, social shareable, spam-protected, or to automate regular backups of your site.
WB are made for a limited group of themes you can choose from. And the options to add or customize functions for your blog are very limited, too. Let’s say you want to add a social share function to your blog. If you are using WordPress, you are the one deciding which of many many Plugins suits you best. If you use a WB, the developers of that website builder decide which apps they provide for you to choose from.
At the website builder Wix, for example, you can only install apps and themes, that are allowed by the Wix development team, no alternatives. And once you have chosen a specific theme, you have to live with it forever, no options to ever switch to another theme.
3. You won’t be charged for all the features you need
WordPress is an open source solution. You can install it for free and the large majority of great performing themes and Plugins are free of charge too.
In opposite to that, website builders charge you for almost every piece of professionality they provide for you to add to your website.
Wix is a good example how these extra costs can easily sum up to $150 or more per year:
- If you want to remove the default Wix ads from your website, you have to pay for it.
- For more storage and bandwidth, you have to choose a higher priced subscription (and even the highest plan is too limited for professional blogging intentions).
- If you want to connect your blog with Google Analytics (to check the visitor behavior on your site) you have to pay for it.
- Even the ability to put your own favicon on your blog, will be charged.
- And in terms of adding more functionality to your site with the help of apps (Plugins in WordPress World), even the most expensive plan has only 2 premium apps included. Each premium feature (app) you want (must) add to make your site professional, costs extra again.
Trouble is: Even if you take the most expensive subscription plan of a website builder – the flexibility, functionality and performance of your site will still be significantly lower than using a WordPress blog combined with professional hosting.
4. You don’t build a blog that is owned by others
If you buy a domain and hosting for your WordPress blog, you are the owner of your site.
Note: This leads to an important rule you should follow: Whatever way you choose to get started with blogging, by all means, make sure you really always are the owner of your site!
Why is that so important? Because all the work you put into your blog, all the content you contribute to your blog, sums up in assets. With your professional blogging you will streamline targeted traffic to your blog, which has high impact on the value of your blog. And, over all stages of your business, you should be the owner of that value.
In most cases, when you create your blog with the help of a WB, you are not the owner of your site. Neither the URL, nor the hosting is yours. All the assets you add to “your” blog, are locked in the website builder’s platform forever.
Maybe you initially don’t mind about it, as long as you do not hit the limits of the WB’s services. But as soon as you need to change or add things that are not provided by the WB (but mandatory to make your business work), you have no choice but to start all over again with a new blog somewhere else.
That’s why it’s so important to make up your mind about the long term goals of your blogging. If you see blogging as a hobby with no income intentions, you’ll probably be fine with website builders. But if you want to grow your blog into a professional business, you are pretty much doomed to fail with WB’s.
5. You are not forced married with one hosting provider
Sure, it’s not easy to evaluate what level of performance and security you need for the hosting of your current and future blog. At WB’s, you see the different subscription plans (which include domain and hosting) and may choose the most expensive package, to ensure maximum bandwidth and storage for your future epic blog.
In most cases, though, even the biggest hosting package of a website builder is by far not big enough for smoothly growing an authority blog.
With WB’s, you are forced to take the hosting packages they offer to you. If your blog grows beyond their limits and needs professional upgrade, you are stuck. You can not take your blog and move it to a more suitable hosting provider. You have to stay with the hosting of your website builder. If this happens at a stage, where your blog already starts to make money and is about to take off, this is a very painful experience.
If you take WordPress, you are free to choose any adequate professional hosting provider. That way, you can avoid running into any kind of restrictions. Your blog and hosting can scale with the growing success of your activities.
Note: Please take this as another important rule: Whatever hosting offer you choose, always make sure you can move your website to any other hosting partner, whenever you want.
6. Full access to your site is not denied
WordPress blogs are industry leading in their ability of being customized to a bloggers needs. This flexibility comes from its open source system: You always have access to all the source code and CSS files of your blog, which enables you to adjust every aspect of your blog to your individual needs.
“Who needs that accessibility of source code, I don’t want to learn coding, I want to have fun with blogging!” you might think.
Yes, in the beginning, the source code of your blog is not very interesting. But the more you become an expert of blogging, the more advanced your own requirements of your blogs performance will become. And even if you in person don’t want to start coding (which is absolutely fine!), maybe there will come tweaks you want an expert to do at your blog in the future.
Without this full access (and control), it would be like being a guest user on your own computer. But, for your business, admin is the role you should control everything with!
Website builders don’t give you access to the source code and CSS style of your website. So you don’t really have full access to your own (oh well it’s not your own) site! Once you need the code to be adjusted to individual needs, you can’t do it. And the website builder’s support won’t do it either.
7. You are not limited in user accounts
If you are using WordPress, you can allow other users to access your WP backend. Again, this might not be relevant to you in the beginning. But as your blog grows, there are several occasions where this opportunity is very helpful.
Maybe you will hire someone to contribute content to your blog. You can give him access with the role of an „author“. Or you have technical issues an expert should look at. Then, you can create another admin account for him so he is not using yours.
There are several other roles you can create user accounts for in WordPress. Depending on what other users should do or see on your backend, you can give them the proper rights within their role.
Website builders don’t offer you that flexibility for multiple users. Most of them provide only one user account, which you have to share with your other users then.
I really hope you have found some convincing information to take the WordPress way for your blogging career. It’s really the best platform you can build and scale your blogging foundation on.
Now it’s your turn – are you using WordPress already? Or are you still stuck with sorting out a good niche for your blog? Do you need help with finding a proper theme or the most useful Plugins? Please ask me, I really love to help you out!