When it comes to websites in 2022, WordPress continues to be the number one choice for content management solutions. According to HubSpot, “WordPress is used by 65.2% of all websites using a CMS”. This statistic has grown steadily over the years, even in the face of new “Software as a Service” (SaaS) competitors like Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace.
With all the new integrated features offered by SaaS options, why is WordPress still the number one choice and is it still the right choice for your business? Here’s a few things to consider when comparing WordPress to SaaS platforms:
Advantages of WordPress
- Portability and ownership of data – It’s easy to move your website, database, files, and content to another hosting provider.
- Scalable to practically any business size.
- Adaptable to practically any website need.
- More feature rich than ‘software as a service’ web platforms.
- Can be more cost effective with a good hosting provider.
- No monthly fee to use the open source, self-hosted platform.
- Can also act as ‘software as a service’ via wordpress.com.
- More in depth control over Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Disadvantages of WordPress
- More complex than most “Software as a Service” platforms.
- Cost of domain, hosting, theme, and plugins needs to be budgeted for.
- Monitoring updates and addressing security and maintenance issues must be taken into account.
Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of WordPress for Your Business
For many people, the three disadvantages listed above are pretty huge. And with many years of being a tech partner to all sorts of businesses, we can completely understand. For many newer businesses, or small businesses run by one person, where time and financial budgets can be extremely tight, WordPress may not be the right choice out of the gate. The critical consideration comes down to your long-term expectations and goals for the business.
If you intend on keeping your business small, or just simply do not have the budget or web experience to consider WordPress, know that going with a SaaS alternative like Wix or Squarespace is absolutely fine. The important thing is to get your business off the ground. Our only strong recommendation is to continue to learn about all aspects of running a website, or start budgeting for some professional help at some point to make sure your website is properly configured and optimized for search. Simply having a website doesn’t guarantee anyone will be able to find it if the proper work hasn’t been done.
If growth for your business is at the top of your list of goals, it really might be worth ponying up the extra expense for a WordPress website. And if you are very serious about your business, then it is absolutely worth not only going with WordPress, but hiring professionals to handle the website, SEO, and possibly even the content and marketing if it can be afforded. The reason is simple: modern business is the internet. You will have a better chance out of the gate with a professionally built website that is appealing, secure, and optimized for Google search.
If you’re still on the fence about what website CMS solution is right for your business, here are a few other considerations:
While SaaS Platforms Continue to Improve, So Does WordPress
One argument we hear a lot about SaaS platforms is that they are continually adding new features and functionality. The reality is that WordPress is too. The core features and functionality of the platform have never stopped improving and some of the changes made in the last few years have been pretty game changing.
The most notable of these is the introduction of Gutenberg, the block-based editor that was introduced with WordPress 5. Gutenberg has been evolving quickly and has made adding content and media to pages in WordPress super easy and fast. For many users, it has also become a better editing solution than the many 3rd party editors that come with paid themes or are purchased as standalone plugins.
Many other improvements like Gutenberg have lessened the need for 3rd party plugins that can make a site more complicated, less secure, and often more expensive. We expect this trend to continue.
The Best Alternative to Wix and Squarespace for Businesses on a Budget
It’s probably pretty obvious by now that we lean toward WordPress over “Software as a Service” solutions like Wix and Squarespace. But here is the last and final reason we feel WordPress is the best choice over these SaaS platforms: WordPress can be SaaS or self-hosted! What this means is that your business can have an extremely affordable and simple WordPress website out of the gate with practically all the hosting, service, and tools you expect from other SaaS providers, but as your business grows and your needs become more complex, you can move your WordPress website to a more flexible, accessible, and professional hosting environment without having to build a whole new website.
The key for a new business owner needing a website is understanding the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. WordPress.com is much like Wix and Squarespace in that you pay a monthly fee and you have some basic support to help you build and promote your website.
Unlike Wix and Squarespace though, at any time, you can easily move your WordPress website to a self-hosted environment. Other SaaS web platforms don’t offer this portability of your data, meaning if you want to leave the platform, you have to start from scratch. If you don’t know what you are doing as you build your new website, you can destroy any authority and trust your old website has garnered on Google by not following a long, technical checklist. This mistake can cost a well-established business that relies on organic search more money than just the cost of building a new website.
In the end, we feel that all new businesses are still better off with WordPress and starting out on wordpress.com then moving your site to a self-hosted environment when budget and need intersect is a great solution that can save a tremendous amount of money and headache for a business owner in the long run.
If you need help with your website or looking to grow your business with digital marketing, don’t hesitate to Contact Us!