Simple. WordPress websites are fast and cheap. One thing they aren’t, though, is great.
A killer website loads fast, contains easily accessible and quality content, is visually appealing, and has SEO built right in. Can WordPress really do all that?
Before you sell your soul to the quick-and-dirty website world, make sure you know what to expect when using that platform – and when a custom site may be your best bet.
Why Builders Choose WordPress
The huge upside to WordPress is the cost, or lack thereof. The downside is, well, that it’s cheap. A killer website is never going to be inexpensive, fast, and great – a point this diagram makes perfectly:
>So why would a builder settle for what’s less than the best?
- It’s easy. You can download a WordPress site for free – it doesn’t get much cheaper than that. In this case, you get what you pay for.
- They aren’t a big builder. If you’re only building 5 or 20 homes per year, this is a tempting option. If you’re building hundreds of homes, WordPress isn’t equipped to handle everything you need. It becomes even more complex the more your company grows.
- Easy button for ad agencies. It’s the simple fix for an ad agency. The builder gets a cheap, fast website and then pays the agency to manage it.
- The company isn’t growing. Long story short, if your company is growing you shouldn’t get a WordPress site. It’s limiting in it’s abilities so by going the WordPress route, you’ve decided your company isn’t going to expand and therefore you don’t need a custom site.
Beware the Promise of Low-Cost
Before signing on for the economy journey of content management, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Its open source structure leads to problems. In plain terms, a hacker can easily get access to your site’s code. Since you’re downloading plugins made by other developers, you can unintentionally use malicious code. Take a newsletter plugin for example, an easy option to send out e-newsletters to buyers. However, the programmer of that code may have set it to transfer your entire mailing list over to them without your knowledge.
- Zero flexibility and no feed options. You get what you pay for here, and WordPress is designed for small content websites. Anything above “standard” requires significant systematic changes – all of which will drastically raise your costs. And you can forget about integrating feeds like Zillow, MLS, or BDX on your little WordPress theme.
- No control over updates. With a custom website, you can call your support team or developer when an issue pops up. But since WordPress features plug-ins from many different developers, an update to one plugin might break another or even cause your whole site to crash. Even worse, a system update might break older apps – and then you’re at the mercy of the original developer to fix it. Most programmers are just in it for the quick buck, and will just sell their plug-ins to the masses before disappearing into the night.
- SEO as an afterthought. If you aren’t found online, you might as well not exist at all. While WordPress allows you to add in plugins for SEO, the lack of flexibility means you’ll never reach the level of performance that could be had with a specially constructed website.
- You won’t stand out. Even after adjusting the themes and colors, most WordPress sites tend to look pretty much the same. In a market full of builders, this can be a problem. Do you really want your website associated with another brand that has a similar design?
- There’s a plug-in for that! WordPress websites contain a lot of unnecessary generic code that slows down your site and the more plug-ins you have to add, the slower it can go. Not only is page loading speed critical for user experience, but Google only has a limited time to crawl your page when it’s looking to update rankings. If they can’t crawl your whole site in the time allowed, you won’t rank as well.
- The sticky subject of copyright. While the law protects the content of the website, it does not protect concepts or ideas. A custom site, on the other hand, provides much stronger copyright protection since you’ll own the designs – not WordPress.
- Easy to build, hard to update. It’s incredibly easy to build a WordPress site. It’s incredibly hard to make updates to it. Originally a blogging platform, WordPress turned into a popular way to create a full website. For home builder websites, to make WordPress do what it needs to do, it typically requires downloading a number of plug-ins, customizing a theme, and hoping for the best when a plug-in developer or theme developer makes an update.
When WordPress Is the Right Choice
Is there any instance in which choosing WordPress is a good call? Absolutely. A custom website is not for everyone. Here are a few examples to highlight when to use WordPress:
- USE IF you’re a small business and build under ten homes a year. If you have a low budget, don’t focus on digital marketing, or your website is not your main selling tool, the less expensive option could work for you.
- USE IF you need immediate market entry. A good custom website isn’t fast. A huge benefit of WordPress lies in its quick installation and operation simplicity. You don’t need a long, thought-out plan to get a WordPress website. Once you’ve made that initial dive into the market, though, you’ll want to consider investing in a custom, optimized, secure, branded website.
- USE IF you’re interested in blogging about your company and need a great platform to use. WordPress is a great resource to create content on a regular basis. It organizes blog posts extremely well!
But if you need something beyond the most basic of sites, you need to look into custom website solutions. A custom site is designed around your needs with products that are vertically integrated from the ground up.
Building a Site with Builder Cloud
We know there are many options out there for your website but we want to show you a revolutionary tool to manage your data. With Builder Cloud, everything is in one place! Check out the video below for more details…
If you want to learn more about the differences between a template product and a custom website, just give the team at Builder Designs a call. We’re happy to explain the differences in more detail and help find the product perfect for you.