Having a place you can call “home” online is an essential part of your business and your brand presence. It is one of the first and most important touchpoints for your customers and clients to learn about your products and services and buy from you or generate leads. You need to take this into consideration when you build your site.
With so many options for website design and development at your fingertips these days, making the choice between platforms to build your site can be a tough one.
Let’s look at eight reasons why WordPress with the use of a visual builder is the best choice to build, manage and scale your site for years to come, allowing it to grow with your business.
What are the benefits of using WordPress to build your site?
WordPress is open-sourced
This means that when your build your site with WordPress, it is 100% customisable and can grow and scale with your business. You have unlimited control and flexibility. Think of it as only having to build the foundation of your website once! Unlike all-in-one closed solutions like Squarespace and Wix, which do have pretty templates and are great for getting an online presence, but also have limitations on what you can do. Especially when your business grows and evolves.
WordPress is SEO friendly
Searchability is key to ranking high on Google and other search engines. WordPress sites tend to rank high for their keywords, largely because they’re constantly being updated and because WordPress includes a variety of tools and plugins for optimizing content for SEO (search engine optimization) that allow you to have full control over how your site is primed for search engines.
- When building your site with WordPress, you own and retain all rights to your content but you do grant them a royalty-free worldwide license to display your material – otherwise, they would not be able to show your content to other online users!
This differs a little with 3rd party solutions. For example, Squarespace, which states that “When you upload content to Squarespace, you still own it. You do, however, give us permission to use it in ways necessary to provide, improve, promote and protect our services.” This means that if they choose to, in the worst-case scenario, they can remove or block your content from your website if they deem it unsuitable for their platform. For my business and my client’s sites, it’s important to know that my hard work cannot be controlled by a third-party.
Why should you use a visual builder in WordPress?
- By using a visual builder in WordPress, such as Divi or Elementor, you have complete design flexibility across your entire website. All aspects, from functionality to the look and feel, are adjustable to suit your branding design requirements.
- A visual builder will allow you to create a mobile responsive website, as you can switch between the mobile and desktop view, to ensure the design is always mobile-friendly.
- A visual builder allows you full control over any custom development you include in your site.
- The combination of these three elements of a visual builder provides an effortless and enjoyable experience for the client to update and manage their site without the assistance of a developer after the site launches. This aspect of a visual builder is one of the key reasons I use them with WordPress. By putting the power back into the hands of the business owner I am able to support small business autonomy, without the constant need to outsource and pay for their website management.
- A visual builder is designed to be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface, drag and drop elements and a comprehensive sidebar for adjustability. It’s a designer’s best friend!
What are the costs of creating a website using a visual builder in WordPress?
• Hosting fees – your hosting costs can be set up as either monthly or annual payments. These are cheaper when compared with a subscription model of all-in-one builders.
Tip: We recommend Siteground for its fast, user-friendly platform and 100% renewable energy match. (P.s. Be wary of hosts like GoDaddy who are cheap and shiny on the surface but require expensive add-ons for your site to actually perform well.)
• Domain name fee – We recommend purchasing a domain name through Siteground, Namecheap, Go Daddy, or Crazy Domains. These are inexpensive options with easy-to-use dashboards for domain management.
• Visual builder fee – Depending on the type of visual builder you opt for, these can range from $0 to $89/year. We recommend Elementor and Divi for the most advanced, intuitive, and supported visual builders that are built with designers for designers.
• Theme fee – There are thousands of themes on the market so I understand narrowing it down to just one can be confusing. However, the beauty of using a visual builder is that it does a lot of the heavy lifting for you and is where you’ll make the majority of your customisations. The theme simply acts as a foundation for the website structure. Elementor is a plugin so you will have to select a theme to use it with. They have their own ‘Hello’ theme that includes all of the basics to get you started, or if you’re looking for a few more advanced features, consider the Astra theme (they have free and pro versions). Divi is a theme and visual builder all on one so you don’t need to install an additional theme for it.
• Plugins – Free and Premium plugins are an option if you are looking for more flexible customisations within your site. There are plugins for integrating absolutely everything you could think of wanting within a website and you can explore and install most of these directly through the WordPress dashboard.
At the basic starting point of setting up and building your site, costs will include just your domain name, hosting, and visual builder fees.
As a small business owner, you only want to pay for your website build once
But on the other hand, your business can grow and evolve quickly and you want your website to evolve with you.
Building on WordPress with a visual builder like Elementor or Divi not only allows for endless possibilities with growth and customisation but will allow you as a small business owner to update and manage your own website once the control has been handed over to you.
Your business website is not going to hit a ceiling of potential as it could if you were to lock yourself into an all-in-one 3rd party solution, such as Squarespace, Wix, even Showit.
Yes, these website platform options have their benefits for the DIY’er or those on a tight budget, just to have an online presence, but this can cause issues in the future when your business outgrows the limited options that these platforms constrict you to.
In essence, you can start with the basics on a custom WordPress site, which will allow you to build and grow your platform when your brand reaches that milestone or when you’re ready to implement new features.
*This post contains affiliate links, however, they’re recommendations for the exact tools I use in my business so I genuinely vouch for them.