WordPress vs Static Website: Which is the best for blogging?

Wordpress-vs-Static-Websites

WordPress has always been the best platform for blogging in the recent few years. It’s because of its ease to use and a ton of features. WordPress has been used by many bloggers and also by many businesses, from small to large corporations. There’s no doubt that WordPress is one of the, if not the best, platforms for blogging. But why did we choose static sites for blogging over wordpress? Let’s know in this article.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system build using the language PHP. WordPress is open source and also very user-friendly. Half of the internet sites are using wordpress for their business or personal website. WordPress makes the job of the user very easy by just visualizing everything. WordPress helps the users to make a website very simple and fast. You can deploy a wordpress site within hours. WordPress had many advantages over other CMS or Static websites. Also, there are disadvantages; we will be talking about them in detail here in this article.

Advantages of WordPress

As I said earlier, there are many advantages of choosing wordpress as the platform for blogging or your website creation. Let’s look at the advantages here:

Easy to use

WordPress is very easy to use and doesn’t need any technical knowledge to set up or make a website. Even it’s so easy that you can learn using it within hours of using it. It doesn’t take you months or days to learn to use and configuring wordpress.

Open Source and free

WordPress itself is Open Source and free, which means you don’t need to pay any fee to use the CMS. However, it’s not free to use as you would require a web hosting or server to install wordpress on top of it. We would be talking about it the disadvantages of hosting wordpress.

Tons of customization options

As wordpress is one of the most popular blogging platforms, tons of themes and plugins can be used on wordpress. You don’t need to know even a single code. The Plugins and themes are pre-made templated for wordpress by different and talented developers, and you require to install them on your wordpress site.

Excellent community support

The wordpress support is phenomenal. There is no official support for the open-source wordpress version, but tons and tons of forums and websites talk and teach wordpress. If you get in trouble configuring anything, google it, and the answer would be easier there for you.

Full Ownership

WordPress is fully yours; there are no contracts between you and wordpress. You can use it as you like. You can customize it. Even if you know to code, you can customize its source code. You can build apps out of wordpress. It all your there are no limitations in terms of ownership.

Disadvantages of WordPress

Now comes the fun part. No, I am not a hater of WordPress, even I was a hardcore user of the platform for a long time now. I have been experiencing these things for a long now. I will share the things based on my won experience and may differ from user to user.

WordPress is slow

Yes, I know if you have a very fast server, or if you have enough money to pay for a very fast server, your installation of wordpress might be fast. But for a beginner, that is a very big drawback as most beginners can’t or don’t want o pay a huge amount of money to host wordpress on a very powerful and expensive server. Even I am one of them; I can’t afford or don’t want to invest a lot of money in very expensive web hosting. So, because wordpress needs a ton of power, it’s very difficult to optimize it for a big amount of traffic. It automatically gets slow, and stats crashing. Well, it’s not the fault of wordpress itself but the technology.

Costly to operate

I know there are tons of websites promoting hosting for wordpress and comparing them according to their price. Even they make the hosting plans look so good with unlimited everything and whatnot if you listen to me, it’s all not that great. The cheap hosting or so-called shared hosting plans are not good at all for wordpress websites. As wordpress sites are already so heavy, and if the hosting company puts a ton of websites in a server, how can your website run fast? It’s just that companies are taking advantage of the customers by paying the influencers a ton of affiliate commission so that the influencers promote the hosting plans they would never use for their own websites. If you want to make your website fast and reliable to your customers, you need good wordpress optimized hosting, which would cost a lot of money. Even the hosting plans can be such a headache because, if you choose a bad or weak hosting thinking your website is new and posting good content on it, if somehow your post gets or your website gets ranked on google. You start getting traffic, your site suddenly crashes, and it’s not opening anymore. You have to pay more to upgrade, or if you want to switch hosting plans, you have to have a backup of your website. If, for some reason, you didn’t have any backup, congrats! Your website is now gone, and there is no option to revive it without paying higher fees to the hosting company.

Easy to get hacked

As your using 3rd party hosting companies, the security of the servers and your wordpress website would be your job to look after. If you’re not a very technically savvy person, you might not be able to secure the website fully. In wordpress, there are many plugins and themes used which 3rd party developers make. If somehow any developer of any plugin decides to leave a backdoor through a plugin to access your data. Congrats, your website will get hacked without you knowing it. Of course, there are options or security plugins to secure your website but, it will cost you more money to buy them, and also, more plugins will make your wordpress website slower.

Misleading hosting companies and their plans

I have often seen that the hosting companies have become so misleading, providing everything unlimited on their cheapest hosting plan. None of that is true, there is nothing as unlimited, and often companies don’t mention the more technical terms like inode counts and other stuff. So please don’t trust these hosting companies. They are not good at all.

Overall Expensive

WordPress is free and open-source, and it’s very good, yes we all know that, but it’s not the truth. wordpress might be open source, but it does not make it cheap as wordpress needs to be hosted, and that’s not the only cost. There are costs of plugins to do your SEO properly; yes, WordPress is versatile and good for SEO, but not without Plugins, even there are no options to change the meta description by default on wordpress. There is a plugin for everything, but installing more plugins results in a slower website. Well, let me finish here as this is not a rant about wordpress; I was just pointing out some of the things that bothered me a lot while using wordpress and its ecosystem. The naked wordpress software is very good, but the thing that makes it the most complicated is the hosting and plugins part. Plugins do make the work easier, but they also make the site slower and may lead to data breaches and hacking of your website, as seen in the past.

What is a static website?

Static websites are websites with no backend; they have the only frontend, i.e., they are only built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The main advantage of static websites is speed and low hosting costs. Static websites can be very complicated as they required very technical knowledge to make. You need to know about html, CSS, and javascript to create a website.However, there are many static website visual builders available right now in the market. There’s Bootstrap Studio and also Mobirise that we are using now to generate our static website. All these static website makers are using the bootstrap framework. Again there are static sites generator like the HUGO or Gatsby, which can help users do static website blogging. But they can be very technical and not beginner-friendly.

Advantages of Static Website

Static websites have many advantages as well as many disadvantages we will be talking about all of them here; these are based on my experience

Fast Loading

Static websites don’t have anything to process; the browser processes all the files. There is no requesting for data from any database. So, it doesn’t need any server power and processing. Even static websites can be stored on storage buckets and accessed from anywhere. Because static websites don’t any processing and don’t need to look up information on their database, so they load very fast and are best for performance.

Low Cost of Hosting

Static websites don’t need processing power. So, they are very cheap to host; you can use any paid service which is very cheap, like google cloud buckets or amazon s3 buckets. There are also other better options like Netlify or Github Pages, on which you can host websites for free without paying any penny. The most impressive service that we use is the latest Cloudflare Pages. They are still in Beta, but they are very good.Cloudflare Pages are very easy to use and are also very fast and free to use. You get true unlimited hosting and bandwidth for your websites. Cloudflare pages are linked to the repositories of your Github Account.

More Flexibility

Static websites have a lot of flexibility because of their ability to edit from the code. You can add any custom html code or any js script. There are numerous options with static websites. Even most of the websites of the tools on google are made using only html, CSS, and js.The Js can be hosted using CDN like Cloudflare, and the website can be stored on storage buckets. Even better is the Jam stack platform like GitHub pages and Cloudflare pages.Overall, static websites are the future as internet consumption is getting vast and bigger day by day. The websites need more advanced, new, and faster technologies to operate. Front-end static website generators like HUGO, which is build using Google’s Go language, or static site generators like Gatsby, which can use wordpress as a headless CMS, maybe the future.

Disadvantages of Static Websites

As there are numerous advantages, there are also many disadvantages over CMS like wordpress. Let’s see what’s better on WordPress

Limited Ease of use

Static websites can be very hard and annoying to use if your not a programmer or coder. As of today, they still require some knowledge to operate or run them. Even it’s not that easy customizing them and maintaining them. It would help if you had a very good idea about coding and the languages used to make these static websites.There is very little visual editing of static websites; most of the things are terminal or code-based. At the same time, wordpress is very easy in that field.

A long learning curve

Static websites and their maintenance have a long learning curve. Because for the maintenance of static websites, the programming languages need to be learned. Programming languages like HTML and CSS are relatively easier than others, but still, it can take someone many months to get good at it.

Too Confusing

The most annoying thing about static websites is the development platform. It can be too confusing. There are many types of web development languages and tools like node js, react, angular, gatsby js which is also made using node js and react. There are tons of options. It might be good to have options, but at the same time, having so many options is very annoying, especially if you’re a beginner.These disadvantages can be easily gone or fulfilled as technology will keep on getting better, there would be new tools coming for more beginner-centric audiences. There would be CMS that can generate Static webpages by default.

Which is better WordPress or Static Websites?

Both wordpress and static websites are good for their respective user bases. I like wordpress for its simplicity and ease of use, whereas static websites are much more complex and time-consuming to work on.But wordpress sites are usually slow as they need many resources, which can be a problem for many people, as it’s not possible to take subscriptions of very expensive hosting services for everyone. There are cheap hosting services available, but they are not as good for sustainability. They often can’t handle more traffic and usually tend to crash.Even something wrong on other websites can make the whole server slow, and your websites might be affected. In my experience, I have got the best results from hosting providers like Digital Ocean, Vultr, and Amazon Light Sail. There are other cloud providers like Amazon EC2 or Google Cloud VMs, but they might end up costing more. I have used Cyberpannel along with the digital ocean. I chose the $5 plan, which was enough for my usage and traffic. The Cyber panel is free for personal use and can be installed easily from the Digital Ocean Market Place.Cyberpanel can also be installed on other cloud providers. But I like the digital ocean more, as I find them more reliable and fast.And one good hosting can be Cloudways, only if you have extra money with you, as cloudways manages the servers of the digital ocean and other cloud providers and doubles the price. I wouldn’t choose cloudways to manage my hosting; I can install CyberPannel for free on any VPS.In conclusion, if you have a good budget and are not tech-savvy enough, and don’t want to tinker into code and languages, wordpress is for you.There are no other options than wordpress that can give you such an amount of flexibility in a CMS.There are newer CMS based on Node JS like the Ghost Blogging Platform, which is also good but not as popular as wordpress.People wanting to learn new skills and experiment can go with the static sites, as they are very cost-efficient and are faster in speed. Static Websites are also good for the environment as they don’t use much power, which leads to less use of electricity. But I would not get into that.

How to use static websites for blogging?

Using static websites for blogging is not as easy as wordpress or any other blogger or medium platform. Those are very easy to use platforms. To use static websites as a blog, you need to have a static website generator like HUGO.There are also options to use wordpress and gatsby to use as a static website generator and CMS, but the tutorials would be much detailed and complex as of now.Wix might be a good option for them to start their website for someone looking to build faster websites without worrying too much. Wix uses html and CSS and Wix websites faster than wordpress because Wix websites are fully hosted and managed by Wix themselves.There are also blogging options on Wix. Also, Wix has built-in SEO features, so there’s no need to paying for extra plugins. But for tutorials, you can watch various youtube videos; this article was just the comparision of between wordpress and static website blogging. If you’re looking into wordpress with managed wordpress hosting, Kinsta might be a good option, but it’s quite expensive, and also WordPress.com can be good if you choose the more expensive plans. There are no options to change permalinks or change the seo meta descriptions for the basic plans.

How to make wordpress run faster?

I have complained about wordpress not being fast. If you want to make it faster, please use a cache plugin, like WP rocket, or if you have a lite speed server, you can use the lite speed cache plugin. Moreover, there are newer options like NitroPack available, which has plans that include a CDN and also drastically improves the performance of your wordpress website.Moreover, using Cloudflare can help your wordpress site getting faster. Cloudflare is one of the best web tools or web companies out there.Also, avoid installing a ton of plugins; use light themes with less. Don’t use themes that need a lot of plugins to work.Also, try using Gutenberg block editor, which is developed by wordpress. It’s faster than using elementor. But it’s not as versatile as elementor is.The last thing I can suggest is to get good hosting, not only a gimmicky one but a good one, like the digital ocean or Amazon light sail. These services are very reliable, and they provide very value for money.

Conclusion

There is nothing perfect in this world. In the case of the wordpress vs. Static site, there is no clear winner. I like static websites more because they are fast and more cost-friendly.However, wordpress might be the better option for you. The thing is that whatever you choose, your content will always be the one to judge your rankings. The platform or tools don’t matter that much.Not only writing long content will help. But the content needs to be good and requires to provide value to the users. At last, content is King.

Update

Building a blog with static websites has been made easier now by Netlify CMS. It’s a GUI based CMS that allows users to do blogging without editing code with static site generators. It supports many static website generators like Gatsby, HUGO and others.

Recently, we have switched to Ghost CMS, which is based on jam stack and can also be used as a headless CMS. We found that Ghost blog is a faster and modern and perfect choice for blogging.

We are using Digital ocean with Ghost, which makes it quite economical too.

Frequently asked questions

  • What should I choose WordPress or Wix?WordPress and Wix both are good platforms, WordPress has more flexibility. But, Wix is more beginner friendly. Wix can be good for security and built in SEO tools.
  • Can I create static websites with WordPress?Yes, there are a number of plugins which can do it. One is called SIMPLY STATIC. It can convert your WordPress blog pages to static HTML and CSS pages.
  • How to learn HTML, CSS, JS Faster?There’s no shortcut, just start with the basics and proceed step by step. W3 Schools has the best guides if you want to learn for free.
  • What is the need of a fast website? A faster website is very important, especially for ranking higher on google.
  • Can I switch from WordPress to static website?Yes, but there is no automated process, you have to manually convert your posts to html and css. You can use a Static site generator for your blog posts. But for a bigger website it’s more easier to stick with WordPress and use it with Gatsby Js as a headless CMS.
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