Two Platforms

There is a long debate between WordPress and Website Builder folks. I’m not here to tell you which one you should choose. Both are good. They serve different markets. There are trade-offs between them and you can choose the one you like, change your mind, or do both. It’s up to you.


WordPress is the older platform, started a few weeks after Tapsuccess in 2003 when Mike Little and Matt Mullenweg created a fork of b2/cafelog (now defunct). In the beginning, it was a very ugly, slow blogging platform.

Today WordPress is a modern CMS (Content Management System). Databases have gotten better, many of the 10,000 themes are attractive, useful and responsive. There are almost 40,000 plugins that add an endless range of functions.

WordPress was licensed under the General Public License (GPLv2 or later) which states that whatever you got for free must also be made available for free with improvements.

This is why there are two ‘flavors’ of WordPress .com and .org. The .org is where anyone can download, install and manage the same software people pay for at .com. However, doing this well requires a level of skill and experience.

WordPress has an extensive community of developers, theme authors, plugin authors, and specialists around the world. WordPress is open-source and can be customized. You can do anything with it on your own installation. You can install it on your laptop (I do) and you can pack it up and change servers.

I met Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp San Francisco in 2013 or 2014. He’s a cool guy.

If you are building a large, long-term website that will provide special customized services, choose WordPress.

Action Step A: Visit WordPress

The new kid on the block is Website Builder. This is actually a generic term for a JavaScript engine that writes a web page based on your drag-and-drop selections.

This platform is user-friendly, generally looks good from the beginning, includes dozens of themes and dozens of the commonly used functions, pages, and features.

Website Builder

It doesn’t do everything. In technical terms, all of the websites built by this engine actually live in the same place and share that one engine. It does many things very well. it doesn’t do everything. You can’t customize it.

There are several brands offering similar engines: WIX, Weebly, SquareSpace. They used to be rather awkward and clumsy. Today, they do rather well.

If you are planning a smaller website, or you need a website today, and don’t need customizing or exotic extras, choose Website Builder.

Action Step B: Visit Website Builder

Remember I said there were two platforms? That’s correct. But there’s a little problem.

These days, your website needs an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to encrypt your web traffic. In the past, this was optional but not any more. The Website Builder includes an SSL on the monthly plan. The WordPress requires a one year plan to include the SSL.

However, there is a small workaround. it is possible to install the WordPress on our hosting plan, and covered by our LLS, as long as you have the cPanel hosting plan. If you need the WordPress platform and you cannot afford the annual commitment, this might be an option for you for the first year.

On the other hand, you can work with the website on the monthly plan before going live. You can do that as long as you like.

Action Step C: cPanel

Yes. It is possible, and other people have done it. It’s possible to copy and paste from one to the other without extreme difficulty. There will be some adjustments.

Can I change my mind?

On the other hand, much of the code behind the page is rather standard HTML. This means that the pages are technically translatable.

You may have to make an extra purchase. There aren’t easy ways to switch from one platform to the other. “Apples and Oranges” you know.

Can I Try It First?

Currently that’s not easy. I recommend that you watch some of the support videos. They will give you an idea of what is involved in doing specific tasks.

It may be possible for you to play with a test installation at some point in the future. Such a site would have to be paid for by someone and would be ‘live’ in order for you to actually see it, which presents some problems.

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