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WordPress Review

Sunday, August 1st

2021 Website Builder Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award WordPress Review 5 Star Rating

WordPress

5 Star Rating
  • Cost: From $0 to $45 per month (depending on hosting)
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

WordPress has been around for a long time. Since its first version was launched in 2003 to now, thirty five percent of websites (455 million websites!) are built using WordPress. WordPress sites make up 14.7% of the top 100 websites in the world.

Tens Of Thousands Of Themes And Plugins

WordPress began as a simple blogging tool that evolved into the most popular Content Management System (CMS). Through its tens of thousands of themes and plugins, it can be extended to become anything you want your website to be.

Open Source Software

WordPress has the added benefit of being built as "open source" software. That means that anyone can use it and change it to anything they want, free of charge, as long as they also license it as open source. Almost no one needs to modify "core" WordPress itself because open source flexibility is the key to its popularity. But, should the need arise to change it in any way, you can hire someone who can do it for you. There are tens of thousands of WordPress-specific designers and developers and about 5 million PHP developers. PHP is the language that WordPress runs on.

5 Plans To Choose From

Wordpress offers you five different plans to choose from when signing up for their service:

Your host Wordpress on your own server.

For $4/month, you receive:

  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Collect payments
  • Unlimited email support

For $8/month, you receive everything in the Personal Plan, plus:

  • Live chat support
  • Ability to earn ad revenue
  • Premium themes
  • Ability to upload videos
  • Google analytics integration

For $25/month, you receive everything in the Premium Plan, plus:

  • Ability to install plugins, which will extend the functionality of your site
  • Advanced SEO tools, to help your site rank well within Google
  • Automated site backups
  • SFTP file transfers and database access

For $45/month, you receive everything in the Business Plan, plus:

  • Ability to accept paymentsin over 60 countries
  • integrations with top shipping carriers
  • Premium design options for online stores
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Getting Started

After signing up for an account at WordPress and logging in, you choose your desired theme from the Design > Themes menu, and then create a page or post to act as your site's homepage. If given the choice between using the old text editor and using the new WordPress drag-and-drop Block Editor, we recommend the Block Editor. It is replacing the "Classic Editor" as the future of editing in WordPress. The Block Editor is intuitive, but if you get stuck there are lots of tutorials online and at WordPress on how to use the Block Editor.

More Of What You Need

When you upgrade from free to a business plan or higher, WordPress provides much more of what you need to run a successful website, including email and live chat support, removal of WordPress ads, custom domains, hosting, JetPack optimization tools, analytics, marketing integrations, payment collection, and making money through display advertising on your site. You can forward emails sent to your custom domain to G Suite, Outlook, or other email services as needed.

One-click Install

If you decide to self-host your website using the open source software, your host will likely have it already set up for you. If not, they will provide a one-click install option to add WordPress to your hosting account. Most hosting providers have a "managed WordPress" option so that you don't have to worry about special configuration, backups, restores, or other maintenance issues. You can also purchase WordPress maintenance plans from dozens of dedicated maintenance providers.

Total Freedom

Self-hosted WordPress has a slightly different user interface than the primary WordPress service, but the concepts are the same. You can choose a Block Editor-enabled theme, or a full-fledged page-builder or theme-builder theme for drag-and-drop page design and blog post content creation. Unlike with WordPress hosting, with self-hosted WordPress you have total freedom to add plugins to extend your site's capabilities, as well as various plugins to add more controls to the Block Editor.

Pay For Advanced Features

Many plugins and themes are free, so it's possible to run a whole WordPress site without paying anything beyond your basic hosting package. Other plugins and themes include advanced features which you can enable by paying for a license and inserting a license key in the plugin settings. It's totally up to you how you design, structure, and run your site.

Great Community Support

If you need to import or export content, WordPress has a simple and free plugin that will do this for you. Need to change your site appearance with a new theme? No problem, WordPress allows you to switch themes. Want to enable eCommerce on your WordPress site? That's covered as well, with numerous eCommerce plugins like the free WooCommerce plugin (and its numerous helper extensions), BigCommerce for WordPress, Easy Digital Downloads, MemberPress, Ecwid, and more.

Engineered To Perform Well On Google

One of the best things about WordPress, because of its long history, is that it "grew up" around how search engines discover new sites and new or updated content. Everything about how WordPress pages and posts are structured is engineered to make your content as visible as possible to search engine "bots". If you do your part to write good content, WordPress does the rest for you. Other site builder services struggle to measure up to WordPress in this regard.

A Little Higher Learning Curve

Because of its flexibility, WordPress does require a little bit more user education than the typical quick-start site builder. But this is actually a benefit rather than a hindrance in that you're trading a modest time investment to save both money and even more time as you add new features and content to your site and as your site rises in the search engine results. Many basic to advanced tutorials are free online and there's a huge community of WordPress developers and enthusiasts to help you in case you get stuck.

Highest Rating

WordPress earned our highest rating because of its longevity, extensibility, search engine visibility, and popularity. We really like the freedom that comes with both WordPress options. There's nothing standing in the way of creating a top-notch, high-traffic site when using WordPress.

Which Service Offers the Best Website Builder?

The way you build a website can directly impact the success your website has in attracting and retaining customers. So, it's important to choose a website builder that maximizes things like search engine optimization (SEO), usability, the speed at which each page loads (page speed), mobile browser compatibility, accessibility for users with disabilities, and dozens of other requirements.

Website builder software and services aim to remove the technical barriers that come with more sophisticated methods of building websites. With a website builder, not only is content easier to author, you also become a "drag and drop" designer of your home page and supporting sub-pages. This can be a blessing or it can be a burden depending on the quality of the website builder, how much time you have and your tolerance for learning curves.

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Website Builder FAQ

Yes, but free website builders should generally be avoided because they fall short of many features that paid website builders include. There are exceptions, such as WordPress, which is free (if you download and self-host your own copy) and is a very powerful and flexible website builder.
It all depends on how comfortable you are with the features of a particular website builder. Some are easier to use than others. For example, some will build your website for you after you fill in a form with your business details, resulting in a new website in just a few minutes. Others will require you to have a basic understanding of the common parts and pages of a typical website, which can take up hours of work on your part.
It depends on the website builder you choose. There are several that offer a full package, including the ability to register your domain, build your site, and host it on your domain right within the same service. Others split up domain registration and hosting into separate concerns.
Anyone who is approaching the task of creating a website for the very first time, especially with little knowledge of how to make successful websites, should consider hiring someone who has that expertise. In spite of the ease of use promised by many website builder companies, websites can be quite complicated when it comes to things like user experience, proper calls to action, image rights, color coordination, search engine optimization, and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Generally, professionals prefer to have creative input prior to any work being done on your website. If you've already done some design or content placement, you'll find it more difficult to find someone who is willing to finish what you've started. If you want a professional to do it, but still want to use a website builder for easy content maintenance, engage their services before you sign up for a website builder plan. Your professional may have some ideas of which one to use and how to make it easier to use your website builder.
Using a website builder can definitely harm your search ranking if you are not careful. Be sure to follow all the guidance the builder may give you on search engine optimization. If the builder doesn't provide that information, or the capabilities necessary for better SEO, you should not choose that builder. Do your research into which builders provide better SEO than others.
The number one reason to use WordPress is content portability. Many website builders want to lock you into their services, so while they may make it easy to import your content from another builder, they sometimes make it difficult or impossible to export your content for importing to another service. If you start with WordPress, you'll have the most content portability.
WordPress is very popular. It currently runs 35% of the websites across the entire Internet. Even though it's very easy to get a new website up and running with a default theme, free theme, or paid theme, it can sometimes become more complicated and frustrating as your content grows or your needs become more advanced.
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Continued from above...

Whatever you choose, remember that you may be stuck with your decision for a long time. In other words, think in the long term and visualize what your needs will be not just months from now, but years from now.

As you decide which website builder will be the best choice for your needs, there are several factors to keep in mind:

  • Flexibility. How will the site builder hold up as your site needs change over time?
  • Usability. How easy is the tool to use?
  • Search Engine Optimization. Does the service allow you to manage SEO?
  • Stability. Does the builder work without errors or glitches?
  • Cost. What will you spend to use the builder and get all the features you want?
  • Reputation. What do other users have to say about the website builder?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best website builders available today. We hope this information helps you create the perfect site for your business, non-profit organization, or your own personal projects!

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