Building any website requires certain tools. Like any project, you also need to know which tools are right for the job. You wouldn’t use a chisel to paint a canvas, and you wouldn’t use a paintbrush to form a sculpture. Both are works of art, but each has different ends and different means. The same goes for making your perfect website, no matter what it’s for.
The difference with sites is that there are some tools that are easier, more efficient, and just better overall. Some tools make the same job way easier- why cut wood by hand if you can have a table-saw after all? So when it comes to WordPress vs HTML, which one is more hands-on and which one is more efficient? To understand the functionality of each approach, you’ll first have to understand what they are. Namely, you need to know the difference between a CMS and a basic markup language. After that, it’ll be much easier to understand why WordPress tools can make your life a whole lot easier while HTML has the potential to leave you empty-handed. Click through the table of contents to jump ahead to what you need.
Table of Contents
HTML vs WordPress Basics: What’s the Difference?
WordPress and HTML aren’t just distinct systems. They are two very different approaches to building a site.
WordPress is a content management system. Essentially, a CMS is a toolset with pre-built functions and features for website building. HTML, meanwhile, is what’s known as a markup language. Essentially, it’s a coding language that formats text on a page. So, even though they are used for the same goals, it’s hard to draw direct comparisons, especially when parts of WordPress (like this text!) use HTML markups.
Think of it like this: if you need a piece of furniture for your home, you have a few options. Do you want something premade? Packaged but easy to assemble? Or are you skilled enough to build a whole table from a spare log? You’ve got the same options when you’re building a site.
In this example, building a site with WordPress is like building, painting, and decorating a piece of pre-bought furniture. It may not seem like much at first, but if you use it as a starting point, you can make something truly unique.
Meanwhile, HTML is essentially a couple of tools and a workbench. You need to bring all the raw materials yourself and then put them together piece-by-piece. If you do have the skills and patience, you can eventually build a good-looking, functional site. But the amount of effort it takes to learn and put them to use isn’t strictly necessary. Plus, any additional tools will have to be made yourself, impromptu. Given all of that, you might end up with an inferior site anyways.
The Learning Curve: Which is Easier, HTML or WordPress?
While both have learning curves, WordPress allows you to do more with less effort.
A good CMS like WordPress gives you a starting point for website creation. If you’re building a site with markup or coding language, you won’t have any of the interfaces, visualizers, or other tools that a CMS provides. Ideally, this means a CMS is more accessible. However, it also means that you need to learn how to use all of the tools provided, which can be a whole different challenge. Still, building a website that is on par with most static HTML sites requires only a basic knowledge of the system. In fact, when compared to other options, WordPress can save you a ton of time when building your site.
With HTML you’ll have to learn all the tenets of website creation without these tools. Plus, you’ll have to learn all the conventions of a coding language. WordPress, meanwhile, allows you to build an entire site without touching a line of code. If you feel like this is limiting, also keep in mind that WordPress leaves the option to code open to you. It’s just not a requirement for using the system. In this way, WordPress is perfect for beginners, but also provides flexibility for when you do learn your way around.
CMS Advantages: WordPress vs HTML Features
So what tools does the WordPress CMS provide over HTML?
Since HTML is a markup language, not a system, it does not have packaged features and other advantages. This includes improvements for your site from both a development and visitor standpoint. Static HTML websites are usually pretty bare-bones. Think of any early ’90s or early ’00s website, the kind with bright, solid backgrounds, compressed gifs, and a few embedded images. Unless you’re a real website wizard, this tends to be the par for HTML sites. WordPress, on the other hand, allows you to make sleek sites with tons of functionality with ease.
Themes are a pretty standard feature for CMS and site builders. Still, they are vital. As I mentioned, most HTML sites tend to be pretty plain. Website themes allow you to give your site a custom visual layout and navigation. Whether you choose one of the thousands of pre-made themes or a custom one, your site can immediately stand out from the get-go. Themes are easy to use and go a long way in giving your site some character. With HTML, achieving the same look as some themes can take ages and will never look quite as crisp.
Dashboard, tabs, and interface
Your main interface with a CMS is immediately more intuitive than coding from scratch. Rather than looking at a blank page of code, you have a dashboard and tabs to explore and interact with. WordPress even has dedicated tabs for media and post-management. This is especially helpful for blogs and site updates. A static HTML site, on the other hand, is much more difficult to update and maintain.
Plugins are one of the main selling points of the WordPress system. Through the WordPress dashboard, you have access to a huge library of expansions, add-ons, and apps that expand the functionality of your interface and website. These include dedicated page builders, stat trackers, SEO management tools, and many, many more. All of these apps are independently developed, so more are always being added, making WordPress a system with nearly limitless possibilities.
Web hosting is a vital aspect of site creation. Essentially, a web host is a service that stores all of the data for your site. Since all of the data has to be stored on a dedicated server, your site’s server needs to have the capability to run your base code and CMS. Fortunately, almost every server supports HTML, and most support PHP (used for WordPress’ base code).
However, WordPress does have a key advantage when it comes to web hosting. Because HTML is so ubiquitous and lean, most services are not solely dedicated to HTML hosting. On the other hand, there are plenty of servers built specifically to host WordPress sites. This makes for more specific and efficient features built with your CMS in mind. On top of that, WP Super Host provides best-in-class security, dedicated support, and flexible pricing options to fit any budget. Head on over to the pricing page to check out all the options- including custom quotes- for yourself.
SEO: is HTML or WordPress Better for Building an Audience?
HTML sites tend not to have much mobility on their own.
As mentioned, static HTML sites are pretty lacking in functionality unless you can code it yourself. This includes SEO. With an HTML site, you would have to shoulder the responsibility of SEO research and optimization without any native tools or trackers. You can still make use of lead-generation strategies but, again, you would have to research and build pages for that yourself. That, or you would have to promote your site through another, non-HTML site to generate any substantial traffic.
The aforementioned WordPress features take away a lot of this guesswork. Plugins for SEO tracking are especially useful. Yoast SEO, for instance, lets you edit your site’s appearance in search engines, track keywords, and even make sure your content is SEO-friendly. WordPress also provides the option to tag your site with categories. This makes Google’s job easy so that your site can get in front of more eyes in a timely fashion.
Other plugins can assist with building pages for lead generation, social media engagement, and more. Your options are certainly more expansive and immediate than with HTML.
To Sum Up
HTML is a tried and true coding language, but it’s also quickly becoming outdated. Especially now, advanced CMS and accessible site-builders are quickly usurping the DIY approach. Still, you’ll want to stick with one of these that’s proven and reliable for longevity. While HTML was the standard approach for years, WordPress has since become the most popular choice for users, with over 30% of websites- which amounts to over 75 million of them– now built using WordPress. So make website building easier on yourself by using WordPress along with WP Super Host.