This week I went to a speed date meeting for entrepreneurs. I was asked why one should choose a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, while there are also “free” web builders such as Wix, Webnode and Jimdo available. Those web builders allow entrepreneurs to build a website by themselves.
Being found in search engines such as Google
During the meeting I mainly emphasised the fact that websites built with WordPress and Drupal score relatively better in search engines than websites made with a free web builder. This is due to the structured design of these 2 content management systems. For example, in Wix you will have to manually add page titles, meta descriptions and alt tags.
WordPress and Drupal are so-called open source applications. Simply put, everyone can contribute for free to the creation of this software. And so these CMS’s are constantly being renewed by a large community without any commercial gain. The communities behind these applications provide a good source of information, inspiration and support. The free web builders do not work this way.
Free between quotation marks
In the introduction I placed the word free in quotation marks. This because the web builders may present themselves as free, but as soon as you want your own domain name and associated e-mail addresses and / or a website without ads, you will have to pay. And those are all things that contribute to a professional image. And for reasonable basic issues such as Google Analytics, a favicon and e-commerce applications, with free webbuilders you are always dependent on paid premium subscriptions.
There are also paid themes and plugins for WordPress and Drupal available, but in general you can work fine with the free versions.
Change of design
Once you have chosen a design with a web builder, you are also committed to this design. Due to the way WordPress and Drupal websites are built, it is possible to change the design.
Prepared for the future
As your business grows, you reach the limits of the free web builders at some point. If you want to add functionalities, the choice is considerably larger at WordPress and Drupal. And maybe you want to give employees or colleagues access to the website, but with limited access. This too is only possible with content management systems such as Drupal and WordPress. The good thing is, is that you can add those functionalities bit by bit; when your business grows, the website will grow with you.
Of course there are also disadvantages to mention for websites built with WordPress or Drupal. Creating a website yourself with these programs is more difficult. For example, as soon as you want to adjust the design, you must have technical knowledge or contact a web designer. Writing that, a lot of free designs are available.
Having to arrange the hosting yourself could also be a disadvantage. But applying for a hosting subscription is actually very simple. And most web designers generally also help you with this. For example, here in France we have good experiences with o2switch. We have also recently become an affiliate partner of this company.