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Should I Build My Website With or

Who Is This Article For?

This article is for business owners currently using or in the decision process of which direction to go with WordPress.

Think Growth, Long Term and Future

As a business owner, especially in speed of this technology age, it is ever critical to make decisions with long term in mind.

As a business expands and grows, the stream should not be hindered or halted by unforeseen obstacles or barriers. Making the closest to right decisions from the get go can often be a deciding factor in the success or failure of a business online.

Customer Needs and Demands Change

If a business cannot grow or cater to its clients properly or fast enough, the result can be lost business and lost clients. This is the story of the internet.

I created a chart below that compares and clarifies the differences between the free online version of WordPress and the free customized download version of WordPress.

A novel could be written on all the intricate details but I am covering the most critical points above.

All points below are default out-of-box settings.
[tooltip text=”Cost” gravity=”sw”]Both versions of WordPress are free of charge out-of-the-box.[/tooltip] FREE FREE
[tooltip text=”Domain Name” gravity=”sw”]This is the way in which your website URL is shared and displayed to your customers, clients and website visitors. This is also the URL search engines, such as Google, will index.[/tooltip]
[tooltip text=”Hosting” gravity=”sw”]This is where your website lives in a computer.[/tooltip] Web Host of Choice
[tooltip text=”Jailed Code” gravity=”sw”]Can the source code be accessed, customized, modified and tailored to your specific business and client/customer needs?[/tooltip] NO YES
[tooltip text=”Relocate Website” gravity=”sw”]The load speed of your website, the content within and other specific details such as security and portability all related to the freedom of moving your website from one host to another as needed.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”Shopping Cart Capabilities” gravity=”sw”]If you plan on selling products, services or other items online, shopping cart capabilities are a must. A website will not allow this type of functionality. Going custom is the only way to go.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Complete Customization” gravity=”sw”]If your website cannot adapt and change as markets, clients and technology trends change, in relation to your industry, you could be lost in the dust. Being able to completely customize the features and design of your website is critical in the competing business world.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Theme Customization” gravity=”sw”]Freedom of code access and full design customization are an integral part of modern online success.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Design Customization” gravity=”sw”]Freedom of visual code access and full design customization are an integral part of modern online success. Your design and branding should be consistent across all marketing medians and only complete customization can ensure this is possible.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Functional Customization” gravity=”sw”]Providing for your clients and potential customers is all about presentation and building a user experience that is expected and appreciated. Success and failure online has mostly to do with competition and one competitor providing a more intuitive and unique user experience on their website.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Customized Backups” gravity=”sw”]When maintaining a business online, it is not only critical to have backups, but it is even more critical to be able to control the location and system storage areas of those backups. Replying on a one-source backup solution is no good for proper protection.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”100% Customized Security” gravity=”sw”]Website traffic, types of visitors, competition and other factors all play into the online protection and security of data. Ensuring security measures that are custom and catered to your business is very important to ensuring a safe and pleasant visitor experience.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”Direct Developer Support” gravity=”sw”]WordPress has a thriving community and online forum free of charge, but when it comes down to mission critical business, one-on-one developer chat and assistance is unparalleled to any forum or online community. [/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”Custom Plugins” gravity=”sw”]The extension of WordPress to cater to your clients and potential customers is critical in creating a unique, fruitful and personable website experience. Plugin restriction is a no-go in the world of professional online competing business.[/tooltip] YES NO
[tooltip text=”WordPress Core Access” gravity=”sw”]Accessing the “brain” behind WordPress is required when there is something very special WordPress should be able to do. For a competing business with very unique needs, core access could be needed.[/tooltip] YES NO
Why Choose
  • Create a completely customized WordPress website.
  • Customize functionality and features based on the needs of competition, clients, customers and end users.
  • Sell products online through a WordPress Plugin shopping cart system, sell tickets, reservations, bookings or other downloadable or tangible shipped items sold online.
  • Complete source code and database access for complete customization.
  • Customized plugins (WordPress functionality extensions) and features that are required for specific business and work flow needs.
  • Customized plugins (WordPress functionality extensions) and features that are required for specific business and work flow needs.
Why Choose
  • Low or no budget.
  • Informational business website or blog with limited feature and design potential.
  • Do not need complete code and database access for creating a customized and tailored visitor and user experience.
  • Simple, quick set up.
  • Don’t want to deal with much website customization. Just simple website management and maintenance.
  • Not in a competitive online market that requires specific functional expectations from potential customers or clients.
  • Don’t need to sell products, tickets, services or any other type of shopping cart, booking or registration type transaction (eg for Events).
The Outcome If you are serious about your online presence and foresee the need for a completely custom online presence, this is the way to go. If you just need a free website or blog with basic features, limited design and functional capabilities, no source code access and general all around limitations, this is the best solution.

Basic Difference Summarized

Having a blog or website here on is a bit like renting an apartment in a complex. You don’t have to worry about the pipes freezing in winter, you don’t have to mow the backyard…

But on the other hand, you can’t install skylights, knock down a wall to combine two rooms, or rent out your spare bedroom without the landlord’s permission…

When you move to a self-hosted WordPress site (custom WordPress), it’s like buying your own house: you can knock down the walls or build an extension, you can rent out your garage for practice space to a local band, you can keep a lion in the backyard…

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