Should you use WordPress or build a custom website?

So you are in the market for a new website.

The question is, should you build it from scratch or use something like WordPress to create it? Let’s outline a fairly generic scenario:

  1. You need a new website
  2. You are on a budget, so cost is an issue
  3. Functionality beyond just an “online brochure” is needed
  4. You want control of your website
  5. An eye catching design that looks professional is very important to you
  6. You don’t want to wait 6 months to launch it

Sound familiar? You are not alone.

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS (Content Management System), powering over 25% of all websites found on the internet today. It is by far the most popular system, with it’s two closest competitors – Joomla & Drupal – powering less than 5% combined. This slice is only expected to grow, with nearly 30% of new websites using the platform.

There was a time when developers would frown upon the use of WordPress for developing a website. We would have strongly counseled for a custom build (referred to as “bespoke”) that looked exactly the way you wanted it to and worked exactly the way you intended it to. Bespoke sites are still the way to go when you have a very specific & unique business need. However for the majority of small businesses that are looking to get an online brochure up & running quickly at a low cost cost, WordPress has become a fantastic option.

Some Pros of Building Your Site With WordPress:

  1. WordPress is open-source.
    The core software is FREE to use and is updated by developers across the globe. None of which costs you a dime.

  2. Finding WordPress developers is not a problem.
    One of the most frustrating aspects of website development for many clients is the feeling of being held hostage by your website developer. If you have a bespoke system, it can be very expensive to change developers mid-stream. So if your relationship has taken a turn for the worst, for the most part, you are stuck. With a WordPress site you have access to thousands of developers.

  3. SEO is a breeze when using WordPress
    Originally WordPress was intended as a blogging platform. This is one of the reasons people like us use to frown upon it so much. But over the last few years it has dramatically evolved into a full blown CMS that can do far more than just blog. Not only does the core system handle SEO needs easily, but you can greatly expand those features with one of dozens of popular SEO plugins.

  4. WordPress has thousands of plugins
    One one of the greatest benefits of the platform to clients: plugins. You can quickly expand functionality through the downloading of plugins that eliminate the need for custom development altogether.

  5. Avoid endless bug fixes with WordPress.
    Another frustrating aspect of bespoke websites are bugs. Bugs are an unfortunate fact of life in software. But even more so on newly released custom built systems. Clients typically assume that the website they just paid thousands to have built will be a flawless piece of fine-tuned functionality on day one. The reality of software development is quite different (and a topic for another post). However with WordPress, clients have a system that has been in development for nearly 15 years and had plenty of time to work out any major issues. It has been refined, tested, revised and expanded into a solid piece of software.

  6. WordPress is used by some of the world’s top companies., CNN,, federal & state government organizations all run on the WordPress system. Websites with millions of daily views such as Techcrunch use it. If this CMS can handle their needs, it can likely handle yours as well.


These are just a few reasons to consider using WordPress for your business’s new website. In a future article I will cover situations when you should have a website built from the ground up. If you would like to learn more about the options available to you, contact a WordPress expert for a free consultation. Send us an email or give us a call: 503-908-1265.