WordPress Hosting vs Website Builder: What To Choose?

When deciding how to build a website, two popular options are using WordPress hosting or going with an online website.

When deciding how to build a website, two popular options are using WordPress hosting or going with an online website builder. Both have their advantages, so how do you choose between WordPress and a website builder?

This comprehensive guide examines the key differences to consider when deciding whether to buy a domain name and hosting for WordPress or use a website builder.

Key Difference: WordPress Hosting and Website Builder

There are multiple differences between the two tools. To help you understand the differences, we have compared the most essential characteristics listed below.

Ease of Use

For beginners with zero coding skills, website builders provide the simplest user experience. You pick a template, drag and drop content, tweak styles, and your site is ready to go live within hours.

WordPress has a steeper learning curve. While you can utilise the block editor to build sites visually, you still need to learn how WordPress works to truly leverage its capabilities. Those new to WordPress often find the dashboard confusing initially.

However, once you grasp WordPress fundamentals, it provides an efficient workflow. The well-organised dashboard centralises all your WordPress hosting services and site management tools.

Customisation and Design Flexibility

WordPress dominates website builders when it comes to customisation capabilities. WordPress grants access to thousands of free and premium themes, each of which can be tweaked via the built-in Customiser. You can also utilise page builder plugins for increased design control.

Website builders only offer a limited set of templates, usually a few hundred. Although you can edit colours, fonts, and layouts, you can’t deviate too far from the core template’s design. Those wanting high customisation freedom are better off choosing WordPress.

Features and Functionality

Website builders integrate basic features like contact forms, SEO, and analytics. But WordPress’ vast plugin library grants it the advantage of advanced functionality.

Want a membership site or online course? Add WooCommerce for ecommerce? Connect to other services? In most cases, a WordPress plugin exists. Website builders often charge extra for add-ons, while WordPress plugins are largely free.

Hosting Cost and Control

Website builders bundle hosting into their $12+ monthly subscription plans. With WordPress, you pay for hosting separately, usually $5-15 per month.

WordPress hosting in Australia allows flexibility – you can switch hosts for better performance or prices easily. Website builders lock you into their hosting solution. However, builders spare you the hassle of choosing hosting yourself.

Security Responsibilities

Both website builders and managed WordPress hosts take security seriously. However, with a builder, security happens behind the scenes with little input from you.

With WordPress, you take an active role in security – keeping software updated, vetting plugins, monitoring threats, etc. It’s more work, but it allows security to be custom-tailored to your site. Those new to web security may prefer builders.

Ownership and Provider Lock-In

A major website builder downside is a lack of true ownership. If you cancel your plan, you could lose access entirely. Migrating to a new provider is challenging, too. With WordPress, you fully own all site files and can change hosts freely.

WordPress also enables more control over the technology powering your site – server configuration, caching, PHP versions, etc. Website builders are turnkey solutions with limited technical control.


When choosing the best website builder, be sure to evaluate the customisation options, included features, and potential for expanding functionality. WordPress may be superior for advanced functionality and design flexibility, as most website builders won’t meet their demands.

This article was written by Alaska