Pros/Cons & Difference Between WordPress and a Static Website
You can create both a brochure (purely informational site) and dynamic website (e.g. blog, online shop, etc.) with WordPress.
You can’t create dynamic websites with static web development, only brochure websites.
So, by laying out the differences and pros/cons, this guide mainly tries to answer the question:
“Is it a good choice to use WordPress if you only need a brochure website?”
What is WordPress?
While there’s a difference between a website and a blog, a blog can still be referred to as a website. So, I’m only going to use the term “website” when writing about WordPress, but keep in mind that I’m referring to blogs too.
WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) platform, which is used by around 34% of all websites!
It’s the foundation, the back-end of a website. It’s not a ready-made website itself.
You should use WordPress if:
- You need to update your website often;
- You need dynamic content (e.g. blog, online shop, etc.);
- You need interactive features (e.g. user registration, forms, ratings, etc.).
WordPress needs a theme and plugins
To look and function like a website, WordPress needs a theme, either pre-made or custom-made.
There are tens of thousands of pre-made WordPress themes out there for almost every need.
There are free themes, with limited functionalities and features, and premium themes that offer different levels of customization options.
Some themes are light, some are packed with a ton of features (a.k.a multipurpose themes), some are optimized well, some are optimized poorly, and so on.
Choosing a good theme is vital for your WordPress website’s performance!
Plugins are not mandatory for WordPress to work. But I don’t think there’s a WordPress website without any plugin.
With plugins, you can add more functionalities to your WordPress website.
You can add a plugin to improve the performance or security, to add a subscription form, a pop-up, a contact form, an online shop, and many more.
Like themes, there are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins, and most of them have a free version, which, in many cases, it’s all you need.
Unlike free themes, free plugins that are used by many users are, usually, constantly maintained and more reliable.
Having a free theme is riskier than having a free, vastly-used plugin. Most theme developers don’t really maintain the free version well and don’t fix bugs fast.
Like themes, plugins can be good or bad. Some are light, some are heavy/complex (e.g. eCommerce plugins), some are optimized well, some are optimized poorly, and so on.
Unfortunately, plugins can also be troublemakers. They are the main reason for:
- Hacked WordPress websites – From time to time, a plugin slips some sort of security vulnerability that can affect websites before it’s patched up.
- Conflicts that can lead to errors or improper functionality of your website.
- Poor performance – Having a lot of plugins or poorly optimized ones can impact your WordPress website’s performance.
The risk is higher with an increased number of plugins. The more plugins you use, the more you increase the chances of something going wrong.
I always say:
The fewer plugins you have, the better!
This shouldn’t scare you as long as you know what you’re doing, as in picking the right plugins, updating them often (especially when there’s a security vulnerability), and so on.
If you can’t do that on your own, I can do it for you if you choose my On-going WordPress plan.
WordPress Pros and Cons
Note that I’m not referring only to WordPress itself, the platform, but themes and plugins as well, because they all form your WordPress website.
- Easier and faster to use;
- You can add/edit/remove content from your dashboard;
- A lot of pre-made themes to choose from;
- A lot of freemium plugins to add extra functionalities, simple or complex;
- No coding skills required unless you need something that the theme or plugins don’t offer;
- Low cost, especially in the beginning.
- While it’s easy to whip up a site, it’s hard to do it right by configuring everything properly (performance, security, SEO, etc.);
- Learning curve – Being flexible and offering a lot of options comes with a downside. You’ll be buried in thousands of settings and you’ll have to learn about a ton of things related to WordPress, themes and plugins;
- Security risk if not properly configured and maintained;
- Prone to issues due to conflicts or bugs coming from the theme and plugins (mainly);
- Poor performance/loading time if not optimized properly and/or not using the proper tools (e.g. theme, plugins, etc.) and infrastructure (e.g. hosting);
- Can “eat up” a lot of resources on high-traffic, especially if not optimized properly, which leads to higher hosting costs;
- It requires constant maintenance and monitoring.
Bottom line – If the WordPress site uses the proper tools, and if it’s well set up and maintained, you’ll rarely have major problems with it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have worked with it for the past 8 years.
What is a Static/Brochure Website?
Static websites are designed for informational purposes only. That’s why they’re also referred to as brochure websites.
They are created using static web development (e.g. CSS, HTML).
You should use a static website if:
- You only need to present information about your company, products and/or services (e.g. a landing page for a mobile app);
- You don’t need interactive features (e.g. user registration, rating system, etc.);
- You don’t need dynamic content (e.g. blog, online shop, etc.);
- You don’t need to modify your content or design often or at all.
There are pre-made themes for static websites, as they are for WordPress.
The big difference is that you need to be familiar with coding to change the content and design. There are no easy options to change the layout, design or text.
Static Website Pros and Cons
- Very Light;
- Very good performance/loading time;
- Very secure;
- Not resource-intensive, therefore lower hosting costs;
- More options when it comes to hosting because it’s not so demanding;
- It doesn’t need constant maintenance and monitoring.
- You have to rely on a web developer (me in this case) if you want to make modifications to your website;
- Not easy to add dynamic functionalities (e.g. blog) if you find yourself needing one in the future;
- Costs more to create.
Conclusion: What Should You Choose?
If you only want a website for informational purposes about your company, services and/or products, then you should choose a static website because:
- It’s not demanding and needy;
- It’s light and performs better;
- It’s very secure;
- You don’t need to babysit it all the time;
- It just makes more sense. 🙂
For everything else, you should choose WordPress. If you want to write articles, sell physical or digital products, allow users to register on your website, and so on.
Related Guide: The Difference Between a Website and a Blog