Case Study – A Website Builder vs. WordPress – A Head to Head Comparison

There are 101 different ways to build your website. Everyone and his uncle seem to have a website-building program, but when you look closely they are usually short of a few key features. Things like a drag and drop interface are well-nigh essential for any non-expert to design a good-looking website.

A website builder is a tool or a platform that allows the creation of a website in an easy and user friendly way. The premise behind a Website Builder is that you don’t need to know HTML or manual code, but rather use a simple drag and drop WYSIWYG interface that will make the formatting simple. A recent article by CreativeBloq compared a list of the best website builders, in which IM Creator stands out above the rest.

The rest of this comparison will focus on comparing WordPress and IM Creator as a user casestudy

Simple to Use

Simplicity of use is important. You can get used to any software over time, but the steepness of an individual program’s learning curve is important.

IM Creator

IM Creator gives you a beautiful interface to exercise your creativity on.

WordPress

The WordPress dashboard is less than friendly at first glance.

Winner – Website Builders in general, IM Creator

Drag and Drop Editing

Drag and drop editing is the ultimate in creativity. The interface should enable creativity rather than obstruct it. Being able to click individual screen objects and drag them is the simplest editing system you can use to design websites.

IM Creator offers true drag and drop editing, allowing you to move items around on your screen to give your preferred arrangement

WordPress templates do not generally allow drag and drop, but some premium templates do. You may need to be a bit flexible in your definition of drag and drop though because most are limited to re-ordering of page elements.

Winner – IM Creator

HTML 5 compatibility

HTML 5 is the latest web standard and it is becoming the norm. Alternatives such as Flash cause compatibility problems with some operating systems.

Both IM Creator and WordPress are fully compatible with HTML5.

No Winner

Good choice of templates

Templates give you a starting point for inspiration. It is much easier to customize a template than it is to start from a blank page.

IM Creator has hundreds of templates.

WordPress has thousands of free templates (called Themes) and thousands of premium themes you need to pay for.

Winner – WordPress

Search Engine Friendliness

In the old age of website builders, the most common technology was flash which caused extremely slow loading speed and acted as a natural repellent to search engines . Nowadays, good website builders like IM Creator use HTML 5 which is surely an upgrade when it comes to search engine friendliness. However, WordPress remains the friendliest CMS system for search engines for various reasons.

For once, it comes with build-in search engine optimization tools, such as pinging (letting search engines know a page/blog has been released), cleancode and SEO optimized templates, ability to edit .htaccess, usage of clean and tidy permalinks and dozens of great SEO plugins like Yoast, W3 Total Cache and others that don’t integrate with IM Creator or any other website builder.

Winner – WordPress

Includes suitable images

Image use on websites has become the norm. Images break up text and make pages look more attractive. They also offer readers an additional or alternative way of absorbing information.

IM Creator includes a gallery of curated images that are safe to use, though you do need to link back to the original image source.

WordPress has no included image gallery.

You can use your own or alternative images with both programs.

Winner – IM Creator

HTML and Coding skills needed

Long, long ago everyone needed HTML skills, or at the very least an HTML editor, to build websites. Those days are gone. Nowadays people can build sites without touching a line of code.

Website builders in general, or in this specific case IM Creator is totally code free. If you can feel your stress levels increasing when you see a block of code then this program will ring your bell.

You can achieve a lot with WordPress without using code, but it does help if you have some basic knowledge of HTML.

Winner – IM Creator

Affordability

Using software as a low-cost way to design your own website will always cost less than paying a website designer. You also retain more control and you can change your ideas as you go along.

IM Creator costs $5.95 per month for each site. This includes hosting. If you need higher quality hosting you will need to pay between $6 and $30 per month depending on your requirements. This external hosting fee usually covers an unlimited number of sites.

With WordPress things are more complex. There are many free themes you can customize. If you opt for a premium theme then it will cost $40 – $100 per year, but that often includes access to a whole theme collection. You will also need to pay for hosting separately, between $6 and $30 per month for an unlimited number of sites.

Winner – IM Creator for single sites and WordPress for multiple sites.

Mobile & Tablet Compatibility

Everyone is using their smartphone to surf the internet nowadays. Due to the surge of mobile and tablet traffic, it is imperative that your website be mobile optimized.

WordPress really stepped up in that regard in the last 2 years, incorporating responsive design in almost every theme (paid and free). It also helps SEO as search engines like it when a website is optimized to various screen sizes.

IM Creator and other website builders do feature responsive themes in their mix, which are definitely good but don’t stack up the WordPress ones from a technical point of view. It’s probable that within the next few years website builders catch up.

Winner – WordPress for now.

Built-in hosting option

Every website needs web hosting. Some hosting services are faster and more reliable than others. Some hosts allow you more traffic before they slow your site down. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for, but basic hosting will be fine for a new website.

IM Creator lets you build sites for free, but when you want to make them live, you need to pay $5.95 per site every month. If you want better hosting than is included then you will have to put your sites onto an external hosting service and pay their fees separately.

With WordPress you need to have your hosting set up before you start building your site. Shared hosting will be enough to start with and will cost between $6 and $12 per month. Most shared hosting plans allow you to have an unlimited number of websites for the same flat fee.

Winner – IM Creator for single sites and WordPress for multiple sites.

Plenty of fonts, images and icons

A website needs one or two fonts at the most, along with images. Icons add flair to your site without slowing it down much. It is a good idea to stick with common fonts that everyone is used to; fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Helvetica and Verdana work well.

IM Creator includes many fonts, and icons as well as an image gallery. Applying and using these resources is simplicity itself.

WordPress does not include a choice of font in the basic version. You can download plugins that allow you to use different fonts. Many premium WordPress themes let you choose any font that is installed on your computer. Icons need to be bought separately.

Winner – IM Creator

Decision Time

There is no clear-cut winner. It really depends on what you need.

If you are only building one or two websites and simplicity is vital then you will be better off with a website builder like IM Creator. If you are building 20 websites then it will be worthwhile getting to grips with WordPress and learning to do without an easy to use drag and drop interface. If you fall between these two extremes then you need to weigh up how important each feature is to you.

Your Thinking

Which of these features is the most important to you? Is there any other essential feature that has been omitted here? Please share your thinking using the comment box below.