Deciding which website platform to use can get confusing. Should you build your website with WordPress or PHP? If you’re trying to make that decision, weeding through all the information can leave you scratching your head. Which is better?
In general, there is no right answer to the question of which website is better WordPress or PHP because they both have their pros and cons. Which is better for you will depend on what you need in a website, and whether or not you know how to code.
You may have already read a few articles on the subject of which type of website is better. For every article you read saying “top ten reasons not to use WordPress”, there’s another one that states the top ten reasons why you should. Before I dive into the pros and cons of WordPress vs PHP, you should understand that WordPress is a content management system built with PHP. So, when you use WordPress, you technically have a PHP website.
These two websites are very different though. WordPress is an open-source CMS that typically works with an MYSQL database. PHP is a programming language used to create dynamic websites. PHP websites can also be paired with an MYSQL database. However, anyone can create a WordPress website. To design a PHP website you need to know PHP. Let’s dig into all the differences between these two types of websites so you can decide for yourself, which website is better.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. Over 455 million websites are designed with WordPress. A content management system is a software that is used to create, publish, edit, update and store website pages and posts. With a content management system, you can edit your entire website’s colors, fonts, and layouts without having to update each individual page or post.
The benefits of using a content management system are endless. WordPress allows you to create beautiful, professional websites with very little coding knowledge. In fact, you can design a WordPress website without knowing how to code at all.
When you design a website with WordPress you can choose from thousands of themes. A theme is basically a prebuilt layout and design for your site. You can customize a theme by changing the colors, fonts, or design elements. Each page can be individually customized as well. But, a theme is great for beginners, because you don’t have to know anything about web design. You can just pick a theme and create your website.
Plugins are another great feature available for WordPress. You can install plugins to build a shop, create forms, display an event calendar, or add slideshows or carousels to your website. WordPress has an enormous selection of free and premium plugins you can use to customize your website.
Even if you are a novice, or know nothing about web design, you can create a beautiful professional website with WordPress. Learning how to use Word Press is not that difficult.
What is PHP?
PHP is an open-source programming language used to create dynamic websites and pages. It can work with a database, be embedded into HTML, and be used to customize a website in a way that WordPress can not. WordPress is a CMS that is written with PHP. If you are a programmer or developer you can modify the PHP used in WordPress, but PHP websites can be built from scratch. This means you can create a totally custom website, without using a theme or plugin to make it work.
Although PHP can be more difficult to learn than WordPress, if you build a website with PHP, you are not reliant on themes or plugins to make it functional. That, of course, has its pros and cons. Plugins can be nice if you are a beginner, but they are one of the biggest complaints people have with WordPress. Plugins are not always compatible with every theme. They need to be updated regularly, and can actually break your website’s functionality if they aren’t compatible with your theme. Theme/plugin conflicts are a major source of headaches for WordPress designers, and one of the reasons some web developers prefer PHP.
WordPress Or PHP Pros and Cons
If you know how to build websites with WordPress you might be considering switching to PHP, or vice versa. Let’s talk about the pros of cons of each to help you decide.
WordPress does not Require Coding Skills, PHP does
The biggest advantage of creating a website with WordPress is that you don’t have to know how to code. This makes it easy for anyone to create a website with WordPress. If you are interested in learning how to code, PHP is an excellent programming language to learn. It is the same programming language WordPress is written in. If you want to be able to design a website completely from scratch, PHP offers much more flexibility than WordPress.
PHP Websites Are More Efficient than WordPress
Because WordPress websites are designed with themes and plugins, your website may end up with a lot of extra code Many WordPress themes are lightweight and designed with a minimal amount of code, but some themes are inefficiently coded and all this extra code can affect your site’s speed and performance.
Additionally, because WordPress uses plugins for functionality, you may need to install numerous plugins to design your website This can be accomplished in PHP more efficiently, creating a cleaner website with less code.
WordPress also uses Page Builders. Page builders are drop-and-drag editors that make designing a website easy.. However, Page Builders often create pages with bloated code, which is why some people say you should not use WordPress. A PHP website can be designed using less code because it doesn’t use themes or plugins. In general, this creates a cleaner and more efficient website.
WordPress Websites Load Slower than PHP Websites
You may have read that WordPress is the best CMS to use for your website. However, when it comes to site speed, WordPress is not the best. According to Baklinko, WordPress is actually one of the worst CMS when it comes to site speed. This does not mean a WordPress website can’t be fast. In most cases, slow site speed is due to using a heavily coded theme or using excessive plugins.
Typically, a PHP website will load much faster. However, if you are not a PHP developer and writing the code yourself, you may use sloppy code or design your website inefficiently. Just because a PHP website can be faster, doesn’t mean it always is.
PHP Websites May Be More Difficult to Hack than WordPress Websites
One of the drawbacks of using WordPress is that it is the most used open-source platform. Because of this, some people think it is not the most secure platform to build a website with. However, PHP websites can be easily hacked as well. When it comes to site security, it’s important to keep your website updated and protected from threats and vulnerabilities. Like any website platform, there are precautions you should take to keep your website secure.
Security should be a priority whether you use PHP or WordPress. WordPress comes with a lot of plugins to make your website more secure. If you choose WordPress, make sure that you keep your themes and plugins updated. Choose a password that isn’t easy to guess and change it regularly. Install an SSL certificate on your website, and make sure you back up your website regularly.
WordPress Websites Are Easier to Search Engine Optimize than PHP websites
Both WordPress and PHP websites are optimized the same way. If you are skilled in SEO, you should have no problem optimizing either website for search engines. However, WordPress has SEO plugins that make search engine optimization much easier. These plugins will analyze your content and give you suggestions for improving the search engine optimization of your pages and posts. This is not something that is available on a PHP website. This is why most SEO consultants prefer working with WordPress. It’s just much easier to use when it comes to SEO.
WordPress Websites Can Be More Expensive than PHP Websites
The question of which website is more economical really depends on if you are building it yourself or hiring someone. If you know how to create a website in PHP, PHP is a free programming language. You don’t have to spend money to use it or customize it. There’s no need to pay for premium themes or plugins to create a website in PHP.
While WordPress is a free open-source CMS, designing a WordPress website isn’t necessarily free. Premium themes and plugins can get expensive. For example, if you need a form with styles and custom fields, you may need to purchase a premium plugin to create it. If you program a form with PHP, you can style, and customize your forms without paying for a plugin.
Should you build your website with WordPress or PHP?
Now that you understand the main differences between WordPress websites and PHP websites, you might still be asking yourself so which one should I use WordPress or PHP? While PHP has its advantages, most web designers use WordPress. WordPress is easier to use, easier to search engine optimize, and easier for most people to update.
If you are paying for website design, a WordPress website can be easily backed up and handed over to another web hosting company or WordPress designer. Many web developers have switched to WordPress, simply because it’s easier. If you need something that requires advanced programming, a PHP website might be the better option. But, in most cases, WordPress is the best website platform to work with.