10 min to read
WordPress vs Static HTML: How Should You Build Your Site?
Usually, most people end up choosing WordPress, mostly because they’ve heard of it, or know someone who’s using it.
In the past, we’ve discussed how WordPress squares up with other well-known frameworks like Drupal, Joomla, and even Squarespace. Be that as it may, imagine a scenario in which you’re attempting to settle on WordPress versus static HTML for your site.
At its bare basics, this is somewhat of a general discussion between utilizing a database-driven content management system (like WordPress) or composing the majority of the HTML/CSS yourself alongside potentially utilizing a framework.
To enable you to settle on your choice, we’ll clarify what these terms mean and after that hop into a portion of the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology.
- Distinction Between WordPress and Static HTML
- Advantages and disadvantages of WordPress
- Advantages and disadvantages of Static HTML Website
- Utilize WordPress as a Static Website Generator
Difference Between WordPress and Static HTML
At last, everything turns out as HTML on the frontend. That is, your webpage’s code will look something like this regardless of in case you’re utilizing WordPress or a static HTML site
Regardless of which method you pick, your code will still resemble this
The vital contrast is in how that HTML appears.
With static HTML, that story is pretty simple. You, or your engineer, composes the code (including your content). At that point, when it’s on the server, it’s always similar to that. There’s no background processing going on – your site is always in that spot in its finished form.
WordPress, then again, is a content management system that utilizes PHP and a database. In basic terms, that implies that when somebody visits your WordPress site, your server “assembles” your site by:
- Executing the PHP code to assemble the HTML form of your site
- Querying your database to get the content to embed into that HTML
What Is a Content Management System, Then?
Above, we told you that WordPress is a content management system, but we didn’t really explain what that means. A content management system, often abbreviated as CMS, is software that helps you create, manage, and modify content on a website without needing to interact directly with the code.
For instance, rather than needing to manually upload your content material by means of formatting it with html like you will for a static HTML website, you may just input your content material with the WordPress editor and WordPress will deal with showing it in your website:
In addition, if you ever wanted to edit that content material at a later date, you may simply move in and edit it using that same editor, rather than needing to directly edit the static HTML document on your server.
Pros and Cons of WordPress
We’ll get into a number of pros and cons of a static HTML website in a second, but first, let’s start with some of the reasons that over 32% of the entire net is now using WordPress.
Code-Free Content Management
The most important gain of WordPress is that it may almost completely dispose of code from the day-to-day management of your site. Alternatively, most of the actions which you’ll want to take can be executed using a GUI interface.
With this GUI interface, you may:
- Create new content
- Change how your site looks
- Change how your site functions
- Configure important SEO settings
- Perform plenty of other important actions
Except you live and breathe HTML/CSS (and probably even in case you do), this technique is going to make it easier to manipulate every factor of your website.
Easy to Change How Your Site Looks
Each WordPress website needs something called a theme. Your theme determines how your site appears at the frontend. To install a new theme, you essentially click on a button or upload a single file and your website right away adopts that styling:
However, with a static HTML website, you manage how your website appears with the usage of your own CSS. Not only is this time-consuming to install in the first place, but it will also be in addition time-consuming if you ever want to considerably change how your static HTML website appears in the future. Yes, there are CSS frameworks you could use to hurry this process up, but it still requires more expertise and know-how to be able to manage.
Additionally, you need to worry about making all of your CSS responsive (AKA look good on mobile), whereas almost every single WordPress theme is responsive by default nowadays.
Easy to Add New Functionality
Wordpress also offers something known as plugins that assist you to without difficulty increase the capability of your website. Need to add a contact form for your site? With static HTML, you’ll need to cope with validation and what happens with the data that a person submits. With WordPress, you just set up a plugin
The difficulty hole gets even bigger with larger functions. Need to feature a forum on your web page? Good luck doing that on your own. But with WordPress, you simply need to put in a discussion board plugin.
You may even speedy tack on e-commerce or social network capability.
Rapid Development and Changes
The combination of themes and plugins, along with WordPress’ general functionality as a content management system, mean that you can quickly spin up even complicated websites.
Static HTML can be quick for a very basic site with just a few pages… but if you need any non-standard functionality, WordPress is almost certainly going to let you build a site faster.
Are There Any Cons to Using WordPress?
You’ll find some people saying things like “static HTML websites load faster” or “static HTML websites rank better in Google.” But some of this should be taken with a grain of salt. While it’s true that PHP and a database introduces additional load time and delays, it’s not that difficult to get WordPress load times under one second – which is plenty fast.
You should ask yourself, is having a slightly faster static site worth giving up the advantages WordPress has to offer? Also, PHP performance has improved drastically over the past five years. In our recent PHP benchmark tests, we concluded that PHP 7.2 can handle 3x as many requests (transactions) per second to that of PHP 5.6. ?
There are also ways you can easily negate PHP and database delays by using caching to serve static HTML versions of your pages. This means every page load can essentially load lightning fast, just as it would with a static HTML site.
How much does caching impact a WordPress site? Here is a quick test on a WordPress blog before and after cache.
As you can see there is a significant delay in the first HTML DOC load. This is due to it not serving from cache on the server.
We then ran a test with cache enabled on the WordPress blog. Nothing else was changed.
As you can see there is a massive improvement. In fact, simply serving up the initial page from cache on the server decreased the load time by 32.2%.
When it comes to the ranking rumors you might hear, there are great WordPress SEO plugins that let you control every aspect of your site’s technical and on-page SEO. If WordPress sites really performed worse than static HTML sites in the search rankings, you wouldn’t see it being used by massive platforms like The Wirecutter or TechCrunch.
There are a few small disadvantages, though, and the first is maintenance. While choosing quality managed WordPress hosting can eliminate much of the worst maintenance, you’ll still be responsible for making sure that the WordPress core software, plugins, and themes are updated and compatible. This is fairly easy nowadays, but it is something that you don’t need to do with a static HTML website.
The second disadvantage would probably be quality. Due to the extreme popularity of WordPress, there are a lot of bad plugins and themes out there. And free solutions sometimes just drop off the map entirely. Sorting through the bad to find the good can be time-consuming.
Pros and Cons of a Static HTML Website
You heard from WordPress – but now let’s dig into some of the pros and cons of a static HTML website.
There’s No Underlying Software to Maintain
We form of mentioned this a 2nd in the past, but let’s rehash it quickly here because it’s one of the most important advantages of static HTML.
When you use WordPress and themes/plugins, you’re answerable for updating all that underlying code and ensuring there aren’t any compatibility issues. Even as this is quite simple (you typically just want to click a button), it’s something that you need to do to keep your website secure and functioning.
Alternatively, in case you’ve written neat static HTML, you should be capable of much leave things alone and never worry about updates.
Easier Access to the Underlying Code
At the same time as WordPress helps you to access all of the underlying code in your website, a static HTML site will make it a chunk easier to input certain types of markup. In place of needing to deal with theme template files and the WordPress loop, the whole lot is right there in front of you.
For instance, at the same time as there are schema plugins for WordPress, you can more easily manipulate schema markup on a static HTML website.
What Are the Disadvantages of Creating a Static HTML Website?
While a static HTML website is certainly fine for a basic website, the main issues come about when you try to scale up, either in terms of the amount of content or functionality.
Most of these disadvantages are simply the opposite of WordPress’ advantages. Namely:
- Adding or editing content isn’t user-friendly because you’ll need to dig into the code.
- Adding new functionality requires that you code it yourself.
- Changing how your site looks requires rewriting your CSS.
Additionally, unless you actually know HTML/CSS yourself, all of these things will also require paying a developer, whereas WordPress would let you do them yourself, for the most part.
WordPress or Static?
Now for the million dollar question… if you’re just constructing a small site that’s not going to change or require new content, static HTML is the first-rate method. However, for anything else, WordPress is almost certainly going to be a higher preference. That is specifically true if you don’t get access to a developer.
Its ease of use, combined with its extensibility, are the primary reasons why it’s now powering over 30% of all of the websites on the Internet. Now over to you – would you ever construct a domain with static HTML over WordPress? Or have you ever gone down the static internet site generator route?