WordPress vs HTML Choosing the Best for Your Website

Having designed and developed websites for over the years, I’ve worked extensively with WordPress and raw HTML/CSS.

When embarking on a new website project, one of the first decisions is whether to use a content management system like WordPress or build a dynamic page purely from HTML code. But when we compare both WordPress vs Html which one is better when building a website?

The answer is: Each approach has pros and cons, especially when considering the impact on blogging and user experience. As a developer, it’s essential to consider how these choices will affect the overall user experience.

WordPress vs HTML Choosing the Best for Your Website

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) built on PHP and MySQL.

At its core, it is a tool for building dynamic websites and blogs. With WordPress, you get a convenient dashboard for managing site content without needing to code and access thousands of themes and plugins that add functionality.

The WordPress ecosystem provides options for everything from e-commerce to social networking to membership sites.

This makes it an ideal platform for blogging and programming language enthusiasts and those looking to optimize their on-page SEO and integrate with a database.

In contrast, a static website built solely with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript gives you complete control over the site architecture and code.

As a developer, you handcraft each page individually by writing HTML markup. This requires strong development skills but allows for lighting fast load times since the pages are static assets rather than dynamically generated on a server.

Complex websites built from scratch with HTML also avoid reliance on external platforms like WordPress, making content management systems unnecessary for this type of blog.

Let’s explore the key factors when deciding between WordPress or raw HTML for website building.

We’ll compare the two options regarding price, ease of use, customization, scalability, and performance. This will help guide you to the best solution for your specific needs and constraints, whether you prefer website builders or content management systems.

Understanding Content Management Systems and HTML

Before diving into a WordPress versus HTML comparison, it helps to have a baseline understanding of what website building and website content each entails.

At its core, HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a markup language used for website building and structuring content on the web.

HTML provides the basic structure and semantics for WordPress websites by using tags that define headings, paragraphs, links, images, and more.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) work with HTML to control visual presentations like colors, fonts, and layout.

HTML is considered a static web technology, as pages are delivered to the user exactly as written without further server processing. The source code of a WordPress site is written in HTML and CSS.

In contrast, static HTML websites are built by directly editing code in an html file. The core software allows the developer to manage site content like blog posts, menus, and settings through the code itself.

When a visitor requests a page, the necessary content is retrieved from the HTML file to construct it. This approach does not require database lookups or server resources to build each page.

HTML is a universal web technology that will work in any hosting environment. Mastering HTML/CSS gives you complete control over your website architecture.

WordPress offers a convenient platform for managing content on your blog but depends on PHP and MySQL under the hood. As we explore vital factors for websites and blog pages below, keep these core distinctions in mind as a developer.

Note: HTML provides semantic structure, while CMS like WordPress offers an intuitive dashboard for content management.

Pros and Cons: Price Comparison of WordPress and HTML

WordPress is free, but additional costs may arise from themes, plugins, hosting, etc.

One major appeal of WordPress is that it is an open-source content management system (CMS) and is 100% free. You can download, install, and start using WordPress at no upfront cost to build your site.

However, you will likely need to budget for ongoing expenses like web hosting for static HTML websites, a custom domain name, premium themes, plugins written in PHP, and maintenance services.

Shared hosting plans for WordPress typically start around $5-10 per month. But WordPress officials also provide free hosting through WordPress.com there you can host your WordPress website for free but it doesn’t give you the full scalability or flexibility because of its limited features. So that is why it’s better to use WordPress.org with a reliable hosting provider.

Top WordPress themes written in HTML code typically cost $50-100 or more for a single site license. While not mandatory, premium plugins and services like security scanners, SEO optimization tools, and automated backups provide helpful functionality for additional fees. So the total cost of using a content management system like WordPress can increase over time.

Building an HTML website from scratch may require hiring a developer or learning coding skills.

In contrast, building a static website with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript requires no recurring licensing or platform fees.

It would be best to have basic web hosting to serve the HTML files and assets. However, creating custom WordPress websites from scratch requires strong PHP development skills or hiring a web designer and coder for content management.

Professional services don’t come cheap – most freelancers charge $50-150 per hour for page design and programming. Complex sites can easily cost thousands or even tens of thousands for full-scope design and programming. But you fully own the final product.

Consider your budget and long-term maintenance costs when deciding between the two.

Maintenance costs for websites vary depending on the platform used. WordPress sites, for example, require ongoing updates for security, themes, and plugins.

As traffic increases, there may also be a need for hosting upgrades. On the other hand, HTML sites require less active management after launch but may eventually require design refreshes and functionality enhancements over time.

Regardless of the platform chosen, it is important to consider the long-term costs and potential server requirements.

Ultimately, WordPress offers an affordable way for anyone to launch and use a capable website, while static HTML development brings complete ownership and control at a steeper price.

When deciding which route to take for your websites, weigh your budget and long-term plans.

Note: WordPress is free but has additional costs, HTML development has high upfront costs

Comparing WordPress and Static HTML Websites

Ease of Content Management

One significant advantage of WordPress is its user-friendly admin dashboard for managing websites.

You can easily create new pages and blog posts, add multimedia, and edit without touching any code. 

WordPress Admin Dashboard
~ WordPress Admin Dashboard

Static HTML sites require manual updates by editing HTML files, which could be more convenient than WordPress’s intuitive controls. Non-technical users will find WordPress much simpler for updating website content.

However, when building WordPress websites, HTML gives skilled developers complete control over markup and content architecture.

HTML editing
~HTML editing

While not as easy, you can craft semantic, accessible, optimized HTML by hand for your WordPress site. So HTML is ultimately more flexible but requires proficiency and time.

Loading Time Considerations

Since WordPress builds websites dynamically on each request, it requires more processing power and database queries than simple static HTML files.

Well-optimized HTML websites can achieve extremely fast load times, while complex WordPress websites with multiple plugins can suffer from sluggish performance.

Caching and other optimizations can help improve the speed of WordPress websites, but lean HTML will generally load faster out of the box. This makes HTML better suited for websites where lightning-quick loading time is critical.

Complexity and Scalability Needs

WordPress offers an easy starting point for building complex websites with advanced functionality like user logins, e-commerce, forums, etc.

HTML can technically support these features but requires significantly more development time and effort. WordPress’s library of plugins makes it achievable for non-programmers to build complex websites in less time.

Both websites platforms, WordPress and HTML, can scale to support high-traffic loads over time.

WordPress enjoys abundant shared hosting options for websites, while HTML sites may require upgrading to dedicated servers at scale. For large-scale commercial websites, WordPress offers a turnkey solution.

On the other hand, HTML is better suited to smaller websites with simple needs.

Note:Consider ease of use, scalability needs, budget and skills

Ease of Use: WordPress vs HTML

When it comes to user-friendliness, WordPress websites are the clear winner over coding a custom site from scratch with HTML and CSS. The time spent on creating a custom site can be significantly reduced by using WordPress.

Installing WordPress on static html websites takes just a few minutes via auto-installers from hosting providers. From there, the administrative dashboard provides an intuitive graphical interface for managing your HTML code.

Creating new pages, blog posts, updating menus, and inserting images in your HTML file can all be done with a few clicks. Hundreds of drag-and-drop page builder plugins make creating layouts as simple as dragging elements around in your HTML code.

The multitude of off-the-shelf themes let you change the design and functionality of your site in just a few clicks, saving you time.

In contrast, crafting WordPress websites from raw HTML and CSS is like building a house from the ground up. You need to code every page, style element, and functionality by hand, like forms and galleries.

While this gives experienced developers complete control, it requires extensive technical knowledge. Someone with coding expertise will find building and maintaining a custom HTML site easier.

HTML templates
~ HTML templates

WordPress is the obvious solution for anyone looking to create a website with maximum ease of use and convenience. But developers who want total control over their code will appreciate the flexibility of static HTML development.

As with most things, increased power and control come with increased complexity and time. Choose the platform aligned with your current skill level and available time.

Note: WP more user-friendly, HTML requires coding skills.

Customization Options: Static HTML vs WordPress

Complete Control with Static HTML

Building a website from the ground up with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript gives you complete control over the underlying code and architecture.

You can handcraft web pages exactly to your specifications without being limited by the constraints of a content management system.

Designing and developing a custom HTML site requires strong coding skills, but the sky is the limit in terms of possible design implementations.

You can utilize cutting-edge web technologies and create interactive elements optimized for user experience. The downside is that making design changes or adding new features down the road requires diving back into the source code, which can take time and effort.

Easier Design Modifications with WordPress

In contrast, WordPress offers thousands of pre-built themes and plugins to extend site functionality for static HTML websites.

Installing and switching between themes allows you to change the appearance and layout of your site with just a few clicks on the HTML file.

WordPress themes library
~ WordPress themes library

Many themes also have customization options to tweak colors, fonts, and other stylistic details through the WordPress dashboard rather than editing code. This enables easy design modifications even without coding expertise for static HTML websites.

Additionally, plugins make it simple to add things like contact forms, social sharing buttons, galleries, and e-commerce shopping carts for static HTML websites.

However, you are limited to what’s available in the WordPress ecosystem for static HTML websites. Highly customized features still require developer involvement for static HTML websites.

Choose Based on Your Preference

Ultimately, the ideal option for building a website comes down to your specific skills and preferences.

Those comfortable with HTML and CSS have endless possibilities through raw code, while less tech-savvy users benefit from WordPress’s library of off-the-shelf solutions.

Weigh your desire for complete control vs. convenience when determining the best approach for your website.

Note: HTML offers complete control, WP has simpler design options.

WordPress vs. HTML

When choosing between building a website with WordPress or raw HTML/CSS, both options have pros and cons.

There is no universal “best” option – the ideal choice depends on your specific goals, timelines, budget, and technical abilities.

For users with limited coding skills looking to get a site up and running quickly, WordPress provides an accessible starting point.

The wealth of themes and plugins allows you to put together a competent website in very little time without needing to code everything from scratch. WordPress also makes ongoing content updates easy for non-technical users.

However, WordPress lacks the fine-grained control and customization options available when coding a custom site by hand. 

HTML allows experienced developers to build pixel-perfect sites optimized for any vision. But this comes at the cost of development time and technical complexity.

When it comes to performance, lean HTML sites can load faster and place less strain on servers compared to dynamic WordPress sites. However, caching and other optimizations can help improve WordPress speed.

Read how easily you can Reduce Total Blocking Time in WordPress?  to improve your page speed.

WordPress provides a more scalable, out-of-the-box solution for businesses and advanced functionality like e-commerce, forums, membership sites, etc. HTML would require significantly more effort to achieve similar complexity.

WordPress streamlines launching sites for novice users, while HTML provides ultimate creative control for advanced developers. Consider your requirements and skills when choosing between these two popular website-building approaches.

CostFree open-source software, but hosting, themes, plugins, etc. cost moneyNo recurring fees, but high development costs
Ease of UseIntuitive dashboard for content management without codingRequires developer skills for hand-coding
CustomizationSome options to tweak themes/plugins, but limited compared to codeComplete control over code and customization
PerformanceDynamic pages can be slower, improved with cachingVery fast load times for optimized static files
ScalabilityEasy to scale with abundant hosting optionsMay require more specialized servers at high traffic volumes
SecuritySome vulnerabilities with plugins/themes, but can be mitigatedGenerally very secure, but depends on coding practices
SEOPlugins are available to optimize, but can require extra workFull control over semantic HTML markup for best SEO
SupportExtensive community resources and documentationDependent on developer’s support policy
Ease of UpdatesSimple dashboard updatesRequires code changes for design and content changes

Note: WP better for beginners, HTML for advanced customization

Choosing Between WordPress and HTML

Ease of Use and Content Updates

For non-technical users who want an easy way to update website content, WordPress provides a much simpler admin interface than editing raw HTML files.

The dashboard lets you create new posts/pages and modify menus with just a few clicks. WordPress is a clear choice if you want a CMS that doesn’t require coding skills for your website.


Both WordPress and static HTML websites can handle high-traffic loads. WordPress, a popular website platform, has numerous affordable hosting options.

On the other hand, HTML sites may require more specialized servers when scaling up. But there has a small advantage when hosting static html websites if it’s a small website you can host it free and can publish it on Google for free.

WordPress provides an out-of-the-box solution for large e-commerce or membership sites that can scale with your business needs. While HTML can work, it will demand significantly more development effort.

Technical Skills and Budget

Building a custom website from HTML requires strong coding abilities, development time, and larger budgets.

WordPress offers pre-built themes and plugins to piece together websites quickly without needing to code every aspect from scratch.

So WordPress is better for novice users with limited time and money. But HTML is preferable for experienced developers despite higher costs for ultimate creative control.

Overall, WordPress streamlines launching websites quickly, especially for non-programmers. But HTML is worth the extra effort for those seeking complete customization with optimized code. Consider your technical skills and resources when choosing between these two popular approaches.

Note: Consider ease of use, scalability needs, budget and skills.

FAQ about WordPress vs Html

The end of WordPress vs. Html

There are valid arguments on both sides WordPress vs Html when deciding between using WordPress or coding a custom website from scratch with HTML/CSS.

WordPress offers an accessible starting point for beginners to create functional sites quickly without needing to code everything themselves.

The wealth of themes, plugins, and hosting options make WordPress a turnkey solution accessible even to non-technical users.

However, when it comes to building a website, WordPress needs finer-grained control and customization opportunities of hand-coding HTML/CSS markup.

HTML provides greater flexibility for experienced developers wanting to optimize their website code fully. But this comes at the cost of development time and technical complexity.

Ultimately, there is no universally “superior” choice between WordPress and HTML for website creation. WordPress offers convenience and ease of use, while HTML provides greater customization for those with coding skills.

Consider your requirements, abilities, budget, and timeline when choosing the best platform for your website. WordPress and HTML remain top-rated options, each with strengths and weaknesses. The ideal option depends on the needs of your specific website project.

Sources :

WordPress Codex: https://codex.wordpress.org/Developer_Documentation

W3Schools HTML Tutorial: https://www.w3schools.com/html/

CSS Tricks:https://css-tricks.com/

AWWWARDS: https://www.awwwards.com/

E-commerce Platforms Market Share Report: https://trends.builtwith.com/shop

Web development blog with WordPress and HTML content: https://www.webfx.com/web-development/

About Author

Hi, I’m Abdullah – a WordPress performance, core web vitals expert dedicated to making sites fast. After 3 years of optimizing 150+ sites, I’ve cut page load times 50%+ and scored 90+ on PageSpeed.My passion is optimizing your WordPress site for lightning speed and an excellent user experience. With proven expertise in making sites blazing fast, I share tips to boost your site’s performance. Ask me anything! I’m here to help the WordPress community succeed online.

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