design.
Static HTML vs. WordPress.


What are the main differences between HTML and WordPress or any CMS alternative?



Introduction.

You might think HTML websites are over-dated and whatever are the differences between the two, the debate does not exist; CMS platforms as WordPress make life easier so, why trying to use HTML? Well, you might be right on certain points but HTML is not dead, and there is a debate about why choosing one technology over the other.

Every time our communication agency is involved in a new digital project, this debate arises, and if it's a debate for us, it might also be one for you. It is the reason why we decided to write this article and help you to determine what is most appropriate to your project.

WordPress.

WordPress is a popular and powerful open-source Content Management System, commonly called CMS. According to WordPress.org itself, this CMS powers 31% of all websites on the Internet and includes prestigious international brands as users.

Being content-oriented, CMS like WordPress include a useful and user-friendly admin interface. This is particularly appreciated for managing large quantities of contents.

Online publication, vlogs, magazines or large portfolios are good examples of websites using CMS. Managing tens or hundreds of pages become easy and make life more comfortable for non-technical users.

Now that CMS had been quickly described let us list the basic pros and cons of using WordPress.

😎 Pros of using WordPress.

  • Open-source: WordPress is an open source CMS that can be used by anyone. Because of its GPLv2 license, many free templates and extensions are available.
  • Extensions: Also known as plugins, third-party developers propose tens of thousands of free and paid extensions for adding functionalities to your website. E-commerce extensions as WooCommerce enhance this versatility.
  • User-friendly: The user-friendly admin interface makes navigation and the use easy for non-technical users. This powerful CMS does not require any advanced skills for organizing the contents and users.
  • SEO: The use of SEO extensions as Yoast help to reach basic search engine optimization (SEO) and optimize the visibility of websites on result pages.
  • Support: Because of its popularity, WordPress provides essential documentation. On forums, the online community is active, and almost all questions have an answer.

😕 Cons of using WordPress.

  • Recurent updates: WordPress itself, templates and extensions require maintenance. The constant updates deliver new functionalities, correct bugs or security failures but at the same time, could create a dysfunctional. Keep a close eye on them.
  • Vulnerability: Even if WordPress continually reinforce its security, anyone can analyze the lines of code to find potential failures. It makes this open-source CMS more attractive to hackers.
  • Customization: Third-party developers propose premium extensions for classic customizations, but the complex ones are challenges if you are not an expert. If not correctly done, your modifications may interfere with some functionalities.
  • Need database: Most hosting providers offer a 'one-click WordPress' installation. Just make sure it's included to make things easier. Besides, a massive database transfer to a new hosting provider could be a tedious task.
  • Loading speed: It is common to find a large quantity of useless generic codes in website templates. Those lines of code add an amount of data to load and can decrease the overall website's speed and SEO performances.

Static HTML.

HTML is the root for coding web pages. Compared to WordPress that does not require any particular knowledge, HTML requires technical skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript and some other technologies depending on the website.

If comfortable with coding, HTML gives a full range of flexibility for customizing the design as well as the functionalities, but HTML also has limitations. Static HTML websites do not have an admin interface. Therefore, managing up to 15 pages is fine, ideally 5 to 10 pages but above this quantity, maintenance will become harder.

While speaking about ‘static HTML,' the name comes from the fact this technology stores all its contents in static files. There is no need for a database. Static HTML is a breath of fresh air when the time comes to duplicate, transfer or back-up a website.

Now, let's list the main pros and cons of using static HTML.

👍 Pros of using HTML.

  • No maintenance: Once the website is on the servers, there is no need for checking extension or CMS updates and risking to see potential malfunctioning.
  • Better for non-updated websites: Static HTML has no admin interface as WordPress does, it is better adapted to websites only needing exceptional updates.
  • Customization: Compared to the way WordPress is built, HTML offers further customization. With enough technical knowledge, you can do miracles and create a unique website.
  • Security: Due to the fact, there is no online CMS access, no extensions that could include failures and no database, HTML websites are better secured than WordPress. It is a non-neglectable point.
  • SEO: HTML is the universal coding language. A static HTML website performs far better than WordPress when it uses the adequate meta tags. SEO Robots can fully take advantage of this technology.

👎 Cons of using HTML.

  • Technical skills: Technical skills are required for developing such websites. Better your capabilities, better the result. If you do not have any knowledge, you'll need to hire a developer who, according to the complexity, can be costly.
  • Evolutions: Depending on the evolutions, adding some data management features can quickly become complicated even for advanced developers. It will be recommended to move to a CMS website.
  • No admin interface: Static HTML websites do not have any admin interface for managing contents. The maintenance is done with the use of dedicated software requiring a minimum of technical skills.
  • Maintenance over 15 pages: As previously written, there is no admin interface. It makes management more complicated. Up to 15 pages, we consider HTML manageable, ideally between 5 to 10 pages. Above this number, we'll recommend WordPress or any CMS alternative.

So, which one is best?

As you already guessed, there is no right or wrong answer, just pros, and cons. We could summarize WordPress as being content oriented, and HTML as being creativity oriented. Nonetheless, it is not enough to make the right choice.
Based on our experience, the best advice we can give is to list all present and future functionalities your business will need and determine the approximative number of pages that will be required. Once done, the answer will become apparent.