WordPress vs PHP which one is a better option for your website – When creating a website it is important to assess the technologies and tools available to carry out its development.
Table of Contents
WordPress vs PHP which one is a better option for your website
You will have to study different aspects, such as the characteristics of the website or its functionalities, to make a decision. Many times, the best option will be to use a content manager or CMS, such as WordPress. At other times, it may be best to do custom development in PHP.
Next, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each case so that you can make the best decision. Go for it!
What is custom web development in PHP?
PHP is an open source programming language used for developing dynamic websites and applications. It is a language that works on the server side, that is, the processing of the code is executed on the server before being delivered to the client’s web browser.
A web development consists of the creation, administration and maintenance of a website or web page. In the case of custom development in PHP, we would be talking about web development based on this programming language and starting from scratch (without using any CMS).
When I say “starting from scratch” I don’t mean that every part of the code has to be done 100% by hand. When programming, there are development frameworks in PHP that make this task easier.
They are sets of tools and code libraries that streamline the web development process and often cover common functionalities. In PHP there are a large number of frameworks such as Codeigniter, CakePHP, Symfony or Laravel.
Knowing this, you will have already deduced that custom web development is going to translate into a greater investment of time. This is important to keep in mind when considering the development of any website.
In fact, when a client orders a web page from you, one of the first questions you have to ask yourself is whether you are going to choose to use a CMS or are you going to do custom development.
Probably the client does not know which of the options is the best, so you will have to study what type of web page you need, what its functionalities will be, the scalability of the project, the time (and money) that the client wants to invest, etc. Based on these questions you will have to make a decision.
This article focuses on the comparison between custom web development and WordPress development, since it is the most widely used CMS today. Today and according to data from https://w3techs.com/ , 43% of all websites use WordPress, making it the most used CMS in the world.
Also, WordPress is based on PHP. Both the WordPress core and its themes and plugins make use of this programming language.
As I was saying, when deciding on a WordPress development or a custom development you have to assess different aspects. You have to see the advantages and disadvantages of each of the options and see what they can bring you. To help you in this process, I am going to tell you separately the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress development and custom development.
Advantages and disadvantages of development in PHP
Now that you know what custom development in PHP consists of, you can get an idea of its pros and cons. I am going to tell you the ones that I consider most important.
Advantages of custom development in PHP
When you do a custom development you have absolute control of everything. You will be able to implement any functionality that you can think of and, in terms of the visual aspect, you will start from a blank canvas, so you will be able to carry out any type of design.
Obviously the only limitation will be the knowledge you have but, in principle, custom web development implies 100% customization.
When you use a CMS like WordPress to create your website, you are using a well-known tool, so hackers will have studied the possible security holes.
However, when you do custom web development this is not the case, so the vulnerabilities are less. Of course, you have to do a good job and be very careful when programming your website so as not to leave any security holes.
In a custom web development your product will be unique and exclusive. When you use a CMS, you may use the same template or the same plugins as other websites, so some visual aspects of your website may be similar to those of others.
When you develop all aspects of your website from scratch, you ensure that you do something unique for your client and their brand. Something differentiating with respect to its competition, which is always a point in favor.
There is no doubt that custom web development will be more optimized than WordPress development. When you are the one who creates the code, you will use only what you need for the functionalities and design of your website.
In WordPress developments there are always features that are there but you may not need. Also, the generated code will never be as optimized as when you do custom web development (although this depends on the template and plugins you use).
Disadvantages of custom web development in PHP
It takes much more time:
One of the great advantages of CMS is the time they save you. In a custom development, the amount of time invested in the project is much greater and, many times, requires the involvement of a team of more people.
This is a point to take into account for your clients, since depending on the deadlines that a personalized development handles, it may be a good option or not.
It is more expensive:
Obviously, if it takes more time, it will be more expensive. The development time is paid and in a custom web development the final price will undoubtedly be higher. Keep in mind that programming a feature from scratch is not the same as installing and configuring a plugin.
As in the previous point, this is going to be a decisive aspect for your clients to make a decision about the type of development they want.
Requires advanced knowledge:
Advantages and disadvantages of WordPress development
WordPress is a very versatile CMS with which you can make practically any type of website you can think of. Still, there are cases where it might not be your first choice. To make it clearer when to use and when not to use WordPress development, we are going to review its main advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of WordPress development
WordPress is a consolidated tool:
When you choose to use WordPress you are not jumping into the pool without knowing if it is a good choice. WordPress is a CMS that has more than 18 years behind it and a huge community with thousands of users.
It has constant updates to improve its security and performance, which is why WordPress is undoubtedly one of the best options when choosing a CMS.
As I say, WordPress is a tool used by thousands of users. It is the most used CMS in the world and is used in 43% of the websites that exist today. Consequently, it has a multitude of user communities in which to ask questions or share knowledge.
Also, not only user communities offer this type of support, but there are companies like Raiola Networks offering professional WordPress support to their clients.
WordPress plugins are small applications that you can install to add functionality to your website.
In the official WordPress repository there are about 60,000 free plugins that you can use. There are also websites like Codecanyon that offer paid plugins for this CMS. Seeing these figures, it is clear that you can integrate practically any functionality you can think of using a plugin.
In WordPress there are plugins to create online stores (such as WooCommerce), plugins to make online reservations , to create forms, plugins to create sliders in WordPress , etc.
Although it is true that when you do a custom development you can create a visual interface so that your client can manage certain aspects of the web, it is something that increases the development time and, therefore, the cost.
In WordPress you already have a native control panel . Also, being the most used CMS, it is an interface that many users are already used to. One of the advantages of this control panel is that you can enable only certain areas of it for your clients. In this way, you make sure that no one touches where they shouldn’t and you save more than one scare.
No code knowledge required:
Although it is advisable to have notions of code (mainly some HTML, CSS and PHP), it is not really necessary to know web programming languages to create a WordPress website. Obviously, it all depends on the type of website you need and the features you want to achieve.
With the use of templates and plugins you will surely be able to do almost anything you set your mind to. For example, to layout the pages and sections of your website, there are plugins such as Elementor or Oxygen Builder that allow you to carry out this task through the “drag and drop” method without touching code.
The time invested in the development of a website in WordPress is usually less than in a development in PHP. Installing WordPress is a task that takes a few minutes and a few clicks. The exact with themes and most plugins.
Logically, you have to spend time customizing these themes and plugins and sometimes you will even need to extend WordPress functionality through hooks . But even taking that into account, the time will be less than in a custom development.
Same formula as before: less time equals less money . Normally, the price of a WordPress development is lower than that of a custom development.
At this point you have to know that, when you develop in WordPress, a free plugin or theme will not always be worth it and you may have to resort to a paid one. Many of these paid plugins sometimes have a monthly or annual cost, so this is something you have to keep in mind.
SEO on page:
As I mentioned above, when you do custom web development you have total freedom. This also affects that, when creating the code of your website, you can optimize it 100% for SEO.
This in WordPress is also possible and it is surely more comfortable, since you can use specialized plugins. In this way, you can improve and optimize the SEO of your website with 7 Best Free SEO Plugins WordPress 2022
Disadvantages of WordPress development
You already know that WordPress is a very famous tool in the web development community. Therefore, it is obvious that there are a large number of hackers looking for security holes and vulnerabilities.
This does not mean that WordPress is not a secure CMS, but simply by statistics, it may have a higher number of attacks.
That is why it is very important to carry out good maintenance of your websites, updating plugins, templates and WordPress itself when necessary. And above all, avoid installing plugins from unreliable sources and using “Nulled” themes and plugins.
In a custom development, everything will be in your hands and you will only add those functionalities that you need. In addition, you will generate the least possible code and the best optimization you can.
In WordPress, one of the drawbacks is that there may be native functionalities of the tool itself that you do not need. In addition, this type of CMS usually generates a lot of “junk” code compared to a custom development.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the more plugins you install, the worse the performance and loading times of the website.
Even so, all these aspects can be improved by applying WPO techniques on your website to increase its optimization.
It is not so exclusive:
To create a website in WordPress you have to use a template to work on. Many times you will choose a well-known and contrasted template, but at the same time it is being used in many other web pages.
Although everything can be customized, the chances that your website will have things similar to that of your competition is greater than in a custom development.
Yes, it is true that with the recent arrival of tools such as Elementor, Oxygen Builder or Bricks, the level of customization is much higher. With this type of visual layout, you can give your website a totally personalized look.
As a summary, I share a small table where the main characteristics are compared between a custom development and a WordPress development. In it, the strengths of each of them are marked with a “check”.
What is PHP full form
PHP Hypertext Preprocessor
In short, to the question of what is better, custom development or WordPress development? My answer is: it depends. It depends on what type of website you need or your client needs and how much time and money is going to be invested in it.
For more or less simple websites, with functionalities that are not out of the ordinary or projects in which you cannot invest a lot of time, WordPress is an excellent option.
Also, if you have to manage and maintain a large number of websites at the same time, you will surely find it more comfortable that they are developed in WordPress. There are tools like InfiniteWP or ManageWP to control all your installations and make updating both plugins and WordPress core more comfortable.
On the other hand, for very large web projects, with very specific functionalities and for which you have time to carry out, opt for custom development in PHP.
The cost will be higher but, in exchange, you will have an exclusive web development for you or your client in which you will be able to control each and every one of the aspects.
If you still have any questions or want to comment on your experience developing websites in WordPress or PHP