Self-hosted vs Third-party websites

We have seen the question “What is the best platform to use when starting a business website?” pop up on various social media platforms and groups lately, so we thought we’d shed some light on the matter.

Usually, when thinking about starting a website the first platforms that come to mind are Wix, Weebly or Shopify. This is mostly because their ads follow us around like the plague but also because they offer free or low-cost options and don’t really require any web design skills. While that does all sound great, it’s not recommend that these services be used for business websites and here is why:

  1. Customisation:

    3rd-party – Besides base colour changes, font styling and image changes there is not much else you can do once you have selected a theme from a 3rd-party platform. This pretty much kills any originality your brand may have. Even if you did eventually get the help of a developer, there is not much that they would be able to help with because of the limitations set by the service provider.

    Self-hosted (WordPress) – The sky is the limit in terms of customisation. With THOUSANDS of free and premium themes to choose from, as well as being able to add plugins for just about anything and setup child themes to modify CSS, PHP and add custom functions, you can get your site to look the way you want. However, this usually does require the help of an experienced developer.

  2. SEO

    3rd-party – You will have little to no control over the SEO other than selecting the page title and using keywords within the content which usually means that your websites search engine ranking falls by the wayside. Wix does have decent SEO options but WordPress is still a far better bet.

    Self-hosted (WordPress) – When using a self-hosted CMS like WordPress there are many plugins to help you get the best out of your websites SEO and give you complete control over your site title, URL structure, Permalinks, Site descriptions, Website analytics, Google Search Console connection, custom sitemaps and much more.

  3. The Future:

    3rd-party – Most third-party platforms don’t offer the option to migrate away from them. In most cases if you start with a 3rd-party service you are stuck with them unless you are willing to lose everything you have built when you decide to move over to a self-hosted service.

    Self-hosted (WordPress) – With a self-hosted site you are in total control. If you would like to move from one hosting service provider to another all you need is a backed up copy of your website files and database and you could move your site without losing any SEO or rebuilding your site from scratch.

Wild Heart offers a few monthly packages to compete with third-party platforms but with all the benefits of having a self-hosted website. Our weapon of choice is WordPress. WordPress is an open source CMS software you can use to create beautiful websites and so much more.

If you are interested in what Wild Heart Design has to offer feel free to checkout our website packages here:

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