Should You Use WordPress Or Build From Scratch?

Have you ever found yourself scratching your head, trying to decide whether to use WordPress or build a website from scratch?

Well, you’re not alone. I’ve had to face this decision numerous times during my career as a WordPress developer.

Choosing between WordPress and building a site from scratch is a decision that depends on your skills, time, and what you want your website to be. WordPress offers a user-friendly experience with lots of support and room to grow, which is great for beginners and those who want to get online without too much fuss. On the other hand, building from scratch gives you full control to make exactly what you have in mind, as long as you’re ready to handle the coding and maintenance.

In this article, we’re going to break down what you need to think about before you choose.

We’ll talk about how user-friendly WordPress is compared to the nitty-gritty of coding your own site.

We’ll dive into how much customization you can really get with WordPress versus starting from zero. The costs of both options are super important, so we’ll discuss that too.

Plus, we’ll chat about the ups and downs of maintaining your site and the kind of help you can get when things go wrong.

We’ll also take a peek into the future and see which option might be best if your site starts getting a lot more visitors. And, of course, we can’t forget about security – it’s a big deal on the web.

So, let’s dive into this together and figure out which road will lead you to your perfect website!

Key Takeaways

  • WordPress vs. From Scratch: Understand the pros and cons of using WordPress as opposed to building a website from the ground up.
  • Ease of Use: Recognize the user-friendliness of WordPress compared to the technical demands of coding a site by yourself.
  • Customization Limits: Acknowledge the extent to which WordPress allows customization and how it stacks up against the endless possibilities of a site built from scratch.
  • Budget Considerations: Be aware of the financial implications of choosing WordPress in the face of the potential costs of creating and managing a custom site.
  • Future-Proofing Your Site: Consider the scalability and security of both options to ensure the longevity and safety of your site.

Ease of Use

When it comes to creating a website, one of the first things to consider is how easy the process will be.

WordPress shines in this area because it’s designed for people who might not have much tech knowledge. It’s like having a toolbox where all the tools you need are already included and ready to use.

You can pick templates, plug in extras, and change how things look without having to write a line of code.

On the other hand, building a site from scratch means you’re the one creating everything. Although this sounds great for having control, it requires a good bit of coding knowledge.

If you’re starting on the ground floor, learning how to code can take a lot of time and might be a bit overwhelming. So if you’re keen on getting your site up fast and fuss-free, WordPress could be the way to go.

But if you love diving into code and creating everything just so, then starting from scratch might be your cup of tea.


Customization is like being able to paint your house any color you want.

With WordPress, you can choose from thousands of themes and plugins that let you change the look and add new features to your site. It’s pretty cool because you can make a site that feels unique to you without needing to know a lot about how websites work.

Most of the time, with just a few clicks, you can add a contact form, photo gallery, or even an online store.

But, let’s say you want something super specific or you have an idea that doesn’t quite fit what WordPress offers. That’s where building from scratch has a big advantage. When you code a site yourself, the sky’s the limit.

If you can dream it up and you know how to make it, you can build it. Of course, this means spending more time on development and possibly learning new programming skills.

Basically, if you’re happy choosing from lots of pre-made options, WordPress is great.

But if you want to make something truly one-of-a-kind and you have the skills to do it, then creating your own site from scratch could be the way to express your creativity.


When thinking about the cost, it’s like looking at the price tag on a pre-built house versus the cost of building one from the ground up.

With WordPress, you might spend money on hosting, a domain name, premium themes, or plugins, but it can still be pretty affordable.

It’s also worth noting that many of these costs are one-time purchases or small monthly fees, so you can plan your budget accordingly.

Building a website from scratch can vary a lot in cost. If you do it all by yourself, you’ll save money, but it will take up a lot of your time.

If you’re not a developer and you decide to hire one, that’s where the cost can really go up. Developers cost money, and the more complex your site is, the more expensive it could be.

So if you’re careful with where you put your money, WordPress can be a cost-effective solution. But if you have a unique project that requires professional help, just be prepared for the costs that come with custom development.

Remember, sometimes the investment is worth it if the end result is exactly what you need.

Maintenance and Support

Keeping your website running smoothly is kind of like taking care of a car.

With WordPress, maintenance can be pretty straightforward because there’s a big community of users and you can find plenty of help online. Things like updating themes and plugins are usually just a click away.

Plus, if you ever run into trouble, there are tons of forums, articles, and professionals who specialize in WordPress who can help you out.

If you build your website from scratch, maintenance is all on you or your developer. You have to fix bugs, update code, and add new features without the guiding hand of a huge community.

This might sound a bit scary but having complete control means you can make sure everything is exactly how you want it. Just remember that you might have to put more time into learning how everything works or pay someone to help with the techy stuff.

In short, WordPress makes maintenance easy for those who want a helping hand, while building from scratch offers total control for those who are willing to handle the upkeep on their own.


Thinking about scalability is like planning how many rooms you might need in your house in the future. With WordPress, scaling up can be relatively easy.

If your blog or business grows, you can upgrade your hosting plan for more resources, and there are plugins that help you handle more traffic or sales.

Plus, you can add new features as you need them without starting from scratch.

Creating your own website gives you complete freedom to build as big as you need from the beginning, but it also means you have to plan for growth yourself.

You have to make sure your code is efficient and your server setup can handle more visitors.

This might mean learning about more advanced web development topics or hiring experts to ensure your site won’t buckle under pressure.

So if you’re looking for an easy way to grow, WordPress has your back.

But if you want to have it all under your control and you’re up for the challenge, building from scratch might be the more adventurous route.


Now, let’s talk about security, which is as important as making sure the doors to your house are locked tight.

WordPress is used by so many people that it’s a big target for hackers. But don’t worry too much, because there are plenty of security plugins and regular updates that help protect your site.

The WordPress team works hard to keep things safe, and you just need to make sure you keep everything up to date.

When you build a site from scratch, you have to think about all the security measures yourself. This could be a good thing because you can make it as secure as you want.

But it also means that you need to be on top of potential threats and know how to stop them.

If you’re not a security expert, you might need to get some help to make sure your site is locked down tight.

In the end, WordPress offers an easy way to keep your site safe with plugins and updates, while building from scratch gives you control over security but also all the responsibility that comes with it.

It’s up to you to decide how much of that responsibility you want to take on.


In conclusion, choosing between WordPress and building a site from scratch is a decision that depends on your skills, time, and what you want your website to be.

WordPress offers a user-friendly experience with lots of support and room to grow, which is great for beginners and those who want to get online without too much fuss.

On the other hand, building from scratch gives you full control to make exactly what you have in mind, as long as you’re ready to handle the coding and maintenance.

Think of it like selecting between a ready-made meal or cooking one from scratch. The ready-made option gets you eating quickly with lots of flavors to choose from, while cooking from scratch takes longer but lets you create a unique dish exactly how you like it.

Whatever you decide, make sure it fits with your digital recipe for success.

And remember, whether you go with WordPress or build from the ground up, you’re taking an exciting step towards sharing something awesome with the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress good for beginners? 

Absolutely, WordPress is a fantastic choice for beginners. It’s designed to be easy to use, with a simple dashboard and tools that let you build and manage a website without needing to know how to code. Plus, there’s a huge community and tons of resources to help you learn as you go.

Can I switch from WordPress to a custom site later? 

Yes, you can always move from WordPress to a custom site later on if you outgrow your WordPress site or need more flexibility and control. It involves exporting your content and redesigning your site, which might require technical help but is definitely doable.

How much does a WordPress site cost compared to a custom site? 

The cost of a WordPress site can be lower, especially if you do most of the work yourself. You’ll pay for hosting, themes, and possibly some plugins. A custom site can be more expensive, especially if you hire a developer. Remember, WordPress can be free if you use the basic features, but custom development will always have some costs associated with it.

How long does it take to build a WordPress site versus a custom site? 

Building a WordPress site can take just a few hours to a few days, thanks to themes and plugins. A custom site takes longer, typically weeks or months, because you’re starting from scratch and coding everything.

Are custom-built websites better for SEO than WordPress? 

Not necessarily. WordPress comes with good SEO practices out of the box and there are plugins that can help improve your SEO even further. A custom-built site can be optimized for SEO just as well, but it will require more knowledge and effort to implement these practices. Either way, good SEO comes down to how well you optimize your content and follow best practices.

  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius—a dynamic individual whose passion for shaping the digital landscape knows no bounds. With a rich background in web development and an insatiable thirst for exploration, Jan brings a unique blend of technical proficiency, creativity, and worldly inspiration to every project he undertakes. With a 20-year background in web design and web development, Jan is not just your average web developer; he is a visionary who anticipates the trends of the future and meticulously crafts digital experiences that push boundaries. His expertise in coding & WordPress goes beyond mere skill—it is a driving force that fuels his quest for innovation. Jan’s commitment to excellence is evident in every line of code he writes, ensuring that his projects not only meet but exceed the technological demands of the present.

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