Zibster and WordPress are both website building platforms. Both allow you to build a website and publish it online using templates that you can customize. While there are similarities between these platforms, there are many key differences that will make a huge impact on your online success.
Custom vs. Template
A common argument for using WordPress is that you can get a “custom website.” But what does that mean?
Most of the WordPress users we talk to are mislead to believe that they have a "custom website.” But in reality, unless you are actually coding your website yourself (which is extremely time consuming and difficult), you will start off using a template.
The main difference is that WordPress templates will cost you. And customizing the pre-built layouts is not exactly easy.
WordPress free themes are (by design) limiting and bland. If you want to stand out, you will have to purchase a premium template from WordPress or, more likely, from a third party developer.
Once you purchase a template, you will then need to install WordPress on your own server and load in your template files. Keep in mind, this is for a single template. If you ever want to change your look or try a new template, you will need to purchase again and start over.
Zibster offers a library of premium templates you can use for free and change whenever you like without having to rebuild your website. You can preview what each design will look like and install with a single click. Even better, they will not break down and you will not have to pay a designer to install and customize your template. Templates are maintained to keep up with changing web standards without you having to install upgrades or patches.
Hosting, Security & Features
Hosting is rarely considered when shopping for a website provider, but it’s very important.
Many choose WordPress believing that it is free. And while the interface is free to install, you will still have to find and pay for your own web host. Depending on the traffic you expect and the security features you choose, shared hosting for a business website will generally run from $100 to upwards of $400 per year. Not exactly free.
Also, keeping up with WordPress security updates and patches can cause problems. That's because when a WordPress update is released, it is your responsibility to know about it and install it. Not installing these updates can leave your website and data vulnerable to attack and intrusion. Another frustration is that you never know when an update will break your third-party templates and plug-ins. Because WordPress core engineers and third-party developers don't work together, problems can arise when the system is updated or multiple plug-ins conflict.
Zibster websites and tools are built in-house and managed, hosted, and secured on their own servers. You will not pay a separate bill for hosting your website. Vital extra business tools (like a contact database, online forms & contracts, marketing features, ecommerce, etc.) are all included, so you don't have to install plug-ins. And all of your security and updates are taken care of for you without you having to think about it.
Design & Ease of Use
Whew! Done with the techy stuff. Now comes the fun part – actually creating your website. Using your template, you will create the pages you need and fill them with the words and images that make your website shine.
You can choose to build on your own…. or get the help of a web designer.
The WordPress standard interface is complex and layered. Many find that the interface is difficult to build with or remember where all of the options, pages, posts, etc. are located within the platform. Their "Getting Started" help document page alone is 5,000 words long. 5,000 words! Just to figure out how to start building.
Small business owners are craftsmen; it doesn't make that you should have to become an SEO or coding expert just to have a good website for your business. In other words: your time is money. It's crucial to find a solution that doesn't require extensive training, reading, or searching for answers.
Zibster is intuitive, using a visual, block-based builder that is extremely flexible and simple to use right out of the box. There are many layout options for each page element and you have fine control over the styling of your website without the need for hiring a designer unless you truly want one.
Video tutorials are built into each element of the platform. And if you need help, you can call Zibster’s live support team for free and talk as long as you like. They can troubleshoot any issues, teach you how to build using best web building practices, and even do simple designs or updates for you at no charge.
Hiring A Designer
Many small business owners are not experienced web designers or developers and would prefer to use the expertise of a web designer.
WordPress does not have designers for you to use or a dedicated help team, so you will either need to find and contract with a freelancer or choose an agency. Both of these options are expensive, time-consuming, and have unique challenges.
You are not your freelance designer’s only client. You are at the mercy of their schedule, and they will not stick around after the design is complete to make updates (unless you pay for extra time and services). Freelance fees can range into the thousands of dollars – and agencies can be even more expensive. A simple WordPress design often costs over $5,000 at a web design agency, due to the overhead they place on web design services and the fact that you’re paying for multiple people’s salaries, not just the services of one designer.
Zibster, on the other hand, has a whole team of web experts whose only job is to help you build and launch your website. Zibster’s design services include the Jumpstart program – which is totally free – where they will build and launch your new site for you on the template of your choice.
And if you want a truly custom design, you can work with one of their in-house designers to bring your vision to life in less than 30 days. The cost for this service is very reasonable: just a one-time flat design fee of $1500. After the design is over, the Zibster team is always there to help make updates and service your website at no charge and on your schedule.
Many tout WordPress as being “the best” for SEO. These days, Search Engine Optimization is based on a huge number of factors – from the metadata you use to your website’s text, image size, page loading speed, and even your brand’s reputation on other social sites.
Both WordPress and Zibster give you options for customizing your metadata, publishing your sitemap, and delivering analytics. But the biggest factor for SEO is actually how engaging your site is to consumers – how easy it is to navigate, how much they read, and the quality of your content.
In the end, WordPress is just a website. There is no magic secret sauce WordPress offers that will automatically guarantee you a higher search engine rank. Sure, you can install plugins that let you edit your keywords and whatnot… but it’s on you to make sure your website is properly tuned for search and ready to convert customers.
With Zibster, your website contains the tools you need to succeed with no extra plug-ins to install. Add your Analytics and tracking codes simply, customize your metadata and more. Images are sized so that there is no wasted bandwidth and pages load quickly. An included blogging platform helps you publish more content and provide more points of entry through search.
(Plus, Zibster's SEO experts can help walk you through SEO best practices and optimize your site with SEO GO.)
Service & Support
Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), let’s talk about the service and support you receive when working with either Zibster or WordPress. This is the biggest difference between the platforms – the amount of help and support you receive.
With Wordpress, there is no team available to you to answer questions. You can post in their forum or search for help articles, but that’s the limit. And if you are having an issue with the template itself, you’re more than likely plain out of luck. You’ll have to contact the developer who created it, but not many maintain their work into the future with updates or answers to consumer questions. Third-party templates and plugins may not play nicely together and can cause conflicts when system updates are available.
At Zibster, the difference is our people.
We are a dedicated team of creative experts who are passionate about making your business successful. We provide free and unlimited live, personal support to all clients.
We don't just walk you through how to do something in your control panel. Our focus is on helping you create an ideal website that is a digital version of your business. We believe in the value of working together – not just to find a solution to one problem, but the best set of web solutions to fit the individual needs of each business.
It's about getting to know our clients personally, and understanding how their business works. That's why we have always offered phone support. Questions should be answered by real people, in a real conversation. If you don't have a team of experts ready and willing to provide you with relevant business advice that is rooted in experience and expertise, then I challenge you to think differently.
You are a craftsman that is an expert in your craft. Lean on us for all things digital that would take your time and focus off of doing what you do best.