WordPress is great. Its open-source platform makes it the perfect choice for developers and website creators alike, with almost total freedom over their designs.
In fact, with more than 35% of the entire internet using WordPress (including Tech.co), you’d think that the company would be reluctant to change. However, Built By WordPress is something different. Rather than getting access to a platform on which you can build your own site, with Built By WordPress, you pay upwards of $4,900 to have a site built for you.
But isn’t that defeating the entire point of WordPress? Let’s take a look into the new program to work out what’s going on.
What is Built By WordPress?
Built By WordPress is, basically, WordPress’ team of experts acting as a web design agency and creating a bespoke website for you. You’ll pay a fee to WordPress and they’ll build you a site in return.
This might seem strange given that WordPress is so closely associated with its open-source platform that allows anyone to build a site, as long as they have web hosting.
However, WordPress has been trying to muscle-in to the website builder game for a while now. While its open-source platform is known as WordPress.org, it has its own website building solution called WordPress.com. With WordPress.org, you’ll get access to the platform but have to out everything else. WordPress.com, on the other hand, hosting, designing, and some other features are baked into the software, and you pay a monthly fee.
Built By WordPress is the next logical step and gives WordPress a foot in every area of the website development game: DIY jobs, assisted and managed DIY sites, and agency-side bespoke websites for clients.
Is Built By WordPress Right for Me?
WordPress is saying that its new service is perfect for online stores, educational websites, and service businesses.
Digging into the application process, WordPress also asks prospective clients to confirm the budget they have for the new site as well as a deadline for launching it.
Finally, it’s also asking users to “Describe, in as much detail as possible, what your dream site will include,” and to “consider both design and functionality.”
Of course, there’s nothing new here — you can already build sites like these on both WordPress.org and WordPress.com sites. The difference, of course, is that WordPress will do all of the building and development for you, rather than you doing it yourself.
So, if you’re struggling for time or lacking the expertise (and have the requisite funds), a Built by WordPress site might be a good fit for you and your business. However, the level of aftercare from Built By WordPress sites remains to be seen — if you want to make copy changes or add new features, for example, will these cost extra? Plus, is there a retainer fee for Built By WordPress sites? We still don’t know any the answers to these questions.
But if you’re a small business looking to start out, we’d still recommend using a website builder tool. They have significantly lower upfront costs and will likely give you more flexibility and control over your site.
If you want to create an online store, we’d recommend Shopify, for example. If you want to create a site for a small business, Wix or Squarespace would both be great choices.
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