WordPress vs PHP

WebHostingAdvices Team | đź•’ Last Update: January 12, 2024

WordPress vs PHP – the top question every beginner has. If you are in the IT field and learning programming, you surely might be wondering whether you should go with WordPress or go with PHP.

Many people who are new in the website creation field are wondering whether learning PHP is the right option for you or should you learn WordPress instead. We will see all the things here. in the end, you will have a perfect answer on which is better WordPress or PHP.

What is CMS? (Overview of WordPress)

CMS stands for Content Management System. It’s software that allows the user to create, update, delete, and modify the content of the website in an easy way.

WordPress is a CMS. It was initially made to create blogs but now you can even use it for eCommerce and membership websites. Here, you don’t need coding knowledge. Everything is given in easy form.

what is cms wordpress

It used the WYSIWYG concept. WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. You can easily create a page just by clicking some buttons. There are drag and drop page builders to create pages.

WordPress is built on PHP. So, in the end, you are still using PHP here.

What is PHP?

PHP is the name of the programming language. Here, we are talking about the core PHP. Core PHP simply means that there are no frameworks and external libraries used here.

what is php

Let’s see an example to understand better. If you want to create a page in PHP, you will have to learn the concept of PHP. Whereas, if you are using WordPress (CMS on top of PHP), you can click a button and create the page. WordPress will execute the PHP code for you.

What is the difference between WordPress and PHP?

You might have a basic idea about the difference between WordPress and PHP. We will understand it better here. For that, we will see various factors and see which is better.

difference between wordpress and php

Security

At first, we will start with security. In core PHP, you are the one writing the complete code. You will have to follow the syntax.

If you forget to write the security code, you might end up in trouble. For example, if you forget to set a specific permission for the new users, they might be able to access the sensitive information.

On the other hand, WordPress is handled by developers and they also have a huge community working on it. Even if there is a vulnerability, they will roll out an update, you just need to press the update button and the code will be updated.

Additionally, there are security plugins in WordPress, you can install them and you are good to go. Your website will be secure.

Winner: WordPress has better security.

Flexibility & Compatibility

You surely might want to implement new features as your website grows. Your technology must allow you to do so.

In WordPress, you can easily install the plugin and get the functionality you want. Most of the plugins are compatible with each other. If not, you will surely find an alternative.

In core PHP, you will have to code perfectly to ensure that the extra feature you are adding doesn’t cause any conflict. No doubt, you can surely do that here but it will require time and can be difficult to implement for a beginner. It takes a lot of time even for the intermediate developer.

Winner: If you take time and complexity into consideration, WordPress is better here. PHP can also be flexible but it will require too much time and you might have to hire a developer.

Cost (Budget)

The budget can be divided into many parts here. You need to consider various things here.

Hosting: The hosting cost is almost the same for both of them. You can go with shared hosting by Bluehost and they will provide everything needed to run your app.

Software: In PHP, you can directly upload the software. In WordPress, you will have to install WordPress. Don’t worry, WordPress is also free. There will be no cost here.

Developer: WordPress is easy to use and you won’t need a developer unless you want advanced features. WordPress developers are available in all ranges. Core PHP developers (as most of them work framework) are hard to find and will also cost you a bit more.

Extensions and Plugins: In WordPress, the extensions are available for free as well as paid. You can go with any of them as per your need. In PHP, you will have to hire the developer for the features as there are no extensions. It will surely cost you more to develop the functionality.

Winner: The verdict here is clear. WordPress will be affordable if you don’t know much about PHP. However, if you are good at PHP, then it can be an affordable option for you.

Features

It’s the important part. You will need to know which one has more features and why you should choose the perfect one.

If you want to create an eCommerce website, it will take at least 7 days in PHP just to make the basic working website. On the other hand, if you want to create a fully working eCommerce website with a great theme, it will hardly take 7 hours to create it.

There is a plugin called WooCommerce, you can simply install it configure it, add the products, and that’s pretty much it. You can then customize the theme.

Many similar plugins will make your work easier. There are a lot of them.

In PHP, you will have to implement all of these things by yourself.

Winner: WordPress has a lot of plugins and it is easier to implement the functionality here.

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of ranking your website for Google search pages.

WordPress itself is highly SEO optimized. Moreover, if you want to have more SEO, you can always use the plugins such as Yoast SEO or Rank Math SEO. Both of them are free. It will increase the SEO of your WordPress website.

With just one plugin, you can analyze all your content, create a sitemap, add meta titles, and do a lot of similar things that are helpful for SEO. Not to mention, you can also increase the performance of the website which will also help you with SEO.

On the other hand, you will have to do a lot of coding in PHP to reach that level. Even if you work too hard, it will be hard to make it as good as WordPress when it comes to SEO.

Winner: Without a doubt, WordPress is a clear winner here.

Support & Updates

You also need to keep in mind support and updates.

WordPress has a great community and the updates are frequent. You will also get updates for themes and plugins. So, your website will be updated.

On the other hand, the core PHP code updates are manual. You will have to update the code manually after a while for better performance and bug fix.

wordpress support worldwide

Further, talking about support. You have a huge community of WordPress experts. You can also post in forums if you want to know something. The community of PHP is also good but not as big as WordPress.

Winner: WordPress again wins the competition here.

User Experience

It’s important to know the user experience too. Here, there can be two sides. One of them can be for the admin and the other one for the users. Like you might have guessed, we will see the details for both.

We will begin with the admin side here. WordPress has a pretty easy-to-understand interface. In PHP, this depends on you. If you can code the best admin side, the admin panel can better than WordPress.

Now, if you talk about the user side that is the actual website. WordPress has various themes. There are free as well as premium themes. You can activate the themes and customize them as per your need to get the best user interface.

It will be very difficult to code the best user interface. If you are using a free theme in WordPress, it will be better than the overall look of core PHP. Please note that you will have to code the front end in HTML and CSS. You can’t use PHP there.

Winner: WordPress

Scalability

You surely won’t be stuck on the same website for a long time, right? You will need to scale your website. For that, you will need to have proper scalability.

WordPress has got enough features to build a medium-sized website. You can even run a small eCommerce store, membership website, and even a booking website with it. However, there is always a limit here. If you want to develop a large-scale application, you will have to shift to other languages.

The same applies to Core PHP. Although, you can build anything with the core PHP. It’s always better towards a framework if you want to build a large app. It will be difficult to run an eCommerce website in core PHP. You can always use the framework here.

Winner: We can call it a draw as both of them have a certain limit. However, if you just compare these two alone, WordPress will be the winner here.

Coding Knowledge

We will now see about the technical knowledge required to run the website.

Most people might already know what will be the answer here, right?

If you want to create and run the website in PHP, you must know PHP, Database (MySQL), HTML, CSS, and have some knowledge of JavaScript too. Even if you know all these things, it will take time to code and runs the website all by yourself.

On the other hand, it’s easy to learn WordPress. You can easily be expert enough to run an eCommerce website in WordPress. It will just take a few days of your time. There is no coding knowledge required here.

If you already have the coding knowledge, you can surely implement it here and start using it to add extra functionality. For example, if you want to do a small modification in WordPress, you can change the code of WordPress instead of installing a plugin. Yes, you can easily modify the code of WordPress. Even if you are using any third-party plugin, you can modify that code too.

Therefore, it is safe to say that you don’t need any coding knowledge in WordPress. You surely have to spend some time learning the basics of WordPress. It will take just a few hours to know everything here.

Winner: WordPress is easier to learn and doesn’t require any coding knowledge.

Is WordPress a framework based on PHP?

wordpress blue background

Like we have already mentioned before. Yes, the WordPress framework is based on PHP.

Does this mean that you can use PHP coding in WordPress? Yes, you will have to learn the concept of the framework. Thereafter, you can also implement PHP in WordPress.

You can also develop your plugins and themes if you learn more about them.

Should I build my website with PHP or use WordPress? Which one to choose?

If you are still wondering which one is the right platform for you, here is your answer.

Till now, we have seen that WordPress is better in almost every factor. Therefore, if you have to choose between WordPress vs PHP, you can always go with WordPress.

On the other hand, if you are planning to build something that WordPress can’t do, you can go with PHP. WordPress surely offers a lot of flexibility. You can create almost any type of website. However, there are certain limits. In that case, you can use PHP.

wordpress features list

Conclusion

To conclude, this was the entire comparison between WordPress and PHP. You can surely choose WordPress here as WordPress is easy to learn, offers more features, and the reliability is great. Additionally, the popularity of WordPress is increasing and the popularity of core PHP is decreasing. People are now using frameworks and CMS instead of using the core PHP. Lastly, it is surely your choice.

so, let us know of your choice in the comment section below.

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