WordPress and PHP are two of the most popular web development platforms. Both have their own pros and cons, and choosing one over the other depends on your specific needs and preferences.

PHP is a server-side scripting language that enables you to create dynamic websites and web applications. WordPress, on the other hand, is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to create a website or blog with ease. At the end of the day, both WordPress and PHP are great options for website development. When it comes to making the choice of WordPress vs PHP, there is no clear winner. It really depends on your individual needs and preferences. If you need a simple website or blog, WordPress may be the better option. However, if you need a more complex website or web application, PHP may be a better choice.

In this article, we aim to do a comparative study of both these tools by discussing their strengths, weaknesses and applications. By the end of this read, we hope that you have a clear on which  framework would be a better fit for your requirements.

What is a WordPress Framework?

WordPress interface

Source: colorlib

A WordPress framework is a foundation that you can use to build your own themes and plugins. It includes a combination of PHP files, CSS files, JavaScript files, and other assets. One of the benefits of using a WordPress framework is that it can help you save time and money. This is because you don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to create a new theme or plugin.

Pros:

  • Open-source platform that can be found on WordPress.org website.
  • Large community with very active developers behind it.
  • Innumerable themes that are created by third-party companies.
  • Has different tools for users including Plugin Directory, Theme Directory, Widgets Management, etc.
  • Has built-in blogging functionalities for user convenience.
  • Is easier to learn than other platforms.

Cons:

  • Limited theme customizability.
  • Theme customization needs knowledge of HTML, CSS, and jQuery.
  • Require plugins for many other standard functionalities.
  • Difficulty finding a plugin to meet your needs due to a large number of plugins available.
  • Difficulties with updating the WordPress version.

What is a PHP Framework?

PHP Interface

Source: matexbts

A PHP framework is a foundation that you can use to build your own web applications. It includes a basic structure that simplifies the creation of web application and graphic user interfaces by embedding code written in this framework easily into a HTML code through the script tag. The recent versions are even object oriented, which makes frameworks dynamic and reusable. This, along with its extensive library, has allowed to be one of the most used server-side programming languages today.

Pros:

  • Speed up custom web application development
  • Simplify web application maintenance
  • Work with databases more efficiently
  • No need to write additional code
  • Automate common web development tasks
  • Perform unit testing efficiently

Cons:

  • Programmers need to learn PHP frameworks instead of PHP
  • Lack of option to modify core behavior
  • Affect Speed and performance of website

WordPress vs. PHP: Comparative Study

Who is it for?

WordPress

If you would like to create your own blog without writing any code, then you should look into using WordPress. Even if your website only consists of static pages or simple lists of links, a WordPress site will allow you to update its content from anywhere in the world. In addition to creating your own blog or website, it is also possible to use WordPress as a tool for managing an existing website.

For example, you can use WordPress to automatically post updates from your Twitter feed or Facebook wall onto your website.

PHP

If you need more control over the output of your website or want to create a more complex application, then PHP is the way to go. PHP is a server-side scripting language which means that the code is executed on the server before the page is sent to the visitor’s browser. This makes PHP more flexible than HTML as you can do things like generate dynamic content based on user input or connect to databases.

Although you can use WordPress to create a complex website, it is not as easy to do so as with PHP. For example, if you want to create a membership system where users can log in and access exclusive content, you would need to use a plugin or custom code in WordPress whereas this could be easily accomplished with PHP.

Which do you choose?

The difference between WordPress and PHP websites can be adequately expressed in that each serve their own target customers. Generally, WordPress websites focus on easy usability; so in a few areas, it is quite rigid in its functionality. However, it makes up for it in being very simple to use. This makes it ideal for people who are getting started with web development and those who just want to design a website very quickly. PHP websites, on the other hand, provides flexibility in use; however, it takes time to be proficient in its usage. This makes it preferable by experienced web developers who create all kinds of complex applications.

User Experience

User experience is key when deciding on a favored platform

Source: bitcoinist

Website friendliness can be attributed to two aspects: Accessibility and navigability. This can be termed as usability. What this means is that the website should be easy to use and should be able to provide a good user experience. Accessibility refers to the ability of the website to be accessed by everyone regardless of their physical abilities or disability. Navigability, on the other hand, is the ability of the website to be easy to use and navigate. There is stark difference in usability between WordPress and PHP websites depending on the two abovementioned factors.

WordPress

WordPress is a very accessible platform. It is designed to be used by everyone regardless of their physical abilities. The user interface also is very easy to use and navigate and there are numerous resources that you can access to seek help if you are stuck anywhere. WordPress also has numerous accessibility plugins that it uses that make it so popular among majority users.

PHP

PHP, on the other hand, is not as accessible as WordPress. It is not designed to be used by everyone and the user interface can be confusing and difficult to use for some people. Additionally, it does not allow any changes to the frameworks of the core behaviour of  web applications.

Which do you choose?

When it comes to accessibility and navigability, if you need a platform that is more accessible and user-friendly, then WordPress is the better choice. However, if you need a platform that is more powerful and customizable, then PHP is the better choice.

Budget

Budget is also an important factor when deciding between WordPress vs PHP, especially for businesses

When is money not a factor in making a choice!!. Both WordPress and PHP are free and open source. However; there are a few key differences in their usage.

WordPress

While WordPress core development is free, organizations frequently end up paying more for premium plug-ins and themes. WordPress website development can be cheap or very expensive. However, if WordPress keeps updating its services and adds new features that we can’t live without – we would have to keep paying for them.

PHP

PHP is more consistent in this regard and can provide premium tools at a lower cost than WordPress. Its development is also more affordable since it’s an open-source platform. However, there are easier to use and understand programming languages out there that are most versatile in their usage.

Which do you choose?

WordPress is better for fewer complex websites but PHP is the better option if you are looking for a cheaper development process and greater flexibility and customization.

Features

There are many different features that are specialized to the two platforms like extensions, add-ons, etc.

WordPress

WordPress features include:

Themes: You can find a theme for almost anything on WordPress. And if you can’t find one you like, you can always create your own custom theme.

Plugins: WordPress has a huge library of plugins available for download. And just like themes, if you can’t find a plugin to do what you want, you can always create your own.

Widgets: WordPress widgets are a great way to add content and features to your sidebar or other widget-ready areas.

PHP

PHP website features include:

Themes: While not as widely available as WordPress themes, you can still find a decent selection of PHP themes online.

Extensions: PHP websites often rely on extensions to add features and functionality.

Modules: Like extensions, modules are used to add features and functionality to PHP websites.

Which do you choose?

When it comes to choosing between a WordPress website and a PHP website, it really depends on your needs and preferences. However, WordPress seems to be the better option if you are just starting out with discovering the various features and implementing them. However, if you have prior experience, PHP gives you more customization ability.

Security

Security is different between WordPress and PHP, each with their own salient points.

Security is vital as it protects your site from attacks. Both platforms have their own security features and there are also plugins/extensions that you can use to further secure your website. Both platforms are free to use, however, and that comes with a vast amount of security concerns.

WordPress

WordPress is fairly secure out of the box but it’s still vulnerable to attacks since it’s such a popular platform. The good news is that there are always new security features being developed and there are also many plugins that can help to secure your website. Some of the security features include automated background updates, two-factor authentication, user activity logging, and malware scanning.

PHP

PHP is a more secure platform than WordPress as it’s not as widely used. However, it’s still possible to develop insecure PHP websites if the coding is not done properly. Some of the security features include the use of prepared statements and input validation. The main drawback here is that your code is viewable by other coders and they can see all the bugs in your code. They can then use it against you so security is a concern with this framework.

Which do you choose?

It really depends on what you need your website to do and how much experience you have with coding. If you’re not sure, then it’s probably best to choose WordPress as it’s easier to use and there are plenty of resources available to help you.

Flexibility

Flexibility is important to consider as your website grows. If you want to add new features or design changes down the line, you’ll need to make sure your platform can accommodate them.

WordPress

WordPress is a great option for small businesses or bloggers who are just getting started because it’s easy to use and relatively cheap to set up. It’s not as flexible as PHP, but it has a huge range of plugins and themes available to make your website look and feel professional. To make up for a lack in flexibility, WordPress has a veritable plethora of templates that are easily customizable to build your website.

PHP

PHP is a good choice for businesses who want more control over their website’s design and functionality. It’s also more affordable since it doesn’t require any additional plugins or themes. However, it can be more difficult to use if you’re not familiar with coding languages.

Which do you choose?

Overall, both WordPress and PHP have their pros and cons. It really depends on your specific needs as to which one would be better for your business.

Programming Knowledge

Programming knowledge is quite optional. some developers have extensive knowledge of programming languages and others do not.

WordPress

WordPress allows you to build your website without much coding. Even though some might argue that it’s not as flexible as coding from scratch, it still gives you a lot of power to create a beautiful and functional website in the form of drag and drop builder, different menu options listed in the sidebar, loads of plugins to assist you, and a vast amount of tutorial resources that make it easy to navigate through any problematic areas.

PHP

On the other hand, PHP is a scripting language that is used to code everything from contact forms to eCommerce platforms. If you want complete control over your website, then you need to have a good understanding of how PHP works. PHP is a good choice for businesses that need more control over their website’s design and functionality. With PHP, you can create custom features and add them to your website.

Which do you choose?

It really depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a simple website that you can create quickly, WordPress is a good choice. If you need more control over your website’s design and functionality, then PHP is a better choice.

Software integrations

Integrations are an integral part of any website builder platform.

Software integrations are a vital requirement because it allows businesses to manage multiple departments and software with one platform.

WordPress

WordPress has a wide range of integrations that are available through plugins. These plugins allow businesses to connect their WordPress website to other software, including e-commerce platforms, accounting software, live chat support, and more.

PHP

PHP websites also have a wide range of integrations available. However, these are not as simple to set up as they are on WordPress. This is because these websites generally require more customization than WordPress websites.

Which do you choose?

The answer to this question depends on your needs. If you need a simple website that can be set up quickly and easily, then WordPress is the better option. However, if you need a more complex website that requires more customization, then PHP is the better option.

Easier Uploads and Updates

Uploads and updates need to be simpler with little to no need for coding. This is because a lot of businesses do not have the time or resources to invest in learning how to code.

WordPress

WordPress websites are much easier to upload and update than PHP websites. This is because WordPress has a built-in media uploader and updater. This means that you can simply drag and drop your files into the media uploader. In the case of updates, this means that you can simply click a button and the updates will be installed automatically.

PHP

PHP websites, on the other hand, require you to use FTP in order to upload files. This can be quite difficult for those who are not familiar with coding or do not have much experience with it. In the case of updating, PHP websites require you to manually update the code. This can be quite tedious and time-consuming, especially if you are not familiar with coding.

Which do you choose?

There is no clear answer as to which one is better. It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you need a simple website that does not require much coding, then WordPress would be a good choice. However, if you need a more complex website that requires more coding, then PHP would be a better choice.

Hosting

Hosting is another important factor to consider when choosing between WordPress and PHP websites. WordPress websites are hosted on WordPress.com, while PHP websites can be hosted on any server that supports PHP.

WordPress

WordPress.com is a reliable and secure hosting platform that offers a number of features, including automatic backups, security updates, and support for custom domains. However, it is not as flexible as other hosting platforms, and you may not be able to install certain plugins or themes.

PHP

PHP websites, on the other hand, can be hosted on any server that supports PHP. This gives you more flexibility in terms of choosing a hosting platform and installing plugins and themes. However, you will need to take care of your own website security and updates.

Which do you choose?

So, which one is better? It really depends on your needs. If you need a simple website that is easy to set up and maintain, WordPress.com may be the best option for you. However, if you need more flexibility and control over your website, a PHP website may be a better option.

Conclusion

Both WordPress and PHP websites have their own advantages and disadvantages. It really depends on your needs as to which one is better for you. If you need a simple website that is easy to set up and doesn’t require much maintenance, then WordPress is probably the better option. However, if you need a more complex website with more features and functionality, then PHP is probably the better choice. Whichever route you decide to go, just make sure that you do your research and choose the platform that is best suited for your needs.

Most web development companies use a combination of both WordPress and PHP to create dynamic and robust websites. So, if you’re looking for a truly custom website, it’s best to hire a professional web development company that can create a tailor-made solution for you. If you need us, we at Pixel Street are happy to help!!

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Khurshid Alam
Founder

Khurshid Alam is the founder of Pixel Street, a web design company. He aspires to solve business problems by communicating effectively digitally. In his leisure, he reads, writes, and occasionally plays a game of table tennis.