A tutorial on HTML vs WordPress

In this tutorial, I’ll explain the pros and cons of pure HTML vs WordPress. Which is better for you and why? Read on to find out!

How is HTML Different to WordPress?

I don’t want to mislead you by making the HTML vs WordPress comparison, therefore I’ll say straight away that technically, WordPress uses HTML.

All websites are, after all, created using HTML.

When presented in a web browser, a WordPress site will be rendered in HTML. Otherwise, the web browser wouldn’t be able to present the website to the reader.

Therefore, I’m not making the HTML vs WordPress comparison directly, but instead comparing building a website in pure HTML vs building a website or blog using WordPress.

What is Pure HTML?

A screenshot of HTML code

What do I mean by “Pure HTML”?

If you’ve heard of HTML before, you’ll know it stands for Hypertext Markup Language.

HTML is one of two programming languages to create webpages. The other being CSS.

Think of a website like a house.

HTML would be the framework of that house. The bricks and mortar.

CSS would be the paint.

Regardless of what tool a website is created with, every website is ultimately created using HTML and CSS.

If you’re interested in learning how to code in HTML, I’ve written a complete beginner tutorial updated for 2020.

Whether that’s using a drag and drop website builder like Squarespace and Webflow, or coding the website by hand using pure HTML.

When I say pure HTML, I’m referring to a website that has been created solely by writing HTML into a text editor or IDE and then saving that as an HTML document.

A pure HTML website is usually very simple and has few bells and whistles.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a popular Content Management System (CMS). It’s so popular, in fact, that it powers over 30% of the websites on the web.

So what on earth is a CMS?

A photo of someone creating a new WordPress document inside of Gutenberg

A CMS does multiple things:

  • It stores and organizes your content (written, images, videos, etc)
  • Presents that content as a website or blog
  • It allows readers to leave comments on blog posts

As mentioned before, WordPress sites are technically all created using HTML, as well as CSS and PHP.

HTML vs WordPress

In order to accurately compare a website put together using pure HTML vs WordPress, we’ll them down into the following headings:

  • Speed when rendered in a web browser
  • Ease of use


When I say speed, I mean how fast a website built in pure HTML would load in a web browser vs a WordPress site.

There’s a clear winner here…

But before I tell you, let me explain why.

WordPress sites are created using a combination of HTML, CSS, PHP, and a database, for storing your content.

It takes time for an HTML page to use PHP to communicate with a database, retrieve content, and then display said content as a webpage.

That’s about four steps required just to load a webpage.

Now imagine text, written directly inside of an HTML document.

There’s no database.

No PHP code required to make the connection to the database.

A photo of a car driving fast and the lights are blurry

Just pure text, wrapped inside HTML tags.

That’s why when it comes to HTML vs WordPress and speed is involved, HTML will always win.

HTML 1 – WordPress 0

Ease of Use

Like the previous comparison, there’s a very clear winner here.

Let’s explore why.

WordPress, although slower than pure HTML when rendered inside of a web browser, is very easy to use.

HTML, on the other hand, is a programming language. And we all know how difficult it can be to learn a programming language.

Therefore, creating a website using pure HTML has an initial learning curve.

You have to learn how to actually create an HTML document, how links work, and how you go about tying all of that together.

It took me many years to learn how to be a web developer.

And most people just want to write content without worrying about how to actually present that content as a webpage.

Which is exactly why the WordPress project was started.

To scratch that itch, and allow non-technical people to create websites and blogs without the hassle and heartache of creating a site from scratch.

Take me for example. I’m a web developer, and even I use WordPress. It’s fantastic for putting content, like this article, on the web.

Like I said. There’s a clear winner here.

HTML 1 – WordPress 1


To summarize, if you just want to focus on writing and content marketing, then WordPress is absolutely for you.

On the other hand, if you want to learn how to be a coder, HTML is a great first programming language to learn.

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