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WordPress is one of the founding fathers of the website builder market. It’s been around for donkey’s years and, according to its website, 43% of web pages are built using the software.
As it was only just founded in 2020, Zyro hasn’t quite reached the dizzying user numbers of WordPress. Still, according to our research, it has recently pulled out some impressive updates to its software – and also boasts an unrivalled list of deals and discounts.
Its cheaper plans make Zyro the more affordable option, which is a great pull factor for small businesses. But WordPress’s customisable tools mean you’ll get greater design flexibility – another major consideration for SMEs when it comes to branding.
So which of these small business website platforms should be crowned the fairest of them all?
In the below article we’ll break down the main benefits and drawbacks offered by both WordPress and Zyro, to give a thorough overview based on our expert Startups.co.uk research, so you can make an informed decision of which is the best for your firm.
Want to save time? We’ve designed a simple, online comparison tool that will match you with provider quotes from the top website builders for small businesses. It’s completely free and based on our own expert research.
While both Zyro and WordPress qualify as website builders, there are some big differences between the two that we need to get out of the way.
Zyro is a design-led web builder that uses drag-and-drop tools to help users create an online site without requiring much skill.
In contrast, WordPress is a website builder platform that focuses more on coding, extensions and third-party apps for you to build up a website with.
You might have heard of two platforms associated with the WordPress name – there’s WordPress.com (which this article examines) and the very different WordPress.org.
Beginners often confuse these two software products which can lead to them choosing the wrong platform for their needs. Here’s a quick rundown of how they differ:
WordPress.org is an open-source software that’s 100% free for users. It gives you full control of your website and allows you to customise it using paid-for plugins. The other main expense you’ll have to budget for is a third-party hosting provider (such as Bluehost) to supply your domain name and web hosting functions.
On the other hand, WordPress.com is a website building service that takes care of your domain name and hosting needs. It offers various plans to choose from based on what you specifically want out of the platform, which means it’s a good option for website builder newcomers who want a more curated package to choose from.
If you’re an expert web builder wanting to maintain and update your own site, choose WordPress.org. But if you’re new to this particular software world and want more help and support in setting up and running your site, use WordPress.com.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how each platform compares to the other:
Despite only launching in 2020, Zyro is already making waves in the website builder pool of talent. It recently underwent a revamp which has pushed it up alongside the industry leaders – in fact, following our most recent round of research we placed it fifth overall in our ranking of the top six.
The sore point of Zyro is that it doesn’t have an app store – so if you want to add new functions, you’re stuck with what the platform gives you. And, compared to the powerful software that is WordPress, Zyro is at somewhat of a disadvantage in terms of capabilities.
However, this simplicity also allows for a neat and tidy editor that’s easy to navigate and master. It still has all of the core requirements that a business website needs to function and, unlike WordPress, you don’t need coding expertise to use Zyro. That’s what we think makes it the more practical choice for small business owners.
Given its lowest-priced business tier costs just £6.10 per month, Zyro is clearly appealing to SME and startup wallets and sits much lower on the cost spectrum than most of its rivals. Plus, it’s definitely not short of discounts on top of this impressive pricing, with tons of deals regularly cropping up on the platform’s website.
Take a look at Zyro’s best deals to see how much you could save with the platform. Zyro is currently offering up to 71% discount on Zyro premium plans with the discount code STARTUPS. Ends May 31st!
WordPress is a powerful software that enables you to build a website with or without coding – meaning it’s less beginner-friendly than competitor Zyro. Favoured by blogging and journaling types, it’s a popular website builder option that comes with all the bells and whistles.
The platform’s strongest performance area is integrations. Whether it be through contact forms, calendars or CTAs, your pages are endlessly customisable. There are also tonnes more marketing applications to integrate with – including Mailchimp – than you’d get with Zyro, which means you’ll be better able to engage in lead generation and grow your business with WordPress.
Still, this limitless complexity comes at a price, as WordPress is the more expensive option compared to Zyro. WordPress’s small business pricing plan costs £20 per month, compared to the former’s £6.10. That means Zyro users will save almost £170 per year.
We would recommend WordPress.com for small businesses that need a high-performing system capable of hosting lots of informational content. Blogs, advisory firms, or news websites would all be good fits for this platform.
The website builder market has tons of software options for you to choose from. Find the best for your business with our guide to the top web builders for small businesses.
In terms of value for money, these two are difficult to compare. Their offerings are very different, but we think Zyro offers that little bit of extra value for small businesses given its strong list of core website builder functions and high quality features, coupled with a low price point. WordPress does have more functions, but only if you are patient enough to install and master its thousands of plugins, which most small business owners just won’t have the time to do.
WordPress has a freemium plan, which means it might appear to be the more generous platform in terms of scalability. However, Zyro’s pricing plans are all the same whether you’re being billed annually or monthly. This means you can leave your subscription at any time and you won’t be charged for it – a bonus for SMEs with growing or fluctuating team sizes.
All Zyro users are also offered a 30-day money back guarantee – handy if you want to trial the platform without risking your budget.
£7 per month
£12 per month
£7 per month (£2.20 with deal)
Micro-businesses and personal brands will find Zyro Website fulfills all of the requirements for having a marketable online presence. It comes with a free custom domain, so you don’t have to include any Zyro branding in your URL.
However, it definitely doesn’t have the most generous storage or bandwidth allowance (1 GB versus 3 GB, respectively). Still, you should be able to host at least 100 visitors at a time.
Zyro Online Store
£12 per month (£6.90 with deal)
Zyro Online Store is the first of Zyro’s two ecommerce tiers, so this is the best plan to start with if you’re a small online retailer. You won’t be limited in terms of storage and bandwidth, which means your website will be able to host thousands of visitors every day, without breaking a sweat.
On top of this, you’ll gain access to Zyro’s image library, which has over 1 million high-quality photos and illustrations across a range of topics to decorate your pages. Other features include:
Zyro Advanced Store
£19.50 per month (£11.90 with deal)
This plan is essentially Zyro Online Store with the lid removed. You’ll be able to sell 2500 products on this plan, as opposed to Zyro Online Store’s limit of 100. You’ll also be able to sell on Amazon and Ebay.
Given the huge price jump betwen this plan and Zyro Online Store, it doesn’t provide the best value for money in comparison. We think Wix offers the better ecommerce plan if you’re looking to sell lots of products and host a large inventory line.
Are there discounts available?
Zyro definitely outranks WordPress when it comes to discounts, although these do tend to be seasonal. Currently, our readers can get up to 71% discount on Zyro premium plans and get online from just $2.61/month with the discount code STARTUPS. This deal also comes with a free domain and 3 months for free with any annual plan. Offer ends May 31st.
See what other money-saving deals are currently available here.
£3 per month
£7 per month
£20 per month
WordPress’s free plan is a good way to test out the platform’s features as it comes with a handful of free themes. But the freemium version also comes with an unavoidable branded WordPress.com subdomain and ads, which means it definitely shouldn’t be thought of as a long-term solution for hosting your own website.
The benefits of this plan include a free domain for one year, no WordPress ads on your site, and email support from the WordPress sales team. However, as the name indicates, it’s more suited to personal rather than professional use.
WordPress Premium is a little more generous as a plan. You’ll be able to integrate with Google Analytics and earn ad revenue, which means it works well as a marketing tool.
However, you won’t be able to take advantage of any of WordPress’s 50,000+ plugins, so you’ll have very limited functionality at this level. It’s best for those that want a way to generate a bit of extra revenue.
The most popular choice amongst SMEs, WordPress Business is where the platform’s positives really come to light. With this plan you can:
This is where the platform’s famous blogging and SEO tools appear, making it an unmatched resource for websites that need a CMS first and foremost. However, it’s priced at nearly three times the cost of Zyro.
So, if you’re not a content-hosting website and you decide that having access to a massive DIY library of plugins isn’t your main priority, or if you want to go for something stripped-back and quick to set up, Zyro is the better and more budget-friendly option.
Are there any discounts available?
Although not on the same scale as Zyro, WordPress does have some generous deals available for subscribers. You’ll find consistent one-off deals of 10%-20% around the internet and on the platform’s website, so it’s very unlikely you’ll ever pay full price for the product.
Did you know?
According to WebFX, third-party website designers can cost anything from £9,000 to £112,000. This is why website builders are such a good alternative for small businesses, which typically have less resources than large-scale companies or enterprises.
Read our full guide to learn more about website costs for small businesses.
It can be rare to find a decent free plan within the website builder market. Of the two platforms, WordPress offers the better free option.
As we mentioned earlier, the freemium version does mean you’ll be stuck with an unavoidable branded WordPress.com subdomain and ads. However, you’ll be able to design basic page layouts and familiarise yourself with the interface – an unparalleled tutorial that you can keep using for as long as you need.
Zyro doesn’t have a freemium version, but its plans are all so heavily discounted that users can find themselves spending as little as a few pounds per month on a premium plan. Plus, if you want to get to know the platform like WordPress, there’s also a free 14-day trial to sink your teeth into with no financial risk.
Our research gave Zyro a strong 3.8 out of 5 for value for money, and we think it’s the better platform for getting the most out of your budget.
WordPress.com has the bigger range of pricing plans – from the cheap, basic solution to the expensive, endlessly-functional builder – while Zyro offers the most affordable plan, with a simpler pricing structure that leaves less room for scalability.
In other words, Zyro gives you the tools you need for a decent website at a lower price point while WordPress takes the crown only if you’re willing to pay top dollar.
WordPress.com wins when it comes to app markets. This is because Zyro has no app widgets available to choose from, which severely restricts users looking to customise their site’s functionality.
With the former, you’ll be able to make use of all the forms, chatbots, marketing apps and images/videos you need, although WordPress is still noticeably lacking any reporting or analytics tools. Still, it outscores Zyro easily in this round.
As we’ve mentioned previously, this is WordPress’s area of expertise. Its blogging features are second to none in this competitive market, leaving Zyro fighting to keep up.
Both platforms enable you to use:
However, with WordPress.com you’ll also get:
SEO and marketing
These two platforms demonstrate nearly identical lists of SEO tools, including keyword search capabilities, Google Analytics integration, and social media integration.
In terms of marketing, there are some severe limitations for both platforms – although for different reasons. On Zyro you can integrate with Instagram and host social icons, but that’s about it. There are also very few third-party marketing apps available, unlike WordPress.com which has several to choose from.
Slow websites are a big bugbear for many consumers, so it’s good to look for a website builder that can cope with large traffic numbers in case you have a boom in visitors.
We ranked Zyro and WordPress on their overall performance in areas like desktop server response time. The former wins, scoring 87 out of 100, compared to WordPress’s 76.
On mobile the gap is even larger, with Zyro scoring a huge 15 points higher than WordPress.
Outside of the key categories above, there are also some cherry-on-top tools offered by both Zyro and WordPress. Here’s a quick breakdown of each platform’s additional functionalities:
WordPress offers themes rather than templates. In WordPress terminology, a template is a page layout that’s available within a theme. The platform has around 50 standard templates for its page layouts, but more than 11,000 themes available to download through its app market.
In terms of design, these are attractive to look at, but they also span only a thin range of categories. Some small businesses will therefore be spoilt for choice, whereas some will have no options at all.
In comparison, Zyro’s templates offer a wider range of categories to choose from – including weddings – and you can easily switch out templates for more flexibility. With WordPress, on the other hand, it’s not possible for you to switch out templates, only themes. There are more than 130 beautifully-designed templates to choose from with Zyro.
Brand, UX and design
WordPress’s themes scored considerably lower than Zyro’s for user experience, as the developers definitely haven’t prioritised design aesthetics. Our testers found that they weren’t great for colour choices and didn’t look modern or current enough in comparison to Zyro’s options.
However, both platforms did score well for consistency – an important feature for small business branding.
Despite having fewer options to choose from, Zyro’s templates were said to be unique and better looking, with our users stating they were much more desirable than its rivals’ offerings.
Zyro’s templates were also easier to find. This is because WordPress requires you to add new themes by installing a .zip file, whereas the former uses a more intuitive ‘add section’ button which brings up a neat list of layouts for you to browse through.
You can amend your site’s desktop format in both the Zyro and WordPress builders, and this will automatically update the way your site is viewed on mobile devices.
But Zyro, unlike WordPress, also permits you to edit the mobile version of your site. In fact, the former’s editing tools are so good that you can even create a new website from your mobile using Zyro – extremely useful if you’re someone who works on the go.
From the get-go, Zyro offers 24/7 live chat support even on its lowest Zyro Website plan. There’s also email support and a knowledge base provided at this level. This means you’ll be able to contact a friendly sales team representative as soon as a problem arises – a huge benefit if you encounter a major issue that could affect cash flow, such as ads crashing.
WordPress’s support system is more staggered, and directly correlates to what you’re paying. Even non-users can access the builder’s knowledge base and support forum, so there’s always some form of assistance available online. However, you won’t get live chat assistance unless you’re on WordPress Business or higher, which leaves lower-tier users in the lurch.
As the more established player, WordPress has a bigger customer base than Zyro, which means it wins in terms of brand recognition and market awareness. We conducted a keyword search test in our research and found WordPress had 789,000 search results, compared to Zyro’s 1,717.
However, our ranking found this was the latter’s highest scoring area thanks to an impressive level of customer satisfaction from the newcomer. 82% of our testers said they would recommend Zyro to a friend – the same score achieved by industry leader Wix.
Winner: This one’s too tough to call – a draw.
There’s no feeling worse than getting stuck watching hours of video tutorials when you’re trying to get to grips with a new software – particularly if it’s your first time building a website.
It probably won’t surprise you to read that WordPress is not the easiest tool to master if you’re a new starter. More complex platforms naturally come with a steeper learning curve, and its ‘block’ style editor can feel quite clunky in comparison to Zyro’s more intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
You don’t necessarily need to have tons of coding knowledge to use either product. But if you want to add advanced features in WordPress (such as tables or charts), then the backend does require you to design some elements yourself – which you’ll struggle with if you’ve no web developer experience.
There are lots of fish in the website builder sea, which means you should research carefully before you tackle the question of which to choose.
Here’s how Zyro and WordPress stand up against their market competitors:
Best all-round website builder for small businesses
Design flexibility & businesses looking to scale
Ease of use and simplicity
Value for money
£7 per month
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£3 per month
Connect Domain – £3.50 per month
Personal – £10 per month
10% off with code STARTUPS10
Basic – £4.99 per month
Connect – £4 per month
WordPress and Zyro offer two very different solutions to small business users, and they both received similar scores in our six website builder scoring categories, with Zyro just beating WordPress to the post thanks to its outstanding ease of use.
Generally, a review of WordPress.com and Zyro can be summed up as comparing power with ease.
If you’re a small business that needs to be able to host a large amount of content or copy, then WordPress.com is your go-to. Its primary use is for blogging and SEO, and its huge app market means there are very few functions it isn’t able to perform – but you’ll have to shell out a large amount of time and money to master it.
On the other hand, if you’re a small business owner new to website building, we strongly recommend Zyro as a simple but solid software choice. Thanks to its easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface, much more affordable pricing, and excellent help and support tools, it’s a platform made for building undemanding websites that get the job done. Plus, as a relatively new piece of software, we’re sure it’s one to watch for the future.
Does WordPress have a blog?
WordPress is the number one website builder when it comes to blogging tools. Its huge range of elements permits comments, social integration, and tagging. You can also use plugins to customise your blog in whichever way you imagine.
The WordPress blog editor is more complex than Zyro’s, but it’s still intuitive and pretty much the benchmark for blog design. If you’re an informational or content-heavy website, we’d recommend it over Zyro.
Is Zyro better than WordPress?
For small businesses, no. There are some key areas where WordPress outperforms Zyro, such as blogging, but the latter’s recent builder updates have given it a fresh pair of legs in the website builder race.
Zyro has affordable pricing plans and a simple, user-friendly interface, which means it’s easy to launch a new business website without wasting time or money – two of the main resources SMEs need to preserve. That’s why we think Zyro is better than WordPress for small business users.
Is making a website on WordPress free?
WordPress does offer a free plan. However, since it’s an open-source platform, this option comes with some caveats.
While WordPress gives you the freedom to use, modify, build upon, and redistribute your website in any way you like, you will also need to pay for certain website features that Zyro offers for free – such as a domain name – which means it’s not without added costs.
How much does it cost to use Zyro?
Zyro sits much lower on the cost spectrum compared to WordPress. Its price point is aimed at small businesses, and its lowest plan for SMEs costs just £6.10 per month.
This makes it one of the most affordable website builders on the market today, and a likeable option for startups launching their first online site or SMEs that want to preserve cash flow for other areas of their business.
Interested in building your own website? Finding the right tool is half of the journey – the rest is learning how to use it. Read our guide to learn more about how to create your own small business website.
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Helena “Len” Young is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has also previously written for a popular fintech startup.
Included in her topics of interest and expertise are tax legislation, the levelling up agenda, and organisational software including CRM and project management systems. As well as this, she is a big fan of the films of Peter Jackson.
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