Website Smackdown : Insurance Website Builder vs. WordPress

January 30, 2013 Laird Rixford

You have many options for your insurance agency website. A common question agents ask me is whether they should use WordPress (or a similar content management system) for their website or go with a product that is focused on the insurance industry like ITC's Insurance Website Builder.

Before we break down the differences between Insurance Website Builder and WordPress, I want to cover a brief history about the Insurance Website Builder system. In 2003 (the first year of WordPress's initial release), I was developing websites for multiple insurance agencies. I noticed that each website included the exact same features and decided to develop a content management system dedicated to building insurance agency websites. In 2005 after two years of development, we launched Insurance Website Builder.

From that point, the rest is history. Even though they were developed independently, at the core of both Insurance Website Builder and WordPress is a basic content management system. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let's break it down.

Initial Cost of Ownership

WordPress is free, right? Not really. First, it requires a webhost to host the website for you (there is a self-hosted version that is much more difficult to stand up), which will cost you anywhere from $4 to $12 a month in hosting. Now that you have a webhost hosting your WordPress platform, you still need a design. Templates for WordPress cost between $75 and $300 on average. The Gold Plan for Insurance Website Builder averages $500 setup and $59.95 per month for hosting and email.
Advantage: WordPress


Each Insurance Website Builder design is customized for your agency. While you can customize a WordPress site to the same level as an ITC Website, it will cost you a significant amount of time and effort.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder

Build Out of Basic Insurance Agency Features

With the above steps, you have a basic WordPress site without any content, forms, formatted blogs, glossaries, employee directories, driving directions, location mapping, and privacy policy.

I still dabble in HTML development here at ITC to keep my 17 years of web development skills sharp (I designed ITC's first website in September of 1996, don't judge). Out of curiosity I took it upon myself to build a WordPress website that matches the basic features of every Insurance Website Builder site for a multi-line agency. It took me more than 100 hours to create just the basic features and forms, and the forms do not have any of the advanced features like cell phone notification, forwarding, and multiple location routing. They were just basic contact forms. Developing the forms available using Insurance Website Builder manually would take an agency or third-party developer a significant amount of time.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder

Build Out of Advanced Marketing Features

Now, I am good at HTML development, but I know there are people better at WordPress than I am. I contacted three well-known WordPress developers, showed them a fully configured Insurance Website Builder website, and asked for a price. By fully configured I included partner pages, free report marketing, full mobile websites, newsletters (with integration into a contact management system), full site search, CAPTCHA security, agency calendars and Acord integration. Each came back with a quote between $10,000 and $22,000 and total development time of three to six months.

Our Gold Plan includes all of these features on a fully customized website for our aforementioned $500 setup and $59.95 a month... in less than 10 business days.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder

This clearly flips the cost advantage from the first point to Insurance Website Builder.

Insurance Focus

We have launched more than 3,000 insurance agency websites since 2005. Additionally, we provide technology for other areas of an agency such as rating and management. We know insurance. We know the pitfalls that every agency website needs to overcome. These include secure forms for E&O (another cost on WordPress), E&O and Department of Insurance approved content, forms, and glossaries. We know the tips and tricks to increase your conversion rate. Should you go at it alone or with a developer unfamiliar with the insurance industry, you could be in trouble.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder

The X-Factor

Since Insurance Website Builder was designed as a content management system and not a singular website, ITC has the ability to modify all sites at once should the needs of the insurance or search engine industry change. These include adding new features or modifying the websites to rank better on the search engines. WordPress requires constant tweaking should SEO and industry needs change, most agents do not have the time to do this themselves.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder


Imagine calling your web host and saying the following, 'I received an action request from the Department of Insurance detailing how our website is not compliant because our license number is not displayed in the first third of the website.' (true story) I assure you they would not realize the gravity of the situation and assign it a top priority.

ITC supports insurance agents and insurance agents alone so we know how important it is for your website to comply with industry regulations. We have a fully dedicated support team complete with website experts, graphic designers, search experts, pay-per-click experts, and website content writers. We are even here on Saturdays.
Advantage: Insurance Website Builder

When it comes to creating insurance agency websites, we know what works, and our customers benefit from that knowledge every day at a price they can afford. If you're looking at getting a new website or need to upgrade from your current one, contact us for a consultation. We'd love to talk to you about your goals and how we can help you succeed.

About the Author

Laird Rixford

As CEO, Laird Rixford is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for the company. Rixford has a proven executive management track record and has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and insurance technology. An expert in insurance technology and marketing, Laird is a recognized public speaker and has presented at industry events across the United States.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Laird Rixford
Previous Article
Improving Conversion Rates with Landing Pages

Using landing pages in conjunction with your email marketing could allow you to have higher conversion rate...

Next Article
ICYMI: Integrating Your Online and Offline Marketing
ICYMI: Integrating Your Online and Offline Marketing

Offline and online marketing strategies need to work hand in hand. Here are some great tips on how to integ...