There is no simple answer to this question. Here are some things to consider…
1) User friendliness
WordPress is a blogging platform with a fairly robust CMS. It’s an open source platform that can integrate with many different programming languages (MySQL, PHP, ASP, etc). Essentially, in WordPress, you have the ability to run a site that relies on various scripts to perform certain tasks. Updating the site content and adding pages is fairly easy to do in WordPress. Obviously, for people new to WordPress there is a bit of a learning curve, but the CMS allow you easily add new pages and blog articles without having to know HTML code. Basic HTML websites rely on the web host or FTP to update content. Updating content can be a bit trickier and more difficult to do in this instance because you’ll likely need to know how to code HTML.
Consensus: If you have a site that you never plan to update then a basic HTML site would work fine. However, WordPress provides a better CMS and is easier to update than basic HTML pages.
Generally speaking, HTML sites offer a greater level of security. In most cases, it is much harder to hack a website that consists of HTML files as opposed to a CMS system like WordPress. However, WordPress has been constantly improving its security features with various plugins to protect people who use the software.
Consensus: Security can be a concern with WordPress. If you’re using WordPress make sure you have all the necessary plugins.
3) Plug ins
WordPress has an enormous amount of plugins that can help your site run better. With one click of the button you can install these plugins and begin using them. These plugins can allow you to do just about anything with your website, including upgrade security, improve SEO, display an image gallery, list a contact form, post videos, operate ecommerce, implement analytics, and much more! Many of these tools can be replicated using HTML. However, this can only be done if they are coded properly. An arduous task to say the least!
Consensus: WordPress dominates in this category.
4) Bandwidth and disk space
WordPress is a very powerful platform. Because of this, the platform needs a sufficient amount of bandwidth and disk space to operate. HTML websites typically take up much less bandwidth and disk space.
Consensus: Make sure your hosting provider allocates enough bandwidth and disk space for your WordPress site. While this is important, it should not be the deciding factor when choosing between HTML and WordPress. For most hosting providers you’re talking about the difference of $5-$10 a month.
This is perhaps the most important element to your website (unless of course, you don’t care if anyone ever finds you). With HTML sites, optimizing your website is possible, but time consuming. Provided that you know the important elements of the site to optimize then you can accomplish the same things on an HTML website as a WordPress website. In theory, Google looks at both HTML websites and WordPress websites the same. However, WordPress websites seem to outrank HTML websites most of the time. The likely reason for this is that WordPress is a blogging platform that is designed to be SEO friendly (plus there are tons of Plugins to make it even better). Search engines are looking to index new content every second, and having a blogging platform likely gives you an advantage over static HTML pages.
Consensus: Even if you have the coding skills to optimize an HTML website, the edge goes to WordPress. The key to any good SEO is adding fresh, unique content. The WordPress platform excels at this.
The nod goes to WordPress. While there are some security issues, as well as bandwidth and disk space concerns, it is a much more robust platform for building and maintaining your website. If you plan to incorporate a blog into your site then WordPress is a no-brainer. If you plan to add pages, videos and content, and you’re not an experienced HTML coder, then WordPress is your best bet. If you want the best platform to generate search engine rankings and traffic then WordPress is the way to go.
Experienced HTML programmers may disagree because of the learning curve with WordPress. However, most people who own a website for their business are not experienced HTML programmers. Therefore, WordPress is a better option because of its user friendliness.