Question.

WordPress or Wix?

Wix V WordPress

 

Understanding website building

You may be venturing into an exciting new business and of course need a website or perhaps want a brand new look for your site? Are you confused over the many conflicting statements about each site and need to understand further?  There are many choices out there on which website builder to use. I have recently been asked a lot specifically about Wix and WordPress and which is better.

What is the same?

WordPress and Wix have improved a lot over time, as you would expect, such as with the amount of themes to choose from and how modern they are and the search engine optimisation (SEO).

Although used for similar functions, Wix and WordPress have only a handful of similarities.  Both websites are ‘ready to use’ – simply install and make an account and off you go. They do not require you to know any coding – at least not at first on the basic level.  Also, both sites have the option to have your own domain name, which is a must for any business – although unfortunately both incur a cost.

Figures

Let’s give you some figures for comparison.  Wix started in 2006 and has a reported 109 million users, with around 45,000 users joining each day and 2.87 million being paying subscribers. They have only 510 professional templates to choose from when building your site.

WordPress was released in 2003.  There are 60 million websites supported by WordPress with 27.5% of them in the top 10 million websites. WordPress has more themes with 2,449 – a lot more choice or perhaps too much choice! It has 44,000 plug ins for any desired function for free, plus premium plug ins, which are downloaded 1.2 billion times – although this includes ones from other market places so there may be compatibility issues.

logo, branding, graphic design, business identity
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Why do people choose Wix?

Wix is known to be the more basic website of the two which automatically sounds like it would be more accessible to someone who does not have much experience in web building.  It is best suited for small businesses, photographers, restaurants, hospitality and musicians.

The main feature that people love is the Artificial Design Intelligence – the simple ‘drag and drop’ and being able to rearrange items on a page.  They give you tools, templates and guidelines to help you design your website how you would like it to look. Once you have selected which type of business you are, it gives you a template and there is example content for you to delete and replace with your own.

Wix has everything hosted on their site with access to all of it, including plug ins, and good customer support, which is a downside to WordPress as only developers of the plug in can help you.  All the content is run on Wix, which means that there is more control of security and when you have a problem or question there is the Customer Support.  There is even phone support which is a rarity with most websites these days.

The downside of Wix

Being a basic site sounds appealing, but also has its disadvantages.  Wix is perhaps too simple and that presents limitations. It can give you a feel that it is less personalised because of the barriers you encounter. At first it seems like it will be a great site to use and all will be relatively easy, but maintaining it is another matter. If you want to add anything extra that is not supplied by Wix, such as adding pixels (page width) and custom share buttons, it starts to prove difficult. Unlike WordPress, there is no flexibility to change with advanced tools being unreachable for basic users.

WordPress is mobile ready and easy to use, however Wix does not look good on a phone straight away – which is imperative in this modern day.  To ensure it is readable on a mobile you would have to rearrange your pages manually.

As great and limitless as drag and drop sounds, you do run the risk of cluttering up your website too much, which would be unappealing and can slow down the site with too much information.  It also does not help give consistency and structure throughout the website pages.

Worryingly there is no file storage for Wix content and if you decide to leave them and use another host you annoyingly cannot copy the website and bring it with you.  Choosing templates is fun, you want to explore what Wix can do and what your website could look like – but do not load content until you are completely sure as once you change templates you have to start over each time.  That is difficult to abide by, as you can only really tell how your content will be displayed to visitors when your words and images are placed.

When do I start paying with Wix?

Using a basic plan to start is fine but eventually you are going to want to improve and add to it. To advance you would have to purchase a premium package which would give extras such as more data storage and bandwidth.

Most of the apps are free, but there are not nearly as many options as WordPress and so eventually you may have to pay to get what you want. To add to this, third parties can provide apps to Wix and some are not how they seem or do not integrate well to the system, which messes with the functionality of the website.

To remove adverts completely you have to be on one of the payment plans which sometimes is not suitable or justifiable for a small business, but without this it could lead to the site looking unprofessional with unrelated and branded adverts all over it.

There is great debate about the search engine optimisation (SEO) over the two websites.  WordPress is amazing at tracking visits on your site and how many have seen which pages and it is easy to use. Wix however does not offer this feature unless you pay to add Google Analytics.   This is something that really should not require spending money on.

If you want an online store function where people can buy items you are selling you do have to upgrade.  Wix sales capabilities have improved over the years but to get the very best there is a cost.

“Choosing the right platform for your business or blog is one of the most critical things you can do when you are getting started. Keep your long term vision in mind when choosing your platform.”

Why use WordPress?

WordPress is my go to for website building.  It is now the most popular website host with the biggest community using it.  The site is highly customisable, feels more personal and is much more powerful than Wix. You definitely get more for using WordPress without spending anything in comparison to Wix – making it a great choice for businesses, non profits organisations and existing companies.

Design options

There are so many themes to choose from! You could spend hours just choosing the look and colours of your site! Although that is only fun for a while…the best part is that unlike Wix, you do not have to redo your content if you change the theme.  The text and images will still appear, there are no restrictions – although your content will be displayed better on some themes than others.

Options range from using WordPress as a blog or a small personal site to large e-commerce sites.  Most themes come with built in customisation options which can be made even better with the variety of plug ins. E-commerce plug ins even have dedicated themes to work with.  If you able, you could also create a completely custom theme for your company website.

What else does it offer?

The most known aspect WordPress has over Wix is that the SEO is a lot better. This is what makes your website more visible in online results and searches and with the right key words, HTML links and codes it gives you a wider platform of people visiting your site.  This can be a perk as mostly you do not have to pay for this.  It is also said it is easier for Google algorithms to read WordPress sites.

The main difference between Wix and WordPress is that with WordPress you cannot change all sections of the page making managing content difficult, unlike with Wix where their drag and drop means you can move things anywhere. However, you can programme custom fields which you can handle yourself or by using plug ins.

If you need help with anything, the best way to contact WordPress is through their Twitter where they have many people responding all the time. There is also the support forums you could post in and even read through to see if you can find your answer there.

When you want your site to start getting more advanced, you will need to do a bit of coding but there are tools to help you.  WordPress is open source which means you can freely modify and distribute code without paying licensing fees.

Behind the scenes

The admin panel where you change the content on the site is very smart, clear and user friendly.  Once you have set it up, editing text and adding images is easy.   Whilst you are editing, WordPress saves automatically as you go so you do not need to remember to save manually all the time.  You can edit each section individually on a page and save it, but it does not update the website to visitors until you are ready and have pressed update.  This is great so people are not viewing the website being updated in bits and pieces.  You are also able to view old revisions of pages if you require.

WordPress is a lot better at automatically updating everything on its site.  It has a regular development schedule and there is a Core team who monitor security issues and who are testing and fixing any problems. Despite the updates though, be mindful that some themes and plug ins need extra attention as some are developed just for certain versions of WordPress – it always better to check compatibility with WordPress before installing. Do not forget to have a back up of files! Some hosting plans have frequent automatic backups of your site data and you can also do it manually.

WordPress is a lot for a beginner, the designing and layouts could be harsh at first, but once you understand it, it is easy to use and definitely worth learning in the long run.  The free starting option offers a lot more than Wix does at their basic level.  It is all about getting a good website for as little money as possible!

Create that website!

There is a lot to consider!  Having the right website for your business is integral to success. I hope this post has given you some food for thought and has helped you decide which is the best option for you use.  If you have any questions about website building then do let me know!

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