The great WordPress versus Wix debate...
When looking to upgrade your website or create a whole new one there's now so many options available to you it can be hugely confusing!
WordPress has been King for many years now, but as more and more people are wanting to have a hands-on approach to their website and be able to add and edit content easily themselves rather than pay a designer to do it, there has been a huge rise in drag and drop platforms such as Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. They all have their own merits and they all have their place.
I made my very first blog website on WordPress when I did an online workshop back in 2012. It was a huge learning curve and I was very proud of my efforts as I did the entire thing myself and it was the first time I had done anything technical online.
However, I found it hugely challenging and complicated and didn't realise until I had purchased my template that what you see on the template demo site is not what you get to start off with. You basically have to build the entire thing from the ground up with plugins. I never did get my site looking exactly how I wanted it.
In the years that followed I have had many occasions where plugins have crashed the whole site (either after updating or adding a new plugin) meaning I couldn't even get in to edit anything. Having to do Live Chat's with my host in the USA to restore it and get back into it was hugely frustrating as I didn't know which plugin caused the issue (you need to update plugins and WordPress itself regularly), and of course the downtime involved in sorting out the problem just left me feeling very annoyed (putting it mildly!)
When I researched website platforms for my Hired Help website (now replaced by this site) I decided to use Weebly. It was a simple drag and drop system and I could get my site up relatively quickly with not much fuss. I chose Weebly because you can move the backend code (your entire site) to another platform like WordPress in the future if you want. This seemed an important feature at the time but I've since decided it's not such a biggie.
Then I discovered Wix when a client wanted me to renovate her existing site. I fell in love with Wix over Weebly because of the complete flexibility with design. You can make any page how you like, put pictures and text absolutely anywhere, change the colour and font of anything and it has a very guided back end process with the program guiding you every step of the way with SEO, connecting domain names and anything else you need to get your site live and out there.
Don't get my wrong, WordPress is a fantastic platform and is hugely popular, especially for blogging and large business websites, although I think Wix and Squarespace are now giving them a run for their money as people are wanting more control over their sites so they can do edits themselves. They find WordPress too complicated or don't want to spend thousands of dollars to get a website set up on WordPress and then pay someone every time they want a small edit done. It's just not in the budget of the average small business owner or solo operator.
Every designer has their own preferences and every platform has their pros and cons. A lot of designers use more than one platform depending on client requirements. For now Wix fits my style and what I enjoy creating and it fits what my clients are wanting (and their budget).
But don't take my word or it...below is a recent question asked on the Wix Expert Facebook group I belong to and the corresponding responses from web design experts:
Shari Peeters asked the question:
"What is your number one argument of why your potential customer should use (or even consider) Wix? I've had a lot of people that really want to go with WordPress. I've found a lot of decent arguments online. But I'm really wondering what the experts say…"
Here’s what the experts had to say:
My short response? "It just works." With a 99.95% uptime rate, I've never had to update and re-install plugins like I did when trudging through WordPress and with Wix, the only limit is imagination.
I recently completed a web site for a vintage crockery hire business that is now number 1 on Google for chosen search term! Wix is awesome end of!
I have designed sites on WordPress, Squarespace and Shopify. When I found Wix a few years back I fell in LOVE. I am obsessed, it’s a designers dream (in my opinion). I always tell my clients, it is the best site for encompassing everything your brand or business may want to do.
My number one complaint from clients who have existing websites is that it's so confusing to go in and edit, or they have to get in touch with their web developer for expensive upgrades, or they hate how plain the template is. Not necessary with Wix. If they can navigate Facebook, or Microsoft Word, they can use Wix and manage it easily after I'm done building the site. I say to them, if I were to drop dead, you could easily access and navigate your site without any problems.
They can take ownership of it after I've designed it. That’s a huge selling point for me. I think many small business owners want to feel like they have a bit of ownership in their site and it's not this confusing thing that requires an advanced degree.
Wix is a one stop shop - it offers so much customization, so many apps that WORK, forums, bookings, subscriptions, members only areas, free stock photos, graphics and vector files, uploading fonts. I mean I love it. I've swapped 3 clients from WordPress to Wix recently, people who were adamant they wanted WordPress but I eased them into Wix and each one has texted me saying "OMG YOU ARE RIGHT IT’S AMAZING."
I sell it as an all-inclusive platform to run your business with the option of not having to hire a developer for every little thing.
I've told people… 1. WP made me want to throw my computer in the creek. 2. What I as a designer, can do with Wix in 5 minutes took hours on WP and usually required hiring someone else to do it. 3. Most WP themes are not drag and drop, so layouts are inflexible -- you can't put stuff where you want it. 4. WP is not a secure platform, WP sites get hacked all the time. 5. WP plug-ins conflict with each other and have to be constantly updated -- things like PayPal buttons and Aweber opt in forms suddenly stop working after updating other plug-ins, which is a real hassle to constantly monitor and fix. 6. Wix has worked directly with Google to set up an SEO Wizard that directly submits a sitemap for indexing, making SEO with Wix a breeze.
So there you have it! There's countless articles to be found about all these platforms that can make you go crazy in the head with trying to decide...my suggestion is to contact a few designers who's work you resonate with and have a chat with them about what you're looking for and what you need your website to achieve.