Which is better – WordPress or Wix?
I’m often asked whether to use WordPress or Wix for building their first website. They see ads in their Facebook feed for Wix which advocates building a website for free. So I thought I’d write this article explaining what the advantages and pitfalls are for using a platform like Wix that claim to offer free website building.
Is it really free?
Wix promises you everything you need for a stunning website – FREE. They tempt you with a drag ‘n drop editor, unlimited pages, 500 MB storage, secure hosting and a mobile site. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Or is it?
What they don’t tell you is that they will put their Wix logo on every page of your website, telling all your visitors that you have a free website from them. All your pages will be ‘infected’ with annoying Wix ads, competing for attention for your own content and messages.
Not only that you won’t have your own domain (your website address like yourdomain.com). Your web address will have wix.com in it – something like yourdomain.wix.com.
You don’t get any analytics to track whether you’re getting any visitors and if you are, what they’re doing while they’re on your site.
At first glance if you’re keen to ‘get something up there’ you might think that they’re small concessions to make in exchange for launching your business online.
However, all these ‘concessions’ are all big clues to your prospects that you have a free website. How seriously do you take a ‘professional’ company if they can’t afford to pay for a professional looking website?
So let’s take a look at the paid features that Wix offer to get rid of Wix ads and be able to use your own domain. To get rid of the Wix ads and to have your own domain, you’re looking at a plan that starts at around £4 per month. Sounds good right? To get that rate you have to pay for a year in advance, so now you’re looking at around £50 per year. Hmmm, ok….
Then, to get any useful features like forms, online payment facilities, video playing, nice looking fonts, you have to pay extra, so now, your annual payment is looking more like £200 plus!
And don’t forget, you still have to learn how to build the site! And if you’re not techie-minded and don’t have a lot of spare time, you could be in the same situation a year later – website-less and out of pocket to the tune of £200 or more!
How does WordPress stack up?
Compare that to a WordPress site. WordPress is what’s called ‘open source’, so it’s free – truly free. The development is funded by a team of developers. It’s continually being updated to improve usability ease and security, which means you’re in good hands.
You just need a domain and hosting which you can get for anything from £1-£20 (depending on what deals are available at the time you buy) for a domain name (the dot com or dot co dot uk bit) and from as little as £14 a year for hosting.
And that could be the total annual cost of your website – way cheaper in the long run compared to Wix!
All that’s needed next is to choose a theme and there are literally hundreds of themes to choose from that are free that work really well.
What is a theme?
Think of your domain as your postal address. It’s the address that the post office needs in order to tell the postman where to deliver your post.
Hosting is like the land your house sits on. Only in website world you rarely own your bit of land. You rent space from someone who owns a server that is dedicated and specialised to website hosting.
WordPress is like a ready-built house. It has all the plumbing and heating services fitted and working. It has windows and everything that a basic house needs and is ready to live in.
A theme is like the decoration that you put in the house to make it to your style and taste. The theme controls the look and feel of your website, everything from colours, fonts and logos.
My web building course teaches how to select a theme. The theme I demo for the training is a free theme and I show you exactly how to customise it.
Plugins are like the furniture
The last thing a house needs is furniture. In website language these are features like forms, payment buttons, analytics, anti-hacking security, videos, images, membership areas, diary booking facilities – you name it, if there’s a feature you’d like on your website, there’ll be a plugin that does it.
Plugins like themes are created by developers who offer them for free. There are literally thousands of plugins. A lot a free. But for some specialist plugins (like membership software) you can expect to pay a (usually nominal) license fee to install it on your site.
In my web building course I show delegates exactly what plugins to add to keep your website safe from hackers, analytics to see where people are going and seo (search engine optimisation) so that your site can be found when people type in a service that you provide, as well as forms, so that visitors can make contact easily.
If you’re spending time learning, you may as well spend time to learn right
If you’re going to the trouble of learning how to build a Wix site, then you may as well learn how to build a WordPress site. With the right guidance you can build a super, professional looking site that doesn’t commit you to high annual renewals/running costs, in super quick time (the record set by one of my delegates is 10 days – and she says she could have done it quicker if she had access to all the modules in one day, which you can now).
So there you have it. When you intend building your new website yourself, then WordPress is better in the long term as it will cost you less. Whilst Wix do provide training videos to use their product, they don’t provide training or guidance in strategy – what to put in your website.
What I do recommend to save a heap of time and frustration, is to factor in some training that teaches you both the nuts and bolts how-tos AND the strategy of what you should have on your website and how that connects to all your other online activities and gets you more sales.