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Big Web Platforms Compared – WordPress vs Wix

Two of the largest platforms today on the market for building a website are WordPress and Wix. Both platforms offer their positives and negatives to the platform. Note in this article, we build websites in WordPress, and in fact this website itself is built in WordPress, so bear that in mind with our bias.

Wix

Wix is a fairly user friendly drag-and-drop website builder offering a variety of features for a wide range of different businesesses. Wix is also a hosted only service, so you can’t download and install Wix on a different server, or even on your own machine if you wanted.

The upside of this is Wix is very affordable for small businesses and allows them to get a website together with some functionality matching their business. However note (at the time of writing) you must spend at least £7.50 a month to have a website without Wix advertising, and no business should have a professional website with adverts from their hosting provider.

For businesses wanting to sell online, the monthly cost increases to a minimum of £15 a month, which while relatively small for those bootstrapping their own business, it does work out at £180 a year just to host the website (you’ll need to pay out additional costs for your domain name and emails etc).

Wix also has expanded into adding more business software such as bolting on Google Apps and even having a directory of Wix “Partners” who can design your website for you. This helps solves a massive downside to Wix, which is being drag-and-drop, this makes it hard to ensure a business is creating content, and editing their website in a way which is consistent to their brand guidelines. Adding restrictions, while can furstrating in the short term, allows for more professional content overall.

WordPress

WordPress is mostly made up of two different products. There is the main option which is advertised, WordPress.com which is a hosted version of WordPress managed by Automattic who are the same people who develop the other WordPress we’ll mostly be covering. WordPress.com has changed dramatically over time and has envolved, however it does come with some handholding from Automattic. The good news is if pricing becomes unsustainable for your business, or you have other needs beyond what is offered, you can pack up all of your content and move elsewhere.

This brings us onto WordPress.org, which is the open source CMS powering a lot of the web. It can be downloaded and installed on most web hosting, although we have our reconmendations. This can be a mixed bag, with some webhosts charging more than others and yet offering a worse service.

Out of the box, WordPress can have a bit of a learning curve and a lot to choose from to get a website which works for you. However, the defaults do provide an easy way to get started and get an idea for how the platform works. Also out of the box, as an administrator you have access to a lot of settings which can drastically change how the website works. You can configure WordPress so that users have access to certain parts, such as allow someone to only publish news articles and not update your contact page.

Compared with Wix, there is a massive range in quality when it comes to the Theme you can pick for your website (the overall look and feel of the website), and Plugins which offer additional functionality beyond Pages and Blog Posts. The upside of this is some features are well built and extenable, such as to sell online WooCommerce is generally the default option (although others exist) which is also completely free. The downside to this is some themes and plugins can be pretty terrible quality, even plugins from WooCommerce themselves can be pretty poor.

Although this can feel like a rollercoaster journey, it doesn’t have to be. Many trusted agencies and web developers exist, including ourselves, who can take all of the requirements you have for a WordPress website, offer you high quality web hosting, build a bespoke theme to your requirements and even walk you through using WordPress to ensure you are comfortable.

Conclusion

Unlike many who would reconmend one or the other, it’s about knowing what works with your budget and requirements. If you don’t quite know how your business will shape and shift over the next 12 to 18 months, Wix could be a good budget option offering off-the-shelf functionality with the same support team to keep it all working. However, if you want a refined website where a lot of the work is carried out, we would definetely reconmend using WordPress with a trusted web developer.


Post published 30 May 2022

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