Every successful business has its own website. Some of them are simple and some are interactive with layers of depth. Regardless of what type of business you run, if you want it to be successful, you need a website. If you’re ready to create one for either yourself or your business, the first step is determining which website publishing platform you want to use. While there are tons of different options available online, the two most popular are Wix and WordPress.
Both of these platforms allow you to build your website, add themes, and install any plugins or applications to add unique functions and increase user experience. They are two of the most powerful web publishing tools available on the Internet and can be used to create both simple websites and intricate ones. In fact, when you visit your favorite site, chances are they’re using one of these two sites to run it. With the increase in popularity of Wix and WordPress, it’s no surprise that these are the two we recommend when starting your very own website.
It’s important to note that each of these website builders have both pros and cons, but at the end of the day you want to pick one based off of your individual needs. Check out our comprehensive guide on the top 5 differences between Wix and WordPress to help make an informed decision on which option is right for you.
1. Ease of Use
If you’re not a web developer, the main thing you’re going to focus on when choosing a website platform is how easy it is to use. The more complicated things are to use, the harder it is to create the website of your dreams.
The nice thing about Wix is that a team of professional web developers has already created everything you’ll need to create your ideal website. This means you won’t have access to the back-end code to completely redesign your site. Whenever you want to make changes, they’re done through a unique drag-and-drop interface with pre-loaded options. This is great for people who aren’t well versed in coding and often have trouble manipulating technology. Everything on Wix is unbelievably easy to do. However, it makes unique customization much harder.
Wix also comes with built in web hosting, which is one less thing for you to set up.
On the contrary, WordPress takes a lot longer to fully grasp, but gives you an unbeatable ability to customize your site (more on this later). WordPress is one of the easiest open source platforms to manipulate, but you still need to understand – or learn – the basic premise behind HTML and/or CSS. There are no drag-and-drop options on WordPress. There are templates and themes to download but the back-end is less visual and more technical. If you’re a beginner with no prior experience, it may take a lot of trial and error playing around with the navigation menus to truly grasp the full potential of WordPress. Additionally, you’ll need to find your own web-hosting platform with WordPress.
Next, you’ll need to consider how flexible you want your website platform to be. When we talk about flexibility, we mean the addition of added features, plug-ins, or applications. All of these things help increase your website’s unique user experience.
Since Wix’s main appeal is simple user interface, the array of applications is pretty minimal – with just over 200 applications available. You can add contact forms, comment sections, photo galleries, ecommerce stores, and more. All you need to do is download them to your site, activate them, and you’re done. Some of them are free and some are paid, depending on their uses and level of membership.
WordPress boasts an impressive directory of over 55,000 free plugins. In addition to the free options, there are thousands of additional premium plug-ins available to purchase or use through a monthly subscription. With WordPress, there is literally a plugin for everything you could ever think of. This gives you an unlimited amount of flexibility in how you design, operate, and promote your website, which makes WordPress much more robust. Included in the plugins are options to increase your SEO, which will help move your site higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) rankings. This can increase your visibility, brand recognition, and even profits over time.
3. Design and Layout
Regardless of what industry you’re in, your website’s design and layout will have a huge impact on those who visit it. Your site needs to look good, stand out, and be easy to navigate for your visitors.
When you are designing your website using Wix, there are hundreds of different templates that you can choose from – some of them are even industry specific. All of their templates are pre-made, fully responsive, and ready to go. There are also options where you can customize your site and rearrange certain layouts. However, make sure you’re happy with the template you choose because once you select it, you can’t switch to another one. Wix also has options for creating landing pages and blank templates. All of their templates are optimized for mobile devices.
When you use WordPress, there thousands of options for your themes. You can use free or paid themes, both of which have the ability to customize even the smallest details. Using plugins, HTML knowledge, and further “child themes” you can create something that is truly unique to your business. If after about a month or so you decide you don’t like your theme, WordPress allows you to change it at anytime. There aren’t many restrictions when it comes to design and layout on WordPress, it’s just a bit more complicated to get there.
4. Customer Support
Sometimes you just need a little extra help, which is where great customer support comes in. However, the type of customer support makes all the difference and there’s a huge disparity between Wix and WordPress.
By far one of the greatest things about Wix is its immense network of customer support. Not only is there a solid amount of information in the forums, there are also video tutorials, customer walkthroughs, and an actual contact available for email support. Additionally, you have WixEd at your fingertips – an educational program that will teach you all of the ins and outs of Wix. If you ever need direct help, just contact one of the customer service support staff and you’ll get an answer on how to resolve your problem.
On the contrary, WordPress can be a little frustrating in the customer support department. This is because there are no official customer service staff members and you’ll need to find the answer to your problem from one of the many WordPress experts online. This can be difficult, especially if you’re not quite sure how WordPress works. However, there are tons of blogs, videos, and dedicated communities there to help so try doing a few searches online and working through the suggested steps.
The final determinant of which web platform to choose deals with pricing and the different plans available. Each and every company, or person, who builds a website needs to take into consideration the cost of building one. There are often a lot of factors that need to be considered in this area, not just the price of the platform itself.
If you want to pay absolutely nothing, you can start with the basic plan at Wix. This includes web hosting but adds branded advertisements, removes the option of certain add-ons, and prohibits you from using a custom domain name. If you want to connect your custom domain, plans start at $4.50/month. From there, you can pay an increasingly higher monthly amount to get access to more features, storage, and customization options. The most expensive plan is VIP for $24.50/month. This price is exclusive of any additional apps you add on during initialization.
Using WordPress is also free, but there are a few hidden costs attached. For starters you need to pay for your own web hosting through a site like Bluehost or SiteGround. This is a monthly fee that you’ll need to keep your site up and running. When you start looking for themes on WordPress, some of them are premium – which will cost you more money. Finally, as with Wix, some of the plugins you may want to use will also charge you a monthly fee.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which platform to use. Hopefully the above differences will help you narrow down your options, but it’s also a good idea to consider your overall business goals. If you’re trying to run a larger website with room for future growth, WordPress will give you the design, code flexibility, plugin availability, and additional features to compliment your growing business. If your business is competitive and needs to outrank other local business in your industry, WordPress allows you to optimize your entire website for SEO, social media, and more. However, Wix does have its advantages too, as you’ve read above. It is simple, easy to use, and will create a beautiful site for you that’s easy to maintain. If you’d like to learn more, or are ready to move forward with your next Wix or WordPress project, give us a call at 773-789-8636 for a free quote. We’d be happy to discuss these platforms or any of our other digital marketing and design services with you.