This morning a friend emailed me with the following message:

“I am pretty eager to commence my website. A few people have advised me on Wix, that it’s much easier to use etc. I like easy! WordPress seems daunting and until I have lessons, I feel I am going nowhere and I getting frustrated…”

Making the choice between WordPress and Wix (or the many other content management systems proliferating the marketplace) is not easy! In fact, when making the choice about anything to do with your website and online presence, you will be presented with a myriad of options that are almost impossible for even the average web professional to evaluate.

image courtesy of WP Beginner

The challenge for me in answering this question is that it is being asked before consideration has been given to the purpose of the website.

There is also the perpetuating idea that a website is a thing you build as some type of showcase or brochure for your business. And that it needs to be done for the sake of doing it (or perhaps because everyone else has one), rather than developed as an investment in your business for which you are planning on – or at least hoping for –  a significant return.

So, before doing any comparison of website building platforms, it is important to consider:

What is the purpose of your website?

In most cases, there is no point building a website until you have a clear idea of:

  1. Who is your audience? (who is the website for)
  2. How will they find your website?
  3. What action(s) do you want them to take when they do find your website?
  4. How will the actions they take give you a return on you investment (of time and money) into the website and bring customers to your business?

(Obviously, if you are building a website for a hobby business, or organisation that just needs a web portal or something similar, then these questions are far less relevant.)

Your website will never be finished

Not so many years ago, you could build your website and leave it; Just sit it there looking pretty (or not so pretty). Unless of course you were serious about getting new clients and customers, in which case you would continue to review and update it in order to make it work for you.

In today’s sophisticated web market, there are more businesses every day who are starting to see their website as a tool to help them build an audience, following a constant process of reviewing and refining – a process known as ‘iterating’.

Attract and Convert More customers - Iterative Process

image courtesy of Bravour

Once you understand that your website is not something you build and leave and that you will probably rebuild it from the ground up every few years or so, the decision as to which platform to use – particularly for the first iteration of your website – may not feel so overwhelming. You will be able to look at the platforms from the perspective of purpose, and knowing that you may completely rebuild the site in a year from now.

So with that clear, lets do some comparing!

WordPress vs Wix – Which one is better for you?

I do not believe it is a case of which is better, but which is better for you!

If you don’t want to read more, then the video below gives a 3-minute comparison of WordPress vs Wix. I have been using WordPress now for about eight years, so have somewhat of an investment in the ecosystem, owning numerous premium plugins and themes. I admit that although there are many things I loathe about it, I am still somewhat biased towards it.

I find many people are afraid of WordPress because they think they need to be techies to use it. From my perspective, once I have installed a drag and drop page builder, such as Visual Composer, UpFront or Beaver Builder, it is as easy to create content in WordPress is as any of the drag and drop website builders like Wix & Squarespace.

According to Adicate Digital’s Tim Palmer, who has experience building websites with WordPress and Wix,

Both platforms have advantages and disadvantages. They’re great for what they each do but they differ in what they’re best used for. Here’s the deal…

Wix

What makes Wix such a good tool for design is it’s drag and drop “what you see is what you get” style editor, which makes layout and design an extremely easy process. You could put together a fantastic design in half an hour. What Wix lacks is functionality – it’s great for building a good looking, basic site. While it’s got a decent widget marketplace, you can’t do everything you might want. What’ll annoy a developer about Wix is the fact that you can’t edit any of the code at all. You can add a custom code snippet, but that’s about it. If you’re building a personal website, or simple landing page, Wix is perfect.

WordPress

WordPress is a more versatile tool when it comes to functionality. You can hunt down and install a plugin that’ll do just about anything. The possibilities and integrations are endless. WordPress also allows you to have full control over the site – it’s code, its hosting, etc. But WordPress has no easy drag and drop visual editor that allows you to compose a page exactly as it will eventually be seen in the browser. WordPress is also free, the only cost to you when building a new site is the domain and hosting. Wix, on the other hand, charge for the Wix service, on top of hosting and domain.

In the end, it all comes down to what you want from your website. If you want something that’s easy to design with so that you can throw together a stunning looking website, but will only be putting information, a blog, and contact form on there, then Wix is your deal. If you’re developing a business website, or something that needs to be fully customisable and flexible all though the backend, WordPress is your jam – especially if you’re building an commerce site. Both platforms are great for what they do and differ in what they’re best used for.

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