That is the question a lot of website-seeking small businesses ask themselves. At first blush, Wix appears to be a great solution. It offers drag and drop features that allow you to create a website in an afternoon despite zero knowledge of CSS or SEO or any code at all. It sounds like a non-developer’s dream come true.
For many individuals then, the Wix vs WordPress dilemma is an easy one to answer: go with Wix. It is simpler than WordPress and currently boasts over 1 million websites.
But here’s the catch: if you are not an individual looking to give travel advice or chronicle the life of your cat, the website-in-an-afternoon route is not going to cut it. If instead, you are an entrepreneur or a small business owner who wants to harness the power of the web to build your company, you want a web development company that creates responsive, high Google ranking websites designed to perform. Here are the whys:
Why #1: Wix vs WordPress is like Apples vs Oranges.
The first big difference between WordPress and Wix is that WordPress is a free, open source platform for creating websites. Wix technology is not open source. Wix allows you to create free websites using a basic level of the company’s technology. The company earns money by charging for premium upgrades. So, if you want fancy things like Google Analytics (you do want this if you are a small business), e-commerce or extra storage, there is a Wix cost. You pay a small monthly fee that ranges from $14-$25 a month. This includes hosting by Wix. Important to note: you can only host your Wix website on Wix.
In contrast, WordPress technology is free for everyone and anyone. You can host your freebie site with WordPress.org for a nominal amount, or you can host your site elsewhere. That is why over 26 percent of the world’s top 10 million websites are built in WordPress. The thousands and thousands of available plugins also add to WordPress’s robust capabilities. WordPress web developers far outnumber Wix web designers for this reason.
Think of a Wix website like a coloring book. You buy the book and add the colors you like between the fixed lines. You need nothing more than the ability to pick out colors to create a cute website. WordPress is like a blank page. It requires some skill and knowledge to create a WordPress website, but you can hire a web development company to create exactly what you need for your particular business. You don’t have to stay between the lines, and that’s really important because in the future, you might need to change your picture. With Wix, you can’t change, which brings us to….
Why #2: Wix themes cannot be updated.
Wix does offer several hundred themes to choose from on their site. This might seem like plenty to you now, and you might think you’ve found the perfect one for your small business, but your business is going to grow. That theme which first caught your eye might not accommodate your business’s future sales channels. Unfortunately, you are stuck with it like a virtual tattoo. Wix does not allow you to switch your theme. You have to build a new website from scratch. This is a big disadvantage.
Looking again at WordPress vs. Wix, WordPress is the far better choice here. Because of that open source thing, there are thousands upon thousands of WordPress themes available to your developer. Your web design company may have even developed its own proprietary theme for its customers use. Plus, WordPress themes tend to be highly customizable.
Wix themes are more rigid. Layouts are typically pre-determined, and you can only drop in pictures and words. Lastly, and most critically, you can interchange WordPress themes. You can switch your theme by simply uploading and activating a new one. Sure, you may have to go back and reconfigure your content to your new theme, but that’s a whole lot easier than starting from scratch. This is why good web designers prefer WordPress over Wix. Wix puts your web content into an existing box. WordPress lets you design the box and change it at will.
Why #3: Wix e-commerce is relatively basic.
If you really want to set up shop online, the free Wix platform and even some of its premium upgrades do not have the capability for sophisticated shopping transactions. They lack the ability to automate confirmation emails. This is a problem even for micro businesses. Eventually, you might get bigger and need a more robust platform that automates some business and marketing functions. Imagine having to manually send out purchase confirmations 100 times a day!
Wix did recently introduce a new market app that allows you to configure sales tax, integrate with Shopify and build a bigger online store with some new automated features. However, it’s one app. With WordPress, you can choose from many e-commerce themes and plugins. Your savvy WordPress designer can also configure your web store to your shop’s needs. Again, the WordPress vs. Wix question leans towards WordPress.
In the end, we’re talking flexibility.
Ultimately, when deciding between Wix and WordPress, you have to consider the future vs. the now. The website you need today may not be the same site you need tomorrow. This is an important factor for small businesses. You may not be able to pre-determine the features you’ll require as your business grows, but your business is going to grow.
The high customization and numerous integrations available with WordPress make it the smarter choice. And, yes, building a WordPress site on your own is not as easy as creating one on Wix or the dozens of other website builder platforms available. To that we say: hire a web designer. Make the investment in your company’s online presence. It’s sure to pay back dividends.