Should I use WordPress or Wix for my website in 2021?
Content Management Systems (CMS) are integrated platforms, used to design and maintain millions of websites. When looking at CMSs, there are a few key contenders available and today we’re looking at WordPress and Wix. In the past, we’ve talked about how powerful WordPress is and why it’s so popular. In fact, as of 2018, websites built on WordPress make up 30% of all the websites on the entire internet. In recent years, Wix has also gained popularity as a website builder, which can be attributed to the ‘do it yourself’ capabilities of their system, as well as their star-studded video advertising campaigns.
Which is better though?
Well, it’s not exactly that simple. The answer really lies in what you’re looking for and hoping to achieve.
To someone who isn’t a professional web designer, Wix seems like the obvious choice because of its setup process and usability. Unlike WordPress, which is an open-source website platform that you need to install on a server and requires the setup of a hosting, Wix operates within the cloud on Wix.com. So, you don’t have to manually set up all of the hosting and technical elements to keep your website running.
As long as you don’t mind paying monthly fees, Wix is the easier option here because not only will they take care of the hosting and everything else you will need to start your website, you will also get support from Wix themselves, which isn’t the case with WordPress. Building the pages will seem manageable to a beginner, as you are given a template to build your website on and the system is built to be user friendly.
All of this sounding great? Well, let’s slow down a little and talk about some of the drawbacks to Wix.
While the building of web pages can feel easy and user friendly, Wix doesn’t perform as well with a lot of pages. The editor will start to slow down the more additional pages you add. So if you need a large website, then Wix probably isn’t for you.
Wix is known for being great if you’re looking to publish a small brochure or portfolio website. Wix is however not considered a fantastic option if you need to sell products online. While Wix supports E-Commerce websites, it’s often much harder to customise important information such as tax and shipping options for example. WordPress usually offers all of this functionality in its most basic e-commerce plugins for free.
In terms of visual design and internal editing capabilities, there are ultimately going to be limitations to what you can get out of Wix. While it’s certainly possible to create a beautiful website with Wix, you will never have full control over the system. While it’s possible to have your own custom stamp in terms of implementing CSS, HTML, Java and PHP, it’s never going to feel like you have as much control as you would with WordPress.
Websites that are created from Wix templates can also be harder to differentiate from a design perspective. This is because the level customisation within the builder will always have a degree of limitation, and every day a new Wix website goes live that might end up looking very similar to other Wix sites.
A key difference between WordPress and Wix, is the freedom a user gets with the vast array of plugins. While Wix offers internal applications as a means to expand your website, the platform is not equipped to provide you with nearly the same level of functionality and diversity of options.
WordPress plugins perform great and enable fantastic new features to websites that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to utilise. There are so many benefits of WordPress plugins, such as;
- Being able to transform a brochure website into a large e-commerce website.
- Activating state of the art security to protect from hackers.
- Creating safety backups and updates with ease.
- Enabling live-chat pop-ups for customers and the ability to customise the presentation.
- Complex online booking systems involving payments and multiple variables.
Even though Wix allows for meta-titles and other SEO techniques to be implemented, however, there isn’t the same degree of control for SEO within the platform. For example, speed has never been more important to Google as a performance metric for SEO and WordPress offers the ability to repair and increase speed over time. Once a Wix site gets slower due to a high number of pages and posts, this isn’t going to be as simple.
As mentioned above, WordPress plugins are extremely useful when it comes to designing and maintaining a website. There are amazing SEO plugins that cater to WordPress, such as Yoast. A website’s speed impacts the overall SEO ranking and speed plugins are also a fantastic addition to WordPress. Using WordPress plugins you can increase the quality of optimisation by;
- Optimising/shrinking images and files.
- Adding meta-titles and descriptions to your web pages.
- Increasing your website’s speed.
So what might be a drawback to using WordPress?
The platform isn’t going to hold your hand as much as Wix and you won’t receive their support. From a beginner’s perspective, WordPress doesn’t take care of hosting or set up in the way Wix does, and the initial page builder is more complicated to use if you’re not a designer and aren’t familiar with design practices.
Both CMSs offer varying versions of the same tools, however, these are the biggest stand-out factors to consider.
Wix – Will hold your hand if you’re a beginner. It will offer support to users. The builder will feel a little more user-friendly for beginners. Best used for beginners who want a portfolio website for their own work.
WordPress – Will give you complete control with what you want to get out of your website. It allows for huge websites and vast e-commerce platforms with lots of customisation. Plugins will grant users the freedom to achieve almost any functionality imaginable, as well as maintain and improve website performance for SEO.
Best used for businesses who want to promote their services and products online, and wish to make updates and additions to their websites over time.
What do we recommend?
As professional designers with years of experience, we have seen all of the technological ups and downs to the varying CMS platforms as they have developed and improved over the years. If you need a large website, a customised e-commerce website, or if you want your website to have prolonged high performance for SEO, WordPress is the better choice.
However, we know that not many people don’t have the knowledge, time or expertise to set up, design and maintain a website made on WordPress. This is why, if you’re truly serious about taking your business to the next level, you should contact the professionals. Do you need help building your website? Get in touch with our team today and we will be happy to talk with you about this and flesh out some design ideas.