Code

Wix vs. WordPress – Which Is Best For You?

by Mary Marnell

It Depends

The question of Wix versus WordPress often involves the standard IT qualifier of it depends, which is the tech equivalent of “it’s complicated” as a relationship status. Ideally, anyone looking to build or retool a website should wade through a matrix of pros and cons when it comes to design considerations since of course, it depends on what exactly you want your website to do.

Maybe relationships can get complicated, but most users want their website to rock visually and load really fast. Wix won’t necessarily deliver, and it’s imperative to understand how an online tool stacks up against WP’s content-management system.

A key difference can be summed up in another phrase that is often attached to this tool:

Out of the box. 

Don’t Get Boxed In

The box mantra appears in almost every review of Wix, and it sums up both the benefits and drawbacks of this online builder. The box in question is the one that customers “open” to use this tool, and out of the box its features are allegedly so user-friendly that someone with no programming skills can deploy this tool’s drag-and-drop features to design a web site.

In theory, anyway. Often when users begin customizing a template, things quickly get very wonky. Word on the street goes something like “Wix is perfect for small businesses” that want a simple site that can be up and live in a few hours…unless you try to make changes to a template, in which case all bets are off and your design ideas all fall apart.

There are over 500 templates to work with, and most seem decent enough and have been formatted to meet the needs of certain businesses. But a prefab world presents its own challenges. The template you pick is the one you’re stuck with because you can’t switch without losing everything. The same applies to if you change web hosts. There is very limited flexibility.

The free version of Wix also comes loaded with ads that all but render it ineffective for most small businesses…which means you’ll need to pay for an upgraded version. Now that money is involved, this is where you really need to understand the dynamics of the debate of Wix vs. WP to figure which one is better for your needs.

Outside the Box

WP doesn’t come in a box, since it’s an open-source platform that can become anything you want it to. Thus, if you have a personalized vision for your brand, then the box that Wix arrives in is already something you’ve been thinking outside of for a long time. The best platform that will allow you to bring your own aesthetic to a live website is WP, which due to its open-source ecosystem has allowed for literally tens of thousands of plug-ins, some free and others pricey, to meet the specialized wants and needs of those who prefer to make things from scratch.

But what if you don’t know how to code? Doesn’t WP require some technical mastery of programming?

Not necessarily. There are design agencies that can create WP dashboards that will enable you to edit and maintain your site without knowing anything about code. This DIY approach bestows other benefits as well. One is speed. WP pages load faster than those built with an online builder because templates can get clunky with unneeded lines of code. Speed matters in terms of conversion rates, which is the gold standard in e-commerce, and it also plays a factor in how Google ranks pages. As for SEO, Yoast is one of WP’s most robust plug-ins, whereas Wix has had trouble optimizing SEO, though it has improved of late. But not enough to compete with WP.

The Guiding Light

When all is said and done, the decision between Wix versus WP ultimately comes down to guiding principles. Building a website with an online tool is like designing your own bitmoji: yes, you have tons of choices, from eyebrows to shoes, but all bitmojis look related, from the same family tree, whereas WP allows you to forge your own trail and create something unique to your own circumstances.

Still wondering which tool is right for you? We’d love to help! Reach out anytime via hello@reliablepsd.com or schedule a friendly call with one of our WordPress specialists.

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