WIX vs WordPress — Choosing the right platform for your business

Start Digital
Jun 22, 2018 · 4 min read

A common question for businesses and individuals looking to build a website is which platform to use. Both WordPress and WIX are front-runners in a sea of website building and publishing options and both are popular choices. For us there is one clear winner. But before we let you know our conclusion we’re going to look at both of these website builder platforms.

There is no one size fits all approach. The decision of which one to use comes down to a number of different factors, like who is using it and who they are using it for. Is it business or a personal blog? Will it sell products or will it be service or information driven? For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume that you need a website for your business.

Just of note before we get down to the nitty-gritty, we are talking about WordPress.org, not WordPress.com. This is important as although they share a name they are very different platforms.

The History of WordPress

WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) that began back in 2003 as a spin-off from two other blogging software companies. Back then there was an alternative leading blogging software company. At the same time WordPress was launching this other company changed their licensing terms. The change wasn’t taken well by their users and caused many bloggers to look elsewhere. As a consequence, WordPress’s popularity shot up. With the support and help of its community WordPress continued to develop and grow.

In 2010 the ownership of WordPress trademark and logo was given to the WordPress foundation. This meant it was not dependent on a single company or group of developers. By 2013 WordPress was the most popular CMS in the world. It continues to be at the top of the food chain of CMS systems. It was behind 22% of all websites in 2014 and today it accounts for 27.5 % of the top 10 million websites and 58.7 % of all the websites known to use CSM. The future developments of WordPress depend very much on its users.

Because of the way it has come about, WordPress differs from any other CMS platform. This is reflected in the way it provides its customer support. Unlike other CMS and platforms, WordPress support isn’t centralised, instead, it is run through the WordPress community.

The History of WIX

WIX was founded in 2006 by two brothers and a friend, who wanted an easier way to create websites. Initially, they developed the platform based on Adobe Flash technology. In 2012 WIX announced their new HTML5 site builder which took over the Adobe Flash-based technology. They based their technology around the concept of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). In 2014 the company reported 50 million users. Today it reports having over 90 million users.

The most obvious benefit with WIX is the ease of use. Although you don’t need to know code to use WordPress, the drag and drop nature of WYSIWYG and WIX means that building a website is accessible to anyone of any ability. It is not a typical CMS in that it is design driven. This might sound great on the outside, but it has a knock-on effect with its capabilities and functionality.

The Head-to-Head

Website developers tend to prefer WordPress and that’s not without reason. There are endless site building capabilities and functionalities within WordPress that WIX simply doesn’t have. You don’t need to be a developer to use WordPress, but it does take more time to learn and even longer to master. The ease and popularity of the drag and drop and WYSIWYG concepts, has led to the development of themes and plugins for WordPress that also offer this feature. This has increased WordPress’s usability and decreased It’s barrier entry.

Both platforms have plugins. The WordPress plugin library is limitless there is a plugin for everything and anything you want to do with your website. In fact there’s a plugin called ‘Visual Composer’ which emulates the Wix ‘drag and drop’ interface.

One big advantage that WordPress has over WIX is that WordPress code is easier for Google to navigate, read and judge. You also have more control over the content including all the SEO elements such as Alt and meta tags, HTML and CSS code. Then there is the bonus of WordPress plugins that can boost your site visibility. Although this is only the beginning for SEO, its one that can get you off on a good footing.

The downside to WordPress (of which there aren’t many), is that it is open source. This means that less experienced developers may produce less than brilliant plugins that can be a security risk. Note ‘can be’, because if you update plugins regularly and choose plugins that have good reviews and are maintained, then you’ll find you get little or no problems. For the record we extensively test any third party plugins we use.

The Winner Is…

WIX is a fine solution for smaller or one-man business. The ease of use makes it a good option for some people. However, it is a fully hosted service and with that comes limitations. In our article why you shouldn’t use a DIY website builder we share several reason why you’re better off with WordPress.

Okay, so we said we were going to wait to the end before exposing our winner. You can probably tell that we think WordPress is by far the better option. The design elements are extensive if not limitless. WordPress is undoubtably the most flexible and robust CMS available and it’s platform can be applied to sites that are fun and creative through to large corporate sites with layers of functionality. Importantly the WordPress SEO options are far superior to anything else on the market and will help take your business to the next level.

This article originally appears on the Start Digital website.

Start Digital

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Digital Australians helping Analog Australians build digital products. Start. Don’t stop.