When it comes to creating your own website, the number of options for free website builders is endless. These suppliers have tapped into the market of small business owners and bloggers who wish to start their own website without the start-up costs of hiring a professional website developer. And whilst nothing can compare to the quality, service and professionalism of a web developer created website, sometimes choosing a free website builder is your only option.
There are few things you should know before you start building a website with a free builder, aspects that web developers take significant amounts of time training in and perfecting, so it is advisable to take advantage of the better platforms out there to get you off to a good start.
Wix is a popular platform that is easy to use and allows even the most un-tech-savvy user to build a site quickly and easily. It offers a range of themes and a relatively simple dashboard, however simple behind the scenes often spells simple on your page. Concepts like SEO, coding, keywords etc don’t need to be overly considered when you’re just starting out, but will be a factor later down the line when you are attempting to drive traffic to your website as your client base grows or following increases. This is where the WordPress platform becomes the front runner in choosing a website builder.
Some points to remember when choosing your website building platform include:
- User Friendly Rating
- Support and Maintenance
- Plugins and Apps
- Design and Themes
Whilst both website building software is free, there are always extras to consider. With WordPress, you will need to purchase a domain name and hosting for your site, which is relatively inexpensive and you will need to pay extra for some themes, although the ones available on the free plan are really versatile. With Wix you do not have the option not to purchase a domain name or hosting, but you with have branded advertisements on your website and your page name will not be customised with the basic plan. Potential visitors can sometimes find username.wix.com/sitename a little unprofessional. Read the article on Can I Create a Website Without Buying a Domain Name? to why this is not a good idea. A basic Wix plan also does not come with any additional features and you have to upgrade to a paid model for most options which can turn out to be more expensive than website hosting and a WordPress platform.
User Friendly Rating
Wix is incredibly easy to use; from changing fonts to web page colours, it’s pretty much a drag and drop situation. You don’t need to concern yourself with hosting, backups, plugins or security, as they take care of that for you. The downside is you have little control in these areas.
WordPress is a little more complicated until you are savvy with it. There are multiple drag and drop themes available with many tutorials and plenty help to guide you through. Depending on your theme, the complexity levels can increase if you want to implement forms and sales pages or perform complicated content formatting. With WordPress, you can make your website as simple or as complicated as you wish and as you skill levels build you can expand your website too.
Support and Maintenance
A deal breaker when it comes to selecting a product to assist you run your business, easy and efficient tech support and maintenance is vital. The Wix support team has a forum to access and lots of resources in the Help Centre, whereas WordPress rivals them with multiple forums, FB groups Youtube Turtorials and individual plugins for support.
Wix wins out with the maintenance side. Because your site is simple, it does not require too much maintenance and the Wix team manages updates and back-ups from their end. WordPress can require a bit more maintenance to keep it up to date, especially if plug-ins and themes are not updated regularly. WordPress is far more portable and once your backups are setup you can be altered to any attention you are required to do and when.
The sheer volume of free plugins available through the WordPress platform (around 40,000) ensures you will always find the one you need for your sites particular needs. Wix offers 200+ apps, some paid and some free, for items that are standard to some WordPress themes, such as forms, mailing lists and galleries.
Design and Themes
As mentioned above, WordPress dominates with thousands of free and paid themes, your only limit is your budget. Wix has 500+ pre-made templates to choose from that can be customised to your design requirements.
This is tech talk for getting your site seen. Without getting into too much confusing jargon, both sites have their benefits, however WordPress is significantly more efficient and has more benefits when it comes to Google finding your site. WordPress websites are far more superior for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Why You Should Choose WordPress Platform Over Wix For Your Website?
WordPress is definitely the way to go and not nearly as scary as you might think. WordPress will allow your website to be found and will grow with you as your business does.
Whichever platform you select for building your own website, it really comes down to how much you are going to use it. WordPress is fantastic for starting out, although it can be a little more technical because you can expand your WordPress site as your business or following grows. Wix sites tend to have a limited lifespan and often you will grow out of it but is significantly easier for those not really interested in much more than a hobby page.