So just to be up front here, I might be a WordPress developer and my agencies core ‘thing' is WordPress. But I thought it would still be interesting to chat a little bit about Wix.
I was contacted recently by a friend on Facebook.
I've actually talked to him before this about websites and I know what he does and his situation. He is basically retired, but since retiring created a business making cribbage boards. Beautiful ones! He was a cabinetmaker/carpenter all his life, so yeah.
He's got a workshop in his basement, does a lot of shows.. I don't know how much he sells or how much he makes, but I do know he's not interested in investing in a full-fledge website or hiring a web designer. He maybe could, but he wants his budget to be about zero dollars. 😉
So what did I do here? I didn't try to sell him my services or even try and encourage him to use WordPress. He's not tech savvy either so I'm not going to advise him to do something that requires any level of website skills (eg, html knowledge).
I suggested he go with WordPress.com (their hosted solution) OR Wix. I did tell him I think WP would be a good option because it would be easier to migrate his content if he would decide he wants a self-hosted site someday. But I left it at that.
Now we have to make the distinction here. As I mentioned above I was talking about their hosted version. So you do everything on the website inside an admin panel (on wordpress.com). You aren't hosting it yourself and don't need to install anything. You don't even need to buy a domain!
But WordPress.org is another story. If you chose to go with .org, you would be getting a web hosting plan from somewhere, buying a domain separately and installing WordPress yourself. Which.. still can be pretty simple, but there are many more layers.
So WordPress is for those that are ready to tackle that stuff OR ready to invest in someone that can help them do that.
Why choose WordPress then if it's more work and it requires more skills… more money (because you have to buy hosting, buy a domain and more).
Here are some good reasons you'd go this route:
You own it. From soup to nuts. If a 3rd party site like Wix goes down or shuts down someday, where does your content, blood, sweat and tears go? Down the toilet. You could have a backup of the content, but good luck replicating what you had there, the same template and design, somewhere else.
If you host it through a regular hosting company, you have access to everything including your database of content. And if something does go haywire, you can simply restore the site. Even if that means moving to a different host. Your website doesn't depend on any one host. You can literally use any web host.
Your domain will also be owned by you at a domain registrar like Namecheap (my go to registrar.. all my domains live here). And you never have to move it even if you switch hosts.
You can backup ALL of your websites files, database and content.. every piece of it. It's portable.
Scalability is endless.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress site you can upgrade it into infinity practically.
You start with a shared hosting plan.. you can migrate to a VPS (virtual private server).. outgrow that, move to a dedicated server. Or upgrade plans with each of those as you go incrementally. You can increase the size of your server, bandwidth and memory as your business scales.
Customizability is also limitless.
WordPress.org has a whole catalog of free themes. If those don't suit you, you can buy a theme. There are literally 10s of thousands of themes on the web to choose from.
If you need to customize those, you can customize them in terms of what those themes allow or what plugins you install. But wait, there's more!
You can create a child of the parent theme and customize the whole theme! The whole website. You can customize the look, feel and styles. The layouts.
You can add features. You can write custom code and functions of your own!
Plus, You can hack the site however you want. Why? Because see #1 above. You own it!
Now, understand.. I'm not a complete Wix expert, but I'm pretty sure none of those 3 reasons above exist.
WordPress Reason #1
No. You don't own it.
WordPress Reason #2
No. You can't scale it up to infinity. It lives on Wix's servers forever and you are limited by their limitations.
WordPress Reason #3
No. You can't customize every piece.
So Why Wix Then?
If what you're doing is a hobby or you never anticipate scaling your business (it's small by design), then it may be enough.
Maybe your funds or budget is low and you need to use it as a stepping stone. Good option then!
Perhaps you just like one of their templates and it works for you. If you don't have any plans to customize it fully, scale things up dramatically and aren't worried about losing your content.. having a 3rd party in control of your destiny might be fine.
My hope is and goal with this post is to simply to make you think; to have you pause. Consider what you are getting and the points I made above.
Personally, I'll never choose Wix. But I have the chops to build a site from scratch. Even a WordPress theme from scratch of my own. And I want to know if I ever need to scale things up or add a feature, I can do anything.
But you need to decide what's right for you.
Have you used Wix? WordPress? Did I miss any benefits to either above? Let us know in the comments below!