Typically my posts on this blog contain inspiration for reaching your dreams and starting online projects, but recently I've been asked several times about my recommendations for building websites.
Your website platform is key to your online business and can either make or break your ability to pull off a successful project. (I'm not being dramatic, I have started many projects that have come to a halt because I chose the wrong platform.)
I've tried nearly every free website builder out there and I just keep coming back to the same two platforms, WIX and WordPress.
Before I delve into the pros and cons of WordPress, let me make one thing clear. WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different. I will be talking about WordPress.org.
[WordPress.com is free, but you have very little control over your template, affiliate marketing is discouraged, and you do not have access to widgets.]
1. There are 3,000 templates, most of which are free. (But the quality varies greatly.) If you choose a template at the beginning and decide to change, it is an easy transfer.
2. If you have knowledge of HTML and CSS, WordPress gives you incredible flexibility to design/code your site exactly how you'd like it. It is an open-source platform.
3. There are nearly 40,000 plugins available. Many are up-to-date and some are free.
4. WordPress seems to be more blog-friendly. It's relatively easy to set up a simple blog.
5. You can have several contributors for one website.
1. There is a huge learning curve for WordPress.org. I can't even tell you how many times I would get frustrated trying to set up web hosting, finding the right plugin, and navigating the complex coding instructions for making adjustments.
2. You have to buy a separate web hosting platform to house your website, like HostGator or Bluehost. While the overall costs may be cheaper than WIX hosting, taking the time to figure out how to connect the two may not be worth the savings.
3. You cannot buy a domain (like www.johnbrady.com) through WordPress.org. You have to connect one you bought on another site.
4. It is hard to get support sometimes because the forum is managed by fellow users and not WordPress experts.
5. WordPress updates several times a year and the individual plugins update. If you have a complex site, this can be extremely tedious and it is important that you make backups.
Before I delve into the pros and cons of WIX, I have to be honest - my review may be slightly biased because I absolutely love WIX. Except for two projects, I have used WIX for all of my online projects and businesses.
1. WIX is easy to use. Period. You do not need to know anything about computers except how to click and drag with your mouse.
2. WIX gives you nearly all of their core services for free. You can mock up and publish a complete site without paying a penny. When you're ready, you buy a domain or e-commerce tools for your online store.
3. You can use one of the 500+ pre-made templates or create your website from scratch. You have the flexibility to make your site exactly what you'd like. You can also add apps or an HTML box if there is a service WIX doesn't include.
4. WIX regularly offers sales on their premium packages, usually on a holiday. You can get up to 1 year free with these packages (though the cost afterwards is higher than what I would normally pay for a typical package).
5. WIX's support team is really responsive online, so it is pretty easy to get answers.
6. WIX updates automatically and easily. No work for you.
7. Because it is so easy to create sites for free, I mock up nearly every business idea I have through WIX to get a feel for a potential project before I buy a domain.
1. WIX can be more expensive than WordPress. HOWEVER, this depends on how complex your WordPress site is. When you account for all the things you have to do yourself, WIX's packages are very affordable. These range from $4 to $24 per month, depending on your needs. (More if you need e-commerce tools.)
2. If your website visitors have slow internet, WIX can be slow to load.
3. Once you choose a template, you cannot transfer to a new template. (But you can change anything you would like on your current template or start from a blank template.)
4. There are only 250 apps available as compared to the nearly 40,000 plugins on WordPress. They apps are not as flexible as plugins.
5. You cannot have multiple creators for a website. Everyone has to access the editor through the same account.
Even with the benefits of a WordPress.org website in the long run, I definitely recommend WIX over WordPress. You have the flexibility to create and the ease to design, without the learning curve and time investment.
Feel differently or have more questions?
Comment below and I'll reply to you personally.
8 April 2016
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