With the myriad of website building options changing so rapidly, what is the best option for building your website in 2018?
When considering how you will build your website, you can’t avoid deciding between WordPress and one of the DIY Website Builders.
The Top Rated Website Builders in 2018 are 1) Wix 2) Sitebuilder and 3) Squarespace (best for photographers).
Wix is the most popular DIY Website builder, so for simplicity, I will limit this discussion to WordPress and Wix.
WordPress.org, aka “the real self hosted WordPress”, is a state-of-the-art, open-source content management system (CMS) software, used by 75 million websites, and nearly 30% of the entire internet, including many fortune 500 companies. WordPress offers unlimited flexibility, control and awesome SEO power.
Do not confuse it with, the non-open source, wordpress.com, where they host and maintain control of your site.
Who uses WordPress
30% of the entire internet uses WordPress including Sony, Time, Walt Disney, New Yorker, Facebook, BBC, Bloomburg, MTV, Microsoft, Beyonce, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mercedes Benz, TechCrunch and Star Wars.
Ownership & Control: For full ownership and control of your website and content, you’ll need WordPress. Like owning a piece of property out in the country, you own your site and content and are unrestricted in it’s use.
Flexibility: There are no limitations with WordPress, which has tens of thousands of plugins to use for almost anything you can imagine, and code customizations are the norm.
SEO: If great SEO is important for your business, you will want to go with WordPress, which has by far the best SEO and lead generation tools.
Content: If you plan on seeking organic search results excellence for your business, you will likely create a great deal of quality content for your site, in which case ownership and control of your content is quite important.
Growth: WordPress allows room for business growth because no matter how much your business grows and changes, unlike Wix, your WordPress site can easily grow along with you.
Drag & Drop: Like Wix, WordPress has amazing drag and drop capability within some of their website building themes and plugins. Of note, the Beaver Builder page builder software, when implemented in WordPress, leads the pack in it’s ease of use and quality code generation.
Many experienced coders, including myself, use Beaver Builder with WordPress for some projects because it allows clients to easily make changes to there sites without coding knowledge.
Learning Curve: Although easy for beginners to create their own content, WordPress is a steeper learning curve than Wix, takes a little more skill to host and build a basic site, and even more skill to customize websites effectively.
Hosting: WordPress can only be installed on a 3rd party web server which means you have to get your domain, host and install WordPress.
Support: Support will likely come from online forums, google, your web host, or your web designer/developer.
$60-$240 yr – (domain & hosting) if you build and manage your own site
$1000 and up – if you pay a designer/developer to build and maintain your site
Wix is a one-stop, fully-featured, self-contained website building tool with over 100 million users. Wix provides website building convenience, and attractive templates, in exchange for lack of control. Wix is ideal for beginners and small businesses looking to get an affordable site off the ground fast
Who uses Wix
Most users are entry level businesses, individuals with low budgets, people looking for a quick, easy, cheap, no skill, DIY website solution.
third-party web servers not required: Wix allows you to build a fully-operational, attractive website or e-commerce store on their server
Ease of use: small learning curve, no coding skills required, perfect if you’re not website-savvy and don’t have web design/development or WordPress skills
In-House Support: Wix provides in-house support,
Lack of ownership & control: With Wix, you dont own your website. Wix can take it offline if they feel that the website violates their terms of service in any way.
Like renting a townhouse in the city, before doing anything to the property, you must first get approval by the landlord and the homeowner association …. in this case Wix.
Data Export: There is no way to export your data. It’s a bit like having all your furniture bolted to your house. If you move – you can’t bring anything with you.
You would not want to invest a lot of time and money into creating great site content knowing you dont own it and cant take it with you when you leave.
In the worst case scenario, you’d have to scrape and/or manually copy paste your data to your new site. But either way, Wix does not make it easy to leave.
Design Limitations: You’re limited to the Wix user panel. If something can’t be found in the Wix user panel, it can’t be done. The Wix platform is not open source and it doesn’t give you access to everything under the hood as does WordPress. You can only use Wix in the way that the author’s intended it to be used.
SEO: Wix SEO can’t compare with WordPress. If it’s important for potential customers to find you in online search results, go with WordPress.
Code Customization: Wix does not allow for code customization whereas with WordPress it’s the norm.
$5-$20 month if you build your own site
For eCommerce Sites consider:
1. WordPress + WooCommerce
Feel free to ask a question or leave a comment below. I will be happy to respond.