A Case Against Wix et al. (and why we like WordPress)

With a recent ad campaign by Wix attacking WordPress and the general backlash from the digital marketing community, we figured we’d weigh in to back up WordPress and explain why we prefer it. We’ll go one step further and say WordPress is better than the likes of Squarespace and Shopify as well.

Before starting though we’ll admit we have skin in this game. Website builders like Wix and Squarespace make it easier to make business websites so that agencies like us don’t get the work. We’ll be the first to admit that, for a lot of smaller websites, software from the likes of Wix may be best, but as you get bigger you need something more robust and versatile. That’s WordPress.

The Advantages Of Easy Website Builders

Wix logoCMS software like Wix isn’t without its advantages. We agree that they have their place and can be useful for a lot of business and personal websites.

The main advantage of something like Wix or Squarespace is that they’re very easy to use. Sign up, pick a theme and you’re pretty much ready to go. Of course you still need to write copy for your website and get images, but the layout bit is easily covered for you.

With that in mind, Wix leans into its ease heavily and has a lot to back that up like:

  • Easy to register and get started: no messing around with website hosting and installing a CMS.
  • Better customer support: as WordPress is decentralised and free it doesn’t directly provide customer support.
  • Easy maintenance: no having to deal with updates or incompatibilities. This is done for you.

So you can see how they’re really going for “easy.”

We haven’t mentioned the templates available and, according to Wix, many of them are free or low cost. This is the same with WordPress so we’re not really seeing this as an advantage.

Where (And Why) WordPress Wins

WordPress logoWith all the easiness of Wix, you’re losing a lot.

Firstly, ease of use doesn’t replace learning best practices of user experience and SEO. Yes, programs like Wix have a lot of the technical aspects of these things built in but it doesn’t replace actually knowing what you’re doing.

With this, WordPress wins in:

  • Customisation and versatility: sure it’s a bit harder to get started, but the more you know the more you can customise. Not to mention the large selection of plugins to further customise with.
  • Good themes make this easier: if you get a good theme and page builder much of it is pretty close to drag and drop, similar to Wix and its competitors.
  • Better SEO options: with the versatility and selection of plugins you have more options to optimise your site for search.

Sure you have to learn these things (or hire someone to do them), but once you do, you have a much better website because of it.

Where It’s A Toss Up

In similar articles that compare Wix with WordPress they often compare things like pricing and other features, but we feel this is a toss up:

  • The pricing structures are different: WordPress is technically free but you do need to pay a third party for hosting; you may also need to pay for plugins and themes. As an all in one platform the things you’re paying for to get Wix up and running are included. Either way you’re paying. Since WordPress can be hosted anywhere though, you have a bit more choice.
  • Moving Between WordPress and Wix: it’s easy to move a website from WordPress to Wix but not the other way around. All in all Wix wants to lock you in, which is a bit of a black mark against Wix. However, we say this is a toss up since we agree Wix is a great way to quickly get a small website up and running. If it’s small, it’s not a problem to manually move.
  • Don’t Worry About Learning Curve: yeah, WordPress is harder to get started with, but once you’re over that hump you’re working with better software. Again, if you want to get things up and running quickly, Wix will work out for you, but put in the work and you’ve got something better.

While these are toss ups, we still think they lean WordPress. If you take the time to learn WordPress, you just have so much more.

Oh Yeah, And Then There’s Squarespace (And Others)

Of course there’s other similar programs to Wix like Squarespace or even Shopify if you’re running ecommerce.

At the end of the day the advantages and disadvantages are pretty much the same as the above.

For Us It’s The Versatility

Whatever way you look at it though, WordPress is simply a more versatile product. We’ve said a few times here that Wix is easier to use, but that’s really its only advantage. Once you learn WordPress you have the same ease with more options at your disposal.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to learn WordPress, you can always hire an agency (like us!) to do it for you, and you still have a better site.