Wix vs. WordPress : 3 Key Factors When Choosing CMS

In Tech Blog by Michael Kierman

                                                                                         

                    Wix vs WordPress  :  3 Key Factors Before Choosing CMS

Whether you’re beginning as a freelancer and creating sites for a new client, or you’re experienced having developed web for years, there is still a decision to be made – which CMS is for you?

Or even more important – your client.

Content Management Systems help to create and develop websites by hosting information and offering useful, easy to use tools.  Even more crucial is the fact that CMS’ provide a way for the owner of a site to continually adjust and maintain the finished site.  New CMS tools are growing in popularity whereas entrepreneurs don’t necessarily need a web design team. With design suggestions, a vast tutorial, and an intuitive dashboard – building a site has become incredibly easy.  Of course there are thousands of options, but this excerpt is going to focus on WordPress and Wix.  Other popular choices provide fierce competition (like Droopal or Jumla), but WordPress accounts for nearly 30% of all websites.  The newest player in the game is Wix, promising extreme usability and utilizing drag and drop tools – they’ve been gaining significant traction.

COST EFFECTIVENESS 

Some would argue that price is not a factor when making such a decision; but for the small business owner, every penny counts.  Both of these competitors offer free services – but both come with a twist.

WordPress offers thousands of templates, and is typically viewed as a free service.  The catch is you have to pay for hosting, which can cost anywhere from $6 – $30 a month.  Additionally – beyond their free templates offered – the newer, more innovative templates are going to cost you and the price may vary. This price is largely dependent on the experience of the designer. WordPress also charges for various plug-ins, widgets, and custom features.  After all is taken into consideration, WordPress is the better economical choice for companies that are growing (especially with internal IT teams).

WordPress

Now with Wix, the costs are easier to understand and conform to what the average consumer is accustomed to seeing.  They offer free service as well, and the tools are similar, but there are  fewer “gotcha” moments.  When you use the free (or trial) version, they have the right to advertise anywhere on your page. Typically they place advertisements at the top and bottom of your site, creating more visibility for them than your own company.  Furthermore, you have no option to change your domain name, and will end up with something like www.”username”.wix.”companyname”.com.  The tiers of service are as follows, and each level provides different storage options and advertisement vouchers.  These straight-forward pricing plans are ideal for start-ups and development newcomers.

Wix

SEO CAPABILITIES

Now that we have covered pricing, and gotten into domain names, this leads us to our next big area of concern when choosing – SEO.  Search engine optimization is the ability to appear on search engines like Google and Bing.  Driving traffic to your website is becoming more and more important – how good is a website if no customers can find it!?

WordPress is usually given the upper hand in this category, largely due to the “clean” code it produces naturally.  That said, just because you choose to use this option does not mean your SEO efforts end there.  WordPress not only offers extreme control over how images, HTML/CSS and URL structures, they offer plug-ins that make the SEO life even easier.  Here are some great references and starting points loaded with information : Yoast , All In One, and JetPack.

But keep in mind, just because Wix fails to offer canonical tags and can have messy domain names does not mean you can’t have great SEO scores using this option.  Aside from plug-ins, all of the enhancing actions you can take to optimize a WordPress site also work for Wix sites.  Remember, there are over 200 factors that are taken into how good your SEO is, and the right techniques will send any website towards success.

BlOGGING VS E-COMMERCE

These two categories have been grouped together because consensus rules, and each dominate their niche respectively.

We will start with e-commerce, and Wix is known to have the advantage here.  Even for beginners, Wix makes it incredibly easy to start catering to nearly any merchant type.  To begin, they offer various shipping and tax settings, and make tracking inventory incredibly easy.  Security is a large advantage , as the shopping carts and payment processers are reliable.  Your company’s products will look great in the updated galleries, and the ability to offer coupons and discounts is dependable.

WordPress, due to its third party plug-ins, is usually considered the less secure of the two.  Don’t get me wrong because what they lack in security – they excel in blogging abilities.  WordPress is the original platform for blogging, and is consistently the best option.  The original purpose of WordPress was this exact goal, and the majority of themes cater directly to bloggers.  HTML and CSS customization is the key, and if you are willing to learn a little bit of coding, your blog, site and company will reap the benefits.

CONCLUSION

It becomes personal preference to say which is better, so here is a summary highlighting the strong points of each.  If you would rather not hire, or dedicate your own time to maintaining your website, Wix may be the better option.  Usability and user support are clear advantages to Wix, as well as it’s simple e-commerce trends.

Conversely, if being cost-effective, customization, SEO and blogging are of high priority, utilizing WordPress is the better option.  The simple answer is  whether it’s a website, storefront, or landing page for your blog, both are great options and ultimately it comes down to the effort you put forth.

My final verdict . . .  novice users and earlier, stick with Wix.  Businesses with resources that are looking to expand with SEO efforts, WordPress is your pick.