EVERY DAY, yes every day while I’m networking online I see a question similar to this…
Why WordPress over Wix? I am a beginner blogger and find WIX easier to use than WordPress (I did fool around with WordPress at first). However, as a beginner I’m not opposed to switching over to WordPress if its as inexpensive and easy to use. So what makes it better?
I see some variation of this question asked a lot in the different blogging Facebook Groups and thought it a good time to address it here.
Why Choosing WordPress or WIX Matters
The simple answer is, if you want to create a lifestyle business that supports your choice on how you want to live then you need a platform that’s going to support that dream. I’ll touch on the different platforms a bit later in this article.
Your choice of platform, whether it be WordPress, WIX or even Squarespace, or Weebly, choosing the right one from the beginning will make things easier. Depending on your choice you will most likely see you making a change to a platform that has the flexibility you need to do what you want with your business.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
Here’s the thing, there are a few platforms out there with very generous marketing budgets and will plaster themselves all over the place once you start to show interest in starting your own blog.
It’s most likely that they spend more on their marketing budget versus creating a platform that will help you create a sustainable and profitable business. It’s important to do your research and make a decision based on your instinct + the advice of others who have been there.
What Should You Consider When Deciding Which Website Platform Will Work for You?
It’s important to consider your long terms goals at this point. The maybes, and the “wow that would be awesome if that would happen” kind of thoughts. So think about these few questions to see which makes the most sense to you.
- Do you want to make money with your blog? Whether it’s you offering services or collecting affiliate revenue. It doesn’t matter, do you want to make money?
- Are you unsure what you want to do right now, but down the road you think you might like to offer an ebook or even an ecourse or a training program?
- Are you concerned that the learning curve for some technology might be too much, and you hope you can find something simple easy to use
- Are funds tight to get started so you hope you can start with something free?
Keep note of your answers because the next section covers the different platforms available. Your answers will help you decide which platform will work for you. At the end of the summary I’ll share with you my experience and why I think my chosen platform is really your only choice.
The Website Platforms & Which Will Work for You
I decided to start with Wix as it is the one platform that is asked about the most.
Wix is simple to use that is a big positive for anyone wanting to launch a web site. For me, that’s where the love affair ends with this platform.
Heavily marketed, just watch a few Youtube videos after you’ve searched for “how to start a blog” and you’ll know what I mean, they do make the idea of creating your own website a simple process.
While Wix does have some features that make is easy to get started, I have heard from so many folks that as soon as they want to do something “out of the box” they’re hit with another fee and those fees can add up quickly.
To have your own domain connected with cost you about $4/mth US & that still requires you to display their ads! Upgrade to the next level, $9/mth is required to remove their adds. Want to sell your own ebook, that will cost you $16/mth
Let’s put that into perspective, to have your own domain with Wix it will cost you $36/year, where purchasing your own domain runs around $10 to $15 depending on where you purchase the domain.
Wix, in my opinion doesn’t give you the flexibility that will find with other services and for their monthly prices, you can easily find other more flexible options.
There’s a lot of other reasons I wouldn’t choose Wix, like it’s tough to rank using SEO, page load issues which slows down your site, and you’re on their platform so you don’t have complete control over your content.
Who could benefit from Wix?
Maybe a brick & mortar business that only wants to have a single brochure type website. Not recommended for a blogger wanting to create a lifestyle business.
I don’t mind Squarespace and if you’re focused more on offering services and selling some products or programs Squarespace could easily work for you.
It has an easy to use interface with some very nicely designed templates.
Squarespace is pricey though and does have limits to how many pages you can have. Need more you’ll need to upgrade. If you’re thinking that offering a membership program or even courses you’ll want to look elsewhere or you’ll need to use a third party service to make that happen.
My opinion, if you want to keep your options open and have choices down the road then Squarespace may not be your best choice.
Who Could Benefit From Using Squarespace
If you’re a coach or other service professional, Squarespace may work for you as long as you stick with a simple business model or you’re okay with using a third party services to make things happen.
When you take a look at Weebly it has a lot going for it. It offers a way to create your website, build an ecommerce platform and the service also includes some marketing features.
You can get started with a free website, but you’ll be stuck with .weebly.com in your domain name, but that’s pretty much same for all of the free versions. It will cost you at least $120/year to be able to use your own domain & remove the Weebly adds.
Weebly does offer some membership features which is nice for someone thinking of adding a membership to their website. The negative though is it will cost you at least $168/year.
Weebly also offers a pretty good collection of integrations so you can add more functionality to your website, you’re still limited to what they choose to integrate with. Out of the platforms mentioned so far, Weebly has a lot to offer someone, but in terms of flexiblity, ease of improving your SEO and functionality for a blogger I don’t thinking it’s an option.
Who Could Benefit From Using Weebly
Someone testing out a new product or service and wants to follow the minimal viable product model. Also someone that offers services, or any kind of physical product could probably use Weebly with some success.
The balance of this article has been leading up to my opinion on WordPress, but before I share too much of that, I want to make sure that you’re aware of I’m talking about the self-hosted version of WordPress
It’s time to go back to your answers to the questions I asked earlier, do you want to make money with your blog? Do you want to make affiliate revenue? If you answered yes, then I could end this article here and wrap this up.
If you want to monetize your website then you’ll want to use the self-hosted version of WordPress.
Not only is WordPress on very friendly terms with Google, no matter what you dream up you’d like to do with your website you can accomplish it with WordPress.
New To WordPress? Not Sure Where to Start?
Read my step by step guide that shares everything you need to know to launch your first WordPress Website.
What makes WordPress so powerful?
WordPress is created by the team at Automattic, who share the code to make this platform freely. Meaning the WordPress platform is free to use, it also means that other programmers, designers and plugin creators have access to the WordPress API so they can create any kind of functionality that will work with WordPress.
Take a moment with that, even if you don’t know what an API is, the ability to be able to integrate anything WordPress makes this super powerful.
Yes, this is all great, but what if I don’t have any money to pay for all this amazing stuff?
Here’s the beauty of WordPress, you can get started for a very low cost of entry. Meaning that you can have your website launched and online for less than $60/year. This includes your web hosting & the purchasing of your domain. Could you spend more money, yes of course you could. But you don’t have too.
But WordPress is difficult to learn!
I won’t say that WordPress is easy, because for many it has a HUGE learning curve and you may get frustrated when you’re first starting to use WordPress, but I know from experience the more you use WordPress the more it will become your friend.
Why don’t I just go with Wix, Squarespace or Weebly for now and I’ll move to WordPress when I can hire someone to do all of it for me?
Yes, you could do this but I believe that you need to understand the platform you are using so you can make smart strategic decisions about your website & blog.
You likely know that knowing a bit about your car and how it works makes those trips to the mechanic a bit easier since you know a bit of what they are talking about.
When you’re starting out, you have more time than you do money so in the early stages of your blog you’re will to invest your time more so that your money. When you’re just starting out is the time to get past that learning curve of WordPress and learn it now.
You can find lots of helpful articles on this site, my get started section is a great place to begin and there’s many, many resources online to help too. Youtube can become a very comfy place to hang out, too.
I also recommend WP101, to give you the basics of WordPress and give you a head-start on how to use the technical parts of the site.
Yes, I teach WordPress, but my focus is helping you get the best of the platform quickly and recommending a service like WP101 that offers video training about WordPress makes sense. They have the most current video training and you get lifetime access to their videos.
Why does my website platform matter then?
Choosing the right platform for your business or blog is one of the most critical things you can do when you are getting started. Keep your long term vision in mind when choosing your platform.
All platforms have limitations, but each offer something different for the new website owner.
Deciding which one is right for you is a big decision.
My recommendation is, if you’re unclear how you feel your business will evolve then choose WordPress, yes it has a learning curve, but it also offers the most flexibility, adaptability and it’s the most scalable of any website platform.