So confession time. The team here behind 3 Page Plus used to be WordPress developers. About 10 years ago, after many years of building websites the old-fashioned way (hand coding), the shift began and clients wanted the ability to update their own content once their website was launched. So a content management system (CMS) was needed. When it came to content management systems at the time, the choices were limited, and WordPress was the most popular and the most user-friendly by far. So it became the CMS of choice.
But it was still not easy for the clients. Sure…it was a step up from them needing to understand code but there was still a pretty strong learning curve to WordPress. And while it has gotten leaps and bounds better over the years, it is very far from perfect and clients have expressed their frustrations with it.
That is why we moved to the Wix platform. While WordPress still serves a great purpose dependent on the customer’s needs, Wix is better than WordPress in almost every way possible, which makes it easier for us to build amazing websites AND makes it MUCH easier for our clients to manage. It’s a win-win.
So how is Wix better than WordPress? Let us count the ways.
1. Set Up
Want to create a website using WordPress? Here are the steps you need to take get WordPress set up:
- Find a reputable web hosting company.
- Sign up, select a plan and submit your first payment to the web hosting company.
- Log into the cPanel (the what??) and locate the option to install WordPress. (Note: In the old days, we had to manually install WordPress on the server. Don’t ask.)
- Answer a number of questions, including where on the server WordPress should be installed, the database information, your admin username and password (which is different than your hosting account username and password), etc.
- Follow the instructions provided and install WordPress, wading through all of the options offered during the installation process.
- WordPress is now installed and you have a blank website with the default WordPress theme (which you will NOT want to use. See below.)
Setting up a Wix website is just a tad easier. You simply sign up for a Wix account, select a theme and you’re off to the races. You can choose to either build the website yourself, or contact 3 Page Plus and we’ll work with you to create an amazing website, saving you both time and money.
In WordPress, the installation comes with the default theme which, as mentioned above, you do not want to use. So you will need to find another theme. WordPress offers a decent selection of free themes. But they are free for a reason. Most of them are very bare-boned, offering an uninspiring design and very limited functionality.
There are hundreds of websites that offer premium WordPress themes. The cost of a theme can range anywhere from $30 to $80 and your license will need to be renewed annually to get the necessary updates. Which companies are trustworthy? Will the theme work properly? Good questions.
Once you purchase a theme, it can then be installed on your WordPress set up by saving the theme to your computer and then uploading the zip file of the theme in WordPress admin. After the theme is successfully installed, you’d think you’d have a working website where you just need to change the content. But no. You actually have a blank website that you now have to build using both WordPress AND the specific theme’s settings.
In Wix, there are over 500 beautiful themes to choose from for every type of small business imaginable, and all of the themes are not only created by Wix, but are accessible right within your Wix account. Simply select the theme of your choosing and voila, you’ve now got a complete website that you can easily update with your content.
Out of the box, WordPress comes with very, very limited functionality. Sure you can create pages and blog posts, but besides that you will need “plugins” to accomplish things such as: setting up a mailing list, adding a contact form, integrating your social media accounts, selling goods online, creating a slideshow or a gallery, optimizing your site for SEO, etc. Some plugins are free and some you will need to pay for. On top of that, some plugins are buggy and/or don’t play well with other plugins and this will have you pulling your hair out when your site won’t work and you have no idea why.
Wix comes with tons of functionality right out of the box. All of the items mentioned above that WordPress needs plugins for? All standard with Wix. Yes…Wix also an App Store (where some apps are free and some are premium) for very specific requirements, but 90% of all small businesses will be able to create a completely functional website with no additional apps needed.
Believe it or not, WordPress does not come with a built-in front-end page builder. In this day and age, that is simply inexcusable. The default WordPress editor is basically like working in a Microsoft Word document. And you’ll really have no idea how the page will look until you preview it in a browser. And each time you want to make a change, you need to go to the editor, update the page, click an Update button, go back to the browser…lather, rinse, repeat. Not ideal to say the least.
WordPress is coming out with a new page editor called Gutenberg soon, but the research shows that it does not come anywhere close to being a true drag-and-drop page builder. You can install a Page Builder plugin, which certainly makes it easier to update pages. But 1) they are not cheap; and 2) there is definitely a learning curve.
Wix, on the other hand, is a true WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get). While you are working on the page, you will see exactly how it will look in the browser. AND you can also test it on mobile with the click of a button. Wix makes is so easy to add content, move things around, change fonts, images, colors, etc. It is by far the best page editor we have ever worked with.
5. Software Updates
This is one of the biggest drawbacks to WordPress. When you create a WordPress site, you have the WordPress software itself, the theme, and any number of plugins (the average WordPress site has over 10 plugins.) Well guess what? These all have to be updated on a constant basis. The WordPress admin will let you know when an update is available. But weeks may go by without you accessing the WordPress admin and you’ll never know that updates are available. And even more frustrating, updating a plugin may mean it doesn’t work with your current theme anymore. Or updating your theme may break the website. Or it may not be compatible with your current version of WordPress. Over the years, this has been the number one frustration from clients. The software needs constant attention, taking away from time you can be putting into your small business.
Wix is easy as it gets, as it handles ALL of the updates for you. The entire website sits within the Wix system, so they automatically update everything behind the scenes for you. You will never have to manually worry about any updates or outdated software, and you will never have compatibility issues. You just focus on your website and Wix takes care of everything else.
Which leads us to point #6 as to why Wix is better than WordPress…
All of those outdated plugins mentioned above means your WordPress site is a security nightmare. When a WordPress theme or plugin update is available, it sometimes means they found a security issue with the current version. And that my friends is a hacker’s delight. We’ve had several clients who came to us years after building their website saying their site has been hacked and they don’t have a backup. At that point, you just better pray the hosting company can help.
Speaking of hosting, as mentioned above, you need to find a third-party company to host your WordPress website. Their system must also be completely secure. Hosting companies have indeed been hacked over the years, taking down all of the websites on their servers.
If you’re WordPress site has been hacked, 9 out of 10 times, it’s on you to fix it.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to technology, Wix has a much lesser chance of getting hacked and a much stronger security history. And worst case scenario, if something happens, Wix will fix it. It does not fall on you, freeing up your resources to focus on your business, not on fixing your website.
This one is simple. WordPress has no support and Wix has tons of support.
Need help with your WordPress theme? You need to contact the theme author and hope they respond. Have a problem with a plugin you installed? You need to check the plugin website and try to find a solution. Not sure about something in WordPress? There is NO ONE to contact. WordPress is open source software so you’ll need to try to find your answer online somewhere. Yeah…definitely frustrating.
Wix not only has an incredible online support center, but they actually have a phone number you can call where you can speak to an actual human being. What a concept.
To summarize, WordPress used to be the right tool for small-business websites. Compared to hand-coding, it was certainly a step up to creating and maintaining a website. Not to mention the fact that there were not many other options on the table. And for larger companies, who want very specific functionality, have a bigger budget, and someone to manage the site once it’s launched, WordPress good still be a good solution.
But for startups and small businesses who want a website that not only looks awesome, but is effective and easy to update, Wix is the way to go.
Note: You may have noticed we did not mention cost. It’s because there are so many variables involved. For WordPress, your costs will include monthly hosting, premium themes, plugins, etc. For Wix, the only costs are the plan that you choose and any premium apps you decide to purchase. It is MUCH easier to budget when it comes to Wix. And over the course of the lifetime of your website, using Wix will more than likely save you money. And isn’t that what running a small business is all about?