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6 April 2017 Reading: 3 minutes

The Battle of the CMS - Wix vs WordPress

In the last few years it's been a common fact that more people are building their own sites using different CMS systems.... but which one is right for you?

I've noticed lately that WIX seems to be getting a lot more publicity, with adverts becoming more prominent on platforms like YouTube.

It made me think how many people are now using sites like WIX and WordPress to create their own websites rather than going to a freelancer or an agency. The main pro here being you see it as a way to save money, design and build something that is exactly what you're after.

However there are also cons, depending on what kind of business you are after. One thing I have noticed is if you watch WIX's advert, at no point do they tell you that you can't use your own domain for free on their CMS. They'll give you a "wix.com" (for example) domain, but you'll have to pay a monthly/annual free to use your own domain and host your site. However this is a common practice so I can't fully scream "LIARS" at them but come on, be open from the get go.

What's the difference between Wix and WordPress?

Well the main difference between the two is WordPress is a stand-alone open source CMS, which you need to install on a web server. Wix is a service you sign up for, it manages all your hosting and technical pieces on one board.

Wix

So Wix allows you to build websites from scratch on your own. This means there is no code required and can be used by anyone.

Wix1

After signing up Wix, you get to select the purpose of your website, whether it's business or personal, thus being able to collect the most relevant themes for you to start off with.

Wix1

After that it gives you a whole section of themes to chose from. Whether you want something minimalist or a little wacky, it does have to majority.

After picking your theme then you have full control, you can add text, background images, content. Go for it, it's your playground!

The bad part here though is if every site is using these themes won't we end up having lots of similar looking designs? A lot of people want to have a bit too much for their site. They aren't thinking about their audience, how their competitors work or whether the content is working or not.

Cons

  • Wix control your site. You have no control on what they do, if they want to take your site down. It's down.
  • Not all themes are SEO friendly, so while you might like your site, no one may see it
  • The customisations are limited, you can't have the world. Just what Wix thinks you'll like
  • Using lots of themes could mean your site is identical to another business out there.

WordPress

Now, I will admit I am a WordPress fan. It has a bunch of built in features with a powerful content management. With thousands of plugins available you'd think this would be a pretty easy win for WordPress.

Sadly I'd say Im a fan due to the fact I'm a developer. I understand code, so I can manipulate the look of a theme to be exactly how I want it to be.

So, unlike Wix, you can't just sign up to WordPress. You'd have to get a hosting account with a company like One.com, and purchase a domain name. This will make your site look a lot more professional with a clean URL so it's not really something you can scoff at.

Hopefully with a good hosting company you can do something called a 'One Click Wordpress Installation', which is basically what it says on the tin. It will install WordPress for you on your site. After a bit you'll have a fully functioning website to work with!

Screenshot

WordPress will install it's native default theme... yeah that makes sense. However when you login you'll be able to go to Appearance > Themes > Add New'and have a huge library to pick from. Every theme you see there is free, however if you want something a bit fancier and more eye-catching you can purchase one online, normally these are between ?12-?200, depending on what you're after.

Next up is plugins, how a lot of themes will have these already included so you can play around and see what works for you.

At the end of the day it's all about finding the right theme and plugin to make your site stand out and look how you want it to.

Battle

Writing posts or pages on WordPress is also fairly simple, it has a basic layout where you can enter your content, with a text and visual editor. WordPress was originally meant to be a blogging platform so you can see why they'd try and keep the simple approach here.

Cons

  • It can be hard to find a theme/plugin that works for exactly what you're after
  • There isn't any hand on support, there are forums but no "Chat Online"
  • If you don't know much about coding, you'll be relying heavily on a themes restrictions.

So who wins?

I feel this depends purely on what you want from your site and how you feel about site building.

I'm just getting started

Wix would be a better solution for you, it's basically a start up CMS for people with no experience building sites and who want something quick and easy to get their site up and running.

I want to learn and have full control of my website

WordPress is the one for you if you fall in this category. You'll have full control over your site an can extend it with nearly no limitations. There is tons of advice available out there to help you along the way as well.