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You have your big idea and the obvious next step is a website—congratulations!
So now what?
First you might be wondering what Wix and WordPress actually are. Both are essentially website builders with SEO (search engine optimization) and security capabilities, with a variety of themes and modern designs to choose from.
Themes and Templates
As mentioned above, WordPress has 3,000+ themes living in the directory. Many are free but some are “premium” (they can range from $20 to $200) depending on your specific needs, functionality and level of support.
The biggest factor that you will want to keep in mind is this: whichever theme you choose, it can always be changed. Each theme can be modified through the use of plugins (mini applications that supplement a website) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets—your designer will know all about this!). In other words, the possibilities are endless and your site can grow and change as your business continues to grow and change.
Wix has roughly 530 templates to choose from which are grouped thematically, depending on your flavor of business. All templates are free (though, you will need to sign up for a monthly hosting plan) and the set-up is super simple—just drag and drop, no designer required! However, with ease of use comes 2 major problems:
- There is no access to the backend code (HTML/CSS). This means that you will never be able to make real modifications.
- Even worse: once you’ve selected your template you won’t be able to change to a different one!
The possibilities are endless with WordPress. You have the ability to make your website whatever you want it to be…and then change your mind later!
I think the first question before getting into the support piece is this: do you plan to build your site yourself without any existing web experience? If the answer is yes, then stop reading, sign up for a Wix account and get started! However, if you have some web experience or are considering hiring someone to build the site for you, read on!
Wordpress is an open source platform with tens of thousands of talented folks attributed to it’s success. This means that online sources for WordPress support are incredibly robust and seemingly endless. That being said, you (or your designer/developer) will need to do your due diligence when choosing your go-to resources. Here are some great links to get you started:
If you do hire someone to build the site for you, this means that your web professional is ultimately your tech support and online maintenance resource. Before signing on with a designer/developer be sure to ask them about tech support and maintenance options.
Wix boasts 24/7 support which is very attractive and a terrific selling point. I haven’t dealt with the Wix support team personally, so if you have any experiences I would love to hear from you! In theory, dealing with one company who knows the ins and outs of their product would be most helpful for the web novice.
If time is of the essence and you plan to fly this web thing solo, Wix may be your best bet.
Since WordPress is open source, this means that you (or your designer/developer) have unlimited access to the code and all of the essential building blocks for your site. You can customize to your heart’s content and your website can grow and change right along with your business.
Again, due diligence will be important here when it comes to theme and plug-in choices. This will require a little research on the part of your developer. However, if you hire a professional, they will already have a bag of tricks and trusted tools at the ready.
Wix is a drag and drop platform with very little flexibility—so you have to color within the lines and stick to it’s set parameters. However, all of Wix’s building tools and templates have been built and tested by the Wix development team. This means that there are fewer functions available–but the ones that do exist should be rock solid and do what they are supposed to do.
When it comes to flexibility, WordPress blows Wix out of the water. The sky is the limit for your web vision with WordPress but with Wix, you are boxed in and forced within the confines of their preset templates.
Again, start by asking yourself some very basic questions:
- Do I anticipate growth for my business over the course of 2+ years?
- Is it important for me to retain ownership of my site?
- Do I want to have the power to choose any host or service for my site moving forward?
If your answer is “yes” to all 3 (or even 2 out of 3), then WordPress is likely to be your best choice—it gives you ultimate control over content, design and functionality.
AlchemyThree builds exclusively with WordPress and we (and our clients!) couldn’t be happier! If you would like to learn more about WordPress, web site design, or any of our other services, please contact us for a free consultation!