Wix or WordPress? There’s that questions again! Both platforms are wildly different: fundamentally so in fact. Wix is a kind of all-in-one beginner-super-friendly platform with more than a few pretty significant limitations, and WordPress is more like a do-it-yourself completely-unlimited platform with an initially slightly complete-beginner-off-putting learning curve… So which should you choose? And why?
Let’s have a solid go at really answering the question:
Wix vs WordPress: Which is the Better Website Builder?
A question that’s becoming increasingly more common of people looking for a website today is “What should I use to build my website?” Just a few years ago, the answer without hesitation for many people would have been WordPress. But today there’s so many players in the game that purpose should be a strong consideration. Do you need something fast? Do you need to support an online shop? Do you need tech support in general or do you need complete control? Depending on your answer, your platform will vary. One of the younger, purpose-driven players that gets more and more popular is Wix. In this video, we’ll look at which is a better platform for your purpose Wix or WordPress. We’ll judge our platforms on a few criteria and go over a few concepts like: How are the two different? What are the benefits of each? How easy is the setup process? How flexible is each platform? And, a cost analysis. Note that we are comparing Wix to the self-hosted version of WordPress. This is the one that you download and install yourself from the WordPress.org repository. By far, the biggest difference between Wix and WordPress is that WordPress is standalone software that you need to install. Only then do you get to use it as the software running your site. Wix, on the other hand, is a tool or service that you sign up for. Once you sign up, Wix allows you to build, then manage your website, all within Wix.com. It takes care of the hosting and it does all of the technical heavy lifting. Think of it this way. Wix vs. WordPress is much like Google Docs versus Microsoft Word. So, first, we’ll talk about setting up a site on Wix. A few of the things you should know about Wix is that it’s an all-in-one platform; there’s no need to buy a domain or set up hosting. There are no coding skills required. The price can range from completely free to $/month or more. Over million people are using Wix and Wix has / support. When you log in for the first time, Wix will ask you what kind of website you want to create. You can choose from different types of categories and these categories will show you different templates and different apps that you can install that will be helpful for you. We’re going to choose business and then Wix is going to ask us how we want to create our website. We can do it one of two ways. We can let the Wix ADI create a website for us. The Wix ADI is an automation process that will ask us a few questions and then put our content together. We can also do it ourselves using the Wix Editor. We’ll start with the template and easily drag and drop anything on the pages in the exact way that we want it to. If you want to get up and running quickly you should check out the Wix ADI, but in this video we’re going to use the Wix Editor. So let’s choose a template. We’re provided templates based on different categories that Wix has organized based on what we’ve selected. We’re going to go with a consulting website. So we’ll choose the template The Consultant. Once we select to edit our template, Wix will put together a starting site for us. You can see that it has a lot of great content already created for us that we just need to customize and so we’re going to put together three pages: the home page, an about page, and a contact page. So let’s first start by looking at how to change the background color. You can see that there are a few capsules over here on the left and that the first one is “Background”. When we click on it we have the ability to change the background to color, image, or video, but keep in mind that this is the background for the entire page. So when we choose a color, it’s going to change the background of the site where we don’t have a background already specified. You can see for this template that each row has its own designated color. So how do we change that? Luckily, Wix makes it very easy to do that. We can select the row that we want to change here and then we can click on “change strip background”. So to change the background for this strip, we click on “change strip background” and we’re presented with a very similar interface to what we saw for the page background. We can also upload our own images, choose from images on our social media accounts, or buy professional stock imagery from a stock image website. To upload an image, go to “My Images” and click “upload images”. You’ll then be presented with a dialog box where you can choose the images from your computer. Once the image uploads, you can select it and click “change background”. If you need to change the positioning of the background, you can do that by clicking “Settings” and here you’re presented with some stylistic options for image opacity, color behind the image, different scrolling effects, and even position of the image. It’s important here that you choose an appropriately-sized image for the section that you want to use the image for. Having it centered perfectly works very well for this image. We’ve also selected the “parallax” scroll effect. So now we can go back and X this out and we can change the rest of the content on the page. First up, we should change the title of the site; we’re going to want to change this to our name and to change text you simply double click on it. The text is then highlighted which indicates to you that you can change it. Notice that the styling for the text is removed when we change the text completely, but we also have a “Text Settings” dialog box so we can choose from some pre-selected styles. We can choose our own font — and these fonts are generated from Google Fonts and we can also change the font size. Make sure to have the text selected as you’re changing these things, though. Otherwise, your changes will not take. Once our title is set, we can click the X and our changes are made. The same thing goes for any other text anywhere else on the page. Having a clear call-to-action is also very important for your website. Especially if it’s a business website. Luckily, Wix allows us to easily add and create buttons and other elements. By clicking the “Add” capsule, you’re presented with a new menu that shows you a bunch of different types of content that you can drag on to your page including a button. And these buttons are organized by theme (which means that these buttons were created specifically for your theme) as well as different types of style of buttons. If we don’t like the button that’s accompanied with our theme, we can click on it and press the Delete key to remove it. We can then go back to our “Add” capsule to the button section and add one that we like better. We can add a button by dragging it onto the page and placing it exactly where we want it. You’ll notice that Wix gives you some cues to know if your information is aligned, but it doesn’t strictly limit you to specific sections of the page. If we want our button to be up in the top left content area, then we can do that. If we drag it out of a content area, you’ll see the section become grey with red lines and, when we drag it there, Wix will let us know that our content is outside the area where our content shows on smaller screens. so we’ll drag this back to where we originally had it, lining up the rest of the content. If we want to make it bigger, we can do that by hovering over the element and dragging it. You can change the text of the button by clicking “Change Text” and you can also change the link. Clicking on “Add A Link” will allow you to specify the page you want your button to go to. You can also choose a specific anchor on the current page you’re on (that is a section of the page you’re on) or a manual web address. We are going to have this button linked to the Content section. Finally, we want our button text to be a little bit bigger. So we can change the design of our button by clicking on the “Design” button and then clicking “Customize Design”. Here we’re given an area similar to what we saw above where we can choose the font that we want as well as the font size. Notice here we don’t need to have the specific text selected in order for our changes to take place. So now we’re going to learn how to modify an interior page. You can do that by clicking on the horizontal menu and then clicking “Navigate”. Once you do that, a “Pages” area will pop up. You’ll notice that it’s the same menu that exists in the top left. Clicking any page from this area will automatically change the page where you can make the modifications that you want. On the About page we have our team. If you want to make significant changes to the About page, you can do so by highlighting a large amount of the text and any text that you select will be highlighted in a blue border box. And then you can make changes to all of it at the same time including deleting it. Selecting large amounts of text at the same time can be tricky so this might take a few tries. You can then add the types of content you want to your about page using the “Add” capsule. So if you have a specific video you want to play or social media buttons or a slideshow, you can easily do that here. We’re going to modify the text as well as the alignment and then we’re going to add an image. Once the image is added, we can drag it into place, resize it, and more. If we have text that we want to copy the style for, we can easily do that by right-clicking on it and clicking “Duplicate”. So there’s a simple About page for us. The last page that we’re going to create is our Contact Form. So there’s two things that we’re going to do here. We’re going to manage our page menu by deleting the content pages that we don’t need. You can do that by clicking on one of the pages and then clicking the “Delete” button. You can see that our Contact page is actually an anchor on the home page so we’re also going to create a brand new page. We’ll delete that anchor and then click “Add Page”, we’ll name it contact, and then click “Done”. You can see that we’re given a simple, default section based on our previous settings so the first thing we’re going to do is change the background of our page. We don’t want it to be this snowboarder; we want it to be a completely white page. Now we’re going to use the “Add” capsule to add multiple pieces of contact information. You can see that Contact has its own entry under “Add” and here we can add different types of forms as well as Google Maps. So the first thing we’re going to do is add a Google map by dragging it onto the page. You can change the address by clicking on “Change Address” and putting in your office address and then you can change the description, too. We’ll add some simple paragraph text to also note the contact information here. Finally, we’ll add a contact form by clicking “Add”, going down to Contact, and dragging a form onto the page. The main thing we’ll need to do for this form is set our email address so that we know where the form will go to when somebody fills it out. We can also change the fields that are required. Now it’s time to save our work. To do that, we’ll click “Save” and, if we haven’t previously saved the site, Wix will present us with a free Wix domain. You can also add a custom domain which Wix will walk you through the process of setting up. But for here, we’ll use a free Wix domain. Once our site is saved, we can choose to do two things: publish it or click “Done” to continue editing. We’ll want to make sure that our sites working completely as expected so we’re going to want to make sure that our menu is working and by reordering the navigation in the order that we want it to. Once the site’s published, you can click “View Site”. One note is if you’re using a free Wix site, there will be advertisements for Wix on the top right and across the bottom. You can get a premium account to remove those. With our Wix site created, now let’s take a look at creating a similar site with WordPress. A few notes about setting up a WordPress site. You’re going to need to buy hosting and a domain to install WordPress which means that you need to be at least somewhat technical or you need to hire somebody to do that for you. WordPress’s power is in its flexibility. There are thousands of designs or themes to choose from and even more plugins to extend the functionality of your website. WordPress is free to download, but you’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain separately which will cost at minimum around $/year. There’s also no support per se for WordPress. You can’t get professional support through WordPress.org, but you can hire an outside company to support WordPress for you. One note on choosing hosting, WinningWP has a few videos and articles on that which you can find in the description below, but there are a few notes about hosting. Many hosts offer one-click or easy install for WordPress. However, if your host does not offer one-click install for WordPress, you’re going to have to create a database on your server, you’re going to have to modify the wp-config file with your database credentials, and then you’re going to have to FTP the WordPress files up to your server. We’re going to start right after the installation process, but note that doing this the manual way requires at least some technical knowledge. Once WordPress is installed, you’re presented with the WordPress dashboard. The first thing we’re going to do is choose a theme and we can do that by going to Appearance → Themes. Depending on your host, WordPress will come pre-installed with a few themes including the current year’s theme. You can choose a new theme by clicking “Add New Theme”. You’ll then be presented with a set of free themes to choose from. They are organized a few ways including Featured, Popular, and Latest. If you have a corresponding WordPress.com account, you can also load in your favorite WordPress themes. Finally, you can filter themes by feature so you can choose things like one column, if you want to customize the headers, as well as different subjects. Once we see something we like, we can go ahead and select that, preview it, and install it. Once the theme is installed, we can activate it and then we’ll see a few notifications on the WordPress dashboard which we can dismiss. The next thing we’re going to do is install a couple of important plugins that we’ll need to finish our website. We can do that by going to Plugins -> Add New. We’ll then see some of the most popular WordPress plugins here. The main thing that we’ll need is a contact form builder. Unlike Wix, WordPress does not come with this functionality out of the box. We’re going to choose a popular, free plugin called Ninja Forms and we’re going to install that plugin and activate it. With our theme selected and our plugins installed, it’s time to start creating our content. Once again there’s no drag-and-drop interface. So we’ll create the page Home and then we’ll add some text to it. We can format the text in a similar way that you would see in Microsoft Word with this icons bar, we can add different styles to our text, and we can upload images by clicking on “Add Media”. Depending on the theme you’re using, there may also be support for templates and featured images. So now that we have our Home page we’ll create an About page. The interface for each of these pages is going to be very similar because they all use the same WordPress editor. The last thing we’ll do is create a Contact page. The first thing we need to do before creating the page is create a contact form which we can do with Ninja Forms. So we’ll hover over Ninja Forms and go to “add new” and the beautiful thing about Ninja Forms is that it gives us a few form templates to choose from. It also creates a contact form when we install it which is what we’re going to use. You can see that the Ninja Forms editor looks very different from the WordPress editor, but it’s a bit more intuitive for new users. With our Ninja Form created, we’ll now create the Contact page. We can add our form by clicking the “Add Form” button and then choosing the form that we want from the drop down list. You’ll notice that we don’t actually see the form, but we see what’s known as a shortcode. WordPress knows to convert this to a contact form once we publish the page. So when we view the page we’ll see a fully functioning form. The last thing we need to do is turn our WordPress site into something that’s not inherently blog first. With Wix, Wix isn’t exactly a blogging platform. It’s focused on websites for small businesses. That’s the opposite with WordPress. WordPress started off as a blogging platform and so we need to convert it to a business page. We can do that by clicking on “Customize”. You’ll notice that we see an interface similar to Wix’s drag-and-drop interface now, but we don’t have as much freedom. The thing that we can do is go to “Static Front Page” and tell WordPress that we want our homepage to be the first one to show up. Next, we’ll want to modify our navigation. We can do that by going to “Menus” and then clicking “Add a Menu”. We’ll call this menu “Main Navigation”. We’ll click “Create Menu” and then we’ll choose the display location. Certain themes come with multiple display locations for menus so you can have one in the header, in the footer, or in a specific area for a page template. This one only has one and it’s the Header Menu. You can see when we select that that our menu disappears. That’s because we need to add items to it. So we’ll add our Home page, our About page, and our Contact page. Once we do that, our navigation changes. We’ll also want to change the tagline from the default WordPress one. For this demo, we’ll delete the tagline. You might have also noticed that there is a section on each page that says “Assign A Widget”. This is a widget area. We can change the content of these areas by clicking on widgets and then choosing the different widget areas. You can see that there are three “Assign A Widget” sections and three widget areas. Widgets allow us to add dynamic content to each page of our website. So if we want to do things like add a new piece of navigation, add a search bar, or more, we can do that using the widget areas. Once we have the changes we want, we can click “Save and Publish”. This will publish out any changes we’ve made. One more note about the customizer. Each theme is going to have different options for the customizer so as you evaluate your theme make sure to use one that gives you the flexibility that you want. This was just a quick overview of both Wix and WordPress. We barely scratched the surface on the feature set of each and we just set up a simple three page website. With Wix you can add a lot more functionality by adding apps or modules including one for blogging and eCommerce. With WordPress, while we installed one plugin, there are a lot more we can install to give us the functionality that we need for our website. WordPress is also working on its own drag-and-drop interface called Gutenberg, but it’s not quite ready for production yet. So now that we’ve used both platforms, let’s look at the pros and cons of each. With Wix, everything happens within Wix.com. You don’t need to worry about installing it or go anywhere else to set it up. You also don’t need to worry about the technical stuff. It’s got drag-and-drop site building functionality which makes it a lot easier to get the exact layouts for every page that you want. It’s also a lot quicker to use than WordPress and there’s also support. Some of the WordPress pros is that it’s free and open-source software which means that if you need to add functionality you can hire somebody to write the code for you or you can code it yourself. There are also thousands of themes and plugins to choose from — many more than Wix — which means that it’s a lot more expandable so you can cover a lot more different types of sites on WordPress. There’s a lot more design options and it’s also the most popular CMS on the web, powering over % of the web. It gets frequent updates and has a lively community. It’s got great blogging and content management capabilities. A lot better than Wix which uses basic text boxes as opposed to more indexable types of content that you see in WordPress. If we take a look at the cons, Wix can take your site down at any point; you’re never in full control of it. Not all of the designs available on Wix look good so you might have to test a bunch. You can’t change your site design later. You’re stuck with whatever you choose when you initially configure your site and not all designs are SEO friendly. Customization is limited as far as functionality goes and everything needs to be pre-approved by Wix if you want to add it as a module. Some of the WordPress cons is that launching a web site is not as easy. It requires additional cost and technical knowledge. If your hosting company isn’t very cooperative, you have to do all the heavy lifting yourself. Themes, as you’ve seen, can also work very differently from one another. Mastering one does not mean you’ve mastered all of them and the same goes for plugins. The Admin Dashboard isn’t very intuitive and there’s not necessarily support. So, who’s the winner? Well, it all depends on what you need. If you need a website up and running incredibly quickly for relatively low cost, Wix is the way to go. But if you need something where you need complete control over the functionality that you add or even need custom functionality, WordPress is definitely the way to go. That’s it for this video. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and check out more of what WinningWP has to offer.
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