Website Builder Expert Opinion
Website design is an ever-changing and constantly-evolving concept. What’s in trend today is old-fashioned tomorrow. What’s hot tomorrow may have been hot a few years ago. Who knows what changes will happen just in few hours? The key business challenge is to stay relevant in your customer’s eyes. Their experience on your business website could make or break your bottom line. How can you stay on the cutting edge?
Some of the answers that come to your mind may be things such as convenience, aesthetics or multi-functionality. However, we can break these things down into one common, underlying trait: the usability. Anything (e.g. product, service or experience) you offer to a customer may be functional, but the main selling point lies in its convenience, and the many functions it gives to everyone. This not only means that the average tech-savvy teenager which has grown up in an environment surrounded by technology, but your grandpa, your niece, the middle-aged woman that lives next door that owns a radio which you’ve only seen in vintage stores.
Good web design doesn’t just mean the amazingly-designed images and icons, but rather, the user interface which encapsulates the whole user experience of the website. Digital user experience encompasses all aspects of an individual’s interaction with your web or mobile site, such as behavior, actions, perceptions and satisfaction. Placing an emphasis on user experience on the website will not only benefit your customers but will consequently deliver results for your company. For a qualified web designer, it is important that they understand the core values of your brand first. Then, they need to have a deep understanding of your current customers and business objectives. Knowing your brand attributes allows the website designer to use the right approach when designing your website. This includes the overall presentation and what a visitor should see first.
Essentially, user experience measures the quality of website interactions, which in turn measures the quantity of website success and conversions. An increasing number of businesses are finding the value gained from investing in user experience as part of their digital marketing strategy.
Nowadays, we can find various tools for the website design and development. But how to make a right choice? Today we will have a closer look at two web systems – WordPress and Wix – by analyzing their differences and similarities, as well as advantages and disadvantages for your business.
History & Features
There are a wide range of web publishing solutions out there, but from a simplicity standpoint Wix and WordPress are considered to be the best website tools in the market.
WordPress itself is an open source software licensed under GPLv2 which means it’s free to use and free to modify. The market dominance of WordPress is so complete these days that many users may be blissfully unaware of its roots as the fork of a simple PHP blogging platform. the year was 2002. Matt Mullenweg, a college student at the time, installed the b2 or cafelog blogging system for personal use. Unfortunately the original creator of b2/cafelog had to give up updating his creation due to personal matters and the project and its community were left without a leader.
On April 1st, 2003, Matt created a new branch of b2 on SourceForge by forking the original b2/cafelog system to create his own version with the help of Mike Little. Matt’s friend, Christine Tremoulet recommended calling it WordPress and that’s the name they stuck with. After hundreds (maybe thousands) of commits to the official SVN repository, the first version, WordPress 0.7 was released on May 27th, 2003.
WordPress is considered the easiest to use CMS thanks to a very friendly interface. It also has an amazing number of plugins which allow extension of its functionality in various possible ways. Fast forward to 2016 and WordPress has progressed from version 0.4 to 4.4 — from a simple blogging platform to a full-fledged content management system that’s capable of running websites for some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Best Buy, BBC America, and Samsung.
Started in 2006, Wix is an online solutions company that provides web hosting and website design services. Users can design and build their sites in HTML5, as well as mobile websites, using drag and drop utilities. Two popular aspects of Wix are that developers can create their own web applications to market to other users, and that users do not need to know any coding to create a website.
Wix was founded back in 2006 and has grown steadily to over 110 million users around the world. Wix began as a drag-and-drop website building platform and continues to be one, although much improved. “In 10 years, we want to see every small business owner effectively leverage the web to take their business to new heights, and as we already do for millions of people worldwide, we want to give them the easiest and most effective way to do so.” —Avishai Abrahami, CEO of Wix.
Comparison Of Key Features
WordPress is an open-source platform so you can much modify your website however you want to as you have full access to the codes (assuming you are a decent coder, or if you are working with one). WordPress offers you thousands of free plugins so you can add more tools to your WordPress site. However, not all plugins are built well, so installing poorly built plugins can expose you to security hazards, or can conflict with / break your website.
Since Wix is not an open source website builder, you cannot freely modify the platform or tools. Only their own in-house developers can create tools and adjust the platform. You still have really good creative control over the design of your Wix website (more below), and you won’t have to worry about any tools not functioning, or your website breaking. All the tools provided to you by Wix are closely monitored and tested within its own operating environment. This means that you won’t have to worry about any technical aspects of your website as this is all taken care of by Wix.
Wix offers e-commerce web system solutions with their paid plans. This means users with the free plan cannot run their e-commerce store on Wix without upgrading to a paid plan. With the WixStore, you can only accept payments using PayPal or Authorize.net. There are a few third party apps that you can use for selling things online, but those apps would cost you even more money with their monthly fees. Not to mention you have limited payment gateways and limited functionality.
WordPress has several free plugins that you can use to build own online store website and sell anything you want. Each of these plugins have their own add-on plugins which you can use to add any payment gateway you want. Most e-commerce plugins for WordPress even have their own dedicated themes and have plenty of themes designed specifically to work with those plugins.
Ease of use
Wix has a visual, intuitive and user-friendly interface where you’ll be doing a lot of dragging, dropping and clicking. Wix makes it quick and painless to design and publish your site, even if you have no idea about how websites are being made.
Learning how to use WordPress proficiently is a lot more challenging than Wix. The main reason being that WordPress is not a drag & drop website builder tool, so the placement of your content really depends on how the template you are using is set up. If you want to move an image gallery (for example) from the top right corner of your page to the lower left corner, you can’t just drag it down there. You will have to modify the codes to the template to do so (or hire a coder to help you with that). Essentially, although WordPress is a very powerful platform, to be able to use it effectively, you will have to modify codes to achieve what you want. If you are proficient with code, or working with a good coder, WordPress can deliver a much more functional website than Wix.
Security & Maintenance
As discussed, Wix is a “closed” system so they handle and manage all the performance and security updates for you, so you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of building websites.
Similar to Wix, WordPress is continually updating its platform to fix bugs and improve security of wordpress platform. When updates need to be deployed, you will receive an alert on your WordPress dashboard. You simply have to click the update button.
WordPress has a gigantic community forum where users have posted thousands of questions in search of answers. While a lot of questions are answered (but not necessarily effectively resolved), a lot of questions are not answered at all. Also, getting an answer might take days as a lot of the moderators are volunteers, so they are under no obligations to answer your questions right away.
As mentioned, Wix has a very comprehensive library of guides to help you understand how all their web design and website development tools work together. If you want more direct support, they provide you with 24/7 email support, or you can speak to a support representative on the phone. Wix also offers you a forum where you can post questions and interact with other users.
WordPress beats Wix with flexible plans available from a variety of web hosting companies. The cost depends on how much resources you use, and you are free to use your WordPress site in any way you want. Wix is clearly the winner in the ease of use. Users don’t need to spend much time to learn the platform or install any plugins before they can start building their website. On the other hand, they will need to understand WordPress basics and may need help of plugins to build their site. WordPress has a much wider range of themes and design layouts than Wix. WordPress users can also switch themes or customize them as much as they want without any restrictions. If you want to build a proper online store and be ready for growth, then WordPress offers much more flexibility, freedom and choices. Every website builder tool has its advantages and disadvantages. Having a look at the above analysis prepared by Blueninja.io, we believe you can make a right choice.
Would you want Blueninja.io help you build a new website? Give as a call anytime! The highly-qualified team of Blueninja.io provides an unforgettable experience for businesses and their clients through innovative digital solutions. Website design & Mobile Development, E-commerce web systems, SEO, Google Adwords and Social Media Marketing are just a small part of a wide service portfolio, opening doors to enormous opportunities for your business success.