Updated: Mar 4
Website Design is So Much More Than Just Wix vs WordPress
One of the most common questions I get from prospective clients is which platform I recommend for hosting a new website. When I first started designing custom websites for people, I started on Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress. I quickly ruled out Squarespace because of their cumbersome design parameters (that didn't involve editing code), and I zeroed in on Wix and WordPress.
Because WordPress was such a commonly used platform, I decided to master it by signing up for a coding class. It was only a few days into the course when I realized there was a giant roadblock for my clients: the learning curve was massive when it came to my clients being able to manage their own website after I finished the design! Unless a client is very tech-savvy, with some website experience and a basic understanding of code, they would have to hire someone to update and manage their website for them. If you want to add a therapist to your website or update an event or service, it wasn't quick and simple...which I know is important when a business owner has a million other things on their plate.
To efficiently manage a WordPress site, clients typically pay a website developer a monthly fee to keep things up and running and make minor updates when needed. On the one hand, this could work to my benefit, as clients would have to come back to me anytime they wanted to make a change. However, one of the core values of my business is my commitment to provide the best website solutions to small business owners that not only allow for beautiful design, but also allows my clients' independent management of their site without ongoing costs, security risks, and the fear of the site going down “for maintenance.” Wix allows me to follow through on my commitment.
The Wix platform is also very flexible when it comes to design, it is pretty rare that I get a specific design request that I'm unable to fulfill. But by far the best aspect of Wix is the ability to handoff the website to the client and show them how easy it is to manage the site by themselves! Websites created on Wix are automatically updated whenever Wix makes changes, so the site stays functional no matter what changes Wix makes to its technology. WordPress, on the other hand, updates its platform regularly (as all platforms do) and at any moment a WordPress-hosted site can go down because the coding becomes incompatible with the updates. WordPress is great for a person who is familiar with HTML coding, however, for most of my clients, it is not in their wheelhouse (even the Divi theme on WordPress can stump the tech-savvy).
Wix is similar to an iPhone, the settings and controls are intuitive once you get the lay of the land. If you want to add new photos or change your pricing, it's a few clicks and you're done. After working with Wix during the first year of my business, I decided to design sites exclusively in Wix and no longer offer design with any other hosting platform.
What about showing up on Google and SEO rankings on a Wix website?
This is a great question! SEO (search engine optimization) is a buzzword these days as more and more businesses move online and rely on Google to send them customers. During my first conversation with a client, one of the things we really dig into is where are their clients coming from. If a client is coming to me with a site they want to be updated (or moved of WordPress to Wix, which is very common), I can do a quick check to see how their website is performing in their local market for the search terms someone may use to find their business. More often than not, what we discover is their clients come from many different places, primarily from word-of-mouth referrals and solid referral partners in their community, and a lot less from Google. This is not to say SEO isn't important, it is! But is also a bigger commitment than what can be accomplished during an initial build out. If you aren't committed to the long-game, then SEO isn't going to be a viable marketing tool for you no matter where your website is hosted. The SEO gurus I work with require a commitment of 12 months to launch a full-scale SEO campaign which includes building up backlinks, regularly adding fresh content (like with a Blog), tracking the user experience, and more.
It is a myth that WordPress out-performs Wix when it comes to SEO. Saying that a WordPress site ranks better on Google than a Wix site does, is like saying you are going to buy a Ferrari instead of a Porsche because it will help you parallel park better.
If the person driving doesn't know how to parallel park, it doesn't matter what car they use…they still won't park better.
If a person doesn't know how optimize SEO, it doesn't matter what platform they use. The website will not rank any higher.
When I first design a site, I set up all of the basics (on-site SEO best practices) to prepare a site to get into the SEO game. We focus on an exceptional user experience, keyword-focused content, title tags, alt text, and so-on. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg, and without a solid commitment to SEO, these can only get you so far. I encourage you to explore this blog post from the SEO Hero if you aren't sold yet and want to dig in deeper Is WIX as good as WordPress for SEO?
Directly from Google Themselves:
Google does not have any problems crawling and understanding websites built with website builders like Wix or Squarespace, rather than open-source code like with WordPress. John Mueller of Google addressed this question confirming Google likes websites built on Wix and a Wix website does not rank poorly in search results as compared to the same site on WordPress.
Bringing it Home
If you are in the market for your first website, I am confident you will not be disappointed with Wix or with my process. At Cued Creative website design is sooooooo much more than building the website. As a speech therapist with over a decade of experience in marketing and business development, I guide my clients in developing key brand messaging and aesthetics, honing in on their niche market, pricing their services, navigating accepting insurance, and beyond.
If you are coming to me with a WordPress website and are ready to make the move to a user-friendly and intuitive platform that will save you time and cost you less money in the long run, I am here to help! During our discovery call, we will talk about how your current site is and is not serving you and your practice. If you are concerned about SEO, I will run an initial SEO report for you and be able to guide your decision to stay or leave WordPress. If leaving WordPress is not the right move for you, I will connect you with an amazing WordPress designer to update your site.
No matter where you are on your career path, whether you're just starting out or you're an established practice, I am here to help. Schedule a discovery call to discuss your website needs today!