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The website builder conundrum – is Wix no. 1?

Trying to work out the best route to take as a website builder

website builder

When I was a kid, computer lessons, as they were then called, were a very new thing indeed. Oddly, they did not appeal to me in the slightest, but I dipped my toes in to them none-the-less. It was tedious in the extreme. I got an OK result in the attending exam, but only through a little creative outsourcing….in other words, getting a coder at IBM (yes, we are going back that far!) to do my course work for me!

Move it on to the current times, and boy oh by, do I wish I had been able to look into the future and realise what a big part of mine and our lives it was to become. The benefit of hindsight, eh?

And so, to my current predicament; websites and the best platform moving forward. Bear with – I will try to explain.

New brand – new website

As I started to build this new talkingtech brand, I knew from the get go that I would need to get the branding on point. This falls within my skillset being a graphic designer. I knew the brand would require brand identity, colours, and fonts for instant recognition. Over and above that, I’d be needing a Twitter account inline with this brand, a podcast, a blog and, critically, a website and domain too.

Websites are a major weakness of mine. I have never really ‘felt the love’. In other businesses of mine, going back years, I had them built for me. They were never really to my taste, always seemed to take an age, had little or no personality AND cost a tidy fortune too.

So, in more recent times, I have taken the drag and drop approach, and for full disclosure, I have used Wix now for three or four different brands. I’ve nothing bad to say about them, either. Quick, inexpensive, with little or no previous website building experience required. Coupled to that, on occasions when I have needed support, they have been there. For reference, I built my talkingtechandaudio.com site over a weekend (with some swears, I’ll admit!).

So, why the question in my mind whether I should change? I have plans, plenty of them for this talkingtech brand, and I will need a backroom, a website, that can support those ambitions. Let’s run through my needs and wants list moving forward.

Ease of use

Wix is template-driven, much like Squarespace, the other big hitter in this area. The Wix Editor makes it super simple to quite literally drag and drop all sorts of ready to go formats to your site. And if you are looking for more functionality, they have their App Store too where you’ll find ready to use audio and video players for example.

Extensions and plugins are the byword of WordPress. Granted, they are not that intuitive to use, and someknowledge comes in handy, I’d think. They will improve over time, but as of now, WordPress still scares me a little due to my limited knowledge. Should I be apprehensive?

SEO

Getting found on Google is important, but oddly, not my primary goal. Most of my traffic, I imagine, will come via my CTA (Call To Action in videos or podcasts). But, being found would be handy! Wix is actually pretty good at this, giving you the ability to add and edit image alt text (the wording behind the image which Google looks at), page titles and even URL’s. WordPress is more comprehensive due to its access to a vast number of super powerful plugins such as Yoast SEO. Not that much between them here from what I can see, but I think WordPress would just win out the day on SEO, if I spent some time looking in to and learning the required plugins.

Blogging

Blogging, as you’ll be aware if you are reading this, has become a hugely significant part of the brand, something I enjoy enormously, and my website will need to support that. Wix is easy but basic in this area. Sure, I can add pictures and graphics, but apart from that, I am limited. One of the areas that is frustrating me, is that I cannot upload directly to my Wix blog page. I write in Ulysses. It’s a fantastic writing tool, and I suggest you take a look at it. From within it, I can post direct to Medium, but to get it to my site, I first have to create a text document and then copy and paste to my Wix site. Very, very tedious and time inefficient. The way forward for me, at least I think, will be to write in Ulysses, send to a WordPress site and from there send it, finally, to Medium. It just seems a more seamless and streamlined process. WordPress is a remarkable blogging platform. Its has the ability to add tags, polls, categories etc. This, more than anything else, could be the one reason I make the move over to WordPress.

Apps and functionality

Both are pretty strong here, with Wix having over 250 apps in their App Store. There are plenty of apps on WordPress and growing almost by the day. The only point I’d make, is that on first look, once again, some technical savvy would be super handy to implement these whereas on Wix, it is simply, yup, you’ve guessed it, just drag and drop.

Support

A non-starter. Wix has been in a class of its own with support forever. From what I have heard, it is far better even than its direct competitors, too. I had an issue recently, which was quickly resolved via a live online chat and speaking with a member of support who called me back, on a Sunday evening at that! Stunning service, and they managed to rectify to the problem too. With WordPress, being open-source, I’d be somewhat on my own save a few videos and online tutorials. This part, I will admit, worries me. I’ll always endeavour to resolve a difficulty myself, it’s a pride thing ya know, but it’s a lovely safety net to have, knowing help is only a call away.

Value

With WordPress, I’ll need to source my hosting company, as WordPress will not host the site for me. Clearly, there are an awful lot of hosts out there, but making the appropriate choice with bandwidth and speed is the hard part. With Wix, you simply go up in pricing tiers; simply put, the more you spend, the more storage, speed and bandwidth you’ll be getting. It is all taken care for you within Wix. There will be no need for me to source & hire a developer (I still think I will be needing somehelp at least) and the designs and templates would all part of my Wix package.

Which way to go

I am torn, I really am. I’ve been pretty happy with Wix so far, I guess, for me, immediately, it is all about future proofing. The blogging part is my biggest concern. I require a website for proof of ownership of the blogs I write, and I’d love more functionality within Wix. I was talking to their support again this week, and it looks as if they may soon be supporting uploads direct from Ulysses to my site. That will be a big step forward. Other areas I want to build though are a database for mailing video newsletters and the like. I am not convinced how automated that process can be in Wix, whereas it is kind of at the very heart of a WordPress site.

So, for now, I will stay with Wix and monitor their progress and functionality. But, you know me well enough by now, I will be busy in the background reading watching and learning more about WordPress.

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 13, 2022.

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