As a start up business, there are few things more important to master than your website, but where should you begin? With so many content management systems available, various price points, various levels of complexity, it is a bit of a minefield, which is why this article is here to help you decide what to do.
This blog will go through the benefits of using Wix or WordPress for web design starting with a brief over view of each platform.
Wix for Web Design
Starting my business in 2019, I had had lots of experience in editing WordPress websites but the idea of building them left me cold. The complexity overwhelmed me and I just wanted something simple to begin with. “Let’s just get something out there” like a digital brochure or business card that people can reference. If that’s your objective, then Wix is perfect for that.
The Evolution of Wix
As with all things digital, they evolve. They evolve to provide extra features, easier to use interfaces, more integrated functions and most importantly SEO integration. There have been lots of improvements made to the Wix platform over the last few years that it has become a real contender with fewer downsides.
As a holistic platform for web design, it offers plenty of functionality. Some of it is free of charge, some of it is for an extra fee, but in essence you can create everything you need pretty cheaply. You can set up a shop and integrate booking systems with ease. The built-in SEO allow you to add your keyword, meta description and title tags easily too.
One of the best things about using Wix for Web Design is the fact that you can manage your entire website from your mobile phone. Through the Wix app it is possible to add blog articles, products to your shop, manage orders and respond to messages quickly and easily.
Marketing modules within the platform also let you set up things like automation so that your site can carry out basic retargeting activity. You can even use it to carry out your email marketing campaigns by uploading your own data. It’s a centralised and holistic way of getting somewhere fast.
Thoughts on the techie stuff
Wix runs various ‘wizards’ to take you through the set up process. If you start from scratch, the system alerts you to steps you have not taken and prompts you to do them. It will also explain how to do them. The purchasing of a domain can also be done through Wix although I am not sure about the costs comparative to other domain providers. If you buy your domain from elsewhere, you might need a little help connecting the site if you are really not tech savvy.
WordPress for Web Design
What is WordPress?
So we’ve run through Wix, onto WordPress. If you’ve never heard of WordPress before, it is a content management system used to build websites with. Much the same as Wix in that sense, the difference being how they’re built. WordPress comes with a standard block editor which is called the Gutenburg Editor. This is simple enough for beginners to use, but it’s a fairly basic editor. Various templates can be purchased from sites like Theme Forest but having never used one myself, I am not sure how easy they are to use. My guess would be that you might come unstuck without a little coding experience.
The evolution of WordPress
A lack of coding experience often puts people off using WordPress for web design, so some clever so-and-so devised a solution that would put an end to all novices misery. The development of tools like Elementor and Divi by Elegant Themes suddenly made it possible for people with half an clue of what they’re doing to create a WordPress based website fairly easily. Woo hoo!
Divi by Elegant Themes
My preferred of the two web builder tools is Divi by Elegant Themes, which comes with thousands of preset layouts to apply to your websites. Typically there is no layout that is 100% perfect for a business, as I have found in my experience, but there may be two or three layouts that you can use to create something more bespoke. With “find and replace” functions in the editor, you can exchange design features like the fonts, colours and styles quickly and easily which means you can customise your layout to suit your brand.
The versatility of design is so much greater with WordPress and a little bit of knowledge goes a long way towards getting you a website with the wow factor. It is possible to create visually stunning websites, with lots of bells and whistles, a lot faster and more simply than you can with Wix.
Extra benefits of WordPress
WordPress is a hugely supported content management system that has been around a long time. The majority of web design agencies will work with WordPress websites in some shape or form, so if you come unstuck from a technical point of view, you will have plenty of people to help you.
Similarly, there are a lot of ‘plug ins’ available to WordPress websites that handle functionality like shops and booking systems. You may have heard of Woo Commerce which is the ‘go to’ plug in for eCommerce websites. If you can dream it, “there’ll be a plug in for that”.
Thoughts on the techie stuff
So it’s a little more complicated to set up a WordPress website and this is where many people give up. I’ll try and go through it as simply as I can for you here.
- You need a hosting platform. Your website needs to live somewhere on the internet, on a server somewhere. There are lots of hosting providers, the key is to find one that suits you. Providers like IONOS are reasonably priced and good for start up business owners. For a more established business, you might want to explore managed IT providers who provide this as an extra service. The main thing to look out for is a hosting package that is going to give you a big enough slice of the server that your website wont be slower than a car full of elephants.
- You need a domain. You’d need this whether you had a Wix website or WordPress website, but if you intend on building a WordPress website, you need to buy your domain at the same time as your hosting. Often they are in the same package and you get a year free.
- Install WordPress onto your hosting platform. If you go with a provider like IONOS, they offer a managed WordPress option which means that they will handle any site updates for you and breakages if anything was to go wrong.
- Install a site builder tool like Divi and upload one of the gazillion layout designs available to you and start playing around with it. You will need an element of savviness to design a site yourself using Divi and this guy Mak, is great at tutorials so check him out.
- Connectivity and email usage. One of the common oversights people have is not establishing a proper office set up for their new business. Email and Microsoft! These are the bedrock of your business and so important to get right. Your website hosting package will come with a number of free emails, in order to access them and start using them, seek out the right technical support to allow you to do this. You can only rely on gmail for so long.
Conclusion Wix or WordPress for Web Design
I can hear the non technical people amongst you reading this blog and thinking, “WordPress ‘no way Jose’, that sounds like a nightmare”, and if that is you, then head straight over to Wix. If you think you can stomach some of the technicalities that you get with a WordPress website, then you stand to benefit from a highly flexible, scalable and customisable website platform that will grow as your business grows.
Hopefully you have enjoyed the insights provided in this blog about Wix or WordPress for Web Design and if you are interested in receiving further information about some of the training and web design services The Design Grove provides, don’t hesitate to contact us.