Website builders like Wix and GoDaddy are attractive options to those just starting out with a new business idea. They do not require any coding knowledge, the user can have a well-designed site in just a few hours, and both platforms also provide hosting. While this is efficient and cost-effective, WordPress offers the benefits of portability and ownership of content while providing modern website design.
The following outlines the differences between the website builders, and why WordPress is ahead of the curve.
Cost is often a large consideration when choosing a website builder. This is based on the development and maintenance of the site and the present and long-term needs of the user. The initial investment should be based on development time versus overall value.
Both Wix and GoDaddy offer free basic plans that place branded advertising at the header and footer of the website. In addition, Wix does not allow custom domain names to be used on its free tier, resulting in a URL like www.user.wix.com/name-of-site, which does not look professional. Both platforms require a premium upgrade to remove advertising and to use favicons, Google Analytics and other apps. Upgraded plans have various storage and bandwidth limits, and ecommerce stores require extra fees.
Self-hosted WordPress is an open-source option that is offered free to anyone who wants to use it. While the user will have to obtain hosting and hire a developer for a web design that is unique to their brand, it is often less expensive in the long run. This makes WordPress an excellent choice for building a new web presence.
The layout and design of a website is vital for its success. Looks are important, but design is also about how well it works and the impression the brand makes on visitors.
Wix and GoDaddy provide modern templates that are both attractive and responsive. The user can further customize the layout through special editing tools that allow for the rearrangement of page elements to get just the right look, whether the site is personal, for a hobby or an ecommerce store. The disadvantage of using these templates is they cannot easily be changed later. The user can only modify the chosen layout.
WordPress has many free and premium themes for any type of website. While the free themes come with little or no support, they go through an intense vetting process before becoming available for download. Premium themes require an extra investment, but they are worth it to get more features and receive support if there are any issues. Even better is a professionally designed theme specific to your brand. A professional website developer can facilitate this for you. Many options are out there and someone just getting started could use a free or premium theme, until a professional designer fits their budget.
Ease of Use
In some cases, beginners have a limited budget and cannot afford to pay a designer, which is why they choose Wix or GoDaddy to build their websites. Alternatively, it can be a lack of coding skills that steers them to a website builder that features a drag-and-drop option, element rearrangement and easy content editing.
WordPress is different from a website builder and has a learning curve that requires users to become familiar with the customizer, the menu system and the block editor. This may be intimidating to beginners, but there are many themes available that make customization simple, including the ones developed at LaunchUX. With some simple training that we provide as part of our service, even non-tech savvy users can become experts.
Add ons extend the functionality of websites to allow for more features. Wix and GoDaddy refer to them as apps, and offer more than 200 of them that add comments, photo galleries, contact forms, email and social media. While most apps are either free to use, others are premium and require monthly fees, which can vary depending on the app. The overall app market is relatively small, but it does make the most needed features available to site owners.
Plugins are used to add features to WordPress, and there are more than 55,000 of them available. Any feature a user needs, there is likely a plugin for it. This can be as simple as installing Google Analytics, adding a contact form or setting up a membership site. Like apps, plugins can be free or paid and help users build any type of site they want.
While both Wix and GoDaddy have blogging options that include photos, archives, tags and categories, the post editors are limited to plain text that has formatting limitations. Wix specifically does not support featured images, private posts or backdating. It also only provides Facebook comments, which is problematic in terms of portability and accessibility to those without an account.
The WordPress platform started out as a blogging engine that evolved over time into a powerful CMS that now runs 35 percent of the internet. One of its best features is the native commenting system that anyone can use without any limitations. Like the rest of WordPress, its blogging features can also be extended with plugins to make it more attractive and fun for visitors to use.
Those using Wix and GoDaddy for ecommerce can only do so with a paid plan. Wix is limited to PayPal or Authorize.net as payment gateways. Both platforms have very few apps for selling merchandise, and the addons are quite expensive with monthly fees.
WooCommerce is the WordPress ecommerce solution, powering 42% of all online stores. A user can sell subscriptions, events, services and both digital and physical goods. There are also various plugins and dedicated themes to make an online retail presence stand out. WooCommerce does not have the limitations on payment gateways that Wix and GoDaddy do, providing flexibility for both the site owner and customers.
Wix and GoDaddy make it extremely difficult to move away from their platforms. The user would essentially have to build an entirely new site elsewhere if they decided to make a change. This is neither practical nor cost effective for the user.
With WordPress, the user owns all of their content and can easily move it to a new web server or even a new domain name without issue.
When it comes to building a new website, WordPress has the clear advantage over Wix and GoDaddy.