WordPress Vs Wix

WordPress Vs Wix

I thought I would put this up on the site – it is a copy of an assignment I did on free blogging platforms. The information was current as of November 2016 but some information may now be out of date.


This report provides an evaluation of two different blogging platforms on the market, namely WordPress and Wix. As I was asked to test two free blogging platforms, I have outlined the benefits and drawbacks on each platform in its free form.

While Wix is more user-friendly and delivers on what you see when you select a theme; it does not have the market power and ability to get down into the “nitty-gritty” that WordPress does. I feel that you would be better served by using the WordPress platform.

When you move into the upgraded formats of these platforms, WordPress gives much more value for money. WordPress gives you access to hundreds of plugins, many of which are being updated on a regular basis. WordPress is the go-to blog of choice for many websites; including New York Post, TED, Thought Catalog, USA Today, CNN, TIME.com, Spotify, and NBC. The ubiquity of WordPress also means that there are a wealth of resources such as community forums and information on the internet about how to overcome any problems you may experience.

WordPress

Key Features and advantages

• Can be hosted on their servers on a free plan, upgraded to a custom domain name with hosting on their servers (3 different levels), or use your own domain name and hosting.
• You own your data, your domain, and your email when on a self-hosted plan or upgraded through their servers to a custom domain name.
• When used on a self-hosted plan or upgraded on their servers, you have access to hundreds of themes and plugins for website design and functionality.
• Plugins and themes are added to and updated on a regular basis and are usually simple to install and use.
• Ecommerce and Search Engine Optimization plugins are available.
• A lot of hosting companies already have WordPress already installed, just one click installation from your Control Panel.

Key Disadvantages or challenges encountered

• Many themes require some coding knowledge or a fee to access the professional version to get the full look and functionality of the demonstration model.
• Adjustments you have made to a theme can be lost if you update the theme without having made the adjustments on a child theme.
• While you can now log into WordPress on mobile, I have found it to have some issues with connecting.
• Can be a steep learning curve for beginners with no experience in coding.
• As it is open source and relies on the developer community to develop plugins and themes, this can cause problems and potentially open your site to security issues.
• Plugins can make a website slower to load.
• The free version gives very few options.

How two plugins assist in initiating customer engagement and retaining interest

With the free version of WordPress (hosted on their servers), the standard plugins are already installed and no additional plugins are allowed to be added.

Social Media Sharing Buttons

Sharing buttons allow a website viewer to broadcast to his social media network something that he/she has found interesting. The Share feature in WordPress includes share buttons for a range of social media platforms as well as Pocket, Print, and Email. There are four different options for the design of the buttons and the ability to specify what pages and posts will have the share buttons on them. The ability to put in a Twitter handle means that if a customer tweets from the website that the company name is included in the tweet. Installation is simple and the options to choose from easy to see. I would have preferred to have the Email and Print buttons shown individually rather than hidden behind a sharing icon, as I believe it could be mistaken as being more social media options instead. This feature also has a section called Connection that can automate sharing new posts to your nominated social media accounts.

Email Subscriptions

Email subscriptions allow a company to automatically notify subscribers of new content on their web page. Having a database of customers or potential customers is also invaluable when it comes to sending out press releases or advertisements. I was disappointed that the options for this plugin were so few. There was no option to have a pop-up message appear or for a smart bar at the top or bottom of the page that stayed sticky while website viewers scrolled. The theme selected meant that the subscription form could only be at the bottom of the page.

How at least one plugin can assist in improving search engine optimization performance

While the Essential SEO plugin is more or less self-sufficient, the plugin description is very well written and informative. It explains that every WordPress.com blog has an XML sitemap that allows Googlebot to find what is on your site and when it was last updated. WordPress also automatically sends notifications to Google every time you publish or update a page. Verification with services such as Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex can be done from the dashboard of your WordPress site for further information on web traffic statistics. There are also tips on how to better achieve organic search engine optimization.

Evaluation of WordPress and respective plugins that were trialed

WordPress has done most of the thinking for you when it comes to basic plugins on their free hosted websites. I was disappointed that there was not more variety and options to the standard plugins. Some plugins that should have worked may no longer be working as they should. I attempted to configure a plugin called Related Content, but although I followed the instructions it still would not work. As I had added extra blog articles specifically so it would work, I found this really quite annoying. It is when upgrading to a self-hosted WordPress site that WordPress really comes into its own. Plugins and themes are more bountiful and offer a lot more options. While WordPress can have a steep learning curve I feel that the benefits outweigh the initial struggles.

Wix

Key Features and advantages

• Can only be used on their servers, with a free version or one of their 5 premium plan options.
• Themes tend to be very much as you see them, with no knowledge of coding required.
• The media management section has built-in filters and editing capabilities.
• The media section includes a search function for free Wix photos and clipart as well as photos you can buy from Bigstock Images.
• Ability to add pictures from your Facebook, Picassa, Instagram or Flickr sites to your website from the main menu.
• Google AdSense set up as an option to add to the site.
• Wix ShoutOut tools to publicize the site.

Key Disadvantages or challenges encountered

• Free hosting or hosted on their servers only.
• After paying to connect your domain, you need to pay further monthly fees if you wish to access your domain email.
• Can transfer to another Wix site but cannot export data to use elsewhere.
• Website name is rather awkward e.g. username.wix.sitename.com
• Inability to wrap text around photos automatically.
• The free Wix SEO optimization is very minimal.
• Only 256 apps currently available.
• The majority of apps are very limited use before needing to upgrade.
• Blog and website pages treated as two separate entities.
• No style editor means you need to edit each page if you chose to go with a different font style or color.

How two plugins assist in initiating customer engagement and retaining interest

Wix Get Subscribers

The Get Subscribers pop up was free and simple to use. There were various ways to customize the look and content of the message. You can use these pop-ups for different messages and you have the option to name each different message. The plugin also came with handy hints; e.g. when I went to use a Yahoo email address as the sender email, I was advised that this often results in emails being rejected by its recipients.

Facebook Comments Plugin

The Facebook comments app was a nice addition, but I was surprised to see so few options available for social login for comments. There was also a Disqus comment form to add but I felt that Facebook would be a network that more people were likely to already have. I did look at adding another comment system for social media login but it was only free for the first ten comments.

This app was free but came with no explanation. It does allow people to comment but only if they are logged in with Facebook; there is no option to sign up with an email address only. I saw no section that allowed for the hiding of the profile picture or to make the Facebook username non-linkable.

How at least one plugin can assist in improving search engine optimization performance

The only Search Engine Optimization plugin available at the free level was the one that came standard on the site. Wix does not automatically submit the sitemap of their sites to Google. While it has an SEO Wizard that checks your website on a basic level, it does not have any information in the wizard about having to submit your sitemap to Google.

Evaluation and its respective plugins that were trialed

The majority of the plugins available through Wix were noted as being free/premium but their free period was usually extremely short or limited. An example of this is a pop-up email subscriber form that was free for three pop-ups only. I found the Wix ShoutOut and Get Subscribers apps visually appealing and they would be extremely useful for promotions. I was disappointed that the SEO Wizard was not as informative as it could be.

Conclusion

It is suggested that whichever platform is used, that it be upgraded to a paid or self-hosted version as it provides more choice and a professional look to the website. When it comes to simple return on investment WordPress provides more features for their upgraded services than Wix does.

To remove Wix ads on your website you need to upgrade to their Combo plan at $8.50 a month. If you wish to use your domain email address, you need to pay an additional $4 per month for a mailbox. WordPress, on the other hand, costs just under $3 per month for a professional domain name, with email and no WordPress adds.

Wix has bandwidth limits on their packages and WordPress doesn’t. WordPress tends to offer more features and larger storage capacities for the same price or lower than Wix. I am unaware if the paid Wix platforms offer more apps. I do know that the upgraded version of WordPress offers many free plugins that you can choose to upgrade to if you choose to but work extremely well even in their free version. Well known and respected plugins such as SumoMe and Yoast SEO are available as WordPress plugins but may not be available on Wix.

While WordPress sometimes requires a little more technical knowledge, I do believe in the long run it is worthwhile. If you elect to go with Wix and then find that you want to move to another platform, you will need to copy your entire website manually. If you chose to move your data from WordPress it is a simple matter of choosing to import or export data, even with the free version.

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