Reasons I navigated away from Wix and over to WordPress:

  1. Aesthetic/Design Options
  2. Control
  3. SEO Performance
  4. WP has Broad, Scalable Functionality
  5. Responsiveness

I started my Wix website for alexbentson.com, in late March 2020. I chose Wix because I knew it was slightly more wallet-friendly than alternatives at $17 per month for a business plan and user-friendly in general. I have used Wix for years. I have created at least five websites using it. Their “Wix ADI” was a useful tool, and it’s comprised of several templates that are laid out for you after you answer a few simple questions about your website’s purpose. After choosing an ADI Template that I am happy with and get all the basics in, I will typically then switch the site over to the “Wix Editor”. There, I can get crazy with dragging and dropping elements to my liking; customizing to no end.

After a while of using the Editor, my ideas end up deviating from the original Wix ADI template, and the design starts to look less than desired. I found myself frustrated with the process, and I couldn’t control all the things that I wanted to control. Control is generally a significant trade-off when using Wix, in exchange for its ease of use.

To attempt to liberate myself from frustration, I decided to map out the web design with good-old markers and paper. I spent an entire evening mapping out how I wanted my professional site to be laid out. Here’s a photo from that night. I was happy to get all my ideas on the table, and in this case, the floor.

What happened was a breakthrough that sped up my process. Now I knew what information I needed on my home page to showcase my business, and in what order. I was able to get my Wix Home page up and running in about a day or two after the “floor-planning”. Unfortunately, the tools Wix Editor provided still caused undue frustration. Overall, it couldn’t match my vision for having a modern and sophisticated website that stood out and excited people to work with me.

After feeling disappointed that the building blocks and critical information were all on Wix, but the design and aesthetic were not where I wanted it to be, I started thinking about other options. One of my peers recommended Webflow. I checked it out and got a free trial. 

Webflow had the potential to be easier to use than Wix ever was to me. I really liked it, and maybe one day I will actually build a website on it. However, I had always wanted to master WordPress, and I knew there are thousands of beautiful WordPress templates out there. It’s a big deal that one-third of all websites are built on WordPress, so I decided it was time for me to lean in and get to know it first hand. I had maintained WordPress sites before, modifying pages of sites that were already set up, but now I could see how it’s set up from scratch.

I jumped on Pinterest and started searching for Website Designs. Here’s my Pinterest Board with my Website Design pins that I thought looked interesting. Not too long after I started looking, I found a theme I liked (via Pinterest) on Creative Market. It is called the Emily Grace theme by Pix & Hue.

The aesthetic wasn’t the only reason that I moved away from Wix. I found out that Wix does not perform as well as WordPress does in regards to SEO performance. If you think of your website as a property of your business, using WordPress is the best option to have complete ownership of your website. You can think of using Wix as renting space on their site to run your business. I ultimately decided I wanted full and complete control of my website going forward and didn’t want a Wix big brother to be the parent umbrella of my operation as a digital marketer.

For many companies and individuals that I have built Wix Websites on, I will say that there continue to be many benefits of Wix. It’s always going to show up with a user-friendly capacity and allow a relatively quick turn around to get your website up and running from day one. They’ve got a lot figured out that works when you don’t want the back end of the site to be confusing.

This leads me to the SEO topic. On WordPress, your SEO keywords will rank much better than on Wix. Here’s an article about a study that was done in 2017 that researched into this comparison. This study was enough to sell me. It’s astounding to see that 46.1% of WordPress domains get organic traffic versus 1.4% of the domains on Wix.

I am currently working with an SEO expert and peer, Andrew Guida, who owns SoCal Digital Marketing. We worked together once upon a time at Pacific Enterprise Bank in Irvine as Interns, in 2012. I’m excited to work with Andrew on optimizing the pages of my website to achieve organic search rankings in my area. Andrew also recommended WordPress over Wix for the same reasons, which helped me solidify my decision.

Since I have already blogged extensively above about my experience with Aesthetic/Design Options, Control, and SEO performance, I will make my last my last two reasons rather short. Next up — WordPress’s Scalability, Functionality, and Responsiveness.

The responsiveness reason is quick. I was not pleased that my Wix website would not scale down nicely upon resizing the screen. That’s a huge deal for me in this day and age, and especially for a professional digital marketer. Websites should non-negotiably be responsive! It’s just gross to me when they aren’t. It was a dealbreaker for my relationship Wix to be honest. I contacted support about the issues I was having, and I was told that the team at Wix is “working on it” with no timeline for delivering better results in this area. I didn’t want to wait to have a site that, at a minimum, was functioning properly when you scale it down to an iPad or iPhone screen.

Lastly, let’s talk about scalability in WordPress. The land of WordPress plugins is vast. Plugins are additional features that you can “plug in” to meet a need you have on your website. This could be a pop-up form, contact form, all the way to the addition of e-commerce tools, and more. There’s an ocean of Pro Developers who know how to edit anything on a WordPress site. The amount of information and tools available to you [on the internet is funny enough, probably on other WordPress sites] is enough to tell you that you can always look it up if you don’t know something, or find someone who can help you. As you grow your business, you can always find what you are looking for when you want to add features to your site.

I’m pretty thrilled with my WordPress site. Granted, it took me about 2x longer to set up the initial groundwork than with Wix, but the result is something I’m going to be much happier with in the long run. If you have any questions about the theme I used or any setup questions about my site, I would love to chat about it. As you can see, I have a lot to say!

You’re my friend if you made it through another one of my extremely lengthy brain-dumps by reading this blog. I hope everyone reading this is well, and doing okay. We are now on week-friggin’-eight of quarantine. I miss my friends everywhere, and my family back in SoCal. I’d love to chat about how you’ve been coping with staying home, because staying home and staying sane, is an art form.