These are the three main competitors when it comes to building a personal DIY website (when you’re not a coder). AND just to confuse the issue, there is wordpress.com and wordpress.org… the first being similar to Weebly and Wix, where it’s a more simplified design made for do-it-yourself bloggers and the second being more complex due to the capabilities to cover everyone from a blogger, online shop, recipe mogul, photographer/artist shop, e-learning management system and more.
Here, at Love2Live website design we focus on WordPress.org (from now only we’ll only talk about the more complex version) because of the nature of the software behind it – open source (meaning many freelance developers/companies are building software and expanding the basic WordPress functions) and the requirements many of our users have. With Weebly and Wix, you are restricted to what they provide you as website building tools as all of their coders work for them.
WordPress is flexible and expandable depending on where you want to take your business and website into the future and can be relatively cheap as the basic WordPress software is free, many of the plugins (a bit of software which you literally plug into WordPress to allow additional functionality) are free and it’s only the website hosting (where you build your website) that you pay for. Weebly and Wix charge according to your usage and it increases if you’re a business and you’re stuck with the price they set (where as with WordPress, which is free and always will be, you can shop around for a cheaper website host at anytime). All upgrades and support to WordPress are also free and it’s only some of the more complex plugins that will require on going annual renewal costs.
One of the reasons why we only work with WordPress is that we like to setup our clients with a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy and integrate this from day one. You can do native SEO, (which means that the search engines try to guess what are the key words in your pages), but we like to target our client’s pages to what people are searching for, so we teach and encourage them to think like their clients, research terms and then write to them using the same words. Then we use a plugin to set the keyword phrase, the page title and the meta description for the page making it stand out to Google and other webpages. You can do this on Weebly (not sure about Wix) but you do need to know what you’re doing – so a bit of research goes a long way.
The main reason why people gravitate towards Wix or Weebly is the easy to use drag and drop website building tools that have helped people get around creating customised changes in CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) to modify the look of your website. These two DIY website building interfaces offer a What You See is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface that most people can navigate without any coding knowledge required. WordPress has challenged even those technically minded when it comes to modifying a theme (a style sheet you can apply to your whole website) or building complex functions. However, now there are a range of plugins for WordPress that allow just that – drag and drop website building interfaces where you can add everything from a bit of text, a button, image, gallery of images, slider of images, products and more. This has changed the playing field even again for those who are challenged with adjusting layouts without visual cues. AND if you choose the right plugins and ensure the developer is regularly updating and responds well to support requests (both of which are easily checked) then you can be reasonably sure you’re DIY website is robust.
Just to recap… the best platform for your DIY Website…
If you want to do all the work yourself and you have minimal requirements (i.e you want to just blog about your personal experiences or professional opinions) then something like Wix or Weebly will work for you just fine.
However, if you have a vision about where you’re heading (calling all business entrepreneurs) at the end of the day…
Your DIY website has to grow along with you!
And many Weebly and Wix users are not technically minded so when it comes to making the website do something that it’s not designed to do, (like running a complex shop, recipe gallery or ebook selling, selling and delivering online courses, creating online member forums and social interaction etc) then you do need to consider something that is more flexible and capable of meeting your needs.
This is where we help you… without breaking the bank!
Getting your website up and configured to how you want it to act and look like (your user requirements) AND delivering on SEO, secure backups, connection to social media, configuring online shop/products, payment systems and more (all the requirements you don’t know about but will do when you talk to us). If you can get the basic structure of what you want done without breaking the bank and also get the training you need to maintain it, then it can save you time and money when you’re ready to expand your online brand.
The bottom line is really about flexibility. There are thousands of developers and companies working on delivering WordPress plugins to meet just about all your needs from now and into the future. With Wix and Weebly, you are limited by what functionality they can give you (and charge you for). These two DIY website platforms are built for small business owners who want a quick and easy website that doesn’t necessarily stand out in search engines (Wix doesn’t do SEO well on blog pages) if someone is searching for a term not directly relating to the name of your website or blog post. However, many Wix or Weebly owners do not understand the workings of SEO, keyword research and Google analytics (critical components you need to be across as they help your website come up to the first page). This is where knowledge is power. At the very least, if you’re going to build your own DIY website, learn how to do SEO, keyword research and integrate Google analytics and webmaster tools for your chosen platform to ensure all your efforts are not going to waste.