When the time comes for your organization to build a website, or update an outdated one, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important is how and where that site should be built. Today we’re here to discuss the benefits of a custom created website using the free software WordPress as opposed to using a subscription based website builder, like WIX or Square Space.
First, let’s clarify the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
It can be confusing, so we wanted to address that there are two separate sites that offer two different things. WordPress.com is similar to WIX in that they charge monthly or annually to use templates to build your website. For the purpose of this blog, every time we say WordPress, we are referencing WordPress.org, as that is the free and open source software used to build custom websites. Anyone can use it and it is always 100% FREE.
You may be thinking: “I’d love to use WordPress, but I don’t know HTML code.”
When WordPress first came on the scene, it was an incredibly valuable skill to know HTML code (and still is.) As time went by, an array of easily editable templates became available, and anyone can have a website up and running in no time! WordPress has made it as easy as possible. With add-on’s like Elementor, you get the convenience of the “Drag and Drop” feature that other website builders utilize. If building a website feels outside of your comfort zone, there are several professional design agencies (like us!) that you can hire to create a customized WordPress theme, tailor-made to your branding guidelines. Take a look at the custom WordPress site we created for the nonprofit organization Agrarian Trust.
“Can I change my website’s design in Wix?”
While Wix is widely considered to be user-friendly when creating a website, there can be some major headaches if you ever need (or want) to change your sites design. For example, let’s say that you published your website on Wix with design A, and a few years later, you decide to rebrand and switch to design B. The content that exists on your current site will not be copied across to a new website automatically. As a closed platform, Wix provides no direct way to transfer your websites photos and text. What this means for you as a user, is that you would need to replace all existing content from scratch.
Wix does offer users a way to export text-based content, via a .csv file, as well as downloading images from the media manager that you have personally uploaded.
- Site Theme, Design and Layout
- Premium Apps
- Site Members
- Wix Inbox Messages
- Wix Invoices
- Wix Store
- Wix Blog
- Wix Video
- Wix Bookings
- Wix Photography Apps
- Wix Hotels
- Email Marketing
- Marketing Integrations
With a WordPress site, when you change themes, you do not have to transfer over the bulk of your content. You may need to reconfigure specific plugins, re-configure your banner or background images, but you will not need to repopulate all content from scratch. If you are planning to change WordPress themes on your own, we do highly encourage that you create a complete website backup, as a failsafe. This is one of the many reasons why at Digital Mountaineers, we utilize the WordPress platform when we build a site, to make sure that our clients have a positive experience managing their own website design and data.
“Word Press sounds great, but I bet it’s far more expensive than WIX.”
This is a misconception we are happy to report is not true! If you pay monthly for a website builder, at minimum you are spending an average of $168 per year. Those plans are fairly bare bones and they do not include much of anything. On top of that you still have to pay for hosting your website somewhere. Many of those monthly plans don’t provide much storage, so if your content goes over a certain size, they begin to charge for extra space. There is limited bandwidth, unless you upgrade. If you need to add an e-commerce function, that is an upgraded feature as well. These costs can add up quickly. If you choose to build using WordPress, you can build everything you need, including e-commerce, at no additional cost. If you are a nonprofit, your hosting can be completely free. How? Keep reading.
“It seems that WIX has plenty of template and plug in options. Does Word Press have that?”
WordPress far exceeds the WIX or any website builder library. While WIX has around 800 templates to choose from, WordPress has over 11,000 templates. While you can edit those templates, using WordPress allows much more flexibility to add a more robust user experience with almost any sort of functionality your organization might need. In terms of add ons and plug ins, WIX only offers about 300 options. Meanwhile, WordPress has a selection of about 60,000 thousand of options. If you ask us, WordPress is a superior option for any nonprofit.
At the end of the day, WIX is a simple way to disseminate small bits of information to your audience as quickly as possible. But if you need a website that can handle high volume, accept donations, e-commerce, and whatever else you need to dream into existence, WordPress can easily make it a reality.
Have questions about what would be a good fit for your organization? Feel free to schedule a free consultation so we can design the website your organization deserves.