We recently read this post from EM Designs about her experiences with Wix and WordPress – and while she covers the ares of design and usability really well, there are a range of other important factors that need to be considered when choosing a website building service.
This is a big one – if you build your website with a cloud based site builder service such as Wix or Weebly, you are locking yourself in to using their services. If you decide down the track that you want to leave their services, there is generally no way to export your site and move it to another host. You may be able to export the content of your site, but you cannot export the design (look and feel) – this would need to be re-developed from the ground up in another platform – potentially an expensive exercise!
Contrast this to WordPress which as an open system can run on just about any web host server. With your WordPress website – if you wish to move to another host, all you need is a backup of your files and database and you can easily move on to another host. Most hosts will even offer an assisted migration for new customers.
While it is true with any platform that you are limited to what is available for extending and customising your site – the likes of Wix and Weebly only provide access to their own approved extensions. In practice, this severely limits opportunities for making your website dynamic and integrated with your business processes. Ultimately, this can reduce the impact of your website on your sites visitors, and hurt your company’s bottom line.
This is an area where WordPress really excels. As an open-source platform, you (or your web developer) has the opportunity to fully customise how your site looks, feels and operates – allowing you to build a dynamic, attractive and effective website solution. Additionally, due to the massive popularity of WordPress (over 25% of all websites according to w3techs.com) there is a plethora of free and paid plugins that can be installed with just a few clicks to deliver unique solutions.
Open source software such as WordPress has its fair share of critics with regards to the security of the software. These people will tell you that because source code for the software is open and anyone can see it, hackers can more easily find security holes and exploit them. However the other side of that argument is that because the source is open, any security issues that are found by White Hat hackers can be quickly patched by the WordPress development community. As a result, so long as you are up to date (which is easily with automatic updating on our WordPress Specialised Hosting plans) your site is at little risk.
Compare this with closed source system such as Wix or Weebly, whose code is not open to scrutiny by White Hat hackers. The result is that their systems may contain more unidentified security issues which could be exploited by malicious hackers.