Thinking about a website with Wix, 1 And 1 or WordPress? Think again!
by Sam Davis
They have commercials on the TV, you hear them on the radio, and you see their adverts in the paper – website builders like Wix and 1 and 1 seem to be all the rage, but recently I have been finding that people are coming to me to ask me to help with these systems to help them accomplish what would at first seem very simple tasks, only to get stumped by a number of hurdles along the way.
Wix is one of the more popular website builders – as they can take payments, bookings, host videos, communities, and much more. However, there a limit to what you can achieve. A lettings agent which I have recently completed some work for, listed all their properties using their Wix website, and then expanded to have two branches, which soon became three, and then four.
They wanted a postcode finder for people to type in their postcode and locate their nearest branch – it couldn’t be done. They wanted to add more filters for visitors to be able to refine their searches even further – it couldn’t be done. They wanted to collect email addresses by offering visitors “teaser” information, before sending them an info-filled PDF once they had submitted their details – it couldn’t be done. The story goes on…
The day you’ll want something added to your website will be the day that you realise that your current package will not cover it – and you’ll quickly learn that you’ll need to upgrade to the next level.
Whilst it is impossible to envisage what your business will become and to imagine the kind of facilities your website will need, using a cheap website builder will sadly not be the answer. If you have a business which doesn’t require constant online TLC, then you may be able to get away with using a free builder, but the day you’ll want something added to your website will be the day that you realise that your current package will not cover it – and you’ll quickly learn that you’ll need to upgrade to the next level, or quite possibly, move systems completely.
WordPress.com hosted sites have the same issues – you can only access and install a limited number of plugins and you cannot upload your own themes, unless you upgrade to the Business plan. 1 and 1 have comparable issues with their (dreadful) website builder too – so if you’re looking for anything mildly innovative to be placed on your site, you’ll encounter problems from the very beginning.
Obviously, the main reason for having your brand new site created using one these builders is that of budget. They can start from as little as £1 per month, and would therefore seem ideal for a brand new company. However, when you consider that with Wix – if you want their top level package, you’re paying £18.69 per month, and this doesn’t include a domain name! So, you’re paying approximately £230 per year for every year that you own your website – with no guarantee that your website will be able to achieve what you want it to!
Consider the amount of web-space and bandwidth that the offer, make sure your website data will be secure and backed up. Maybe you need a mailing list or build a community, you might want to integrate third party systems…
It may be difficult to roadmap the journey of your business on paper, but it is worth considering what features you may need your website to have as it grows. Make sure you fully research the capabilities of Wix, 1 and 1, and WordPress hosted websites before signing up to anything. Consider the amount of web-space and bandwidth that the offer, make sure your website data will be secure and backed up. Maybe you need a mailing list or build a community, you might want to integrate third party systems, or perhaps you will need to offer instantly downloadable digital products.
I’m a great believer that these platforms can be wonderful for the right types of client, however – due to their marketing prowess, they often attract people who are looking for more than what they can provide. These people are often satisfied with the first few months of the service before learning that it simply does not have the capabilities of performing what they want it to do.
I am a Bournemouth WordPress Developer (self-hosted), I work with Magento, and a host of content management systems which give you the flexibility to achieve what you desire from your online portal. If you’re not sure whether the aforementioned subscription models will fit the bill for your company, why not get in touch and I will be happy to discuss things with you. so you can make the right decision moving forward with your venture!