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Just another Wordpress Monday

Did you just sing that headline in your head? I did. 😉 Today I needed to install a Wordpress blog for a long-time client who insisted on Wordpress, and, boy, it took the whole afternoon just to do a clean installation on their hosting provider! I had to find out from the host about setting up the database, where to get the database username and password, open up the wp-config.php file to add the database name/user/password, then upload the files to the server, update the PHP running on the server because the newest Wordpress wouldn't work without it, plus deal with a security IP block because I accidentally tried to access the wp-config.php file in my browser... on and on. It took several hours of troubleshooting and waiting for hosting support to answer questions before I was able to get the basic installation setup. ARG. Just writing about it is frustratingly boring to me.

It reminded me of all the reasons why I dislike Wordpress. Working in Wordpress is always SO time consuming and you often run into problems to troubleshoot – it's like pulling teeth to get a Wordpress site installed, designed and maintained. For some laughs and to see more about what I'm talking about, check out Wix's Ads about Wordpress »

These are the main reasons why, for the past several years, I have been recommending most of my clients use the brilliant Wix website platform. Wix is perfect for 90% of my clients' needs. Most businesses need a beautiful, fast loading website that they can quickly edit as needed, and be easy to use by their customers. And Wix is a great solution for that. To start off, in Wix, you can just pick a website template (or a blank template) and start working immediately – no file downloads/uploads, coding, wp-config.php files or PHP updates required! To get a Wordpress site installed, just getting the software installed and setup on a hosting server can sometimes be a challenge, depending on the hosting provider. And that doesn't even include the time to customize a template or code custom templates! If you are using a good Wordpress hosting provider and you setup Wordpress sites everyday, sure, it's not too difficult to install (and some hosting providers like the solar-powered AISO or WPEngine will install the platform for you!) Regardless, it still DOES take a decent amount of time just to get started in comparison to setting up a Wix site. What I like about Wix, is that you can pick a template and start working immediately, no setup or hosting purchase required. Wix offers unlimited full-functioning free trials so you can start designing a site without paying for ANY hosting until you're ready to launch it at a domain*. That's a BIG DEAL. I love designing websites on Wix for clients as I can design the entire site from start to finish, with fully working pages, forms, etc, without purchasing hosting until we're ready to launch. I can even design right in Wix, by importing photos, SVG logo files and vector files, PNGs and whatever elements I need to design the site. I no longer design website concepts in Photoshop or Illustrator first, I just design the WORKING website right in Wix. It's a HUGE timesaver.

The Wix editor also has a great mobile editor that allows you to customize your mobile website using the same elements from the homepage. View some of the Best Wix Mobile Websites to see how Wix can be customized to look great on phones. You can shuffle around elements such as text boxes or images, and resize or even hide or add mobile-only elements to a Wix website to make your mobile user experience as easy to use as possible. Unlike Wordpress and other platforms, you have 100% control over the mobile view, you can rearrange and add any elements desired to make your mobile website as user-friendly as it can possibly be. You can also simplify Wix mobile websites to help them load more quickly and help phone users find the info they need right way (such as hours, address, call to action, main services, current news, etc.)

Another great advantage is that Wix concept websites can be navigated by the client for reviewing, where they can actually click around and navigate the menu of pages. They can provide feedback, and I can quickly edit designs, and even train clients on how to edit their new Wix website – all before hosting needs to be purchased. *With Wix, you can have an unlimited free website at one of Wix's subdomains, but, for professionals and businesses, it's best to purchase a hosting plan and tie it to a domain when you're ready to go live. Having your own domain is crucial for SEO (search engine optimization) to help your website get found online. One other note is that if you're designing an ecommerce website on Wix, you can setup your store and products, but keep in mind that you'll need to purchase one of their business hosting plans in order to test shopping cart checkout and accept payments.

No more Software Updates

A huge benefit of Wix is that once the website hosting is purchased and launched, there are no updates needed. You don't need to worry about installing security updates, plugin updates, making sure your hosting server's PHP is up-to-date, etc, etc. With Wix, you just pay for a hosted solution, and their tech team handles the software, programming and security updates – the only time you have to spend on your website is time actually adding content or updating your pages – no software version updates or coding EVER needed. It's wonderful.

WYSIWYG Website Editor

I love training clients on how to use their Wix website, they are always so surprised (especially if coming from Wordpress) at how easy it is to edit their page. What is great about Wix's main editor is it is a WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get). This means that you can view your pages and edit them directly, rather than having to go to a backend and edit text and widgets and publish to see what it looks like on the actual website. Editing Wix websites is very intuitive, especially with a short training on the basic tools in Wix. As I mentioned, I design websites directly in Wix now. I do use Photoshop and Illustrator to build images and graphics as needed, and then simply upload them to Wix to place where ever I want on the pages. You can overlap a circle badge, for example, over an image or strip, and you're not confined in anyway to templates or "blocks" of content. Designing websites in Wix is like designing in Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign or even Powerpoint – whereas designing in Wordpress is like designing in Word (difficult at best).

While I DO still work on Wordpress sites for some of my clients, as well as other platforms such as Shopify, I'm super happy to have most of my clients on Wix, as it's smooth sailing and they love their websites. I'm happy, my clients are happy, it's a win-win.

Last note:

I hope that someday another WYSIWG website platform will come out to compete with Wix. Right now, there really is no comparison. Weebly, Wordpress, Squarespace, Shopify, and most other platforms are still in block-mode when it comes to page design, where you often need to be a programmer just to get the website customized in a way that you want. You cannot just drag an element and place it exactly where you want on a page, even overlapping other elements. You have to design within a template, grid or block. Mobile websites are especially hard with responsive-templates of Wordpress or other above mentioned platforms, because they reflow to mobile size without much control over how they do so. You can't easily shrink a particular object, or simplify or rearrange the content to work better on phones – you are at the mercy of the responsive template. This makes many Wordpress and other platforms websites much less user-friendly for phone users - and often clients come to us for a redesign in Wix so that they can make their mobile website experience better. Regardless, I do hope that all of these platforms look at what Wix is doing and come out with some better WYSIWG drag-and-drop editors that work as well as Wix's does. I know they're working on it, and I often get contacted by hosting providers wanting me to test their new website builders – but none are anywhere close to what Wix is doing. Yet!

So for now, I love designing websites in Wix – and my clients love them too! Easy to edit, easy to use, mobile-friendly and fully optimizable for SEO, Wix websites are wonderful to work on.

And don't worry, Wix websites are fully customizable - you are never tied to a template. Each and every page on your Wix website can have it's own custom design layout – you're not forced to design in blocks or within standard page templates. To see the wide range of how a Wix websites can look, check out some of my Best Wix Websites »

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As a website designer and graphic designer, I love sharing great tips and tools that make designing easier. As part of my website design services, I train clients on how to update their websites or to do their own SEO (search engine optimization), so I post many of these tips for my clients to train them how to use Wix and other tools to keep their website up-to-date. Keeping websites current is the best way to get found and to keep people coming back to your website. 

Check out all my Design & SEO tips and resources in my blog

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