WIX and WordPress are totally different ways to build a website. Better safe than sorry so read this carefully.

WIX and other website builders are there for convenience, not for better websites. WordPress is there for flexibility and endless ways to make your website better.

Both come with a price. Here is my verdict.

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WIX is convenience

WIX and all the other website builders are there for convenience. They have done a great job to get you started without any coding knowledge. There are tons of apps to add to your website builder to give extra functionality to your website.

The question here is: why did you choose for WIX or other website builders? The answer is important to know what has made you decide to go this way and see if you are aware of the disadvantages?

Let’ start with the most common answer I have heard so far:

I have chosen for WIX because I don’t know anything about building websites and this looks easy and it is free to start.

Ok fair enough but why would you like to start building a website without any knowledge and second, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Yes, WIX and the others are very simple ways to start a website. Just drag and drop and you will have a website up in no time. They even offer you the possibility to start without a domain name. For free!

Let me not preach about how to build a website because that is not the subject here and also very subjective but there is a rule of thumb and that is when you are finished with version 1 of your website, you already know what should be better in version 2 and so on and so on. Once you are there, it won’t stop.

There are thousands maybe millions of websites on the web that have not been touched for years. A vision and a business case, that will keep your website alive.

Anything more will cost you money

To start with the domain. Why would you want to start a website without a domain name? Your domain name is your business asset that will grow in value over time. I cannot come up with a reason why you try to save R75 per annum on a domain name for your business or project?

This is exactly where the first price plan of WIX and others kick in. You have to pay extra (per month) for your domain name, more than usual with webhosting. After that you probably want some more functionality and flexibility and you will start adding more paid apps to your plan. Great! Hang on, I am almost there.

After a year, probably year two you have become quite skilled on your website and see all kinds of opportunities. They are all there, in paid apps. This is the moment you will start thinking that the project is costing you quite an amount of monthly fees and you will start thinking about alternatives.

These are WIX entry plans (screenshot April 2020) for personal use:

Price plans for business:

Did I mention the WIX Ads that will be on your website if you do not upgrade and also you cannot change a theme / template later in time!

Website builders are well designed solutions

It might sound that I am against website builders or WIX but I am not. The only point I want to make is that you have to be aware of the consequences if you choose for a website builder. The costs of your project might quickly go over the costs of (someone) building your website in WordPress or Joomla and if you decide to switch away from WIX, you loose your investment because you cannot move your website away to another hosting provider like you can with WordPress and Joomla.

So the question is, what kind of website do I want to have and what time and budget do I want to spend? Once you have thought about this, it is time to make choices.

How to choose between a website builder and WordPress

There are hundreds or thousands of website comparing website builders and WordPress. Some of them state that it is a simple choice between coding skills and budget. Others emphasize freedom with WordPress.

Low budget and no coding skills, go for website builder, otherwise choose WordPress. I disagree with the budget if it is not clear what you want to achieve with your website and coding skills is very subjective.

For the budget, I have made a comparison below in this article but let me start with when you should start with a website builder like WIX.

If your business or project is straight forward like a one-page website (called a “one-pager”) or you have a few products that you want to sell online, GO FOR THE WEBSITE BUILDER! One of the advantages of website builders is that you drag and drop functionality “out of the box” and this will make you a one-pager you within the hour.

Selling a product online (webstore / e-commerce) is just as simple by adding a so called app to your site and also drag an drop your product in and you are done. Yes, this all comes at a price but.

Everything else, I would compare the investment (that requires a vision and a business case) between a website builder and CMS like WordPress,  Joomla or Drupal.

What are the costs of a WordPress site and WIX?

Search on Google “what are the costs of a WordPress website” returns a whopping 310,000,000 results. Google helps you refining the search by suggesting “how much to charge for a WordPress website 2019

You can do it yourself but if I chunk the results in four complexity categories it would be in US Dollars per annum:

  1. Simple – 0- $250
  2. Standard – $250 – $500
  3. Average – $500 – $1,000
  4. Complex – > up to $30,000

The website wpbeginner.com has made an extensive analys of the costs of a WordPres website.

For WIX prices websitebuilderexpert.com states:

Wix prices range from $13 to $500 per month (billed annually = $156) across eight pricing plans. The Combo plan is the cheapest at $13 per month, and gives you an ad-free site. The $17 per month Unlimited plan is best for freelancers, while online sellers can start with the $23 per month Business Basic plan. Wix also has a free plan, which is a good way to test the waters before you commit.

Websitetooltester.com has a comprehensive overview of the costs detailing what comes with the package and what is excluded:

Combo comes with a domain name if you pick a yearly subscription. You can get .com, .net, .org, .biz and a few other extensions (see screenshot). Please note that it’s only free for the first year, the regular price is around $14.95 per year.

Basically, Combo has everything except an online store option. The only difference between this and the Unlimited plan is storage, bandwidth and the included video hours.

Please note that WIX charges extra for email. You want a .co.za domain? Sorry, WIX states:

Currently, It is not possible to purchase a South African (.za) domain from Wix or transfer one to Wix. However, you can purchase a South African (.za) domain from another domain host and connect it to your Wix site.  Important: To connect a domain to your site, you must upgrade your site to a Premium Plan.

Again from Websitetooltester.com:

What about Email Accounts?

One thing Wix doesn’t solve particularly well is email accounts for your domain name. You can sign up for G Suite through them but you’ll have to pay $6 per month. Compare that to Jimdo where you get email accounts for a lot less than that (starting at only $12 per year).

Another alternative is to purchase the domain name through a third party (e.g. Namecheap) and get your email accounts from there. This will cost you around $10 per year.

Price comparison for South Africa

Starting your website including a domain name with the WIX Combo Price Plan will cost you $13 plus $6 for an email account which totals to a $19 per month is $228 per annum, the first year. After the first year WIX charges $14.95 per annum for the domain name.

This total of $243 can be compared with a standard WordPress website which costs around $250 to $500 per year. Only question is what is in the $250 and how does that correlate with South Africa?

Take Elitehost.co.za as a benchmark. Reason for this is that their hosting packages are more inclusive and cheaper than for example Xneelo (Hetzner).

Elitehost charges R45 per month (Xneelo R99) for hosting plus a free co.za domain name first year, after that R75 / annum, email included. The package comes with unlimited disk space and unlimited traffic. Total for Elitehost is R615 per annum.

WordPress is free to download but from experience I can tell that you will spend about $150 per year on additional plugins or other functionality. With an exchange rate (2019 ZAR/USD: 15) this would be R2,250 so let’s round up to R3,000 all in that equals to $200.

Yes, you have to learn some WordPress basics but on the other hand you also have to learn how to work with WIX but for the latter, the learning curve will not be that steep.

Conclusion

We can build you a WordPress website starting at R2,499 to R4,999 once off for a basic website and an optional R900/annum maintenance plan. Let’s assume that this suits your needs for three years, that would be R2,567 per annum = $171.

Difference with WIX is that you don’t have to do anything except providing us the content and you are free to go and transfer the website to whoever and whenever you want because a WordPress website transferrable.

PRO WIX and website builders:

  • well designed to give you a jump start;
  • easy to use especially for one-pagers and small e-commerce;

CON WIX and website builders:

  • there is no free lunch unless you don’t want a domain name and do not mind WIX ads on your website;
  • website is not transferrable and even moving your domain name is a challenge;
  • once chosen template, cannot be changed;
  • e-mail is considered add-on.

Choosing WIX or another website builder is for convenience, comes at a price and prevents you from moving your website anywhere else. Think about when they raise their prices?

Building a website in WordPress does not have to expensive. Look at our prices and there are no hidden costs or contracts.

Still interested in WIX? Look at the WIX alternatives here.

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