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Why should you use WordPress? Are you going to have any issues if you go with another platform such as Wix, Squarespace or Weebly?
This is a question I’ve been asked numerous times by people at the very early stages of this journey. It makes sense, too. After all, most people just don’t know how to build a website.
For some, WordPress has a reputation of being complicated. A platform for nerds. Whereas some of these site builders like Wix or Squarespace are marketed as being so easy anybody can use them. They’ve also got investor funding so it allows them to advertise heavily on TV and that gives them a lot of mainstream exposure.
Some of the big companies like GoDaddy and Namecheap also have their own site builders. There are a lot of companies out there that have their own builder marketed toward people who want to build a beautiful website with no coding skills whatsoever.
And there I am recommending you use WordPress. 😇
So, what gives? Are you going to be screwed if you don’t use WordPress?
Let me lay it out for you.
The Primary Case For WordPress
Since you already know that I think WordPress is the smart choice, let me start by laying out why that is.
Important Note: Everything I’m saying here has to do with the self-hosted version of WordPress. In other words, WordPress that is installed to a web host that you pay for. I am NOT talking about hosted WordPress on WordPress.com. Do NOT use that to build your business.
#1 – WordPress is “Free”.
While you will need to pay for hosting, there is no charge for using WordPress itself. It is open source and free.
There are plugins and themes you may choose to pay for, however. But, there’s no requirement that you do. You will need web hosting, but you can score some very solid web hosting very affordably.
So, WordPress is “free”, but I put that word in quotes because it all depends on what you choose to do with it. There are premium plugins and themes… and there are free ones. There are thousands of web hosts to choose from…. from really good ones to some crappy ones. There are also all kinds of support services, developers and the like.
Depending on your choices, you can spend more on a WordPress site than you do on the other solutions. But, point is, you’re in control. You have options. And you’ll own everything you build as it won’t be on rented land.
#2 – Complete Flexibility
When you use WordPress on your own web host, you can do whatever you want with it. You are not limited in any way.
You can use any plugin. You can use any theme. You can talk about whatever you want. This is very different from a hosted option where you can use their tools and their tools only. They might be nice tools, but you’re limited with what they choose to create for you.
#3 – Massive Community
WordPress powers 43% of sites which use a CMS. It is, by far, the most popular content management system on the internet. So, as you can imagine, there is a massive community of WordPress users.
That means a massive selection of themes. A massive selection of plugins. Massive amounts of tutorials and help all over the internet. There is pretty much nothing you can’t find an answer for with a simple Google search. Because, seemingly everybody uses WordPress.
#4 – Digital Sovereignty
When you go with hosted, proprietary solutions such as Wix, Squarespace or WebFlow, then your entire site is dependent on their platform. Not only do they determine what capabilities you have and what the rules are, but they can (and will) delete your site the moment you don’t pay them.
In other words, you’re renting your site. You don’t own it.
I am a big proponent of digital sovereignty. I even recorded a full workshop on the topic. I believe it is important that you own and control your own website. You should be able to do with it what you want. You should be able to take it with you to any web host you want. You cannot do any of that with those rental websites on those other platforms. With WordPress, you can.
WordPress Vs. Wix
Wix is a hosted site builder. They have created a nice platform, but what you see is what you get. If they don’t build it for you or have a bolt-on app for it, you can’t do it.
Wix is a hosted, proprietary platform. The hosting and the application are one and the same. As of this writing, pricing begins at $16/mo for the “Light” version which is quite limited. If you want any more than just a basic brochure site, your pricing quickly increases.
Wix is designed to be simple for people who don’t know how to build websites. And, they do a good job at that mission. When you are paying for Wix, you’re paying for their support and for their service. You’re paying to have somebody there as responsible.
Wix can be attractive as a simple, easy platform for business owners who don’t have the time nor inclination to build a site. When compared to WordPress, it can seem easier.
Truth is, there’s pretty much nothing that Wix does better than WordPress when you consider all the options for customizing WordPress. It used to be pretty nerdy to design a site with WordPress, but that is no longer the case. There are numerous visual page builders for WordPress now. Plus, even WordPress core is moving into full-site editing and it is all very visual. So, even the geekiness gap has closed.
So, I can all but guarantee that you will eventually feel limited by what you can do with Wix as you build your online business. Wix is primarily sold to people who want to create a pretty site without zero tech knowledge. Wix has gotten pretty capable, but you will have far more flexibility on WordPress.
Not to mention that if you build a site with Wix, you’re stuck there. On the other hand, you can move your WordPress site anywhere you want. If you don’t like your web host anymore, just pick up your site and take it elsewhere. Nobody will stop you.
WordPress Vs. SquareSpace
Squarespace is another popular, mainstream page builder. Like Wix, they have investors and TV advertising and the works. That mainstream coverage leads many to SquareSpace for their website needs.
But, the story is pretty similar with Squarespace as it is with Wix. This tool is aimed at beginners. It doesn’t provide very many options, but what it does provide is very easy to use. That’s the point.
They seem to purposely make pricing hard to find, burying it way down in the footer menu. But, once you get there, here’s the rates:
Unlike Wix, they at least give you the option to pay monthly rather than annually. But, their cheapest plan will run you $16/month (paid annually), so $144 total.
Comparing SquareSpace and WordPress, tho, isn’t really about the pricing. It is about the ownership and the flexibility. Squarespace will be able to fulfill the needs of most site owners. Over the years, they have evolved into an all-on-one solution where they can even handle your email marketing, sales, etc. No doubt, this is convenient and is a good selling point for people who don’t want the responsibility of putting that stuff together.
But, Squarespace is proprietary. It is rented land. Your site isn’t portable. You get the capabilities they build for you.
Modern WordPress is just as visual as SquareSpace. You can add to it any capability that you want. Everything is customizable. Yes, there’s more responsibility in picking and choosing your plugins, but that’s the point. At least you can do that.
WordPress Vs. Weebly
Another site builder that some people have gotten into is Weebly. This company is part of Square, Inc., the well-known business payment platform. For that reason, one thing that Weebly has going for it is the native ecommerce capability that is even available on the free plan.
Just as with Wix or Squarespace, however, Weebly is a self-contained software service that provides some flexibility, but you’re stuck with the same kinds of limitations. Their App Center (for add-ons) has 355 options, compared with multiple thousands of options for WordPress. Plus, honestly, some of the “apps” from Weebly are just plain stupid. They even have one for adding an H1 tag. That’s just embarrassing that it requires an app to do that.
Pricing for Weebly is cheaper on the front-end than Wix or Squarespace. They do have a decent free plan, but your site will also be definitley promoting Square and Weebly since ads are part of how you “pay” for that. If you want to get rid of the ads, you’ll need at least the $12/month plan.
If I were shopping for a dumbed down site builder with some basic functionality, I would probably go with Weebly over Squarespace or Wix. That said, let’s be clear…
WordPress, once again, blows it away.
This isn’t about pricing. Obviously, things aren’t free in the WordPress world either. But, Weebly is just an inherently simpler (and hence less capable) system. Their goal is to make something easy to use and give you somebody to call for help. With WordPress, you’re more responsible for things.
But, again, it used to be that WordPress was just too nerdy for some people. Once you get into it, you realize it really isn’t so bad. And where it does get nerdy, it is because it does so much more if you want it to. WordPress can be as small or as big as you want it to be.
Making WordPress Easy For Beginners
Alright, I hope I’ve made the case for why you should use WordPress. Chances are, you already realized that was true otherwise you wouldn’t be here.
Most of the time, when people go with those other options it is because they didn’t know any better. They might not even know what WordPress is. After all, those companies all have big marketing budgets and WordPress is open source. You’re not going to be seeing WordPress commercials on a Sunday football game any time soon. 😉
Also, the DIY nature of WordPress can scare some people off. Those other solutions are built to be simple for people who don’t know how to do anything.
Truth is, right out the gate, WordPress is more complicated. And there are more things that you’ll need to figure out or take responsibility for on your own. WordPress won’t come with the hand-holding that you’ll get from those other services. There’s no 800 number to call.
But, unlike those other solutions, WordPress is not an island. It has a substantial community, tons of companies that build for it, and thousands upon thousands of available designs and add-on plugins.
With all that taken into account, you can certainly make building a WordPress site just as easy as you can with any of those other options.
Some quick tips to help you do that:
- Use good WordPress hosting. I personally use and like Rocket.Net hosting, but I also realize they’re not the cheapest around. I also like Cloudways. For people who are really just starting out and want some more hand-holding, Siteground would probably be my recommendation. All of these options have 1-click WordPress setup, which removes all the nerdiness out of setting up WordPress. You can read my guide on choosing good hosting.
- Choose a visual, flexible WordPress theme. You want to pick a theme for your site that may look a certain way “out of the box”, but you can turn it into whatever you want without having to code anything. I personally use and recommend the Kadence theme with their Kadence Blocks plugin. You can build anything with it. If you want, you can also install a page builder such as Elementor. There are a lot of options out there, but as long as you get something visual, your site building experience won’t be too nerdy.
- Google/YouTube is your friend. WordPress is… everywhere. And there is no shortage of tutorials and Youtube videos that will show you how to do anything you want to do. So, want to know how to do something? Just search for it! Want some basic beginner tutorials on the basics of how to use WordPress. Just search for it! That’s the beauty of it. Nothing about it is proprietary and the community is incredibly large, so there’s no shortage of “how to”.
Keep in mind, everything has a learning curve. SquareSpace, Wix and Weebly all have learning curves, too. WordPress is no different. So, just go into this realizing some moments of frustration at the outset are just part of the experience. Consider it a rite of passage. 🙂 It’s completely normal. Trust me, though… you’ll get there.
WordPress Without Any Of The Complexity And Hassle?
Now, I know there are a lot of small business owners out there that understand the power that comes with WordPress, but are still weary of the perceived complexity of it.
You may not want the hassle of having to research and choose hosting, themes, plugins. You may not want the hassle of feeling nickel-and-dimed by various plugin licenses.
And let’s be real… you probably like the idea of having a point of contact. Somebody to ask for help. Somebody to remove the hassle.
I get it. That’s why a lot of people end up going with those other platforms.
Here’s another option for you, however. Completely up to you, of course.
Here at the Blog Marketing Academy, I offer a service called WP Concierge. The service is designed to remove pretty much every hassle out of dealing with a WordPress site… because I simply take care of it for you.
As a client of Concierge, I can…
- Host your site on Rocket.net hosting (which is some of the best hosting for WordPress you will find anywhere). Learn more here.
- Take care of all the maintenance, security and backups so you don’t have to think about it
- Provide site analytics
- Provide access to fully-licensed (through my company) themes and plugins that have been fully vetted. Click to see the current bundle.
- Provide a single point of contact for any questions and help you need.
Obviously, I’m also a real dude. 🙂 So you won’t be dealing with overseas support who doesn’t know anything about you. As a client, you and I will get to know each other and I’ll know your site.
I can also help you build your site and/or just do it for you. For that stuff, we use Anytime Credits. But, as a client, you’ll get a whopper discount on those, too.
And don’t worry…. your site is your’s. Always. It is one of my core principles. So, unlike those other companies where your site isn’t portable, you could migrate your WordPress site anywhere you want. If you ever decided to cancel Concierge service, I’ll just help you move your site to any host of your choice and you can fully take over.
With Concierge, you have all the power and control that comes with a WordPress site, but with a much higher level of support than SquareSpace or Wix could ever provide.
If that is something you might be interested in, learn more about it. And I’m here to answer any questions.
Got A Question? Need Some Assistance?
Have a question about this article? Need some help with this topic (or anything else)? Send it in and I’ll get back to you personally. If you’re OK with it, I might even use it as the basis of future content so I can make this site most useful.