Websites still form a crucial part of any business. Lots of small business owners face the challenge of what route to go. Free (such as Wix), WordPress or custom built websites.
We look at the pros and cons of each option.
Are free websites worth it?
Having a website created for free is certainly better than not having a website at all. For a small business just starting out they do provide a quick and easy online presence. You can also create a website and use it for something other than business purposes.
Is a Wix website really free?
Wix is available for free for as long as you want. If you need features like a custom domain name or ecommerce, you have to choose from one of their premium plans. These range from $4.50 – $35 per month.
Why is Wix bad?
Using Wix makes it easy to create a website that you think is fantastic. It gives a lot of people the impression that why have a great website. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Websites should not be treated as brochures.
It is really more of a website builder for someone with limited to no knowledge.
WordPress vs Wix
WordPress allows you to create much larger websites but requires more technical knowledge. The main difference between Wix and WordPress is their technical approach. All Wix packages include hosting and tech support. WordPress is an open-source platform. This means you have to manage hosting and tech support yourself.
What is the difference between WordPress and a website builder?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS)— not a website builder. CMS’s are flexible but have a learning curve. Website builders are less flexible but easier to use.
Things to keep in mind
- WordPress websites require themes to manage and display their content properly. There are free themes available, but we suggest purchasing a reputable theme from a theme platform such as Themeforest
- Themes and plugins require regular updating. This helps the site function optimally
- Plugins give great functionality. Too many plugins will however slow down your site a lot. Find that golden balance
Is a custom website better than WordPress?
A custom built website can be more search engine (SEO) friendly than a WordPress website.
Therefor your website could rank higher in search engines than the one built with templates using a WordPress CMS. It is important for any business that wants to gain leads and increase conversions on the internet.
The downside is that custom coding and functionality is more costly. Custom sites requires more coding, testing and development time. All these elements will determine the outcome of custom websites.
General tips for websites
Do you know how often you need to remove spam comments from posts? How often you should renew your domain name?
As soon as your website is up and running, you have to start some maintenance. Here are some tasks as well as how often you should do them.
- Renew your website domain name
- Consider updating your website design
- Review each page of the site to make sure its content is accurate and still relevant
- Find your best-performing blogs and consider updating them
- Review your website and see if there’s room for improvement
- Update graphics and photos
- Check website content is up-to-date
- Update your meta descriptions and meta titles
- Check that the website is mobile-friendly and if it displays nicely on all browsers
- Test and update popups, forms, and calls to action
- Check to see if anything needs to be updated with advertising and marketing campaigns
- Check your website backup health
- Test your website loading speed. Slow load speeds will drive away viewers
- Check for any security issues
- Check website statistics
- Check your local search visibility
- Check your website for 404 errors, fix or redirect them
- Update plugins
- Post one or more blog posts. Give relevant information to your customers. This will also improve your SEO traffic
- Check for broken links
What are my Website Maintenance Options?
Business owners have four options when it comes to web maintenance:
- Hire a web and marketing team in-house
- Hire a variety of specialised freelancers
- Hire a web maintenance company
- Do it yourself
In the end you have to decide whether a free web builder (like Wix), WordPress or a custom website suits your needs and budget.