When creating a website, especially without experience, some may instantly jump to a service such as WIX, where you can create your entire website using a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). For novices and small businesses, these can look very attractive. You can create a professional, good looking website with no coding knowledge. So why in the word would I say WordPress (or any self-managed CMS for that matter) is better? Well, for several reasons. To start with…
Ease of use
Sure, services like WIX look easy to use at first. Drag and drop to create your website, based on pre-made templates. Sure, with WordPress you have to either install a pre-made template your self, or have a template created just for you (then installed). But what about once your website is up and running? Which is easier to update with the latest information you want your visitors to see? I would have to give that to WordPress.
See, with services like WIX, if you want to post new articles, content, or blog posts, you first have to add a blog “module” to your website. Then, in order to post updates to that blog, you have to login to the service, click on your individual site, click on edit, then click on your Blog, then click on New Post. In WordPress, you just login, click on Posts, and click on Add New Post. Yes, there are some services out there that simplify this process to the point where it is as easy as WordPress, but that is not the only area in which WordPress is usually better.
Use your own domain… for (mostly) free
So you have a domain name you just purchased from GoDaddy, and you see that WIX has a free plan. You sign up, get your site all put together, and go to launch it, only to find out that the free plan does not let you use your own domain name. On WIX, and many services like it, any free plans are only free if you use a subdomain of their main website (such as example.wix.com). If you want to use the shinny new domain you just purchased from GoDaddy, you better bust out the wallet.
With WordPress, you can install it on your own server (if you have one), and use the domain name you just purchased without having to pay a monthly or yearly cost of hosting your website. (well, assuming you have an Internet connection that supports running your own server). If you don’t have your own server (or your Internet connection does not support having your own server), virtually every web host on the planet supports installing WordPress in one click. From there, you just use WordPress in the exact same way as if it were installed on your own server.
Services like WIX allow you to create your website quickly, with little knowledge. But this has a disadvantage much bigger than any of its advantages in my opinion. Power. No module for what you want to achieve with WIX? You are out of luck, at least until someone comes along and creates that module for WIX. The problem? Most coders I know laugh at the thought of creating a module for WIX, unless of course you hand a few hundred dollars (or even a few thousand) over to them to do it. This makes the WIX module repository (and other services like it) severely lacking in comparison to WordPress.
With WordPress, chances are that if you can think of a plugin or module you need, someone else has probably already created and released it, often times for free. Sure, there are some paid modules for WordPress, but the free ones vastly outnumber the paid ones. The advantages of…
WordPress’s biggest advantage by far in my opinion is the fact that it is Open Source. Not only can you freely download it, install it on any servers you want, and distribute it to others, but you can even modify WordPress if you have the desire to do so, and the skill. This makes the possibilities with WordPress virtually limitless.