What is your budget?
WordPress, Wix and Weebly sites all start at free. They each offer premium versions that allow for you to use your own domains, hosting and add-on features. Building and maintaining a WordPress site can be expensive depending on the company or freelancer you use and what types of bells and whistles you want. Although some firms like Appletree offer affordable standard packages for WordPress that include all of the tools you need for a successful website instead of nickel and diming add-ons.
What are your website goals?
If you just need a brochure type website, Wix and Weebly can meet your needs. If you want an online solution out of your website such as certification tracking, member portal or online dues payments, then you’re going to need a more open system like WordPress. When it comes to Wix and Weebly your hands may be tied if you want to add some bells and whistles that aren’t part of their drag and drop program as they don’t allow embedding and API integration.
What’s your technical level?
Wix and Weebly are known for their easy to use drag and drop programs, there is no technical learning curve outside of their prebuilt templates. Learning to use and maintain WordPress may be a struggle for some. Many people need a professional to train them to use WordPress, again, this varies by the firm. Appletree always includes training hours for its clients to maintain their WordPress websites. We say if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress.
What’s your traffic goal?
If you just need a short term website for an event or campaign where your traffic comes from a domain on a card or poster then you don’t need to worry about long term SEO. But if your goal is to build your way to the front page of Google you will find yourself hitting a wall with Wix and Weebly, and unfortunately you cannot simply pack up your Wix/Weebly website and move it over to WordPress, you would need a fresh build or to use some of the wonky vendor tools out there. Without a doubt WordPress wins for its SEO plugins and flexibility.
What’s your security needs?
We’ve all heard of the hacking of WordPress websites leading to all sorts of trouble such as the US/Russia election scandal and other business vulnerabilities. WordPress can be secured, but again you’ll need to have the technical ability to press the “Update” button on the dashboard to make those updates happen. With Wix and Weebly hosted websites security is handled behind the scenes by their technical team. Although recently there was a cloud vulnerability that opened up Wix sites to hacking, so no web solution is completely safe.
In conclusion, if you need a website that is more than a brochure site, will be updated frequently and SEO matters then we recommend WordPress. If you need a simple site that needs to accomplish a short term project then Wix and Weebly may be a faster cheaper option. If you’d like to learn about solutions other than these three, check out: http://www.websitebuilderexpert.com/website-builders-comparison-chart
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