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 you use and what features 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.
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 such as certification tracking, member portal, or online dues payments, then you’re going to need an 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. They don’t allow custom embedding and API integration.
What’s your technical level?
Wix and Weebly are known for their easy 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 like to say that 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 printed 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. Unfortunately, you cannot simply pack up your Wix/Weebly website and move it over to WordPress at a later date. You would need a fresh build or to use one of the wonky transfer tools out there. Without a doubt, WordPress wins for its SEO, plugins, and flexibility.
What are your security needs?
We’ve all heard about 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 you’ll need 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 hackers – 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 for a short term project then Wix and Weebly may be a better 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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