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Wix vs. WordPress vs. Joomla! for small business web sites

November 20, 2015

I spent some time tonight reading about Wix web site building options as a content manager platform for my small business clients. I spent 20+ years building html based web sites and I understand that that platform has outlived its usefulness for me (and most other small businesses). I use WordPress now and a consultant suggested that I consider switching to Wix for ease-of-use. Another adviser preferes Joomla! There are several reviews available by Googling “Wix vs. WordPress“. Likewise, I looked at reviews that compared WordPress to Joomla! Basically they conclude that the options are more or less equally strong.

The primary advantage of Wix is simplicity and the ability to produce nice looking template sites quickly and easily. I can see that it is an attractive option for a person who has only one site t manage and wants great results with minimal input.

The disadvantages of Wix is that you have to pay for each web site separately. In contract, with a private hosting service I can put many web sites under one hosting account.

It seems to me that the reviewers are missing the most significant difference: total cost of operation for a person who runs multiple web sites. What that means for me is that now I pay about $200 per year for two hosting accounts (about $100 each) that host about 25 web sites using the built-in WordPress feature or html. If I hosted all 25 at Wix at the middle-of-the road $8 per month fee (some would actually be higher, some lower) then the cost would be 25x8x12=2,400   $2,400 per year. That’s a big difference in annual overhead cost for a person that runs multiple small business web sites.

So I’m not convinced that Wix offers enough advantages to justify the increase in cost. An additional investment in learning to use the more sophisticated features of WordPress may pay bigger returns.

*****

On a related note, I needed a reminder on the issues of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. This concise review was helpful. The article ends with “if you’re a professional currently hosting with WordPress.com, don’t worry — you can migrate to a self-hosted platform at any time.” I still have two blogs, including this one, on WordPress.com that should be migrated. This article gives step-by-step instructions.

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After the end of this research I contacted an adviser who has a much better handle on this than I do. He convinced me to try Joomla! over WordPress. While the two appear to a novice to be very similar, my adviser prefers Joomla! and so I will migrate to this content manager soon. Already I’ve noticed the tendency of WordPress and Joomla! developers to nickel and dime me for various upgrades and I wonder if that will become annoying over time.

 

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