A custom website vs Wix?
So, why choose a custom website vs Wix? If you have ever had to ask yourself this question but didn’t know where to start…well, we have some news for you.
We are a bit biased, but in our experience, it is always better to go custom compared to cookie cutter.
Every business should have a website or should be working on having a website. With so many options to choose from, why should you choose a custom website vs Wix or other website builders? The answer is not so simple and you have to weigh the pros and cons of each. In this article, I will tell you the benefits of each, as well as the downsides.
In the end, you need to choose whether a custom website vs Wix is best for your business and your budget. As a developer, my choice has always been custom since this method gives me more control over the site and the code…but again, the choice is yours. Here is some info to help you make the right choice for your business.
What is Wix?
Wix is a website builder like many others before it. It can help you get a website started quickly and easily…even if you do not know how to code or market your business. There are hundreds of other companies that do this exact thing like GoDaddy, Squarespace, Weebly, Shopify, etc. These type of editors have a history of bad code and simple designs, but the atmosphere is becoming more creative and less limiting. This leads to our first con of a website builder like Wix.
- Bad Code – Wix and other editors are known by marketing professionals to have bad code and SEO-unfriendly methods for generating a website. Any editor that allows the end user “design” the website using drag and drop spits out bad code. This code hurts your presence online and with Google cracking down on non-semantic code, you could see your website vanish from search results altogether. Code bloat is caused by bad code and could force your users to sit through a few extras seconds of load time which may result in more dropoffs and visitor frustration. Code bloat also hinders what Google sees on your website. Content is king, but with code bloat or bad code…your content may not be invisible to search engine spiders.
- Standardization of Templates – In order to make their user interfaces as seamless as possible, most editors prevent true customization without extensive coding knowledge. They may limit layouts or only provide you with a few free templates to choose from. This limitation can make your website be as unique as the other millions of websites using the same template. This is bad for most business as it makes your brand bland and boring. True customization may be accomplished, but will usually cost money as a “premium” user. This status could end up costing more than a custom website over the lifetime of your website. Premium features usually include widgets, optimization, themes, and most of the items required for a “good” website…things not included with the “premium” version of the editor.
- Advertising for Them – Whether you know it or not…you will end up advertising for Wix or your editor of choice. This happens because of the way the code is written by their engines. Most of the time you are required to include a link back to the editor unless you pay to remove it. Otherwise, the reference may be included in the code produced by Wix or whatever platform you are using. If given the opportunity, look at the code produced by your favorite editor. What you find may shock you! 8/10 websites I crawled either used JSON scripts to produce content (meaning no actual content was used for search engines which hurts SEO dramatically) with a link back to the editor or included a Wix byline in the footer of the website.
- Limitations of Software – If you are needing a solution that can track visitors and allocate analytical data, you are out of the scope of their software. If you are needing a solution to add information to a local database, no luck there either. If you are running ads and want specific tracking available…nope, not gonna happen. With a Wix website or most other website builders, you are limited by the mass majority of users. People who just want a website that shows information. If you step outside of their scope, you will not be able to build what you want unless you pay for a premium add-on…which is not always available for you. You are limited to their editor and it’s capabilities.
- Managed Software – One great thing about Wix and other editors is the software. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot wrong with it but having a managed solution that allows non-developers to create a website is a pretty fantastic thing. You have access to your dashboards, the ability to update designs and the ability to easily add new content…usually without learning new platforms or worrying about updates like you would in a self-hosted solution.
- Quick Changes – Even if you are not tech-savvy, you can quickly make changes to your website from one dashboard. You can do this with most of the editors and most custom solutions, but with Wix, you can do this without any knowledge. Just drag and drop. No developers, no coding. Simple changes.
- Templates – Now, I know I listed this as a con, but I would not be doing it justice if I did not list it as a pro. Even with the limitation, Wix and other editors have a very powerful templating system that will be suitable for small companies looking to have a website just to have one.
- Price – Typically, a Wix website is priced for the masses. If you are looking for something simple, you cannot beat the price. Having a custom developed website costs money. Eventually, the money will even out and Wix will be more expensive as it is month-to-month and a custom website usually just involves a one-time price, but to get started the price is good.
Now that we have established what a Wix website is, what is a custom website and what does a custom website vs Wix actually mean?
What is a custom website?
A custom website is something that is made for you by a developer or an agency. It is only limited by the developer you choose and can be created for small companies all the way up to Fortune 500 companies.
Having a custom website can help with SEO, social media integration, and can allow you to create custom modules or specs to integrate directly into software you already use. So, we are biased, but we will always choose a custom website vs Wix or other editors.
- Price – Agencies that are experienced with custom development are not cheap. If you only have a $500 or $1000 budget, custom may not be for you. Typically, an informational website through us will run you close to $4000 and can work it’s way up to $50,000 pretty quickly depending on your requirements. We charge this because we know how the code works, how to improve your digital marketing, and how to help build your business. The price of entry may be high, but your business will thank you for it. Take this example: You are looking for a car, are you going to buy the $1000 that is barely running and may not make it from point A to point B every time or will you invest $20,000 into a new car that is fully loaded that will work for another decade? If your budget is the deciding factor then the old car may be suitable for you…even with the issues you will experience in the future. If you are going to use this car to make more money, then a higher end car may be the better bet for you, even with the high cost of entry.
- Updates and Security – If you have a bad developer that produces bad code, then you are in for a bad ride. Custom websites are more susceptible to hacking when they are produced with bad code. Typically if done properly, hacking is avoided and has actions taken to prevent your security from being hacked. So, get specs, get references, do your research and make sure they are capable of protecting your data. Also, unlike Wix, security updates are handled by the developer…so if they are not updating your site, it may tip the scale to hackers using exploits that should have been patched. With Wix, this is handled by their software for the most part.
- Time – With Wix and other editors, you can create a website instantly. With a custom design, there are a lot of factors that play into the time frame from inception to production. With a custom design, you need a design, a framework, demo time and server setup. All of these are required by a good developer. Working with us, you can see a 2-month turn around time for most projects. For some other projects, we can turn around a project in a week or so…it is just based on your specs.
- Unique – A custom website is unique and built for your company. It can help make or break your brand online. With a good, custom built website you will see your brand instantly. Your visitors will know who you are and what you do without guessing where they are. It is built to your specs and can include anything from events to purchases, to a cool animation. Your imagination and the skill of your developer is the only limitation.
- Long-Lasting – A custom built website is like having a new BMW or Mercedes. It is built to last. Custom websites are usually more semantic, faster, and better for SEO than a Wix website. A good, custom built website can last for years before needing a facelift and then usually only need to change the branding. A Wix website is built for ease, not longevity.
- SEO and Search Engines – Unlike editor websites like Wix, a custom website is built for SEO. There is very little if any code bloat and the content is accessible to all search engines. A custom website is fast and works with every device regardless of the screen size or operating system. Wix and other editors tend to muddy the content with unneeded code that was created because of the ease of use for you. A custom website is built by a skilled developer that knows the best practices for SEO, social media, and search-ability. Instead of creating your marketing plan with a robot, you have an experienced person helping you build your digital footprint. they know the web like you know your business. Don’t work in your business, work on your business while allowing a skilled developer work to build you something unique and usable.
- Flexibility – A good developer knows how to future-proof your website and make your investment work for you. If they are worth their weight in gold, they can build something that will not only last for a long time but something that will give you the flexibility to continue to create new things and build your online brand. With the ever-changing experience of the internet, it is good to have the flexibility to change with it.
- It Is Yours – If Wix shuts down tomorrow, do you know what happens to your website? It probably disappears. All the time and effort you put into creating a perfect website, gone. With a custom website, it is yours. Most developers do not retain any permissions to your website once they have built it and have been paid for it. Once it is built, it is yours forever. The only recurring fee we have after a website is built is the hosting. The website itself, it yours.
So, A Custom Website vs Wix?
This is completely up to you and your budget, but in our experience…customers who initially use Wix or other budget editors come to our agency to build a real website where they can earn real money can get real customers. The top reason we hear is that no one can find them online. This is because of bad code. The other reason, no flexibility.
So, if we can sway you to get a custom website, we would push you in that direction because we know what it takes to be successful online and a Wix website isn’t one of the reasons you succeed. Usually, Wix and other editors are a hindrance to your online profitability. It may seem like a good idea to get started, but when you are wanting to make a real income and really help your business succeed…then choose custom.
Pick the option that better suits you. After all, it is your website, your company. In order to make a real dent online choose custom. It may cost more initially, but the long-term costs are about the same and you get so much more for a custom website. Have you ever had an experience with Wix or any of the other editors you want to share? Comment below and tell us the good and the bad. We would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in learning more about how this topic can help your business, please contact our agency on our contact page or call us at 1-888-964-4991. We publish a new article once or twice per month so make sure to follow us on social media and allow for push notifications if you want to stay in the loop with our agency and digital marketing.
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About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.