This is a question I am asked a lot. In fact, of all the questions this is in the top 3 most commonly asked.

Answer – I hate Wix.

First, I want to say – that this isn't about me solely hating Wix, but its hating seeing what effect free website builders can have on business growth.

The truth of it is that no free website builder is ever free – you’re going to pay for it sooner or later when you realise your website platform isn't up to scratch and have to move everything to another platform and risk losing your rankings or your site certainly disappears off Google because all Wix sites have been deindexed from the search engine rankings (yes, this happened).

Ultimately I see 5 main problems:

Design – you have much less control and flexibility with a free website builder. You’re bound to whatever designs they create and they're not professional – some platforms allow you to upgrade to a slightly better design, but they're still not great and the mobile versions are very poor.

Support – you are at the will of a support desk system, and in my experience the free website builder support desks are not great. Yes they'll answer the “how to” questions quickly, but things that are more complex can take days or weeks to fix.

The unknown – recently Wix users had a shock to learn that Google was deindexing their sites. In non-geek terminology, that means REMOVING from search listings. What a disaster!

Integration – you’re going to find that a lot of the really cool marketing tools you want to integrate with your website, are not going to play nicely with free website builders and that’s because some of them block you from adding code that make them work together. For example, lead pages won’t integrate into Wix!

Customisation – Using a company’s proprietary platform you have no access to the code and are limited to what you can change, that means any issue that crops up needs to be fixed by their team. When you use open source platforms, use have a PLETHORA of developers that can work on your site for you. Literally hundreds of thousands of people! With a free website builder, you have to use that company and they won’t consider all feature requests, which will can leave your problem unresolved.

So what is the alternative to Wix and other free website builders?

In my experience, hands down, the very best website platform out there is WordPress – its easy to use, scalable, has beautifully designed templates (many free), countless free or inexpensive plugins and most importantly – you control the platform.

Yes you’re going to have to learn some new skills if you don’t have the money to pay someone to set it for you – but in business, you have to invest. For most business owners, its the largest investment they’ll make but that’s not to say it has to be expensive to get it off the ground.

Interested in learning how to build a WordPress website?

In my training academy Savvy & Successful, I have a fab WordPress course that covers everything from how to choose a domain, set up hosting and install WordPress, to how to choose a good theme, install a shop & the best plugins to use for SEO.

Web doesn't need to be just for the “tech-savvy”, and free website builders won't make your life easier – but being smart about your technology will.

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