If you have decided you need a website for your health coach business, before you even start you face a big decision - use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace or use WordPress.
Before I get started, let me just say that when I refer to WordPress, I mean wordpress.org not wordpress.com. Don’t get too hung up on this. If you go through a hosting company you’ll get the right version of WordPress installed.
If you had asked me a few months ago, I would’ve said WordPress all the way. But then I started setting up this new website and remembered how long it takes to get started with WordPress. But that is mostly just me, not being able to make up my mind.
When I decided to write this post, I created a free Wix account and decided to try the basic process of setting up a Wix site to compare. Wix was definitely faster to get the basics set up, but as I play with it more, I’m seeing some limitations.
When creating a website there are two important things - how you create it and where you host it. We’ll talk about the creation part in a minute, but let’s look at hosting first.
A host is the place on the cloud where your website is stored so anyone can access it. The site builders include hosting for your website. If you decide to build a WordPress site you’ll need to start off by finding a host. Popular website hosting companies include Siteground and Bluehost.
What is a website builder?
A website builder is a tool that allows you to build a website from scratch with little technical understanding. Website builders are owned by a company like Wix or Squarespace and the website is built on their system. The website is set up using simple drag and drop interface. With website builders your website is hosted on their system.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS). It allows you to create content and build a website to suit your business. WordPress is free, but your website will need to be hosted somewhere so you’ll need to pay for that. Originally designed as a blogging platform, WordPress has grown into the largest website platform in the world.
What are the advantages of using a website builder?
Website builders are simple to use and you can get the basics of a site set up in very little time. It also takes very little technical knowledge. You can quickly find a website theme that you like and you can change the theme and keep the website layout basically the same.
With a website builder it is simple and straightforward to change things like colours and fonts. And adding elements like price lists is super easy.
The draw of a website builder has also been the drag and drop capability, but with WordPress drag and drop editors becoming common, this is no longer a big advantage.
What are the disadvantages of using a website builder?
When you use a website builder you are on their platform. If you decide to move you will have to either start from scratch or pay someone to migrate it to WordPress or a different website builder.
This choice will mean that you pay for all the extras on a monthly basis. You might need to upgrade for things like adding a booking calendar, selling subscriptions, or having an e-commerce site. You’ll also have to pay for things like extra storage.
But the worst part of a website builder is the lack of customization. There are only 300 apps available to customize your Wix site.
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What are the advantages of WordPress?
More websites use WordPress than anything else. So that means there are lot’s of options to choose from. I mentioned the 300 apps that Wix has. WordPress shows me over 58,000 plugins available.
There are also over 4000 free themes and thousands of paid themes available so there is a theme out there that looks exactly the way you want.
WordPress will grow with you. If you want to add options to your website like a community or an e-commerce site you can do that with a plugin.
What are the disadvantages of WordPress?
The vast number of options with WordPress can also work to your disadvantage. Getting started with WordPress can take a while as you try to decide which theme to use and which plugins to install.
Overall the learning curve for using WordPress is longer than with a website builder.
You can now use a drag and drop editor with WordPress. The latest version of WordPress comes preinstalled with Gutenberg, the WordPress default option. Or you can install a different page builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect. I do find that even with a drag and drop builder installed, there is more of a learning curve than with a website builder like Wix.
Especially when you are getting started, cost can be a concern. So let's take a look at three options for your website. Costs are per year and are approximate.
starts at $36
cheap hosting only for first 1-3 years
starts at $60
cheapest option includes ads
starts at $144
transaction fees with cheaper options
If you are looking for a website that you can get done quickly then a website builder might be the best option. Especially if you are not comfortable using WordPress, or don’t have the budget to hire someone.
On the other hand if you are looking for a website that will grow with your business, then a WordPress website might be a better option.
You can try a free trial of a website builder to see if it works for you. You may find that it does everything you need right now.