12 Feb 2019

Wix Vs WordPress

WordPress may be the most popular website builder on the market, but there are other options to consider. In 2018, Wix held over 22% of the website builder market share. When it comes to designing a website, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job at hand! Depending on your needs, one website builder may trump another, so you should take your time to consider which is best.

Both Wix and WordPress are incredible website builders (that’s why I’m mentioning them). However, each has their own pros and cons, different sets of features, and affordability. So you can decide which is the best website builder, I’ve put together a Wix Vs WordPress comparison to save you the hard work!

Pricing

Luckily, we now live in a world where it’s become very affordable to build a website. However, the cost of each website builder does differ, and could be a deciding factor for some users. The cost can often depend on your requirements, so I’ve done some research as to which website builder is more cost effective.

Wix:

Wix offers it’s customers a free plan, which comes with basic website builder features. However, there are several downsides to it, because it is free. It includes branded adverts on your website in the header and footer, and you can’t use a custom domain. If you did decide to create a website using their free plan, your domain would look something like user.wix.com/websitename

There’s also a lack of features, so you wouldn’t be able to use Google Analytics, eCommerce tools, and Favicons. If you do want more advanced features, you’ll need to upgrade to one of their premium plans.

 

Premium plans start from £3 per month and allow you to connect your own domain name. However, your website will still be limited, and will contain Wix advertisements. If you’re willing to bump up to £6 per month, adverts will get removed and more features will become available. In terms of value for money, I’d suggest the unlimited plan at £8.50 per month. You get a lot more for your buck, and will be able to create a professional looking website at an affordable cost.

WordPress:

WordPress is actually free for anyone on the internet to use. I suppose you’re wondering why it’s free – well, I’ll tell you! If you want to use WordPress to create a website, you’ll need to purchase your own domain name and web hosting. Most web hosts will come with the 1-click installation software which means WordPress can be installed with the click of a button.

There are plenty of WordPress web hosting packages to choose from. If you choose a web host like iPage, you can get web hosting for just £1.50 per month, and you can start to explore your WordPress options. Of course, the more money you’re willing to spend, the options start to open up. For example, you can pay more for a web host to manage your WordPress website, taking the pressure of you, allowing you to concentrate more on your business.

WordPress does offer lots of free themes and templates to get you started. However, if you want something a little more professional, you can pay for a premium WordPress theme, as well as plugins, and more. These features allow you to customise your website to your liking, and there’s literally thousands to choose from.

Verdict:

Both WordPress and Wix offer free options for customers. WordPress is entirely free, but you will need to pay for your own domain name and web hosting to get started. On the other hand, Wix is it’s own web host, but does come with limitations unless you’re willing to pay for a premium plan to unlock more features.

Both has it’s pros and cons in the pricing category. However, when you weigh up the cost versus the features and flexibility, my money is on Wix.

Usability

When it comes to website builders, most people won’t want to learn a new skill to get their website live. The beauty of website builders is that the majority of them don’t require you to know or learn any code to get started. Both Wix and WordPress come with their own features and tools. The main thing is, neither of them are difficult to get used to, even for beginners.

Wix:

Wix is a classic drag and drop website builder. It’s interface allows you to select any section of your website and edit it with the tools they offer. This is called a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) interface.

You can literally drag and drop items on to your website from your device. Simply select an element and update it’s content, add images, videos, etc. This is a great choice for beginners as everything is obvious, and there’s even tooltips should you need them.

WordPress:

WordPress doesn’t use a drag and drop facility, which is a little unfortunate. It uses something called a visual editor which lets you edit your website and theme in a similar WYSIWYG environment. You can customise all themes and templates and choose where you want each element to live.

Personally, I’m not a massive fan of the WordPress interface. It’s difficult to use, especially for beginners, and isn’t obvious where things are. However, once you do get the hang of it, it’s extremely powerful and very flexible. The trouble is, getting to that point in the first place!

Verdict:

I think the winner is pretty clear here. If you’re a beginner, Wix offers an easy to use interface, which is a pleasure to use. Even if you’re a more advanced user, Wix has plenty of features to keep you occupied and allow you to edit your website the way you like it. WordPress is a powerful tool, but in terms of usability, it takes to long to get the hang of.

Customer Support

Support is important when considering a website builder. If you’re a beginner and think you may need assistance, support should be accessible. Even if you’ve designed a website before, resources, forums, FAQs, etc. could still be very useful. Support comes in many forms, including tutorials, live chat, and ticket systems.

Wix:

Wix has a dedicated and focused support area (namely their ‘Help Center’). Support categories are broken down into different sections, making it really easy to locate useful information. They provide a trending topics section which will display the most popular topics being talked about at the moment.

Wix’s social media accounts are very active, making it easy to engage with them, and others. They have scheduled email and telephone support, as well as forums, video tutorials, and more.

WordPress:

WordPress offers thousands (literally) of tutorials and articles. The problem is, because the community is so large, it can be difficult to determine what’s good, bad, and down right ugly! There’s almost too much information to trawl through.

Admittedly, it’s great to have a community of actual users to talk to. People can report their own experiences and share their own stories on how to get things working, to fix things, etc.

Verdict:

Although both Wix and WordPress offer a large support network, Wix is much more focused. Wix caters more towards the wider market, making their support center accessible to beginners and experts alike.

Maintenance

Websites require maintenance to ensure that they continue to be safe and secure. Software updates will need to take place, and add-ons, plugins, etc. will need to be consistent so as not to cause conflicts. Sometimes you can pay for someone to maintain your website, saving you the hassle. I took a look at how Wix and WordPress deal with their updates and how this effects it’s users.

Wix:

There’s not an awful lot to say on this topic for Wix. All Wix updates are carried out automatically by their technical teams. Updates are deployed to your website and you don’t need to get involve at all. In honesty, you won’t even know an update has taken place unless you are monitoring their deployment schedule.

Wix is incredibly easy to use, and this is displayed with their automatic updates. As you don’t need to be involved, you won’t need to worry about anything going wrong.

WordPress:

Being open source, WordPress is constantly updating it’s security, platform, and offering issue fixes. When WordPress deploys an update, it’s users will need to manually update their WordPress website. However, this gets a little tricky when you’re using a custom theme/template, multiple plugins, etc.

Some theme and plugin developers will update their products, ensuring that anything you have installed is automatically updated. However, this isn’t always the case, leaving your website potentially vulnerable. Unless you are constantly monitoring your website, you are open to malicious attacks.

With WordPress, you are required to do your own website maintenance (unless you choose managed WordPress hosting). You’ll need to ensure your website is always updated, and any plugins you have are updated too, otherwise this could cause conflicts.

Conclusion (The Winner is Wix!)

Both Wix and WordPress are very capable and professional website builders. Depending on your needs, each one may be more suitable to your own requirements. WordPress is extremely powerful and offers a lot of customisation, if you’re willing to put in the work. Wix is very user friendly; it’s drag and drop functionality means you can build a professional looking website within a matter of hours.

If you’re not looking to spend too much money, both are good options. However, Wix may be a better place to start as you can upgrade your plan over time, as your needs become greater. With WordPress, you’ll really need to choose the best web host from the outset, as migrating can sometimes be a bit of a pain longer down the line.

Both Wix and WordPress offer some amazing tools to create your website. If you have the money to spend on a WordPress developer, you’ll probably get a better website overall. However, as many people won’t be able to fund such a thing, Wix offers some cracking features that any level of ability can get their hands on.

Overall, Wix is the winner in my eyes. You don’t need to be a techy to get your website on the go. What’s more, once it’s live, there’s a wide range of tools to enhance it even more. You can deal with your SEO all in one place, generating more traffic to your website, and pushing it up the search engine ranks. Creating meta descriptions, meta tags, favicons, etc. is all really easy to do. Wix will take you through the whole process from start to finish, and if you want to understand it, you can read more into it.

If you have any trouble figuring things out (which I doubt you will), there’s a wealth of knowledge in their Help Center. Their support team are available on-hand so you can speak to someone there and then. There’s also plenty of tutorials, FAQs, and help topics if you want to dive a little deeper.

If you’re not convinced by this point, why don’t you take a look at the type of websites you can create with Wix. Personally, I wouldn’t have known these were created with a website builder. The features behind website builders are so powerful nowadays, it makes you wonder why you’d pay for a web designer!

Visit Wix.com

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16 Jan 2019

Best Free Web Hosting Services of 2019

Who doesn’t like something for free? Free web hosting has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and I for sure can see why. Running a website can be expensive, let alone running a business. Cutting costs can often be essential in ensuring you can stay afloat. So, if you can get free web hosting, why wouldn’t you?

The trouble I’ve found is that a lot of the advertised free web hosting isn’t exactly free. There’s often restrictions and limitations on storage, data, bandwidth, etc. and the web hosts themselves aren’t much to shout about.

 

Pros of Free Web Hosting:

  • You don’t have to pay a penny (great if you’re on a budget or just starting out)
  • Perfect if you only have minimal requirements (those who aren’t fussed on storage space of bandwidth)
  • An ideal solution for testing (a simple way to not getting tied into a contract)
  • Domain registration (many free web hosts include free domain registration)

 

Cons of Free Web Hosting:

  • Free services are often limited (limitations are frequently seen around disk space, bandwidth, and features)
  • Advanced features may not be available (the ability to edit DNS settings, scripts, and access to 1-click installations)
  • May include adverts (some free web hosts will rely on adverts on your website to make their money)
  • Server speed and performance may suffer (web hosts may place free users on their less powerful servers)

 

To save you the time and hassle of sifting through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I’ve done the hard work for you. I’ve uncovered the best free web hosting services of 2019, so sit back and relax!

If you really don’t like the cons of free web hosting then I suggest you check out some of the paid web hosting companies on our homepage.

1 | InfinityFree (Best Overall Free Web Hosting Service)

InfinityFree has a small customer base of around 200,000 users. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not worth your time. In fact, as far as free web hosts go, they offer plenty of features you shouldn’t shy away from. Their free web hosting solution includes the following features as part of their plan:

  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited disk space
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • 10 email accounts
  • Free CloudFlare CDN
  • 400 MySQL databases

And there’s much more where that came from! However, there are some limitations (as I mentioned about free web hosting services) to be aware of. Their terms and conditions regarding unlimited bandwidth and storage is a little confusing. You’re restricted to the types of files you can upload, making the term ‘unlimited’ not quite what it seems.

If the content you want to upload for your website falls into their acceptable category, then this freebie is well worth it. However, if you’re intending to go against the rules, your website and it’s data could be suspended (eek)!

If you want to try InfinityFree’s free web hosting services, then you can enjoy their free plan, absolutely free. In my opinion, it’s certainly worth giving it a go. If you like their services, and don’t want to be limited to certain features, their ‘super premium’ plan is only $2.99 per month.

 

Visit InfinityFree.com

 

2 | x10Hosting

x10Hosting has over 10 years of experience as a free web hosting service. They boast their ‘full web hosting suite’ which endevours to give you everything you need to host your website. With x10Hosting’s free plan, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, PHP, MySQL, cPanel, and 1-click installations. Pretty much all you need to get started with web hosting!

This free web host provides some pretty great uptimes, meaning your website will be online for the majority of it’s lifespan. Their loading speeds and server response times are also admirable, given that their services are free. And the fact that you get unlimited bandwidth and storage is another strong talking point.

However, like many free web hosts, their unlimited promises are a little questionable. x10Hosting have the right to suspend your website if your usage is ‘too high’. What ‘too high’ is, though, isn’t specified anywhere, so it’s hard to know what this means!

Much like other free web hosting services, x10Hosting also have a premium package if you’re looking for something extra. With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, free website builder, automatic backups, and SEO tools, monthly costs start at $6.95 per month. The longer you sign up for, the cheaper the premium plan becomes.

 

Visit x10Hosting.com

 

3 | AwardSpace

AwardSpace provide web hosting for over 2.5 million customers. They’ve been in the web hosting business for over 15 years, so have a lot of experience as a free web hosting service. They offer a 99+% uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, an average response time of 15 minutes, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. These features are quite appealing considering they’re a free web hosting provider.

AwardSpace’s plans include MySQL database, one-click installations, and much more. You can host up to 4 websites with this free web host, and they’re 100% advert free. Rest assured, you can create a professional website and host it absolutely free with AwardSpace, without annoying adverts or a lack of features.

There are many good aspects that AwardSpace features. However, if you’re looking for a long-term web hosting solution with unlimited bandwidth and storage, then you may need to upgrade to another web host. AwardSpace’s free web hosting only comes with 1GB of disk space and 5GB bandwidth. There’s a good chance you could reach those limits within a short space of time.

This web host’s free web hosting solution is more of a taster to their premium plans. If you do find that their free plan doesn’t offer quite enough, their paid plans start at €2.79 per month. If you’re only interested in creating a personal website, or a blog, then their free plan could be the ideal free solution for you.

 

Visit Awardspace.com

 

4 | FreeHostingEU

FreeDomain.co.nr and AttractSoft GmbH have joined together to create FreeHostingEU. They offer two paid hosting plans and a free web hosting service. The free web hosting package offers 200MB of disk space, 4GB bandwidth, and 1 email account. You’ll also have 5 free domains included from eu5.net, but to be honest, I can’t see these being used that much.

Users can enjoy access to 3 free website builders, as well as 1-click installations for WordPress, Joomla, etc. PHP, MySQL, CGI, and other languages are supported, making this free plan just as professional as a paid plan. However, if you’re looking for some user support, you may be disappointed to find out that their support forums have been closed.

FreeHostingEU provide a limited free plan for users who are happy with what’s on offer. However, if you’re looking for something more, their low cost web hosting solutions start from $4.95 per month and claim to be 70% faster than the free plan. Web hosting space and bandwidth are increased to unlimited, as well as more email accounts and an antivirus included for free.

In terms of customer support, this free web host provide 24/7 support via live chat, ticket system, and their FAQ’s. They’re also seemingly active on social media via their Facebook page.

 

Visit Freehostingeu.com

 

5 | FreeHosting.com

FreeHosting.com have over 15,000 customers and almost 10 years in the free hosting business. As a European host, FreeHosting.com have become increasingly popular over the past few years, offering free web hosting to the masses. FreeHosting.com offer free web hosting services, paid services, and domain registration (like many of it’s competitors).

If you already have a domain, you can attach it to your free web hosting plan. Alternatively, you can use FreeHosting.com’s domain services to purchase a new one. Users will be offered unmetered bandwidth, cPanel, 10GB disk space, 1 email account, and 1 MySQL database. In terms of a free web hosting service, FreeHosting.com certainly offer enough to get a personal, blog, or small business website up and running.

However, in this web host’s case, not everything is as good as it seems. Website’s hosted with FreeHosting.com were recording very slow loading times around 2 seconds, and very poor uptime records. If you’re not fussed about generating traffic to your website, and you just need a free web host to physically host your website, then this may not bother you. However, for most, this would be off putting.

 

Visit Freehosting.com

 

6 | Wix

Although Wix is a website builder as it’s main focus, it also provides web hosting for free. This drag and drop website builder offers a free plan for users who are keen to create their own website at a low cost. You won’t need any coding skills to get started, and you’ll get 500MB storage, 500MB bandwidth, a free email account, and a free Wix.com subdomain.

One of the main appeals of Wix as a free web hosting and website builder service is how user friendly it is. Whether you’ve created a website before (or not), or hosted a website, Wix makes the whole process really easy. Simply choose a category to get started and you can browse hundreds of beautiful themes and templates to edit to your liking.

There’s plenty of tools to use too, such as SEO, which can be configured to speed up your website. Although it’s not a web host (more so a website builder that hosts your website), it still offers enough for most users. However, it’s free plan may not be the best option if you’re looking for a professional website.

Now, the reason I say this is really only based on it’s disk space and bandwidth limitations. You’ll be able to host a basic website, but if you want to host a business website or splash out on images and videos, you’ll need to upgrade to one of their paid plans. Similarly, if you want your own domain name that doesn’t have Wix.com included in it, you’re going to have to pay for a premium account.

 

Visit Wix.com

 

7 | WordPress.com

WordPress is probably one of the most popular or well known brands in terms of website creation. WordPress.org is the open-source version of WordPress that requires a separate web host to the website builder. However, WordPress.com is a website builder that will host your website for you (for free).

Although WordPress is very popular, it may not be the best option for beginners. It doesn’t have drag and drop features like Wix and Weebly, however, it’s much more powerful. There’s tonnes of customisation options and thousands of templates to choose from, allowing you to create a professional website with it’s own web hosting.

WordPress.com customers will get 3GB storage, 3GB bandwidth, an email account, access to lots of themes, and a WordPress.com subdomain. For this reason, it may be a good starter option for users who are keen bloggers as opposed to small businesses. If you do want to upgrade though, you can pay as little as $4 per month. This will open up more themes, customisation, storage, and eCommerce functions.

 

Visit WordPress.com

 

8 | Weebly

Well-known website builder, Weebly, also offers a free hosting plan (as well as upgraded plans for premium users). As far as website builders go, Weebly offers loads of professional looking templates to create a modern website without the need for coding skills. Weebly’s free plan will give you 500MB storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a Weebly.com subdomain.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any eCommerce features, or an email account. But, you will be able to edit a wealth of free templates using it’s drag and drop features. If you’re feeling adventerous, you can put any HTML or CSS skills you have to use too. Weebly is user friendly for both beginners and professionals, but doesn’t offer as many features as a free web hosting service.

Like some other free web hosts, Weebly’s free plan doesn’t have any adverts (thankfully). Though you will notice Weebly branding at the footer of your website which you may want to avoid if you’re looking for a professional website. If you simply want your own personal website or are starting your first blog, Weebly could be a suitable option for you.

When you upgrade to one of Weebly’s premium plans, you’ll be able to connect your own domain. You’ll also open up unlimited storage and many more features like Site Search, password protection, video backgrounds and more.

 

Visit Weebly.com

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02 Jan 2019

How To Create A Website For Free

If you’re looking to create a new website for personal or business reasons but don’t want to splash out on a web developer, where do you start? Creating a website free of cost is entirely possible! The easiest and (in my opinion) best way to do this is to use a website builder.

Using a site builder, you don’t require any form of training or IT background. It’s easy to gain full control of the entire web design and development process with the click of a button.

Most site builders have free plans so that you won’t have to pay a penny to get started. What’s more, if you like what you’ve created, you can usually pay a small fee to upgrade and gain access to even more tools at your disposal!

In 2019, using a website builder is about as easy as updating your Facebook status! You can save thousands of £££ by not hiring a professional to create your website for you. Why? Because you can do it yourself, and you can do just as good a job with the technology that’s available.

Free Website Builders

Creating a free website really is quite simple! Following these quick and easy steps will ensure that you are able to create your perfect website, absolutely free of cost.

Choose a website builder. There are lots of website builders to choose from. Simple drag and drop builders are at your disposal and have free services available (as well as paid).

Purchase a domain name. You’ll need a domain name in order for the world to access your website. A domain name should represent what your website is about, whether it’s for personal or business use. Domain names should be memorable, and easy to type too! Most free website builders will allow you to connect your domain name to their services so that you don’t have a branded URL.

Design your website. Website builders tend to come with preset templates and themes. You should take the time to research all the templates available to you so that you can pick one that you’re going to love. Remember, most website builders will allow you to customise their templates so you can create exactly what you want.

Choosing a Website Builder

Choosing the best website builder for the job can sometimes be a challenge in itself. Knowing where to begin is half the battle, as well as what to look out for. You’ll want to make sure you choose a website builder that suits your needs. Some things to consider when creating your free website are:

Ease of use. Website builders are notoriously easy to use. That’s kind of what they’re designed for! However, some website builders are more advanced than others, which could be off putting for a beginner. Most website builders will give you an indication as to how user friendly they are from the sign up process. You should be guided through each stage, having access to answers should you need them.

Templates. Choosing a template that suits your needs is very important. The range of templates available varies from website builder to website builder. It may be worth having a look at what’s accessible before you sign up.

Customer support. If you’ve never used a website builder before, you may want to choose one that has excellent customer support. If you have any questions or queries, you’ll be able to get them answered by helpful advisers as opposed to being lost! Many website builders will have a live chat or telephone option, so you can always test their knowledge before signing up.

Signing up to a Website Builder

Signing up to your chosen website builder should be a simple process. As previously mentioned, the signup process is often a reflection of how user friendly the website builder actually is. Let’s take Wix as an example of how simple it is to sign up to their freeplan and start building your website within minutes.

Start by selecting your favourite template as a basis for your website. This should be something that represents the type of website you’re creating. For example, if you’re starting a blog, select a blog template. Or if you’re planning on a new business, choose a template that compliments your niche.

If you already have an existing account, you can login once you’ve selected your template. Alternatively, you can sign up by entering your details, or login via Facebook or Google for quick access.

You’ll be taken straight to your chosen template for you to edit and add your own content. There’s plenty of tools to get started and lots of helpful hints should you find yourself stuck at any point. It really is as simple as that – create a free website in a matter of minutes!

Connecting your Domain Name

Choosing and connecting your domain name to your free website is the next step in getting your site live. Domain names are important as this is what people will remember (or at least you would hope)! They should represent what your website is about, or what your business niche is aiming for.

Some website builders offer free domain names but more often than not they will be branded. For example www.domain.mysite.com which doesn’t look very professional. But, it’s a start if you’re trying to keep costs down! Some web hosts will offer a free domain name when you sign up to their hosting plan, from as little as £0.99 per month.

Website builders like Wix will offer users a domain name who sign up to their annual plan. Obviously this means that your website wouldn’t be free, but if you’re looking to upgrade in the future, it could be an option worth considering. If you choose a domain name when you sign up to a free website builder, you most likely won’t have to do any leg work to get your domain connected.

The next steps

Once you’ve created your website for free, you may want to consider some other factors. These factors are really dependent on what your website is going to be used for. Some users may not be interested in advertising their website or generating traffic, whereas others will want to focus on this heavily.

Making your website live is one of the very first steps to developing your website. Once it’s accessible to users around the world, you may want to take into account the following:

SEO: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) focuses on boosting your website’s ranking so that it appears nearer the top of search engines. The purpose of this is to make your website more accessible by a wider range of users, thus increasing it’s popularity. Businesses in particular will want to embrace local SEO to ensure that their business details are visible when users search for specific terms.

Content: The content that appears on your website is as important (if not more) than your website’s design. Relevant and up-to-date content should be a priority, especially if people are citing or linking back to your website. Content, whether visual, video, or written, is king.

Social Media: Social media connections to your website are incredibly useful. When you think there were 4 billion internet users in 2018, and 3.1 billion of those were social media users, you’d be silly to miss out! Social media can be a great marketing tool in generating more traffic to your website. It also has very close links to content, giving you access to technology like live streaming and live commenting for further user engagement.

Final word

Creating a website for free is entirely possible in 2019. There are many avenues you can go down to achieve this, without spending lots of money on web developers and designers. Now you can gain control of what you create, and it can look just as professional as a professional doing it for you!

Free website creation is not only free, it’s quick and simple. You can get a website live within the space of a few minutes. What’s more, there is so much choice available, meaning you can achieve pretty much anything you want to. If one website builder doesn’t quite cut the mustard, it’s almost guaranteed that another one will do. That’s the bonus of having such a competitive market!

And remember, free doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. Many people believe that getting something for free means that they won’t get the bonuses or benefits that paid users do. Now, in some cases, yes that’s true. However, it really depends on what you want to achieve with your website. It’s about weighing up the pros and cons of free versus paid website builders, and only you can make that decision. Carefully evaluate what each website builder can offer you and make a decision from there!

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