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Bloggers: Wix v WordPress – learn from my mistakes

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How Wix let me down – bloggers beware!

First, an apology – this post isn’t about gardening – it’s about website/blog/technical stuff and I’m writing it in the hope it will save other bloggers time, trouble and money.

Last October, I had a site revamp and was torn whether to move website service providers. I decided to stay put with Wix a) because I’d shelled out a lot of money and b) I couldn’t face the prospect of moving to WordPress and learning (deep breath) coding.

Obviously, this was the wrong decision. As I blithely worked away, Google de-indexed some Wix sites (Wix is at great pains to tell ANYONE that it was a one-off).

I can’t attempt to explain – something to do with Wix’s AJAX and hash-bang (#!)URL structure and the use of rel=”canonical” tags.

I can’t begin to describe what this all means, but I asked those ‘in the know’ and it boiled down to ‘it ain’t good’.

Aside from these issues, the best advice was, if you have one or two issues on a big site and can work around them, it’s probably best to stay put. If it’s six or more, bite the bullet and move. I had 10.

Chimp
Deputy CEO of MandyCanUDigIt – the brains of the operation

As you’re the poor sods who had to look at the old site, I probably won’t need to tell you the problems, but here they are:

1. Mobile responsiveness (or lack of). Despite Wix saying it has responsive designs, they are not. Everything you do to a page has to be re-edited in the mobile editor, where pictures hide and gaps appear. When published, even bigger random gaps appear.

2. Wix upgraded to a new editor, but large sites like mine did not upgrade.

3. Text won’t flow around a picture.

4. No archive or sub-menus.

5. Cost of apps (indeed everything) compared to WordPress (search button, weather, SEO booster, etc).

Nerve centre
Nerve centre – yes, I still use books for reference

6. Terrible blogging apps (AtContent, a sharing site for bloggers, failed to work properly after the new editor upgrade, deleting all of my pictures and not allowing any new ones to load.)

7. Poor customer support – I ticketed the blog problem in January and am still waiting for a response from AtContent or Wix. Long turnaround on questions, often with a standard cut-and-paste response that doesn’t answer your question.

8. Inability to track goals for advertisers on Google Analytics.

9. Supposed to be a WYSIWYG system (what you see is what you get) – it isn’t. Things may look great on your screen, but probably won’t on others.

10. Problems of moving Wix to WordPress – there is now a migration system which will move content, but not design and I was advised it’s not foolproof. Besides, if you’re making such a great leap forward, you can create pages in bulk, then cut and paste the old content, update it, etc. Wix does not want people to leave, so make it as awkward as possible to do so.

So why choose Wix in the first place? It’s easy to learn, no coding and bore an uncanny resemblance to the desktop publishing systems I was used to after a life in newspapers. There is a steep learning curve with WordPress, but the possibilities are so much greater.

If you want a small four-page site, Wix will do the job just fine. When sites get more complex and heavier, that’s where problems start.

I found these websites particularly helpful: www.cms2cms.com
http://www.wpbeginner.com/
https://www.wp-bff.com/how-to-move-your-website-from-squarespace-wix-or-weebly-to-wordpress/

Enough of the techno stuff, on with the gardening!

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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