There are many options when it comes to choosing what platform to use for your photography website. Wix and WordPress are two of them, both widely used by photographers to present their brand online in a creative way.
Which one should you go for? Well, it all depends on your website needs, your expectations and the type of photography business you have.
Wix makes a great entry level tool, as it’s simple to use and manage. If you’re in the initial stage of your career and don’t need a lot of advanced functionality and options on your site, you can give Wix a try.
WordPress on the other hand, is a much more powerful platform, with more customization possibilities. It does have a learning curve, yet any savvy creative can get comfortable with it in a matter of hours or days.
Of course we are biased here at Flothemes, since we create themes for WordPress. Yet, we’d be happy to explain in this article why we think WordPress is a good choice for your photography websites and how it can help you better position and scale your business online.
Note: when we refer to WordPress, we mean the self hosted platform which can be downloaded for free on WordPress.org. Most hosting providers will have it pre-installed in your account. If you’re not sure what’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, please check this article.
WordPress vs Wix. What’s the difference?
Wix is a hosted website builder for beginners and those who want an out of the box ready solution for their website. It provides a multitude of options that are bundled in their subscription plans, so you don’t have to bother about any technical stuff.
Wix offers you a full range of features to easily create, launch, customize and manage your site. Some of these options include: domain name, hosting, website designs, email address, payment options (to accept payments on your site), customer management and more.
WordPress is a self hosted CMS (Content Management System) that you can use to create and launch more advanced websites. Its SEO friendliness, extensive functionality and integrations make it one of the most popular website platforms out there. You can choose your own hosting (server capacity, storage, etc.), can add additional features to your site through plugins, or overall have maximum control over how your website looks and works.
And even though WordPress has a steeper learning curve as compared to Wix, it’s been getting simpler and more intuitive over the years (as an example – Gutenberg editor, a block builder launched in 2018).
Why WordPress is a great choice for photographers
Here are 8 reasons why WordPress might be a better solution than Wix for your photography website:
1. Free to use & open source
WordPress is an open source platform, meaning that you can modify it and use it for any purpose, be it personal or commercial. Anyone can see the code of this software and contribute to make it better. In fact, thousands of developers from all over the world are contributing and help releasing new version of WordPress.
WordPress software is free, you can easily download and install it. Also, most of hosting providers offer auto-installers, which allow you to set up WordPress on your site with one simple click.
Note, that apart from WordPress, which is free, you need a domain name, hosting provider and a theme to build your website. While these other components are all paid, you have a multitude of options to choose whatever you like and fits your budget best.
Here is a guide on how to get started with WordPress and Flothemes to create your photography site.
2. Full control over your website
If you want absolute control over your website, WordPress is the best option to go for. You can edit practically every aspect of your site, be it related to design or functionality.
You can achieve that through the huge library of plugins available in WordPress repository. In case of Flothemes, our users also get access to Flex, which is a powerful design editor that enables you to create custom looking layouts on desktop and mobile.
Moreover, if you have some web development skills, you’ll be able to edit your HTML/CSS/JS and make even more complex customizations.
3. Advanced CMS (Content Management System)
WordPress started as a blogging platform and evolved into a fully featured website builder. Since its very beginning, it has been focused on blogging options. Hence, it provides advanced features when it comes to content creation. From tags, categories, multiple publishing options, to RSS feeds, authors, post formats, a powerful editor and many more.
WordPress’ advanced block-based editor called Gutenberg provides a superior experience for content and page creation thanks to a multitude of predefined, all-purpose blocks.
You can easily add, customize and rearrange blocks as you wish. No code skills required.
4. A multitude of plugins
Wix provides more than 250 apps to help you enhance your website. There is a wide range of diverse plugins to extend the functionality of your site. You can use them to build forms, manage bookings, display your portfolio, create albums, etc.
With WordPress on the other hand, there are over 56,000 plugins available in their directory. Each allowing you to expand and enhance your website’s functionality and capabilities.
With the help of plugins, you can create contact forms, enhance your SEO, create galleries, optimize images, backup your data, secure your site and so much more.
Additionally, at Flothemes we’ve built dedicated plugins for photographers to help you enhance your photography business and provide extensive options for your clients.
5. A multitude of designs
Having a good looking website is essential in the photography business. You sell art aesthetically pleasing to your target clientele. Your website should support and enhance your visual narrative. It should offer a smooth user experience and guide your potential client to the selling page (be that your Contact or Shop page).
Both, Wix and WordPress, offer a multitude of of predesigned templates to help you kickstart your website. Yet, with WordPress and Flothemes, you also get access to the Flex editor, which takes layout personalization to the next level (see below).
You have maximum control over the elements inside Flex. Move images, videos or texts around, change their size, color or opacity, make elements overlap, add gifs and make your site more vibrant and dynamic. The same applies to your mobile website layout. Don’t limit yourself with a pre-made template. Express yourself through your site.
6. Advanced SEO features
Wix has been known as a platform with limited SEO capabilities. A while back they launched an SEO contest which had been received with mixed feelings by some experts.
In the recent years things got better, as Wix has pushed some good-to-have SEO features and improved their platform. However, it still lacks some advanced SEO options like:
- AMP support
- hreflang support
- you can’t edit robots.txt
- you can’t edit your sitemap
- limited redirects
- limited control over your site’s performance
WordPress, on the other hand, offers you full control over your site’s SEO. You can use plugins like Yoast to set up your technical stuff and make sure your site is SEO friendly.
You can also manage more advanced aspects of your site like:
- structured data
- image compression
- advanced redirects
- XML sitemap
- responsive design
- meta tags (robots, title, description, etc.)
- AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
WordPress is a self hosted platform, so you can choose whichever hosting provider you like and optimize your site for speed. This means that you can make your website blazing fast and you’re not limited by a hosted solution like Wix.
WordPress powers more than 35% of all websites, making it the most popular CMS in the world.
It’s one of the biggest open source platforms on the web. WordPress’ developer team consists of hundreds of contributors who constantly work to make it better.
There are also hundreds of theme, plugin and service providers who can help you design and code any solution you need on your website.
All this makes WordPress a huge ecosystem. It’s documented thoroughly and there are tons of tutorials available to help you learn how to manage your WordPress site.
You can also benefit from support forums an local events called WordCamps if your intention is to dive deeper into the world of WordPress. Additionally, we at Flothemes provide our users with a dedicated support team and online community to assist with questions, guidance and tutorials.
8. Advanced eCommerce options
Both, Wix and WordPress offer options to set up an online shop.
With Wix all you have to do is get one of their dedicated eCommerce plans, available at $17 – $35/month.
With WordPress all you have to do is add a plugin called WooCommerce (this is the most popular one, yet others are also available) and set up your payment method.
WooCommerce is free to use yet does include a library of paid add-ons, depending on your needs. The default styling is basic, hence if you want to tweak its look and functionality, you may require some help from a technical expert.
If you’re are looking for an all in one hosted solution that requires minimal technical knowledge, you might want to go for Wix. Overall, it’s a good platform for beginners and user who need a very simple, straightforward website solution.
If you’re looking to launch a more complex website and want to be able to customize every aspect of it (design, functionality, SEO), then WordPress is the way to go.
It’s a great platform for photography businesses. You can check out these 100+ website examples built by photographers and other creatives using Flothemes on WordPress.
P.S. if you’re already using Wix and considering to move to WordPress, check this useful guide on how to make the switch.