We have divided our conversation into categories and there is one category per blog post. Today’s topic focuses on each of the platforms’ different mobile solutions. (Links to previous posts in this series can be found at the bottom of this one.)
WordPress vs. Wix
What are the advantages and disadvantages with mobile design and functionality on these platforms?
WordPress: More and more WordPress child themes support responsive mobile design functionality. Basically that means that as you design a website for the desktop/laptop, simultaneously a mobile design is being created for the smartphone and smart tablet. The features, plugins and functions are all factored into the mobile design with hardly any extra steps needed.
Wix: This topic is – almost unfortunately – an easy one to explain. Wix simply doesn’t do mobile design well. What you design in the Wix interface for the desktop/laptop doesn’t transfer very well to mobile – if at all.
In the online interface, you can switch between desktop and mobile design views. It’s a good thing they offer that option too because without it the mobile version of their websites would be a disaster.
In our experience, it wasn’t unheard of to spend several hours tweaking the mobile side of a Wix site after the desktop/laptop version was completed. Below is a list of just some of the problems we encountered.
Images and text would be off-center – even off the viewing area – and have to be adjusted. This even included images and text in the header and footer areas of the website which are constant areas; meaning that they are the same on each page of the site. So if a site had 20 pages, we found ourselves making the same tweak or adjustment 20 times – once for each page. For example, notice the phone number is prominent on both the desktop and mobile versions of the Korkos Investments site. Unfortunately, it did not transfer well within Wix between the desktop version and the mobile version. In the mobile version, the phone number had to be manually centered on each page of the site. There are about 30 pages within this site so the phone number had to be moved 30 times.
- Elements are out of order. For example, Korkos Investments had a page that had three different elements for three different topics. For each topic, the elements on the desktop/laptop layout were designed with this hierarchy: 1) Topic photo 2) Topic text 3) Topic button link to new page. But in the mobile version, Wix transcribed this design to group all photos in a line, then the text and then the buttons for each. It took almost an hour to straighten out this one on the mobile site.
- There is NO clipboard and do NOT delete anything or move anything off the mobile design area if you ever want to see it again. The Wix mobile area isn’t an actual design area. You can increase or decrease existing text font sizes or image sizes. But you can’t add text or an image in mobile mode. And if you delete something in mobile mode, it’s gone for good. The worst part is that there isn’t a clipboard to work with in Wix. In the previous example when elements weren’t lined up the way they were meant to be, it would have been easier to move all the elements off to the side of the design area and re-insert them in the right order. But if you move an element off the design area, it’s deleted or considered hidden. So you have to one by one move each element on top of another – up and down – to get them in the right order. You have to maintain a lot of patience to get through a problem like this with Wix.
- Every time you make a change on your website, you have to check the mobile view and make changes there too. Sometimes it feels like double the work.
So what’s your better mobile option?
How We Can Help: There are certainly sites that will likely be accessed more from a desktop/laptop view than from a mobile device. And honestly, if your site is simple enough, Wix can still be your friend – with some attention to detail – in the mobile world. Contact us and tell us about your site and we can recommend the best option.
Overall Recommendation: In almost all cases, we would recommend a WordPress site if you are interested in mobile design. The platform and themes are set up to automatically create mobile versions of the site with minimal problems or necessary changes. Wix’s mobile solution isn’t one at all and brings on far too many headaches for both the designer/developer and owner of the site.
Previous posts in this series
- Part 1 on user interfaces
- Part 2 on frameworks and themes
- Part 3 on hosting and domains
- Part 4 on overall design
- Part 5 on e-commerce
Want to learn more about mobile design on WordPress or Wix?
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